Have you ever used Workaway or any other website that helps travellers to find volunteer opportunity around the globe?
Personally, signing up for workaway and looking for a project that matched my understanding of travelling and volunteering was the first thing I thought of when I decided to leave everything and travel. For me, travelling is more about meeting people, helping communities and being part of a universal consciousness more than seeing cool places.
And it was not easy. I wrote lots of messages and got not that many answers to my requests. In India, it was almost impossible to find reliable people, in Nepal it was not the right season, and I couldn’t find anything that really convinced me in Bali either. Among my choices, Australia was the country from where I got more feedbacks and finally I got my Workaway volunteer assignment with Swami Yoga Retreat!
Managing the communication with your Workaway partner
Communication might not always be easy with your Workaway host. In my case, they took weeks to answer and I was uncertain until the end whether they were going to help me to reach their place (which is quite hard to reach by public transport). They were extremely flexible when I asked to change the dates of my assignment just a month before starting. In the end everything worked fine, but there were several times when I thought that they were not serious enough.
So be ready to receive not really prompt answers from Workaway hosts!
Workload with your Workaway assignment
The workload exceeded my expectations quite a bit, so be aware that sometimes what your workaway host writes in the description might not reflect the real need of the place. And i think it is in your right as a volunteer to say “no” if you feel that it is too much work for what they offer in return.
I had applied mainly as a yoga teacher and found myself doing all sorts of things: cooking, cleaning, weeding, taking care of an old lady.I was really tired during the first week of my assignment because the workload was the double than expected. I thought about leaving but then there was something about that place which was worth all the work and all the effort. With that said, it was not easy. It was hot and us volunteers were on all kinds of duties, even very physical ones, like cleaning and getting the 14 rooms for the guests ready with 40° degrees.
Workaway in Australia
The place was just stunning. Lost in the bush, surrounded by eucalyptus trees, wallabies, insects of all sorts, Swami Yoga Retreat (Sydney) is just the right place to be if you want to stay in contact with nature and isolated, while at the same time close to society and civilisation in case of need. I had time for my yoga practice in a wonderful yoga shala, hammocks to rest during my free time, and a place to sleep surrounded by the sounds of nature.
I would definitely go back. No matter how hard work it is, Swami Yoga Retreat is a magical place to be!