Traveliving means freedom. But also means connection & interaction with the locals. Say buenos dias* or habari za asubuhi** in the gas station or at the reception of your hotel, most of the times is not enough and as a traveller, you have the chance to build a proper relationship with the locals every single day.
For us, the best way to get connected with the local people & communities is through employment opportunities. A paid job, work in exchange for food and accommodation or simply volunteering for a good cause, brings us closer to the people in the countries we visit. Sometimes, this is achievable just by meeting the right person, at the right time in the right place and some other times we need to make use of internet platforms like workaway.info or helpX.net.
When it comes to work exchange, we usually exchange our time, skills and experience for food and accommodation mainly in tourism related businesses simply because we are dreaming to do something similar in the future. This way, we acquire the know-how for free, we see how this type of businesses work, we learn all the secrets without taking any risk, plus we always choose exceptional locations like a luxury fishing lodge on a private island in Canada or a mountain lodge in the Ecuadorian Andes at 3000 mts altitude or a boutique hotel in the heart of Oaxaca de Juarez in México. Some people say that it is a slavery but honestly, we can confirm that it is a fair exchange of resources plus there is no contract or legal commitment, so you can always leave if you don’t enjoy or there is some sort of abuse or mismanagement (we did so, once, in a farm in Calgary).
Caution: there is no such a thing as volunteering in a business that makes a profit and travellers must be really cautious how and why they exchange their time for this kind of work exchange opportunities.
Regarding the volunteering assignments, this must be always for a good cause, and our experience in the Ethandweni Childrens Home in Zimbabwe, made us think different about charity projects and philanthropic initiatives.
In all cases, we created income, we had the chance to do and learn exceptional things, we exchanged culture, skills, knowledge & experience but most important, we got familiar with the local peoples’ traditions, customs and way of living. So far, we are impressed by the differences but also we are shocked by the similarities that all people have all around the wold. Finally, this is part of our travels’ legacy and what we will remember when we will settle down one day.
In the section of Check-Ins, you can find related info about the Travellers Accommodation Facilities that we have been hosted and worked during our travels the last 4,5 years. There is no business affiliation, we do not get anything to list these businesses, but we have deep knowledge of the people and the surroundings and we just want to spread the word and let other people know about it.