From sailing across blue seas with a newfound friend through the coast of Australia, to exploring the vibrant streets and surf scene of Brazil with your travel soul sister... hearing all the meaningful relationships created between members of the community is one of our favourite parts of the job!
If you’re feeling any doubts or hesitations to begin your next adventure, or make a new travel companion; Carmen and Victoria’s inspirational story of connection, growth, and shared adventures is bound to ignite your courage to embark on your own travel escapade and find a travel BFF to gallivant with!
Carmen and Victoria are our very first video competition winners. Their beautiful sisterly-connection that blossomed during their travels shined through when reviewing entrances. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to get to know them and find out more about their unique travel buddy experience.
So if you’re ready – take that leap to discover the joys of travelling with a stranger, and you might just find a lifelong friend along the way!
From Solo Travelling to Finding a Soul Sister
Carmen from the south of Spain, and Victoria from the south of Portugal, both met through the Workaway Travel Buddy feature. Both Carmen and Victoria heard about Workaway through word of mouth and initially began their adventures solo travelling.
I decided to start using Workaway because at first I was supposed to travel with my boyfriend but we broke up. I decided to continue my travel alone but I was feeling very lost. I was very happy to discover Workaway because my family didn’t want me to start my travels alone. It is a lot more reassuring knowing that I will have a Workaway family waiting for me in a new country. It started like that and it has been incredibly easy to meet people and do things. I also feel useful to be able to give something back to the places and people I visit.
While travelling solo can be an enlightening experience, it can get lonely at times. For this reason, Carmen decided to use the Travel Buddy feature to connect with other like-minded travellers in Brazil while completing her first Workaway project. When browsing, Carmen found Victoria’s profile and reached out to her. “I started reading the profiles of the girls who said that they were travelling to Brazil. I read Victoria’s profile and I thought ‘I think this girl is going to be a very good friend of mine’.” - Carmen
In the meantime, Victoria started her solo adventures in Mexico and was working her way down Central America; when Carmen reached out, Victoria was travelling through Costa Rica. Victoria had recently changed her next travel destination to Brazil which is how Carmen found her. After a few weeks of coordinating their travels, Victoria booked a one way flight to meet Carmen for the first time in Brazil.
Life is a mix. It’s coincidence after coincidence after coincidence. Then you start thinking, but is it a coincidence? There was a time I stopped using Workaway for a while and then I came back and decided to put down that I was going to Brazil once I made the plan. If I didn’t do this then Carmen would have never found me! This is a good way to be able to find similar people who are going to the same location. The Workaway Travel Buddy is such an amazing tool.
When asked why Victoria’s profile stood out to her, Carmen described how Victoria’s warm and inviting pictures as well as her fun-filled description caught her eyes and thought they could get along. "The photos were natural and that was more attractive for me” - Carmen. This feeling was not wrong as Carmen and Victoria hit it off the minute they met in São Paulo. Even more so, they immediately put their travel friendship to the test as they jumped on a 34 hour bus journey from São Paulo to Iguazu waterfall on their very first day of meeting each other in person! Despite the long and exhausting trip to Iguazu, they kept each other smiling and clicked from the get go.
“I chatted with a few people but Carmen was the only one I met. What was supposed to be a week of travelling together turned out to be 3 months so that was very special.”
After their trip to Iguazu, the girls were joined at the hip. Carmen and Victoria travelled Brazil and completed 2 Workaway projects together, including the Workaway Carmen did on her own a few weeks prior and a surf hostel in the coast of Brazil, Pipa.
Our plan was to be in Pipa for 2 weeks and we ended up staying 2 months. The vibe was incredible, very laid back and the work itself was very laid back too. Each day we committed 4 hours where we had to be productive at something, either deep cleaning, organise an event, social media management, or paint something. I love that we had a lot of freedom to be able to help out.”
Yin and Yang
Carmen and Victoria described themselves as opposites: while travelling, they are not so similar as Carmen is an early bird with lots of energy and enjoys being active as she enjoys surfing. Whereas, Victoria describes herself as being very ‘calmaaaaa’, or relaxed for non-Portuguese speakers. That being said, this did not cause any problems as they learned to adapt to each person's mode of travel and each of their good qualities rubbed off on each other. “Adaptation is very important and you get the best out of each other that way.”
Both Carmen and Victoria arranged to come back on the same plane to Lisbon and spent a whole day of exploration in the city together before parting ways. Carmen went back to Spain and Victoria returned to the Algarve, though distance didn’t stop their soul sister connection. “We video called almost every day, and until now we have seen each other 4 times."
Victoria has visited Carmen's hometown in Spain and has met her family where they invited her in with open arms; “I felt like a sister” - Victoria
Despite being in different countries, the girls thankfully live quite close to each other, as they live in neighbouring countries Portugal and Spain and are only a 3 hour drive away from each other. Just before this interview they had already met each other a week before!
The girls are currently planning their next trip somewhere in Europe -- they don’t care where so long as they are together! They also plan to travel through Workaway and do more projects during their travels to expand their skill sets and meet other people within the Workaway community.
The travel buddy tool allows us to find other travellers that wish to connect. There's no reason to be scared, because even when "connecting" with a potential Travel Buddy (through messages or friend request) doesn't mean you HAVE to meet up in person. My advice is to read their profile attentively, see how you feel after talking to them on a workaway - if you have similar interests and goals regarding where you want to go - and who knows, you might have started a special friendship for life!
“There are lots of opportunities for everyone. Enjoy it!” - Carmen “…and don’t be afraid to show who you are - be yourself and don’t be scared to fail. Be open.” - Victoria
About the Workaway Travel Buddy Feature
Feeling inspired by Carmen and Victoria to discover new places with a soul sibling too? Here’s some tips on how to find like-minded travel partners to share your travel journey with.
From your Workawayer account, head to the “Meet up & Events” drop down and click on “Find a travel buddy” to start your travel companion search!
Once you’re on the “Find a Travel Buddy” page, you can select the place you will be visiting, dates and other options to find your perfect travel companion.
On your profile, you can also write a note to other travel buddies letting them know what kind of adventure you’re looking for. You'll then appear on our Travel Buddy list, where other workawayers can connect with you based on shared interests and travel plans.
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...instilled a profound appreciation for different ways of life which then led to an interest in travelling in 2017. After quitting her job in finance, Stephanie embarked on her first backpacking journey through SouthEast Asia where she fell in love with discovering hidden wonders of the world and embracing the beauty of diverse cultures. With an infectious zest for life and an unwavering spirit of adventure, she continues to step outside her comfort zone, completing a ski season, volunteering at a surf hostel and contributing to communities to make a positive impact. When she is not exploring the world, Stephanie can be found practicing new hobbies, such as rock climbing, roller skating and yoga.