Over the last few weeks we, like you, have been on constant alert due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s bringing out the best and worst in all of us, from the panic buying of food and essentials across the globe to the amazing emails from hosts opening up their homes to families stuck due to flight cancelations or travel changes.
The one thing we can be certain of is that this storm WILL pass. We should take this opportunity as time to be still, to reflect on our values and realign so that when we reach the calm we are ready to continue to embrace life with renewed goals and energy.
Due to the current pandemic we decided to donate April's net proceeds to frontline charities whose personnel are putting their lives at risk to protect us all. These include the International Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
We hope that our donations can play a part during this crisis in helping with these organisations' tireless work across the globe.
We're a small team of hosts and workawayers who run this collaborative website, we ourselves have also been caught up in this as both travellers and hosts.
For hosts we understand it is a huge decision to open your home up to strangers and even more so at this time of uncertainty. We have however received many amazing stories and emails from members that have really helped to lift our spirits.
From hosts contacting us to let us know that “travellers are still welcome” to the stories of workawayers staying longer to look after older hosts who need support during this time... We have been so overwhelmed by the generosity that both workawayers and hosts have shown to each other.
Whilst a lot of personal or travel plans have been cancelled or disrupted, there are still many workawayers who are struggling to find a place to call home, looking for hosts locally or making future travel plans.
With schools closed across Europe and many other parts of the world, we also heard that many families have welcomed workawayers into their homes to help spend time with them. Whether it’s simply by helping to stock up and get supplies, or just being there as a friend to chat to, this is where a small act of kindness can make a huge difference.
We of course understand people are worried and over the last few days we have been asked for travel advice. Unfortunately with hosts in over 170 different countries and an ever changing situation it is impossible for us to provide accurate information for each individual.
While you can continue to use the Workaway site to plan for the future, we strongly recommend both hosts and workawayers to follow the advice of health professionals and officials in their home country or the country they are in with regards to the latest travel advice, quarantines and self isolation requirements. To minimise the health risks exposed to yourself and your local community, it is extremely important to maintain social distancing and refrain from all but essential travel.
We’ve included a short list of helpful resources where more tips and updates can be found. If you have had to change plans, please do let the other person know as soon as possible so they can make alternative arrangements.
If you’re a Workawayer and signed up or renewed before the 19th of March 2020 and want to pause your account, just send us a message via the help desk, then we will reactivate it once the crisis is over so you can continue travelling.
If you signed up or renewed on or after the 19th of March 2020 we have already credited you with 3 months extra membership for free, so you can still continue to plan your travels and trip even if at home.
As a travel community we know it has been a very challenging and confusing time, but we all have a part to play in helping each other to get through this. At Workaway, we hope this means hosts and travellers can continue to find a sense of community in the most inclusive way!
Now, more than ever, it is important that we continue the shared values that Workaway was created with and come together as a global community to be part of a better world.