Our First Workaway Experience

travel couple volunteer work workaway van life

One of the biggest reasons that made us quit our jobs was to make real connections with real people, and the best way to start is through volunteer work - we want to go to the roots, share people's stories and give a bit of love to their hearts. There are lots of online platforms that allow you to register as a volunteer, at the moment we're using workaway - when you sign in, you have a full list of hosts that are looking for energetic and motivated people all over the world. You can find every type of work from babysitting, building houses, gardening or working in hostels. What do you receive in exchange? Food and bed! But most important, you get to share your knowledge, learn new skills and spend a time of your life doing something good with great people!

We decided to start our workaway experience in Portugal, helping on rebuilding a yoga retreat that was hit by the fires in Portugal last summer, where huge amounts of trees, houses and farms burned down to ashes. So, we head up to the center of Portugal to a village called Melo, in Guarda district, willing to get our hands dirty and to give our hearts to this project. When we arrived, the hosts made us feel at home, showing us the surroundings and bringing us to a wonderful caravan, where we would spend our days. The weather wasn't great, with a lot of storms, strong winds and some days where the sun didn't shine at all, but we had the beautiful opportunity to rebuild the floor of the main house, help with portuguese language, cook meals and clean the fields. Hard work that gave us back a lot of stories to tell and real connections not only with the hosts, but also with the animals.

After two years working abroad, we needed some time to reconnect with ourselves and nature, so this experience was a great start. By living the eco and minimalist style, we have the chance to feel what is really important in our life and understand that our conscious choices have a huge impact on the environment. Living on a small caravan, having a compost toilet, with no running water.. Plus, every time we wanted to drink water or wash our hands we had to go to the spring and fill our buckets and bottles, having no prompt hot water running for our shower and the need to make a fire on a stove 2 hours prior to the shower, all of these are examples of what we experienced and that made us realize, once again, that when you need less you'll have much more. Here is our video from this amazing experience!

~ Do you have any experience with volunteer work?