Over the last few months we, like you, have been on constant alert due to the covid-19 outbreak. It’s brought 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 cancellations or travel changes.
With the vaccine roll out starting across many countries we're excited that we can finally see the storm passing and calmer waters ahead. Hosts are and have always been accepting volunteers in many parts of the globe. Some volunteers have taken this opportunity to rediscover their own country and countries nearby as and when travel is allowed. As we slowly come out of our lockdowns worldwide we hope our time being still has enabled us to re-emerge, to embrace life and our travels with renewed goals and energy.
Right at the start of the crisis we decided to donate a portion of our proceeds to frontline charities whose personnel were and 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. In 2020 we were able to donate a total over $35,000 USD!
We hope that our donations have been able to 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 were also caught up in this as both travellers and hosts. We also worked from home from our living rooms our bedrooms and kitchens to keep the site up and running and allow continued access for all members wherever they are located.
For hosts we understand it is has been 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 were cancelled or disrupted, there is now an emerging group of adventurous explorers and workawayers who are renewing their travels, looking for hosts locally, within their continent or making future travel plans for when this finally passes.
We of course understand people are still worried and over the last few months we have dealt with many questions around local travel advice and whether hosts are accepting workawayers. Unfortunately with hosts in over 170 different countries and an ever changing situation with covid-19 it is impossible for us to provide accurate information for each individual. However the site is busy. We are seeing hosts constantly updating their listings and adapting what they can offer depending on their local situation.
While you can continue to use the Workaway site to plan for the future, we strongly recommend both hosts and workawayers to keep following 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 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.