Go for your passions like Alice and see how life surprises you!

As a special feature, we want to shine a spotlight on one of our amazing team members Alice, who recently got married to her husband she met while on a Workaway trip!

Alice has shared with us her story of how following her passion has eventually led her to finding true love

Going for your dreams or something you’re passionate about is not always that simple or easy. But with such a big world and so much to see, there are now more opportunities than ever to take that leap of faith!

Growing up in England, Alice was always passionate about theatre production and had worked as a Stage Manager in London for 10 years. After all those years she felt it was time for a change. Meanwhile, another passion was brewing underneath the surface, Español!

It was poetry that brought the new language into her life originally. During a post-university gap year in Australia, one of her friends, who had been studying in Madrid, read her an ode he’d written in Spanish. This was what inspired her to begin learning the language.

“Spanish was always simmering there in the background. I used to sit backstage and study my Spanish textbooks between cues. ”

“I just thought that was just the coolest thing ever – to be able to write a poem in another language. And so I decided I wanted to do it too!”

She first found out about Workaway while halfway through a Spanish A-level night school. With a longer gap than usual between work contracts, she thought it’d be good to go somewhere and practice her spoken Spanish before oral exams. Being short on cash and travelling alone, she felt Workaway was the perfect way to improve her Spanish whilst travelling

So, she answered the call and took a step into the unknown. And since then life is never the same again for her..

Stumbling upon love while chasing a dream

Soon after Alice arriving in Spain while out for dinner and drinks with her Workaway host and feeling a bit merry and confident, she went to a local bar and started practicing her Spanish with three guys. Alice recalled how one of them especially caught her eye, whom she thought had the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen! What really made it stick though was the day after they met. He took her out for a day trip and the first song he played in his car was from her favourite band The Stone Roses; “This is the One“.

Soon after Juan and Alice fell in love, she moved from the busy city of London to this tiny Spanish hilltop town, where they built a house. It was all a bit of a culture shock for her, but now she feels more contended with life. Now they’re married and even have two little girls together!


When Alice first moved to Spain, she made a living teaching English before she found out that Workaway was in need of an administrator. And so she eventually joined the team, supporting what Workaway’s about!

You can have more than one dream or passion

When asked about what passion means to her, Alice explained,

“There’s a lot of pressure for people to know exactly what they want to do, what career path they want to follow and to be passionate about it… But rather than having one great driving passion, I think you can have lots of little passions, that simmer away until you have the time and the opportunity to realise them.” 

That’s some great advice!
Don’t rush yourself to get to a certain point in life, but at the same time don’t feel like you can’t go after your passions because you are “behind” in life. Passions don’t have to be a once in a lifetime thing. More often than not we have several different passions over our lifetime that we can chase after, so why not go for each one? And why limit yourselves to what you can do or where to go, or what language you can speak? You never know when you’ll be able to write a Spanish poem that inspires someone else’s passion!

And when you do discover what fits you best, you will know that it is the same thing that’s worth dropping everything else for. ✨


Still not sure where or how to begin? 

Alice also shared some nuggets of wisdom for those who are still hesitated to take the plunge, 

“In my experience you never, ever regret travelling. If chasing your dreams means moving somewhere new or leaving behind a safe option, just keep reminding yourself that, even the toughest of times take on a golden glow in retrospect!”

That’s really something to keep in mind; we don’t fully know what impact an experience has on us, unless we really go for it. Even a bad decision can be a valuable lesson for the future! 

Your passions don’t wait for you

You’ve got to go for them! Since Alice left home for her travels, she’s met a lot of inspiring people from all walks of life, and the one thing they have in common is they’ve also followed their hearts to reach out to their dreams, whether for surfing, to be a musician, to write a book or even for crazier adventures! Some may decide to go home after a month, some after half a year, or a year – or sometimes like her, they find a new home.
Whatever the case, out of all those diverse examples, Alice says from her experiences she doesn’t think any one of them regrets having given it a try. Instead they’ve made new lifelong friends, bee inspired and hopefully even learned a new language which broadens their horizons even more


So no matter what you’re planning on doing in the future, don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back! You might just find love, find inspiration for your next project, have experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime or be able to make a living doing something you love.

Thanks again to Alice for sharing her heartwarming story with us, it’s inspired us and we hope it inspires you too. ❤️

2 replies
  1. Onke Mtshali
    Onke Mtshali says:

    I am a fun loving easy going and outgoing free spirited and energetic South African lady. I love to dance,sing,write poetry, and watch crime drama,movies and documentaries. I do not drink or smoke. I love great food and loud music amd meeting all kinds of people from anywhere,near and far.

    I am a certified English teacher with a 120 hour TEFL certificate that certifies me to teach English. I do not have a 4 year degree. I also have office support working experience in reception and call center jobs. I am very well spoken,well groomed with a smile on my face all day everyday except when I’m sleeping.

    I currently work for a reputable insurance company in my country,South Africa. It is called Santam. Situated in Auckland Park,Johannesburg,South Africa. Last year I tried applying for English teaching jobs in China. This year July 2019 I applied again to join the Meddeas English teaching program based in Spain. But without a 4 year degree its near impossible to teach English abroad. My greatest desire is to travel the world and work far away from home. I have not given up on trying to teach English but I am also seeking other opportunities in other industries around the world that will allow me to travel the world and make a living while meeting all kinds of people from all walks of life.

    I would love to live anywhere in Europe,Asia,North or South America working to serve the community and its people and enjoying life outside my country of South Africa. I am open to teaching English,waitressing,teaching students how to sing/vocal training,teaching dance,working as a front desk receptionist,call center agent or website creator or blogger, long as I am outside my country. I have a vaild passport but I have never stepped outside my country of South Africa.

    May I kindly receive some advice,help or job opportunity information from Work Away and your knowledge as to how I can go about living and working anywhere in the world? I would really appreciate it. I’m burning inside to hop on a plane and land in foreign places. It is my deepest desire.

    Looking forward to your response and your advice.

    Sincerely Yours

    Onke Mtshali

    • Lois
      Lois says:

      Hi Onke! Thank you so much for sharing! It’s great to see how passionate you are about travelling and living abroad and that you have a certificate to teach English. Workaway is a site for cultural exchange or learning possibilities and a way of making new friends; you offer a few hours of volunteering help in exchange for food and accommodation. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel expenses. When you sign up as a workawayer you can access the worldwide host list for a year and contact host families, NGO’s or projects directly to volunteer and offer your services.

      We think it would be a great chance for you to gain real hands-on teaching experience and to work with kids in sometimes very difficult and impoverished situations or places and make a positive impact in their lives. Maybe give it a go and see where that takes you! You can also browse through the full host list on our main site (https://www.workaway.info/) before you decide whether you want to sign up. We hope the best for your future travels and journeys! ✨



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