What do you do when your immune system gives into a weird bout of the stomach flu and cancels your weekend yurt trip? You watch a lot of movies in the comfort of your own home and reschedule that yurt trip with a hut trip a few weeks later. Or, at least, that’s what I do! I spent this past weekend at Uncle Bud’s Hut doing my best to make up for the weekend my body vetoed in mid-March. Along the way I learned a thing or two about taking the long way and making the most of the situation you’re in…(more…)
All good adventures have a healthy dose of “first time ever” and “happens every time”, right?! Yup, I think that’s a fact. If not a fact, then a solid correlation based upon last weekend’s events. On a bit of a whim a few weeks ago I snagged a bed at one of the 10th Mountain Division Huts, subsequently signing myself up for an “Epic Girls’ Weekend”. Going into this I knew one person — Jenn, a bubbly ultra runner I hadn’t seen in just over a year. Turns out I had a lot in common with the other ladies than I thought possible + our weekend of epic’ness did not disappoint.(more…)
Two weeks ago we packed up our gear with big plans for an early Saturday departure followed by a long weekend deep in the Colorado Rockies avoiding reality, cell signal and any adult responsibilities. Paula showed up at 5:30am, we loaded up the car, stopped for donuts and headed into the mountains. By 9:30am we were parked and unloaded at the Spraddle Creek Trailhead, ready to head up, up, up to the Eiseman Hut.
By the time we got back down to our campsite clouds had moved in and the snow started again, only to move out before we were finished packing up. The weather was weird all weekend – very sporadic. I kinda liked it, we had no time to get tired of whatever was happening before it changed gears!
If you’re busy living in the “winter wonderland” of snow and ice you have three options when it comes to running – giving up on running until spring arrives, running on the treadmill or risking it outside. Personally, I prefer the risking it outside option [primarily because I really like donuts and ice cream…and despise the treadmill] so that’s what I’ve been doing – running outside.
About two weeks ago I lugged my over-sized duffle bag up a gravel trail to Chalet Martin, the hostel that would become my home for the next three weeks…or two months. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I had “met” the owners via WorkAway and we’d both agreed to commit to at least three weeks of a volunteer exchange — I helped out around the hostel [changing beds, basic housekeeping, etc] in exchange for a place to stay. As I walked in the hostel reminded me of the farm house I grew up in — a mud room for shoes + gear and cement stairs that led up to the creaky wood floors of the main level. I was home.
When I decided I needed to put my “tourist card” to use for the last few weeks I had in Europe I started looking into Workaway opportunities in a variety of countries. A few days after I started my search I had myself set up with a Workaway host in rural eastern Czech where I’d be helping out on a small homestead.
All of my experiences were positive + I’d happily return to any of the hosts’ homes to once again become a part of their lives. I want to share a few tips for choosing a volunteer exchange gig that works for…YOU. These tips can apply to WorkAway, HelpX or WWOOF + they helped me find great hosts with interesting backgrounds while learning about new cultures + lifestyles.
When I started to dig into budget travel, especially international, I came across someone’s story about WWOOFing while abroad. They used this volunteer exchange network as a way to reduce costs while soaking up local culture. WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”. It is an online network puts traveling volunteers into contact with organic or permaculture farms around the world. The volunteers commit to a certain amount of work + rather than being paid for their work the host offers them housing + food.