Nowadays there are a lot of ways to travel around the world with many ways. As we know that “backpacker” sounds familiar, including in Indonesia. Honestly, I am really curious about the other sides of the world. I want to see with my own eyes, not only in the books, pictures or just listen from other people. Seems that I am dreaming to high because I know that traveling around the world needs a lot of money. I just working as a teacher, and I am happy with my job. But then, I want to rip any kind barriers which stop my step. I tried many times applying scholarship in different countries before. Of course to develop myself is the first aim, and see the other world from my own sight as a bonus. Since I failed with the scholarship (even I pass and get Letter of Acceptance), I still dreaming about go around the world.
Dude, isn’t Indonesia is good enough to travel? Many foreigners come to your country, and the place you live now is the beautiful place. I heard this many times. Maybe you also think about that. But, yeah this curious always wake me up to take the first step in the path what I want to see. Even it still difficult for me I am trying to get a lot of information.
My first journey will begin in June-July. I will visit some countries in South East Asia. Believe or not, I bought the ticket 1 year before the departure! The second one will begin in October. I will fly to Japan and see the beauty mix of old culture and modern life. Besides that, because I am a teacher I am seeking the opportunities to teach the local people. I want to give something for them, I want to share, even it’s just small things.
Then I think about volunteering. Can I do traveling during volunteering? It can be a good experience for me doing 2 things. Like Indonesian proverb “Sambil menyelam minum air”, which mean we can do or gain many things in same time. I know one of volunteering site which is exclusive for farming. It call WWOOF, and it quite popular. Going to the site and choose what country you want to choose. It’s cover many countries in the world. For access it, we need to be member and pay the fee for 1 year. I am think about use WWOOF next year when I have enough coins to go to Europe :D..
It was raining so hard on the day of PD Week in my school. I told my friend about my passion. He is 190 cm guy with grey eyes and love surfing. He comes from Ireland and he has a lot of experience teaching in many countries before come to Bali and teach in same school with me. He did WWOOFing before, and he told me another site for volunteering. I was desperate googling about volunteering with minimal budget like WWOOF. Almost any other sites needs big money to join the volunteer job. Like an angel, he give me information about HelpX and kindly offering me for a help if I am struggling with that site.
More about WWOOF
Register this site and choose the country you want to go. I find out that different countries has different fee for being a member. Being a member is a first step to access more about the spot you want to stay for and finding the host which match with you. This membership valid for one year. Some of countries may has higher membership fee compare with others. Do not worry to be a member, the cost fee will note make you bankrupt! It is still payable compare with others :D. You can’t read testimonials in home site. You need to go to the official site which every country has. Just focus visit site from country you have chose! Do not need to open every single sites!For example this is Australia’s official site for testimonials.
More about HelpX
When you register in this site, there are 2 levels of member you can choose : Free or Premier. If you participate as helper (this site called “helper” for volunteer ) must upgrade to premier membership to take full advantage of all HelpX has to offer. Premier membership costs 20 EUROS for 2 years and allows the helper to contact all hosts and read all host reviews. Premier helpers can browse this site and contact hosts directly to see about making arrangements to stay. You can find testimonials and stories about helpers experiences also in this site.
These two sites I can share for you if you bored with ordinary traveling. You can gain experiences here. Me, I am a teacher but I want to have experience like working in the farm using WWOOF or HelpX. But then, we need several things to remember to find the host using this site. I read many blogs that suggest to find “right host”. Here, what I think are important before deciding host during volunteering :
1. After deciding what country you want to visit, the next step is finding the host. Sometime, finding host is quite difficult to. Why? Because we do not meet with the host face to face. So, contact host who has positive comments. Or, you can ask your friends who had live there. Join the forum and ask is good idea though!
2. Choose strategy place! Not far away from town. If you choose place which far away from town or society, you will get bored soon! And, if the place can be reach by public transportation, it will be good also. After you’ve done with work, run into the bus/train and enjoy your life!
3. You need to send email to the host who you like to stay with. Well, it must be polite and show your interest to join and volunteering in their place. Even they are farmer, they has small differences with professor :D. They are busy! Interesting email will attract them to reply and accept your request :D.
4. What next? Hm…this is the important part! Before you take your first step and start to work in their place, you must know what is your job, facilities they offered, and have agreement of working there. What kind of agreement? It depends on you. Example, both of you and your host agree for working 6 hours a day and 6 days a week. When you start at 09:00 am, you can leave at 04:00 pm and wake up at 10:00 am in Sunday without any burden! Both are agree for 6 hours a day and 6 days a week! About facilities, better to ask before you get shock because it’s very different with your expectation. I am a detail person, so I will ask about meals to :D!
Why you need consider about these things? Well, not all of people who do volunteering have good experiences. Some of them, have bad one! I found some blogs which telling their bad experiences during WWOOFing. Usually bad experiences caused by host who didn’t talk nicely to them. It can be cultural shock (the way of people talk is different in other areas), bad meals, and working overload. We can learn from their bad experiences to be more careful!some link about bad WWOOF experiences :
Feel bad and don’t wanna be a volunteer during traveling because of that stories? Well, as long you have agreement and get good host probably you will doing this many times like thirsty person! Because I do not have done yet any experiences using these sites, I suggest you to read good experiences during volunteering also. And, this pages also recommended to read if you are a newbie like me! So we can minimalis bad experience and what we need to do if the volunteering gone wrong!
Believe me, if you are still young do not scare to jump and see behind the high wall. I won’t regret something when I reach my 30s. We never know if we never try right?
I will comeback with another story! 😀