Many of you would have heard of a website called workaway.info, let me tell you that I love it. I stumbled across the site back when I was in Portugal, I wanted to spend my life using it. If you don’t know it you can essentially trade around 20-25 hours work a week for food and accommodation. Amazing yea?
My first one was incredible. Fixing windows in Portugal for a few weeks in the sun. I still talk to my host and I consider going back frequently. So, after enjoying my first so much I took another doing some farm work with my girlfriend in Ibiza.
Things started to fall apart quickly. For one I sent the hosts an email saying our flight was delayed 15 minutes. We would now be landing at 9:30 pm. We landed, I switched my phone on to an email reply telling me that’s too late. I mean what? It’s changed by 15 minutes. I was understanding and said we would save time by getting a taxi instead of a bus.
Anyway, we arrived at the address given. Turned out to be a dirt track in the middle of nowhere. I went and found the nearest house which of course had no lights on but did have a loose dog barking at me. I wasn’t going in there more than once. So I ran in, dodging the dog, and knocked on the door. Obviously no answer. I went back to find my girlfriend sat in the dark wanting to leave. I was ready to go to but where would we go? We were in the middle of nowhere with zero battery on our phones. I suggested sleeping in a nearby barn which went down like a lead balloon (no more suggestions from me). But then we were saved as a car appeared and asked us what we were doing. They pointed us in the direction of where we were going. A good 400 meters up the track. Well of course!
After a brief conversation we learnt of our accommodation. Pictures below.
And trust me these pictures don’t do it justice.
As a Brit and a Texan we showed some grit and got to work the next day. The work was on a farm. That’s fine. As expected. But also expected was food. This is when you learn that the site doesn’t say they have to feed you a great deal. We went 4 days without an evening meal. Many days without breakfast.
My girlfriend doesn’t eat meat, which was stated before we even arrived but time and time again cat food looking meals were served up. We worked for 20 hours across 3 days and then said we were taking a day off. After being called lazy the host agreed, allowing us some time to find a flight back to the UK.
So, after 7 days, we left. Telling the Scottish land owner that after working 30 hours each in exchange for no food and a house only fit for rats wasn’t in the spirit of workaways. He argued and called us names, then watched us leave, as if we might steal something from that hell hole of a place. The lesson is to clarify everything before you agree to go somewhere. Especially if it’s an Island!!