Monday, June 1, 2009

A Work/Cultural Exchange Program

I have a new bee in my bonnet. In my recent restlessness my husband and I have been toying with a way we can live somewhere else, yet not completely give up our lives where we are. Aside from the fact that my husband has a good job, he also runs his own small vermicomposting business. So, life is busy. But we both have the desire to travel and experience another culture without really being on vacation (know what I mean?). Rather than being somewhat removed as a tourist, to really get to know people in some other area, even if it is just in the good ol' U.S.A.

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!

7 comments:

cabin + cub said...

Sounds like a great opportunity!
Haven't done that before, but have had a few friends do work exchanges as english teachers abroad.

amanda said...

wow ive never heard of anything like this before but it sounds so awesome. ive always had dreams of moving to all these different places and experiencing new cultures before i settle down. if you can do it, i say DO it. sounds so exciting. :) im going to check out the site to see more info.

Piggy said...

Wow.. that's sounds great! It is global? :) Do let me know how it goes.. It sounds like an adventure.. It would definitely put a spark in your next holiday.

Kate8085 said...

I say DO IT! I have lived abroad in Spain with a host family, and done bed and breakfasts in Europe when you are staying with the family, it so wonderful, every, single time.
It really sounds like an amazing opportunity, go for it!

LynnAnne said...

I love this idea! Almost like being a foreign exchange student for a bit. I hope you manage to do this and tell us all about it!

Kala Pohl Studio said...

Sounds like it could be a great adventure. You have me intrigued now:):)

Artsy Momma said...

That sounds exciting. If you guys do it you MUST share your experience.