Here at Workaway we now have an amazing 40,000 + hosts from 180 countries involved in our volunteer exchange projects and communities from all over the world. From agricultural work, scuba diving, yoga retreats and most things in between, we are so proud to be associated with so many amazing hosts. So, we have created a feature session here to help recognise what a difference cultural exchange can make to travellers and to hosts. Going by the name of ‘Workaway Host of the Month’ we will reveal more of what it is like to be a host and let you into their routines and how their projects have changed since opening their doors to you guy.
This month may be one of our favourite interviews so far. We sent 2 of our team members Shirley and James to Vietnam to discover hosts away from their laptops. Little did they expect to meet such an amazing 12-year old girl and our youngest ever host (ok, her family are the one that are actually hosting, but she loves Workaway so much we just had to interview her)!
Hey, Kitty! I think you might be our youngest Workaway host ever! Can you tell us a little bit more about your family and what our Workawayers will experience when living with you?
We are a warm-hearted, big family with 6 members: My mom, dad, brother, two cousins and me. My mom and dad’s business involves construction machines and they’re always busy, but they are the know-it-all type, so you can basically ask them anything. My mom has a very interesting hobby: dancing; she goes dancing every day and she will absolutely invite you to go with her (and you won’t be able to say no). My brother, Sam, is now 6 years old, he is going into grade 1 this year and he is very talented in languages; his English is good and now he is learning French. But sometimes, he is just wayyyy too energetic, so come with lots of energy! And about me; I’m a couch potato and people often call me Kitty. I’m learning French, Mandarin, English and I taught myself Spanish and German online. Oh, and I am 12-years old. We are a big, traditional, mixed family and we might be the perfect fit for you guys.
Oh, Kitty, we loved that description!
How long have you been involved in Workaway and how did you hear about us?
We learnt about Workaway through a friend of my mom’s. After half a year hosting volunteers that he introduced to us, we finally registered to the website. We have now hosted for a whole year and have had over 20 volunteers who have all been amazing!
So tell us, what is the best thing about hosting travellers from around the world via Workaway?
Well, in my opinion, the best thing about being a host is the cultural and story exchanges. When a Workawayer comes to our house, through them, we learn about their countries, their lifestyles, their experience. Everyone has their own story and after meeting so many people, that way we can also learn about the world in a completely unique way.
So wise at such a young age!
What is the best thing you have learnt from a Workawayer?
The best thing I’ve learnt from a Workawayer is this bit of advice they gave me a long time ago, “You have to live your life for yourself ‘cause it’s yours after all. Don’t mind the meanies, because hater’s gonna hate and you don’t have to care”. That line made my day and it helps me stand up on my on feet and carrying on walking with my head held high.
Have you been able to do any travelling yourself yet?
Not really. At the age of 12, although I’ve been to all provinces of Vietnam. I also went to Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and America. But I would love to travel more when I have chance.
Wow, that is a lot of travelling! More than some have done in their lifetime!
Do you think culture exchange programmes like this are changing the way we travel?
Yes, I do think that. Exchange programs like this help people communicate with the locals more and also helps them understand about the place they are travelling through, the people they met and the experiences they get. I also think it is cheaper because when travellers are staying at the host’s house, all the food and accommodation is free in exchange for their contribution. It helps to save money for more travelling.
Kitty, it has been humbling to talk and meet you. We have a feeling you will be travelling a lot more in your years ahead. Keep spreading your adventurous and caring to everyone you meet!
Do go ahead and have a little look at all the wonderful reviews they’ve got on their host profile; guarantee to put a smile onto your face.
Do you want to be our next WA Host of the month? We are always on the lookout for hosts who have a great story to tell! Email us over at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be in our next feature!