Haven’t you ever thought somebody you know would make a brilliant host? Like you get the feeling they would make some Workawayers out there really happy and you know they would greatly benefit from the exchange? Well, I personally do!
One of my closest relatives has been fantasizing about signing up as a host for an awful long time, and still has not managed to take the plunge yet. And it can’t be an isolated case..this made me wanted to figure out what might scare off some from signing up. …Drum roll… and here it is: a short list of potential self-doubts or preconceptions a new host might have with solutions to overcome them.
Technology: I feel overwhelmed already…
We know not everyone is computer-literate, has high-tech equipment and a super speedy Internet connection. Nothing to worry about! Plus, the Internet is just a means, not an end in itself. Although you will have to create a profile and log on to your Workaway account from time to time, once contact with volunteers has been established, you can pretty much leave the virtual world and dive into real-life interaction.
The Workaway website is a “facilitator”; a platform, which enables hosts and volunteers who could benefit from one another to make contact. As the site evolves, we’re constantly trying to improve what we do so the site can be as user-friendly as possible. Over the years, we have developed various tools to help with this, such as FAQs, tutorials and online support. Our hope and aim is to help everyone within the Workaway community to find the answer they are looking for. So don’t let technology put you off!
Language: what if I don’t speak English that well?
Although the website has been primarily designed in English, there is also a version in French, Spanish and German. So it should be made much easier for you to navigate through the site if you speak/read one of these languages. You can also use google translate if a translation in English is needed or even get help from the 24/7-support team.
Then when it comes to the actual exchange you may think, now what do we do?! Before you start panicking we’d just like you to know, You’re the dream for any language learner! Because what better immersion can there be? I once was a foreign language academic student as well, and I know that finding a Workaway host like YOU would have saved me so much time and money. Besides, I would have loved the authentic cultural exchange!
Location: who would want to come to my area?
So you think you don’t live in a “fancy” area? As they put it, different strokes for different folks. Some like buzzing cities, others prefer picturesque sites. Some try to escape the heat, whilst the others would give anything for a bit of sun… Remember, Workaway was created to open up new paths for travellers while sharing experiences. Away from the usual picture perfect tourism tracks, many Workawayers just want to live authentic experiences. You live there, and if it appealed to you, there’s definitely something about it that will appeal to the others too! You might not think this is where the strength of your hosting lies, but revisiting your own region through the eyes of an outsider could bring you some new perspectives. We bet you’ll be surprised!
Not enough things to do: I’m unsure if I need that much help really…
Ok, let’s define “help”- to “help” is to aid or assist someone in order to make something more pleasant or easier to deal with. “Help” is not necessarily about giving out a long list of jobs to your volunteers. Someone can help and make your life more pleasant simply by joining in your daily routine or providing delightful companionship. Every exchange is unique and the “help” given and received comes in different shapes and forms.
Sometimes the help you need might just be an one-off thing. Is it then worth spending time to get your head around the Workaway site to get help in this unique instance? If the idea has crossed your mind, you know the best that there’s a possibility for it to be turned into a real opportunity to try Workaway out and see if hosting would fit into your lifestyle. And it’s really easy to deactivate your listing if you don’t wanna host anymore.
Too many things to do: I am already very busy and I am not sure if I’ll have time to really look after the volunteers!
This is a good point…To be a good host indeed you’d have to invest your time and effort to accommodate the volunteers that have come to help you. However, once the dynamic has been well-established, the exchange itself is just something priceless. In the long run the benefits of the exchange should exceed the effort you have to put in with hosting, and often beyond expectations.
If you’re still worried about not having enough time to interact with your volunteers, this should not stop you. You do have to BE HONEST on your listing though! Also keep in mind that not everyone likes socialising. Some people like to keep to themselves, and that doesn’t mean that it won’t make a successful exchange. You can also aim at hosting couples or several volunteers at the same time so that they can be more dependent on one another without you being present all the time.
Attractiveness as a host: am I cool enough?
Am I too old? Or too young? Too much of this, not enough of that? Instead of constantly worrying about not being enough, look at it this way: there is always someone younger OR older than you! Some people look up to you (offspring, partner, friends…), some others don’t even know that you exist. Human relations are limitless. The world is diverse and so is the Workaway world. No one can be a perfect host in absolute terms but there are always perfect matches between people. You’ve got what it takes to be a great host if you decide to! 😉
The beauty of Workaway lies in the people who live it; volunteers as well as hosts. Without whom none of these great human interactions would take place. Here is the opportunity to address a special THANK YOU to all the Hosts who open up their homes and share their lives with volunteers around the world. May many new wonderful hosts take the plunge and join the Workaway community. We need you!
Feel like your worries have been eased? Click here to go to the sign up page and start hosting soon!