So when we travelled around Asia for a year without working it was just one big adventure, we really did not want it to end. So we started looking for ways of turning a years adventure into a lifestyle. We came across Workaway while searching the internet for volunteer projects around the world. Workaway is a website where volunteers and hosts register their details and exchange work and skills for free accommodation and sometimes food. The work can be really varied from looking after huskies in Antartica, making sweets in Japan or tutoring English. It's actually really fun to just type in the countries you have always dreamed about visiting and just to see what kind of projects there are. Now you may or may not know but the main cost of travelling is primarily the accommodation, followed by food, then getting around. So just think about that for a second if you get the first free for a few hours volunteering imagine how far a small amount of savings could take you around the world.
Ok so what were we looking for? Firstly we decided on our years sabbatical we would try to learn Spanish. So a Spanish speaking country was top of our list. Then somewhere with a lot of climbing all year round and we wanted our day time free so we could climb and ride our bikes. Ok, so does that sound hard to find? We thought so. In the end we chose Spain, then spent along time looking for areas with the right climate for our hobbies through the winter months. We decided the Costa Blanca area was perfect. So that's how we ended up in the little beach town of Xeraco working with Natalie and her family, primarily tutoring Iván as he attends an English school. We were required to help out for one hour in the evening from 6:15pm - 7:15pm. For this we were given a free studio at Natalie's campsite which was right on the beach. Lucky chicken nuggets I hear you say! But wait a minute we went out and looked for all of this, so its not luck it's all out there for anyone to do.
During our time there our hobbies became our 9-5 and the "work" was something we did after we had fun all day. Now anyone who does not like the sound of that in my opion is a bit tonto. We climbed, biked, walked on the beach, blogged, read and visited loads of cool places it's been a great time indeed. Are you sold yet? If you are curious how much it costs to live this way check out Sarah's budget blogs. It's important to understand we are not loaded with an empty bucket of cash to spend as we go all around the world. The reality is you have to be really savvy, which is where Sarah comes in. A true budget master we are living per month for two people at around £350 a month. We are paying for food remember, on most Workaway projects you don't. So without the food (approx £175) cost we would be spending around £175 per month. What does that equate to back home? A monthly bus or train pass? Your monthly food shop? A few nights out on the town? It's mind blowing when you compare it this way. This does mean you can't drink all the time or go out for meals but remember you have the sunshine, the outside, beach, rock and all the free things that nature has to offer. It really helps to have hobbies that are free like climbing, biking, running, walking etc as these take up a long part of the day and really get you out and about and most of all stop you spending money. It's also very true that you can pick up some great new skills whilst doing Workaway and a new language to boot.
Now at the end of just over 6 months we are moving onto another Workaway project at an off the grid communal farm near Tivissa, Cataluña. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Xeraco but now it's time to see some of northern Spain. We have about 7 weeks left before we head home for a short while to plan the next move. Workaway is addictive that's for sure