As a 30+ young couple going for a sabbatical year, we want to volunteer in any way we can. Through our skills in IT or Accounting to never before in Teaching, Hospitality or Farming etc… Not only to look for the experience but also to embrace the culture and understanding the people on the other side of the world.
There are other volunteering programs which requires an expensive front up payment until we come across a a site called Workaway.
This site is pretty good and quick to setup . Basically shows a listing of hosts in a particular area within the country you’re visiting to. There’s other sites called HelpX (which I think we may consider in future), but we thought Workaway has quite a lot of hosts and it looks aesthetically pleasing.
In setting up your profile, you will have to spend a bit of time on how to make your profile to stand out the rest. Consider this as your CV/Resume and attaching smiling pictures as a friendly volunteer will be good brownie points.
Searching on the site is easy as A-B-C, but mind you there’s quite a few that are not available at a particular time so it’s better to apply early as you can. Especially when an event or festival is happening soon for that particular country.
At first, it hasn’t been easy to adjust but along the way there’s a reason what we’re doing this for. This makes us appreciate even more when we were living before in Australia. I would say it’s such a humbling experience in connecting with the locals through their struggles, gaining good friends and creating fond memories.
On a side note, we love the fact that volunteering is a sure bet in terms of cost savings for traveling but be mindful on how to approach in accepting the offer. Reading the reviews is handy that was left by other volunteers for safety reasons and most importantly is to commit with an open heart, full of love and respect for others.