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Thursday, September 13, 2012

NZ: Why A.S likes doing Help Exchange

Are you traveling long term?
Do you want to stay in a place for at least one week to better known the place and the people?
Do you think that you’ve simply spent too much on your travels that you’d like to keep your spending to a minimum for at least a week?
Do you also concur that traveling presents opportunities to learn new skills and satisfy the inquisitive mind?

If you answered YES to all the questions above, WWOOF-ing and HelpX-ing are the answers for you.
Basically, these 2 offer help exchange opportunities, which means a budget traveller can  work in exchange for accommodation and food.

Back to the post title,

Why A.S likes doing Help Exchange

  1. Opportunity to experience the place at a minimal cost
The idea of helping in exchange for accommodation and food definitely saves cost while a traveller stays put at a place a little longer. To A.S, it is not just mere accommodation. It’s an overall experience. So far, she got to taste local homecooked food, lived the life of the locals in their homes, biked around the neighbourhood and whenever she was lucky, she had the opportunity to use the car too.

  1. Working and living in an international environment
It’s amazing how people who just got to know each other lived in the same house, shared work time, cooked together, did the dishes together, played games together, explored the place together and celebrated a festival together. Even though it could be as short as 1 week, A.S always left with fond memories.

  1. Opportunities to come close with animals
Dealing with animals may not be A.S’s favourite kind of job but it was a new experience feeding the chickens and ducks. It was also a good opportunity to watch the dogs herd the sheep as well as observing the antics of the birds, cattle, sheep and rabbits.

  1. Learn new skills
She learnt that sheep actually have long tails, on how to drive a wagon, build a mulch garden, set up the irrigation system for a new garden, prepare local food and practise the local language/slang. In fact, earlier, A.S wrote about her experience helping at a vineyard.

  1. Eat healthy organic produce
These hosts are normally self sufficient when it comes to food. They rear their own chickens for eggs and plant their own veggies and herbs for daily use. Thus, it is organically and nutritiously assured. What A.S likes most are the fresh herbs and the abundance of mouthwatering fruits.

  1. Live simple life and marvel at the beauty of mother nature
A daily life started with doing 3 or 4 hours of outdoor work followed by the rest of the day free. Most hosts allow usage of bikes to explore the place. A.S personally feels that when she’s deprived of techies or other commitments, she tends to notice how wonderful mother nature is. Simple things like swimming in the lake, picnicking at the park, feeling the breeze blowing on her face as she cycles and gazing at the millions of stars at the otherwise dark sky easily complements the day.

  1. Can forget about packing and unpacking for a week or two
Hosts in these WWOOF or HelpX sites normally look for someone who can stay and help for at least 1 week. To A.S, this one week presents a good opportunity to rest the tired feet as well as taking a break from constant planning. Moreover, leaving the packing and unpacking aside for this one week is definitely a bonus.

        Phew!! Finally,this is up and going! Enjoy!

*A.S's current location*
Day/ Date: Fri/ Sept 14th, 2012

-A.S has been back in KL, Malaysia since Aug 16th, 2012 from a total of 3 months in Spain and then, Austria. Burdened with lots of thoughts, plans and to-dos, she'll still try her very best to keep this blog alive. Thank you so much for keeping up with her delays.

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