Come join our little family in Philadelphia, USA


United States


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  • Description


    Hi Everybody! My name is Garrett, and I've been on workaway as both a host and a workawayer, on and off for over six years. I taught English abroad from 2015 to 2020: 16 months in Prague, 2 years in Hanoi, and a bunch of travel in between.

    Now, in 2022, I teach English domestically, and I have just bought a house (where I now live with my partner Bridgette and my dog Pablo) in Northwest Philadelphia! It's a beautiful old stone house (built in 1925!!), with a nice backyard and lots of old-world charm. I'm feeling creative, and my latest project is a house! I want not only to fix the house up, but also to breathe some life into it! I have several projects in mind that would make this unique house even UNIQUER, and I'm looking for creative workawayers who might have some ideas of their own!! I need YOUR help to make/keep this house beautiful!!

    Bridgette and I have both received our COVID vaccines and boosters, and we will give serious preference to workawayers who are also vaxxed/boosted. We are allies and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community and the BLM movement. We believe in science, we believe in women's rights, and we believe in love, kindness, and understanding. Racism, hatred, and all kinds of bigotry are not welcome here. If all of this sounds good to you, we'd love for you to reach out to us! <3

    NOTE: DOG LOVERS WELCOME!! Workawayers will be spending lots of time with my 5-year-old, Shepherd-mixed pup Pablo! :D

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Workawayers will:

    - enjoy one of the greatest cities in the USA: PHILADELPHIA!!!!

    - enjoy their time in one of Philadelphia's up-and-coming neighborhoods.

    - have access to local culture, including art galleries, concerts, and festivals.

    - have access to local recreation, including hiking/running, kayaking, rock-climbing, biking, rec. sports, historic sightseeing, countless restaurants/bars/clubs, and more!

    - have easy access to NYC, Washignton DC, Baltimore, Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore.

    - lend their talents to creative and purposeful work/projects

    - have the opportunity to learn about various activities/skills/interests from the host and from the local community.

    - and OF COURSE, workawayers will enjoy the privilege of spending time with my dog Pablo, the goodest boy in all of Philadelphia.

  • Help


    Ideal candidates have the following qualities:

    - CREATIVE (artists welcome!)
    - self-motivated
    - thorough and meticulous in your work
    - DOG LOVER!!
    - have experience caring for and/or raising dogs
    - reliable and trustworthy
    - speak English (enough to understand my instructions)
    - HIGHLY ENCOURAGED: experience in skilled labor (construction, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc)

    I am not interested in making workawayers work long hours. I have been a workawayer for several hosts in the past. I understand that one of the main reasons that people volunteer as workawayers is so that they can travel/live in a new place, experience a new culture, and have fun! I want my workawayers to make the most of their experience and truly immerse themselves in this beautiful city. When I say "maximum 4 hours x 5 days a week", I MEAN it. You will actually probably work only 12-16 hours/week. With that said, let me tell you a bit about the work I require.

    There are 4 different types of help:

    1. General Home help
    This and #2 are the most important. I am a pretty busy guy. I teach at a Philadelphia charter school from 7:00am-3:30pm monday-friday, so I don't always have time to keep the house as clean as I like. The workawayer will help with general chores around the house. Most of these chores only need to be done once or twice a week. A workawayer might spend 6-7 hours per week with these chores.

    2. Take Care of Pablo!
    This and #1 are the most important. I have a beautiful, smart, friendly, four-legged friend named Pablo! He's about five years old, medium-sized, 65% German Shepherd and 35% Asian mutt. As I said before, during the school year, I have a busy schedule, so I don't always have time to give Pablo the attention he needs. He's still a young dog, and he's got lots of energy. When I'm at work, he has a beautiful yard that he can spend his time in, but Pablo likes to have someone to play with. The workawayer will spend time with Pablo monday-friday (not all the time, perhaps just 60-90 minutes/day). The workawayer can play with him, take him for a walk, cuddle him, whatever way you want to spend your time with him. He's a smart boy, he's potty trained, and usually pretty clean, so he doesn't need cleaning or training. He just needs attention from time to time. If you like dogs, you will LOVE Pablo. You've never met a sweeter dog.

    3. Breathe Life into My House
    As I mentioned before, my house is quite old, and there are many updates that I would like to make. In addition to keeping the house clean, I would also like to complete a few renovation projects to really help the house shine. Workawayers may be asked to help with any projects that might be underway at the house during their stay. I have a few ideas for ways to make this house feel more like a home, but I would love to host creative workawayers who have their own ideas and a bit of construction/DIY experience. I would likely be willing to grant artistic license to workawayers who are experienced tradespeople. I'd love to hear your ideas and help you make them a reality.

