Five weeks ago today me and my boyfriend got on a one way plane to Spain. And it was nerve wrackingly exciting. Here is a little review of how the first month has been for me.
Yes, very. And I swore down that I wouldn’t get homesick at all. I’d been to uni and not lived with my parents for over three years so assumed I wouldn’t miss them. But I did. I missed them when I felt like I needed them. When I sliced my finger open I felt like I really needed my Mum, so I messaged her and she helped and I realised they might be far away but I am so lucky to be able to contact them through the internet. They are as close as I want them to be. If there is internet around you can call them whenever you need, especially for those first few weeks.
Spending less than 100 euros?
For me to be sitting where I am now, we only spent 100 euros for the both of us. We have been doing our travelling through a website called Workaway. To summarise, Workaway is where people give you food and accommodation in exchange for working roughly 3-4 hours a day for 4-5 days a week (which I will talk about in more detail below). We were super lucky to not have to pay for our flights out to Spain due to my grandparents booking a holiday and then not being able to take it, so they passed it on to us. However, I do know that flights to Spain can be as little as £25. Inbetween Workaways we stay at the cheapest hostels that we can find in the area. The first hostel in Tarragona (which I wrote about here) was 14 euros per night . We leave this place on Sunday so we have a hostel booked in Madrid for one night and then on to Almeria for a night as well- both of which were the cheapest we could find. To travel to these places we find the cheapest way with the website rometorio and the cheapest is normally to take the bus. We were lucky enough to get offered a lift to Madrid by a friendly neighbor who was heading that way. This saved us a tedious bus journey and over 50 Euros. You can never make too many friends. If you don’t have much money but want to travel it is 100% possible to do it without spending lots of money.
This is my first Workaway experience and it has been amazing. The people that we have been living with have been really accommodating- in exchange for us to work roughly 4 hours a day for 5 days they provide us with a room and food. I’ve had an amazing choice of food and being vegan has been no problem at all which made me feel like I wasn’t a burden. I don’t know if we have been lucky to be staying with such friendly people or if this is something to expect when getting work through Workaway. We have done various work whilst being here such as: almond collecting, weeding/gardening, tiling, painting and decorating. I’ve learnt so much whilst doing all this work, I learnt that almonds have a shell (yes, I didn’t know that), how to use flat stones to make a bar surface and how to be creative with what you have around you, for example, sticking corks from wine bottles around the door for decoration. We move to our second Workaway job on Tuesday ad I’m hoping it is just as great as this place has been.
Living Off Grid
This is my first experience of living off grid. This means that they try and run self sufficiently; providing their own electric, sewage and their internet comes from satellite. The toilet is a dry closet which did take me a while to get used to- you have to poop in a bucket and cover it with soil but once you’ve been a few times it isn’t so bad. There is also no hot water so showers are cold but when the weather is 30+ degrees it doesn’t matter at all. Living off grid has made me really aware of how much water I use and you start to use less and try and reuse water where you can. When you can see the waste that you create it makes you want to use it more efficiently.
My legs have never been uglier. They are bruised and grazed and covered in cuts but this has been one of the most interesting and different months of my life. I’ve hiked miles and at times I felt like the whole experience was surreal. We found bones whilst walking in the mountains (which luckily turned out to be some kind of animal), I’ve befriended the semi-wild dog that lives around the camp, I’ve showered in the lake, found caves built be previous Workaway volunteers, watched the sunset where the sun literally disappears before your eyes and feel like I’ve made some good friends with the people we have been living with.
The first month of travelling has been as amazing as I thought it would be, if not better. I was never prepared for what it would be like but it is something I am so glad that I did and can’t wait to see where the next month will take me.
We booked tickets to Australia last week so thyis time next month I will be in Australia! Which is very exciting, and means we have one month left in Spain before we leave. I hope you enjoyed this blog post, the next will be up on Wednesday but in the meantime why not check out my post on what is in my backpack?