A Couple's Sabbatical Affair with Travel and Photography

Every month, we review our lovely photo competition entrances and are at awe with all the fun and jaw-dropping adventures our Workawayers get up to! Recently, there's been a pair of wanderers whose vibrant snapshots and energy have caught our eye as their passion for adventure and photography radiates in every frame!

Meet Fabian and Eva - our dynamic French couple who took a sabbatical year from their teaching jobs to travel the world!

The duo's monthly uploads lead us to dig a little deeper and uncover the magic behind the couples adventures! We had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely couple and explored their journey as a couple travelling the world and unearthed the stories behind their fun photos.

french workawayers sight seeing and touristing in angkor wat cambodia

A Break For Growth: The Decision to Take a Sabbatical Year

As Fabian and Eva hit their thirties amidst the peak of the pandemic, they made a bold decision to step out of their comfort zone. Setting out a big goal and embarking on an adventure unlike any they had experienced before: to travel the world.

“After COVID, we were suddenly stuck in our country, so we realised that we were tired of our work and wanted to take a year off and travelling was the best option at this point” 

workawayer teaching abroad cultural exchnage

“It was also an important moment to try it because we are just turning 31, and it's like the new decade for us to start over and discover new stuff to do and enjoy in life” 


It's always a great time to consider a grown-up gap year, allowing yourself the chance to take a break, explore, and focus on personal growth!

workawayer friends and couples farming

Workaway World Tour

The couple were introduced to Workaway by a close friend who had used the platform before during their travels. Their friend highly recommended using Workaway, expressing that they couldn’t imagine travelling without it now. Intrigued by their testimony, Fabian and Eva decided to give Workaway a try during their sabbatical year. 

Typically, Fabian and Eva engage in Workaway projects for about 2-4 weeks each. They've chosen this timeframe because they aim to visit as many countries as they can within a year. 

“I think travelling for a month or a few weeks is enough to meet locals, enjoy the culture and develop your connection with the host while fitting in tourism”

workawayers and host family cultural exchange

Mastering Skills on the Go with Workaway

The beauty of Workaway is that you’re not limited to one destination or project. There are various types of volunteer projects you can choose from. When researching for their next project, Fabian and Eva organise their top hosts based on location, minimum duration of stay and aim to undertake diverse projects to enhance their skill sets.

“We are trying to do different things every time, we tried farming in Egyptpainting in a guest house in India, farming in Nepal, teaching english in Cambodiaglamping in Vietnam, and most recently, pet sitting in Japan. We try to do something different to better understand what we want to do”


Opportunities involving DIY projects are some of their favourites as they enjoy hands-on experiences. Eva highlighted how it is a huge plus for her when projects involve volunteering with animals as they are both HUGE animal lovers

workawayer volunteering, painting and playing with dogs

Unveiling Passions for Travel Photography

Before jetting off on their travels, Fabian and Eva considered buying a ‘proper camera’ to capture their adventures but decided not to as they wanted to travel lightly. Instead, Fabian decided to invest in a new phone for the camera quality so they can capture moments and share with family and friends back home in France. 

“We didn’t start blogging but we downloaded an app called Polarsteps and used it to keep people aware of what is happening and I thought okay…I enjoy this a lot. So I took pictures and we are going in different places with Workaway in different countries, so every month we had something new to post, so I tried every month and I like it so far”


“It is a nice memory and he is very proud of his photos” 


Fabian enjoys capturing authentic, candid moments which their first host in Egypt picked up on and asked for his assistance in capturing images, helping with their social media which he enjoyed. Following their trip around the world, Fabian is considering upgrading to a proper camera! After an encounter with a wedding photographer during their journey, Fabian is now open to the idea of embracing photography as a hobby and may perhaps even transition to it as a career.

Now, after completing seven Workaway projects in seven different countries, they are extremely happy with how Workaway has enriched their travels and believe it offers a wonderful way to explore the world and meet locals while being on a budget! The sharing economy is a great way to travel cheaply, sustainably and authentically around the world, you can exchange a few hours of volunteering a week for free food and accommodation.

If you are dreaming of making the bold decision to make a career change but feel unsure, Workaway could even be the perfect stepping stone to ‘test drive’ your dream job. Picture this: you're in a breathtaking location, surrounded by new cultures and experiences, all while honing your skills and beefing up your portfolio or CV. It's not just about volunteering abroad; it's about discovering your passions, talents, and potential career paths.

workawayer fabian travelling and hitch hiking

Building Local Friendships through Cultural Exchanges

Learning new skills is one of the many great benefits of volunteering abroad, though the special bonds and cultural exchange formed during their travels with each host family has been some of Eva’s and Fabian’s most treasured memories during their travels - even shedding a few tears when leaving their host family in India. “I didn't cry leaving my friends or family for one year but I cried leaving this guy I didn’t know 2 weeks before!” -Fabian

Not only this, but volunteering with a local host family offers you invaluable lessons about the country's culture and traditions that you wouldn’t be able to get if you were a traditional tourist. Fabian and Eva recall a story of them learning more about the local culture in Thailand within an hour car journey with a host then they had learned during their one week stay in the country! “The exchange was really inspiring and we learned a lot. Learning about the country, and meeting people with totally different lives is a huge benefit of Workaway” - Eva. 

There are many pros, but also cons to volunteering abroad, but despite the cons, Fabian and Eva would highly recommend Workaway to any travellers! “Anyone can do Workaway, we have been with families doing Workaway - you can do Workaway with kids, and in your own country too!” - Fabian.

cultural exchange with workawayers and local host family

Embarking on a Workaway sabbatical leave as a couple proved to be an enriching journey for Fabian and Eva. The French duo’s Workaway World Tour has created unforgettable memories, unbreakable bonds, personal growth and newfound passions. 

Whether you're interested in photography, teaching, or farming, Workaway provides so many volunteering opportunities for you to experiment with. So, why wait? Dive into your dream job adventure with Workaway and watch your skills and confidence soar as you explore the world!

career breaktravel couplesabbaticaltravel photography

About Stephanie

Stephanie was born on an island and raised in a British/Portuguese multicultural background. From a young age, she learned how to embrace different languages, traditions and cultures. This upbringing ... show more...

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