    4. Cook Dinner (optional)
    Food is not provided (except breakfast 7 days a week) as part of the workawayer's compensation, UNLESS the workawayer would like to cook as part of their work. Bridgette and I cook for ourselves once or twice a week, and we enjoy going out to local restaurants as well. However, if the workawayer enjoys cooking and would like to prepare meals as part of their weekly work, this could certainly be arranged :)

    These are the tasks that we primarily require from our workawayers, but there is a long list of projects that we would like to undertake in our new house. Here is a list of some of the projects we are interested in:

    - composting
    - fostering cats/kittens (we are hoping to start in the next month or two)
    - maintaining a community garden in the empty lot next-door
    - designing/welding a large metal fire pit
    - one or two exposed-stone INTERIOR walls
    - an art studio space (with industrial sink) in the basement
    - a tiny library/food pantry on the sidewalk in front of the house
    - outdoor shower
    - solar panels on the roof
    - tile mosaic floor in the kitchen
    - design/build shelving unit in basement
    - backyard bar/kitchen
    - and MANY MORE!

    I can host single workawayers or couples.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher here in Philadelphia. I work at a local K-12 school, which is primarily populated (80%) with Hispanic/Latinx students. From September to June, I spend my weeks teaching the high school students (grades 9-12) how to speak English. I love my work, and the Hispanic student population gives me an opportunity to practice my Spanish (see below)! I've been teaching ESL/EFL for almost 10 years, and I'm always happy to help workawayers with their English. Workawayers should feel free to use me as a resource. I'm always happy to chat and discuss English and other languages. Additionally, I have been teaching myself Spanish for a few years now. My pronunciation, vocabulary, speaking, and writing are at a pre-intermediate to intermediate level, but I need to work on my listening, reading, fluency (speaking), and grammar. I would love to host Spanish-speakers (of any nationality) to help me with my skills! At different points in my life, I also spoke some French, Italian, Czech, and Vietnamese. Bridgette knows a little French and is interested in learning Spanish! We welcome some casual language exchange for these languages and any others!! We love to learn :)

  • Accommodation


    I live in a three-bedroom house in Manayunk, a lively and culturally diverse neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. To read more about my neighborhood, see below. The house has three (3) floors. All three bedrooms are on the third (3rd) floor. The front bedroom is where I sleep. Workawayers sleep in one of the bedrooms in the back of the house, and the other bedroom is used for guests and renting out. The Workawayer's bedroom includes a large mattress (200cmx180cm), a desk, a closet and dresser for clothes, a ceiling fan, and a window to the garden. The bedroom is air conditioned, and so is the rest of the house. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are all on the second (2nd) floor, and the first floor is a basement/art studio with a door that opens up to the street. We love to hang out and make art in our non-basement basement! =D Workawayers should feel free to use the house as they please (except for the other two bedrooms). The house has WiFi, full laundry service with washer/dryer, a full kitchen (fridge, freezer, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, fresh drinking water, etc), safe drawers for locking up passports and other valuables, and a television. The house has two off-street parking spots, and there are always a lot of free parking spaces on Tower Street. The back garden has a fire pit and has plenty of space for parking a bicycle. I would not say that I am a smoker, but we do smoke from time to time in this household, so smokers are welcome.

    Since workawayers only work 12-16 hours/week, I do not provide food as part of your stay (unless workawayers want to cook. see above). Workawayers may help themselves to basic breakfast foods like coffee/tea, milk, bread, jam, oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt. Bridgette and I usually cook 2-3 times a weeks, but we also enjoy going out to local bars and restaurants. Manayunk and its surrounding neighborhoods are full of a diverse blend of restaurants, bars, and nightlife destinations. There are many vegan/vegetarian food options nearby as well. As host, of course I am happy to help workawayers find good/cheap food nearby. Once in a while, I may cook dinner for workawayers and/or take them out for food/drinks.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Generally, workawayers will work for 4-5 days a week, but the schedule is VERY flexible. 3-day weekends are possible. Workawayers may also do all of their weekly work in one or two days instead of spreading it out over the week. You make your own schedule!

    In their time off, workawayers are free to do as they please. My house and garden are beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. Workawayers should feel free to make themselves comfortable. My home is within walking distance of all of Manayunk's best restaurants, bars, and attractions. Center city Philadelphia and the rest of this great city are only 30-45 minutes away by public transportation. I myself am always looking for cool new bars and restaurants around Philly's many distinctive neighborhoods, and Bridgette and I like to be active and go out on the weekends. It's nice to host workawayers who also have a sense of fun and adventure and will come out for drinks/activities once in a while!

    Speaking of ADVENTURE, Philadelphia is in close proximity to many great weekend destinations in the American Northeast, including: NYC, Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore, the Pocono Mountains, and many others. Philadelphia is pretty easy to explore by car, but you need to pay close attention to parking laws. There is also a relatively cheap system of trains and buses for public transportation. Workawayers should feel free to explore the rest of this beautiful and culturally diverse country in their free time. I'm always happy to provide travel tips and help you arrange transportation.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We are happy to host digital nomads and can surely provide you with any space, resources, and/or privacy you might need.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Case by case basis. Pablo is a somewhat large, male dog. He usually gets along alright with cats and with dogs who are female and/or smaller than him. Feel free to ask, and we can see if it will be a good fit :)

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    maximum 4 hours x 5 days a week

Host ref number: 962414671448