20 signs you’ve become a true workawayer

Think you’ve been on the road too long? Tempted to put “Workawayer” as your full-time occupation on custom forms? We get it. Once you join the wonderful world of Workaway, life quite simply won’t be the same again.

However, there are a few distinct ways to determine whether you’ve made it officially as a Workawayer. Not a tourist or a backpacker, but a full-time professional Workaway volunteer. 

Think you are deserving of the title? If you can tick more than 5 of these tell tale signs from the list, congratulations – you’re one of us now.

solo backpacker jumping between rocks hiking workaway excursion

1. You've stayed in a yurt, a boat, a hammock, or a treehouse within the last 6 months

Here at Workaway we’re not just about free accommodation, but FUN accommodation. Say goodbye to hostels and overpriced hotel rooms and enjoy the exciting accommodations on offer from hosts in over 170 countries around the world. From igloos to olive farms, we have it all!

2. You have a passport full of stamps, not a house full of stuff

It can be tough when friends are settling down, getting married or buying houses but after your first Workaway experience you’ll realise that life is about collecting experiences not stuff. There are so many reasons why travelling brings true happiness, not things.

3. You’ve known your best friends for a month

There’s something different about the people you connect with when volunteering. It’s normal to feel a deeper connection with someone you’ve known one night, than those you’ve known your whole life. Travel offers the opportunity to find your people. Not found them yet? We can help with that too!

three smiling multicultural friends installing a pole in the basketball court

4. You’ve eaten something you can’t pronounce

Peruvian ceviche? Feijoada in Brazil? Trdelník in Prague? Sometimes you need to close your eyes and just point at the menu, other times you leave your foodie fate in the hands of the street food stalls. Just because you can’t pronounce it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. Food is such a huge part of travel as it doesn’t just teach us about the country and its culture, but also its people and traditions. Even if you have dietary restrictions, it’s possible to eat your way around the world with Workaway.

5. You can add organic farmer, surf instructor and Spanish teacher to your CV

Whether you fear boredom or simply don’t have it all figured out yet – Workaway can help. As volunteering teaches you a variety of skills that will make your CV glow, it also provides the perfect stepping stone to your dream role. One minute you can be rearing cattle, the next minute teaching yoga, there are no rules. 

solo female workawayer posing with harvested dragonfruits in a farm

6. You have 12794 favourites

With over 50,000 opportunities across 170 countries, it is all too easy to find hosts who sound like your kind of people. Whether you search by destination, keyword or project type you will soon find you’re bopping those little hearts like there’s no tomorrow and your thumb hurts from all that favouriting.

7. You have Googled “Can you do Workaway forever”

While most hosts ask for a commitment of anywhere between 1 week to 3 months+, sometimes the thought of goodbye can be too tough.  We embrace Workawayers of all ages (including retirees, yes!) so you’re welcome here as long as you need.

workaway group building roof together

8. You can pack for a 3-month trip in 15 minutes

You live for the “last minute hosts” button and because of this, you can pack with a few minutes’ notice. Why be sat at work when you can be sat on a plane!?

9. You can never remember what day of the week it is

You don’t get that Monday morning blues or Sunday night dread when you’re a Workawayer. With new people, experiences and food to look forward to each day, every day feels like a holiday.

10. You know people by nationality, not name

You know you’ve been on the road a while when your first question is “where are you from” not “what’s your name?” You then start to remember people you’ve met as “That girl from Amsterdam” or “that hilarious host in Greece” or “the tall guy from Canada” and never by their names…

travellers around the world smiling at camera together

11. You consider “Bargain Flight Finder” your full time occupation

Friends and family know you are the go-to person for finding cheap flights. You know every hack, tip and trick there is to get from A to B using as little money as possible.

12. You can’t remember the last time you bought new clothes

Or new anything for that matter. When you become a Workawayer, you realise what really matters. The latest fashion, overpriced trainers and designer sunglasses are not it. Instead, you’ve rocked the same 2 t-shirts and pair of flip-flops for the last 12 months.

13. You can say hello in at least 6 languages

Let’s be honest, you can probably say “cheers” in 10 languages too. Learning a new language, or teaching others about your native tongue is one of the many reasons people join Workaway.

workawayer reading to local child volunteer activity learning

14. You’ve learned the magic of communicating without speaking

Sometimes it can feel like a game of charades, and sometimes you can feel silly but when you find yourself in situations where no one speaks the same language you need to break out the dance moves hand gestures and communicate in a different way. You’ll be surprised how you’ve managed to ask for directions, order food and buy beers all without opening your mouth.

15. You own hareem pants

Let me guess, you swore you’d never buy them? Then you swore you’d never wear them? Now you can’t imagine life without them! Whether they’re covered in elephants, spots, or swirls, they are the comfiest thing to travel in and you’ve bought your mum a pair for Christmas.

16. You don’t travel with a suitcase

Only the wise and well-travelled know how inconvenient suitcases are, especially if you’re the adventurous type. Using a backpack means that you can pack light, avoid paying for hold luggage and reach your destination without dragging a case behind you. With many of our hosts located off the beaten track, it’s so much easier to use a backpack than attempt pulling a suitcase through snow, mud or sand.

workaway volunteer walking into the woods with backpacks and dog

17. You’ve never bought a souvenir

After travelling as a volunteer, you’ll return home with a heart full of memories, a phonebook full of friendships and a camera roll full of photos. There is no need to buy that plastic fridge magnet or overpriced t-shirt to remember your trip.

18. Expensive has a whole new meaning

You refuse to pay anything more than a $1 for a beer and find yourself haggling with taxi drivers over 20 cents. Dorm rooms that are $8 are cheap, but a meal over $5 is expensive. Throw in the mix of currencies, attempts at conversions and tourist tax and money just got a whole lot more confusing. Thankfully, with Workaway not only do we share ways to save money, but even how to travel for free.

19. You can’t remember the last time you were home at Christmas

While family is great, why would you spend Christmas in front of the TV in an ugly jumper when you can be on a beach in Thailand, skiing in Canada or drinking wine in Argentina? Better yet, Workaway helps you find your home away from home so staying with a host family means a Christmas like no other.

four travellers gazing over sunset and beach

20. You’ve bought all your friends Workaway memberships for their birthdays

You love this platform so much, you’ve persuaded all your friends and family to join or gifted them a membership. Heck, your dog can join too. One of the many benefits of inviting friends along is that you’ll receive an extra three months of membership for free each time someone you know signs up!

Whether you’ve stumbled across Workaway for the first time or you’re a full time convert, there is a Workaway experience to suit all travel styles and personalities. We’d love to know your score from our list above! Let us know in the comments if you need to up your volunteering game or you’re ready to retire from the Workaway way of life…

two friends laughing under a waterfall nature excursion

About Lauren

Growing up in a small coastal village in Scotland inspired Lauren to seek adventure and challenge the norm. Armed with just her backpack and trusty travel companion Darren, she quit her day job to liv... show more...

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