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Since leaving sixth form it’s been an unspoken truth between my parents and me that my appearance on the family holiday was a thing of the past. The only problem I have now is I never want to repeat the whole messiness of a ‘cheap hotel in Magaluf or wherever experience’ and few students (not to mention myself) can afford much more than a week in that kind of place minus the ‘rents. After a few weeks of sulking over the fact that this summer I wasn’t going to Rome, or Barcelona or anywhere that would in some epic novel type way- change my life forever I found an article from the guardian published back in April 2011: “Summer holidays: 10 of the best trips for students” and though most of it didn’t appeal to me (or my price range) there was one suggestion that I believe will become a holiday tradition for me. Workaway Worldwide. Workaway is an unbelievably profound idea. By yourself or in a group, ‘Workaway’ set up communications between ‘hosts’ and volunteers internationally to trade five hours of work per day for food and board. The rest is up to you. Type of accommodation? Up to you. Type of work?

You decide.

I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY I HAVEN’T HEARD OF THIS BEFORE!!

In an experimental search I pick Canada as my destination, the first inviting choice I see is to volunteer in the Canadian Rockies at a white water rafting company. Already the website has banished any of my pre-conceptions of digging wells in the dessert and gives me an offer that seems to be far from back breaking work. The best part of this website is that once a connection has been made between a host and their volunteer(s) is that you are given email addresses to contact each other, get to know each other and address any issues that could be raised, but more importantly personalize your visit. I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer, how long I go for is up to me, where I go is up to me, WHO I go with is up to me and the only thing it will cost me is a €22 registration fee to upload my profile for two years, (oh and a new passport.)

http://www.workaway.info/