WWOOFING is an abbreviation for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and is program in which food and accomodation is exchanged for volunteer help. Your experience will be entirely different from the next volunteer as farms and countries will differ immensely. Signing up to be a part of the program only costs $30 and gives you access to hundreds of farms across the nation.
Food and Accommodation
If saving money is top of mind for you and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, this program is a great option for you to take advantage of while traveling. Expectations of daily labor will vary, but volunteers are normally expected to work 4-6 hours per day in return for accommodation and food. Hosts will provide living quarters for their volunteers as well as meals during their stay. Most hosts have had many volunteers come through their farm, so they are likely to offer guidance on the area, help you practice speaking that particular language, and give you a local’s perspective. Meals will likely be purely organic as most produce is grown on site, providing a break from processed food and the chance to enjoy fresh produce.
While free boarding and food is a huge benefit while traveling, perhaps the greatest benefits to WWOOFing are the unique experiences you will leave with. Working and helping out on a farm will bring new knowledge in itself, not to mention the other projects you might be assisting with. Tasks might include building houses made of clay, harvesting, cutting wood, planting seeds, tending to animals, cleaning, or cooking. You’ll get a full view of the everyday life of these hosts and farmers, opening your eyes to different approaches to life, cultures and environments.
Peace of Mind
Many volunteers that have done WWOOFING before have raved about the mental health benefits that come with the experience. Not only are you going off the grid, you are breathing fresh air, spending full days outside in nature, eating fruits and vegetables, taking a break from any outside stress. No matter what other plans you might have in store while traveling, WWOOFING is a great way to take a step back and free your mind.