It’s okay, I haven’t completely gone barking mad!
I’ve been back in England for a week but now I’m going back to Portugal (again!) on a new kind of adventure. I’ll be ‘WWOOFing’ for a month. WWOOFing has nothing to do with dogs and actually stands for ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farming‘.
So how does it all work? I will go and live on a farm for x amount of weeks and contribute x amount of hours a day to helping out around the farm, and in exchange my host will provide food and accommodation. The missing gaps are agreed with the host prior to turning up on their doorstep and the hosts are ‘regulated’ by previous WWOOFers who have been there, so to weed out the murderers and rapists.
Err… sounds a bit like slave labour to me. It does sound a little like slave labour on the face of it but think about it: free education on organic farming, an opportunity to learn a new language, to travel to new places, meet new people and to try things you’ve never tried before. And, it’s affordable. I needed to fork out for travel insurance to cover doing manual labour and volunteering but beyond that, I’m only paying for the travel costs of getting there and back and the rest of the time I won’t need to spend a penny.
Why the hell am I doing this? Well, why not? :) I’ve never ever done anything like this before in my life. I never (regrettably) did a ‘gap-year’ and I’ve never travelled and explored alone in a different country. I’ve never really wandered far from my comfort zone. So I figured: I’m twenty-something years old and still going through my quarter-life-crisis, why don’t I try something completely ‘out there’ and see where it takes me?
What’s the plan then? I’ll be staying at two different sites. The first one is in the south of Portugal near the Algarve and it’s a B&B with olive and vineyards. I’ll be staying in a room in the B&B and helping out picking olives and looking after the animals on site. I’ll be there for just short of two weeks. The second place is in central Portugal and it’s a glamping site. I’ll be helping, again, to look after the animals and also constructing accommodation (yurts etc) on the site. I’ll be there for just over two weeks.
I’ll keep everyone posted via my blog :) now to start packing as I’m leaving tonight…