Call it whatever you want. Take it whenever you hear the call. Here are some of our favorite ideas for how to make your gap year abroad the most memorable and meaningful year (or two or three) yet.
Author Archive for: Mariah
Mariah has been a world traveller since the tender age of 8 years old when her parents took her to visit her grandparents in Germany. By the age of 13 she was trekking through dense jungle in Belize and climbing ancient Mayan temples.
She discovered Workaway in 2013 after her younger sister used the site to plan her own study abroad semester, and fell in love with the idea of volunteering while travelling. Taking a year-long sabbatical, Mariah stayed with hosts in France and Ghana, gaining valuable experience in the non-profit world and helping her make a career change when coming home.
When not travelling, she’s usually writing about travelling, or planning her next adventure. You can also find her training for a marathon, cooking a family-style meal for friends, or spending time in the garden with her golden retriever, Faith.
Entries by Mariah
Travelling gets us out of our routine (which is usually the point) but it can also make some of our healthier habits more challenging. So here are some practical tips for how to stay fit and active and still have an amazing time during your adventures abroad!
“There’s no place like home for the Holidays” but… have you ever wondered what Christmas is like in Prague? Or heard of the Sankta Lucia festival in Sweden? If you’re itching to celebrate the holidays in a different corner of the world this year, we’ve got the perfect recommendations! From sunny beaches to winter wonderlands, here are our top places to spend the holidays abroad with Workaway.
Have you re-packed and re-packed your backpack, trying to squeeze one last item inside? Have you ever found yourself dazed staring at the travel aisle with all of the gear wondering what you’ll actually NEED? Well, we’re sort of experts on this and have a guide of things to pack on your Workaway trip to make it easier (Your shoulders will thank us)!
Have you ever come back home after travelling to realize you just don’t think the way you used to? Or noticed people giving you the crazy eye after sharing one of your travel stories? You’re not alone! Call it experience, perspective, or a case of incurable wanderlust…there are just a few ways travellers perceive the world differently.
Throughout my travel adventures, I learned a lot. But I always credit my first solo trip for giving me the courage to follow my dreams. I want to pass some of that courage on to you, too. Here’s what I’ve learned and advice I wish somebody told me before my first solo trip.
Let’s face it- there’s something romantic and almost nostalgic about being poor. Think about all of the crazy adventures that begin by trying to save a little cash. Penny pinching may not sound glamorous, but the memories made while travelling on a shoestring budget will definitely be worth retelling. If you’re not convinced, here are 8 ways travelling on a budget can improve your trip and definitely earn you some backpacker badges of honour.
Will you answer the call? Will you say yes to adventure? Will you dive head first into the deep waters of discovery? Here are six ways you can answer YES and take a risk while traveling. Read on if you’re ready to throw caution to the wind and learn to soar!
I was in my mid twenties, living in a hip part of the city in a comfortable, one bedroom apartment with a backyard and a front porch. I had a respectable job – one that paid well and helped others. I was right on track, doing everything I was supposed to be doing. Yet, I had a growing sense of emptiness, an unshakable anxiety that told me there was more to life than this.
Summertime is officially here, calling us to let the most wild and free versions of ourselves shine. It invites us to take a step back from our normal routines to discover something different. Embrace your most wild and brave self and let these Workaway adventures inspire your own. (And buy that plane ticket, already)!
It can be intimidating if you’re new to it (or need to reassure your parents). Here are a few tips for your first Workaway that I’m sure will give you the confidence to go for it and have one of the best adventures of your life.
There’s no doubt that travelling can be good for the mind, body, and soul. We don’t have to convince you of its many personal benefits, but is it as good for the environment? Not always. The good news is that there are many ways to practice sustainable travel. With intention and a little preparation, following even a few of these steps can go a long way in helping preserve the treasures we seek around the world.
Is it better to stay home rather than participate in voluntourism? Was I making a positive impact by volunteering abroad? Or was I simply hurting the very people I was trying to help? Was my presence an act of neo-colonialism?
As Nelson Mandela reminds us, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” But how does one go about learning a new language while travelling, exactly?
Kids are the best teachers of life and to teach kids is both a challenge and an adventure. We have homeschooled our children for six years. During that time we travelled a lot, exposing them to varied cultures and lifestyles, yet it was only when we started hosting Workawayers that the dynamics of our homeschooling experience has changed so much for the better.
I stand out. Like a sore thumb. Like a neon glow stick against a moonless midnight sky. Will I ever truly belong? Can I ever truly belong? I have been a foreigner many times. Yet, this is the first time being a foreigner has been so obvious to me and everyone else, too. It’s the first time I’ve felt an unshakeable sense of vulnerability and loss of anonymity.
With the rapid growth of the travel industry, there is an app or guidebook for everything. Information is literally at our fingertips. For someone who’s dipping their toe into the sharing economy, taking an Uber to get around town might be enough of a first time experience. For more seasoned or adventurous folks, carpooling through a site like Bla Bla Car, or using Hitchwiki to help you navigate your travels might be more fun.
With “eyes to serve and and hands to learn”. We travel because it opens our eyes, changes our perspective and teaches us tolerance.
What I couldn’t know then was that my first Workaway solo trip would teach me important lessons that I still rely on several years, and many Workaways later. Whether you’re considering your first solo trip with Workaway or your thirtieth, I hope you’ll find them valuable too.
Get off the tourist trail. Learn, teach & share skills. Immerse yourself in local culture & community in 180+ countries. #workawayadventure
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