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!

Bucket List

I’m sitting in the dining room of the house I grew up in. My parents and sister are asleep, and I’m bundled in a fuzzy bathrobe, listening to my dog snoring, drinking Trader Joe’s peppermint tea, and rewriting my bucket list. I’ve been staying up late recently, partly because of the jetlag but mostly because…

Sydney

From Melbourne we cruised up the coast through Wollongong and Sydney. We did the whole trip by train, which was scenic and relaxing. Wollongong is a beach college town reminiscient of my alma mater Santa Cruz. We couchsurfed with some students there which was nice – family style meals every night. We went out dancing and even…

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…