So the other day my husband emailed me with this link - http://www.helpx.net/index.asp. Here's a description from their website.
HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts. This time range can vary considerably depending on the tasks at hand and the host’s preferences. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and ask you to provide and cook your own food. Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet use, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight-seeing trips, yoga or English lessons, etc. Some will give weekends off, while others might allow you to put in 8 hours one day and later take a full day off. Helpers often live with the host family and are expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities.
This really sounds like it could be a fantastic adventure for our little family to go on. My husband thinks if he puts all his leave together he could squeek out a month. If we stay state-side he may even be able to roll in some telecommuting and/or work site visits so he wouldn't be so disconnected from his job. Personally, I'd rather go abroad, but maybe something on the other side of the U.S. might be a good introduction to the program for us.
Have you ever done something like this? If so, I'd love to hear your stories!