It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I have discovered WorkAway. Although I have always wanted to volunteer abroad, I never did due to the high fees. So when I found Workaway, I decided to sign up right away. For those who don’t know about it, People from all over the world are signed up as hosts and they offer accommodation and food in exchange for volunteer work. The work can be anything from building work to hostel work to teaching English or babysitting.
With 3 weeks of summer holidays, I contacted a woman in Spain who was looking for help to turn her house into a B&B. She was new to the site and only had 1 review. I was a bit wary of that at first and torn whether I should go or not, but after a Skype conversation with her, all my concerns were gone and looking back at it, I am so glad I did it!
That is how I ended up in Bolulla, Spain. Bolulla is a small town in the province of Alicante with a population of around 421 people.
After going through a rough part in life, I was so grateful for the peacefulness of Bolulla, away from everything, just surrounded by nature. I have experienced life here in a different way. Everyone knows everyone. You leave your front door open throughout the day and once in a while, a head pops in or shouts “hello” into the house. A 5 minute walk through town often ends up taking 30 min as you end up stopping and chatting to everyone. Waiting in line at the local supermarket (there is only 1!!) is like attending a town meeting for gossip and updates. Thinking back of these little moments brings a smile to my face every single time.
I have learned so much more on this WorkAway than on my regular travels. You live amidst of the culture, learn about the mentality of the locals and at the same time, meet so many different volunteers from all over the world.
From Monday to Friday morning we would work for around 3 hours. We started quite early as it was extremely hot by noon. The work consisted of building stairs in the garden, getting water to a Baseta, peeling bamboo and teaching English to the local kids.
The time I valued most were the times we all cooked together, sat together and talked about life and travels. It’s crazy how you meet people from all over the world and when you open up to them, you realise they are or have been going through the same in life. I have met so many inspiring people, people who are living their dreams, who have grown through their struggles and who have taken life into their own hands. Especially, one particular woman that I have met and spent a lot of time with, has taught me so much about life and relationships. In her 50s, she has packed her packs and hiked the Camino de Santiago in a month, travelled the world, went to learn surfing in Costa Rica. She gave me a lot of strength and hope for what I wanted in life. This experience has truly changed my perspective on life and has helped me to let go of the past.
I am so thankful for all the people that I have met during this trip. They say people cross your path for a reason and I have experienced that more and more lately.