12 Places I’ve HelpX’d At

HelpX, or Help exchange, is a way to travel for free by volunteering in exchange for food and accommodation. There are other similar models like Workaway and WWOOFing, but the one I use is helpx.net. I volunteered my way across New Zealand and Australia from 2011-2013, and later found places to volunteer in Bali and Japan. Typically, I would volunteer from 4 to 6 hours a day and then have the rest of the day free to do whatever I wanted. After doing this podcast with my author and travel friend Rollie Peterkin where he asked about some of my favorite volunteering experiences, he recommended that I write them all down. So here they are, in chronological order!

WWOOF and HelpX: Seeing the World One Farm at a Time

The light filters through the branches of the plum tree, each leaf outlined in a brilliant yellow from the just risen sun. We are reaching up, stretching to pluck the abundant purple plums above us. In about an hour, we’ll all join together for our first meal of the day; muesli, homemade yogurt, and fresh…

Australian Slang

Here is some funny Australian slang I’ve picked up. Most of these are thanks to John Sargent, my long lost cousin from Hobart, Tasmania. Can you think of any more? Lazy yet cute abbreviations for everyday things (they do this in New Zealand too) brekkie: breakfast smoko: breaktime (not everyone smokes though!) Maccas: McDonalds bikkie:…

My First Solo Road Trip

After traveling for 18 months in New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and Australia, I was feeling pretty homesick, so I went back to visit to my favorite town in the world, Santa Barbara, California. Reuniting with my family and friends after missing two Christmases and two birthdays has made me appreciate how lucky I am to…