I had 4 years to prepare for the day I would leave home to travel & accumulated a long list of tips and advice to make the most out of my experience one of the best websites I discovered was Workaway.com.
What is workaway?
Simply put, you exchange 5 hours of work for room and board. Easy peasy!
Boarding the Ferry from Split, Croatia to the Island of Korcula
I’d only been traveling for 3 weeks at this point and I’d just given away my wallet, camera and phone, plus a 100 Euro fine for violating Austrian law the week before so I needed to be extra careful with my money while finding a location that appealed to me.
I signed up at a hostel on the Island of Korcula on Workaway.com where I would help with guests, clean and do A LOT of laundry, more laundry than I have ever done in my life but it was worth it for a free stay on a gorgeous island.
Each Workaway experience is different but on my typical day I woke up around 8, ate breakfast with the other workawayers and then we dove into stripping the beds, collecting garbage, sweeping & mopping, cleaning the bathrooms and re-making the beds. In total there were 6 private rooms and 20 dorm beds with at least half the people leaving each day.
The dorm room beds
On an island with so much sunshine you don’t need a dryer, the sun rays dry the sheets in no time although we were constantly collecting, washing, hanging, folding to keep the beds ready for arriving guests. This experience gave me a lot of insight into the business of running a hostel, I learned what doesn’t work, like owning a hostel but hating tourists and what does work, getting free labor in exchange for a place to sleep.
Drying in the sun while the ocean beckons
It may seem like cruel punishment to be in paradise and have to work but we had plenty of time to play on the island. We went cliff jumping, one night we nearly got arrested and we enjoyed a lot of laughter around the dinner table forging lifelong friendships.
Korcula has a great night life!
Is Workaway Right for You?
There are personalities that do well with Workaway and there are some that just don’t.
Is Workaway right for you? Answer some of these questions to find out!
~Do you have an easy going personality that can adapt with your surroundings and circumstances?
~Can you stand up for yourself and know if someone is trying to take advantage of you?
~ When a challenge comes your way do you welcome it as a learning experience and not as a sign of doubt and regret?
~ Can you the good out of any situation even if it’s not what you were expecting?
~ Do you like to learn new skills and experience different ways people live?
If you answered yes to these questions (or at least most of them) then I think you could have a lot to gain from Workingaway. If you answered no to most of these questions then it isn’t something I would personally recommend.
Have you already tried Workaway? Tell us about it in the comments!