It’s one thing finding your perfect host, contacting them, getting accepted and then being on your way. But it’s another thing entirely once you are actually there with them! You’ve read all about them, googled them, stalked their Facebook, but really, they don’t know too much about you. It’s time to put your charming coat on, show them why you were worth their time, and let the rest of us know (hello, we know you are updating social media every day) just how amazing it is being a guest and a volunteer. And here’s how:
1. A Good Guest Comes Prepared
You’ve taken on this mission – so own it! Ok, maybe no need to be so James Bond, but what we are trying to say is; it’s your own responsibility to come prepared! Going to the Arctic? Well, dur obviously you’re going to need some warm clothes. It’s not your host’s job to tell you this – although a lot of them provide that extra information. There is no harm in giving them a quick email regarding what they think you will need beforehand – it’s a lot better than asking them when you are there.
2. Bring An Open Mind
In most circumstances the advice ‘go with low expectations’ doesn’t translate very well to the situation. However, with travel it is different. If you go with high expectations, you are not doing yourself any favours. If you don’t know what to expect why expect so much! This is a great way to be a good Workaway guest — go with an open mind, and leave with a full heart! We can almost guarantee that will be the case!
3. Be Tidy and Respectable
This one is kind of obvious right? But don’t treat your hosts place like a hotel. Can you imagine letting strangers into your home, giving them trust and respect, only to be left with their mess to clean up? Don’t let it get to that..
4. Be Honest
Once you are there and are happily settled in with your new host family remember it is more than ok to be honest. If you think you are working too many hours, or the work is too hard, then let them know. Communication is the key to success, and your hosts will not know whether the work is right for you or not unless you say. Remember, you are both helping each other out, you are exchanging your time for food and housing. If it isn’t working for one of you try and find another way that it can. Whatever happens don’t stay silent.
5. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Maybe that sounds a bit abrupt, but if you said you were going to leave on a certain date, keep to it. We’ve all been there before where a guest stays that little bit too long, but it’s awkward to ask them to leave – avoid that happening by being clear with your arrival and departure dates. Also bear in mind your hosts may have other Workawayers or guests on their way, so you may need to make space for them.
6. Show Them Your Fun Side
We travellers are the last ones likely to take ourselves too seriously, and make sure you show that to your hosts too. After all, you’re not going to be in one of those ‘serious’ office jobs where a fit of laughter raises eyebrows. Bring out your inner child, show your hosts and fellow guests how much fun you are having. We all know we laugh in the same language; so GET GIGGLING!
7. Disconnect From Technology
Don’t be on your phone, don’t be uploading everything to Facebook. Be in the moment. Enjoy the time living with your hosts and getting to know them – trust us, they may turn out to be some of the best friends you’ve ever had.
8. Spread The Love
Help us help you! Have any more hints and tips for wannabe Workawayers? Got some fun stories you’d like to share, or some ‘do’s and don’ts’? We want to hear them all! And lastly HAVE FUN! Life is here to be lived; fully and excitedly! Go and explore the world and make the planet a better place! <3