From traveller to home explorer: a workawayer's adventures in quarantine

At Workaway, we absolutely love getting to know you all, whether it’s meeting you on the road, at a Workaway trip or hearing about your adventures through e-mails and social media. We couldn’t be prouder to be involved with such an inspiring community of travellers, which is why we just have to share some of the stories you tell us!

Meet our latest Workawayer of the month, Zsuzsa, a shining example of how to keep the spirit of Workaway alive in the midst of quarantine. Bubbly and bright as ever, she tells us how she continues to be influenced by her Workaway experiences, how she draws support from her “host families” across the globe as well as indulging her wanderlust by contemplating future Workaway adventures waiting for her on the horizon.

Hello there Zsuzsa, thank you for joining us today. So, the first question is where are you right now?
Actually now I'm in Hungary, back at home quarantined. (she grins) So, not the best, but that's how we live now.
So, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
I've tried to fill my time usefully. I started learning to play my ukulele, sometimes I cook…yesterday I made a pizza for example… working in the garden with a composting technique I learned at a Workaway experience, now that I have time to do that at home.
In quarantine-days I was building a compost box, as I learned in San Pedro de Atacama. And started a fireplace circle as I learned in VientoSur. Not long ago i started to learn how to play on didgeridoo.
Plus i am volunteering in a special camp for kids with different illnesses. Since the virus is still around, and these kids have weaker immune system, this year we can not organize the camps, but in the quarantine we worked a lot to create online programs, videos, games for them :)
zsuzsa playing didgeridoo
How did you discover Workaway in the first place?

Hmm, I think I was Googling “Volunteering around the world” and that's how I found Workaway, and then some people actually recommended it to me, so I was like OK, I will give it a try. (big smile)

workaway in fields with cows
Tell us about one of your experiences…maybe your best experience.

(She laughs) Yeah, that's a really hard question “the BEST experience”, you know I had so many good experiences everywhere.
Actually, in Chile I did many Workaways and I always felt I was part of the family and whatever we did I always learned a lot. Then I was volunteering in a Hindu community and they were building houses from a special mud and we could learn how to make these houses. The last experience was in Estonia in a sled dog kennels, so we were working with 64 dogs and actually training them and I learned a lot there too! Of course what made the biggest impression on me, was to be part of the family. When you do Workaway you really live with the family, through the good times and harder times, but you are part of that family.

Building mudhouses in ChileWorkawaying with sled dogs
Do you think this whole situation with the pandemic could have changed peoples lives for the better or made a positive impact in any way?
Yeah, I think it's a really good opportunity to stop a little and think through all the possibilities there are out there, because the connections that you create through Workaway and through travelling are really always there for you, and even in these hard days you can still think beyond these walls and reach out for them. We can still speak, we can help each other, it's a deep connection that is always there.
workawayer with host in beekeeping wear
Do you have anywhere else that you'd like to travel to, any bucket list?
Actually, a few days ago I was searching hosts in South and Central Africa and that really made my day (huge smile), like, you know, just planning. I read all the profiles and what those people's projects are about, their lives, what they are dreaming about and how I could be a part of that (big grin again)…and just this planning, you know aaaahhhh, it really made me happy, really made me excited to go there!
snow covered trees
Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about doing Workaway now - any pearls of wisdom?

The Workaway thing really changed the way I see life and how I travel. It was really really fulfilling to live with local people, to become part of their dreams, their projects…to live in their homes, to be part of the family. After a time I started to feel that they are the ones who are changing my life. How you help them without expecting anything, you get back something that I can't really put into words, but it means way more than money, WAY MORE!

workawayer with host families around world

That was a wonderful thing to say at the end…we're glad that you got so much out of your experiences. Thank you so much for being with us today!

Zsuzsa's words are like a ray of sunshine, seeing the Workaway community as a way to inspire, support and feed your dreams even during these quiet times. Whether you plan an adventure close to home or think of ways you could maximise your Workaway experience abroad once the frontiers are open again. Take advantage of this time to develop a skill which could come in handy or entertain your hosts, learn the language, research the culture , or try experimenting with the cuisine at home. Like Zsuzsa, explore your possibilities, allow your dreams to grow, and then you'll be ready when the time comes…

Watch our original interview with Zsuzsa here! 

Do you want to be our next Workawayer of the month? We are always on the lookout for inspirational Workawayers who have a great story to tell! Email us and you could be featured next!

Workawayer of the month

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