“Time is Money”

 

It’s not an uncommon saying. People talk about how much their time is worth and how they are willing to spend it. Like many who travel, I’d rather spend money on experiences than things. Also, like many people, I have a lot less money than I have time.

So the question is, how do I feed my travel habit without breaking the bank? Thankfully, a fellow traveler and friend told me about a site called “Workaway.”

The site works as an intermediary to link people who want to travel with a host. Now there is a small catch. You stay with a family in trade for some sort of labor. You could work on a farm, mind children, nearly anything is a possibility.

That is how my partner, Isaac, and I ended up in England, living with a wonderful couple and helping at their bed and breakfast. Helen and Phil were extremely welcoming and especially fantastic for our first workaway.

Their place is beautiful. They’ve updated a great deal over the last few years and they aren’t done yet. They will be expanding rooms and adding to the overall appeal of place. Isaac and I mostly helped to clear a new property they had acquired. We cleared vines and trees. Isaac had a blast playing with a chainsaw. Working outdoors was right up our alley given we are avid backpackers and hikers.

Field Clearance

I really appreciated that often times Phil was out in the field working with us. It showed us the importance of the work and he gave good guidance. The variety of our days was quite enjoyable. It wasn’t the same exact 5 hours of labor a day. We also helped clear and set the dining room, we scrubbed the kitchen, worked in the garden, and helped clean bedrooms. I have to say Isaac and I are nearly useless when it comes to making tight hospital corners on beds. I will forever own fitted sheets.

Before arriving we had the notion that we would be doing more traditional bits of cleaning and B&B work. We were surprised to find that the B&B also employs a staff. Thus our work here is only supplementary, which is wonderful because Helen’s and Phil’s priority is to support the community and they do so by providing jobs.

They both are wonderful and caring people. They truly opened their home to us and cared for us as if we were good friends visiting. We ate every night with them and shared drinks. They had family over and took us out to dinner with them. They had long time friends visit and let us join in on their barbecue. Everyone was just so incredibly sweet. Isaac and I felt more than welcome.

As Backpackers, we didn’t have any our own transportation and they didn’t bat an eye when we desired to venture out. They always provide transportation because after all, doing a workaway, is about the travel as much as the work. We were able to go experience some local towns and sights because of their kindness.

We were also able to get some much needed rest from our month long travels before the B&B. I am so thankful for the stability that being here has provided. Up until the time we arrived we didn’t know where we would sleep any given night (as a planner this can be a bit frustrating for me). This Workaway was more than we could have imagined. It has set the bar high for future workaways. It has been a wonderful experience that we won’t soon forget.

Thank you Helen and Phil for all you have provided for us. This entire experience has been phenomenal.

-Shay