Worldpackers only exists because thousands of incredible travelers from all over the world believe in the power of collaborative exchanges through volunteering. That’s why we’re publishing another edition of our It’s All About the Experience award, to show our recognition and gratitude to the travelers who collaborated the most with our community in 2022.
As a selection criteria, the Worldpackers team looked at the travelers with the most confirmed trips over the last year who have the Outstanding WP certificate on their profile, with over 65% of their exchanges reviewed by hosts who gave them an average rating above 4.5 stars.
Take a look at our list of the Most Collaborative Travelers below, and then get to know their stories. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired to hit the road too! Anyone who’s had this experience will tell you: it’s transformative!
The best Worldpackers of 2022
Here are the 40 travelers who had the most collaborative exchanges and developed new skills with Worldpackers in 2022:
Milena Amaral (Brazil)
Bruno Nogueira Soraggi Borges (Brazil)
Pedro Henrique Moreira (Brazil)
Fagner Andrade (Brazil)
Luci Rodrigues (Brazil)
Ramon Boeni (Brazil)
Renata Dutra (Brazil)
Júlia Serafim de Faria (Brazil)
Patrícia Quinot (Brazil)
Magdalena Astigarraga (Spain)
David Gonzalez Alonso (Spain)
Sara Repetto (Italy)
Enrique Martínez López (Spain)
Dana Wilke (Germany)
Jens de Looff (Holland)
Yolanda Fernandez Gonzalez (Spain)
Emma Barry (United Kingdom)
Robin Hooybergs (Belgium)
Fredrik Stenudd (Sweden)
Nikolai Nikulichev (Russia)
Andrea Aymara Aquize (Bolivia)
Agustin Alabart (Chile)
Victoria Reartes (Argentina)
Melani Anaya (El Salvador)
Mariel Soledad Culasso Orué (Argentina)
Ana Maria Carrillo Sierra (Colombia)
Germán Zoia (Argentina)
Marcela Hernández Espinel (Colombia)
Diana Carolina Torres (Colombia)
Nan Nandati (Mexico)
Víctor Hugo Luna Mendoza (Mexico)
Emilia Hurley (United States)
Andrea Zamora (Mexico)
Joel Aviña (Mexico)
María Fernanda Velasco Alcalá (Mexico)
Abraham Ernesto Pérez Domínguez (Mexico)
Allison Courtney (United States)
Tadaomi Eto (Japan)
Daniela Marucci (South Africa)
Nicholas King (New Zealand)
Thank you to all of you for being an inspiration to our community!
Our Worldpackers’ Stories
Want to learn more about these travelers’ experiences? We asked them to share how they started traveling with Worldpackers, their most impactful exchanges, and what they’ve learned on their journeys.
They have different life stories but common goals, like being better people and making a positive impact on the world.
Like our slogan says: Travel changes people. People change the world.
1. Lucilene Rodrigues
“I started traveling because I was tired of living a life with no purpose, with a stable career, but feeling unhappy”, shared Lucilne. After her cat of 16 years died, she sold everything she owned, quit her job, said goodbye to her family, and hit the road in May of 2022.
She said that Worldpackers really helped her on her journey: “Not just financially, exchanging my contributions for room and board, but also acquiring knowledge and discovering what I wanted. Not to mention the safety this platform offers and how easy it is to find somewhere to live for a while, with clear fees and information up front”, she explained.
Follow Lucilene on Instagram: @ludlown_luci
2. Bruno Nogueira Soraggi Borges
Bruno started his journey with Worldpackers when a friend he met in Ireland invited him. He went to a bunch of our Beach Clean Ups, which he considers his best experience with our platform, learning how to care for the environment and make other people aware of the importance of marine life.
“It’s funny that I improved my English more from my contact with foreigners volunteering than in Ireland, where I lived with a lot of Brazilians. In 2022, I lived in Portugal, and volunteers helped me get a job as a receptionist at a hostel, where I really loved working. I learned so much”, he finished.
Follow Bruno’s travels: @bruninho_soraggi
3. Renata Dutra Garcia
Renata learned about Worldpackers from Instagram. She had already traveled a lot, but wanted to backpack with a specific purpose: expand her socio-environmental consciousness. So she chose hosts with this focus.
“I’ve been traveling for a little over eight months, and I’ve definitely been reborn, just like my name Renata means [in Portuguese]”, she affirms.
Renata also participated in multiple Beach Clean Ups, which is where she met our host Desengarrafando Mentes, an NGO in Maresias (São Paulo) dedicated to preserving the environment and promoting access to culture and education for local communities.
Volunteering, Renata learned a ton about recycling, conscious consumption, upcycling, permaculture, and other sustainability topics.
Pedro Henrique hit the road in June of 2021 starting at Arraial do Cabo, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, and he hasn’t slowed down since.
“I learned a lot of things: videography, curtain making, vegan cooking, more fluent and fear-free communication, how to fold fitted sheets, changing gas tanks, cleaning mold, disposing of recyclables, managing social media...”
Check out Pedro’s Instagram: @transitinerante
5. Ramon Boeni
A lot of people start their volunteering journey close to home. That’s how Ramon started out, who took his first Worldpackers trip to a host near his town, at the POA Eco Hostel. “I knew that I’d be exchanging my services with the hostel for accommodation, but it’s much bigger than that: the exchange between different people, languages, and realities really made me open up and look out at the world”, Ramon said.
Ramon volunteered for 9 months, hitting 4 hostels as a steady volunteer and joining 7 Beach Clean Ups, a total of 11 experiences. He said that during his volunteering, he learned to appreciate the present more: “I’m not traveling right now, but I still keep living in the now and doing the things I really want to”.
Follow Ramon: @ramonboeni
6. Milena Amaral Monteiro
Milena has already had 21 volunteer experiences, and to this day fondly remembers her first one at the Tubiba Hostel in Tamandaré (Brazil). “My hosts Lucas and Jessica make the experience easy – you really feel at home. They taught me everything I needed to know to help at the hostel, and that knowledge was super useful at my exchanges afterwards”, she shared.
She also participated in our Beach Clean Ups and liked it so much that she ended up changing her travel plans to line up with that project’s schedule. “This really affected my way of thinking, acting, and consuming. It changed how I see myself and relate to the nature around me. And it played, and continues to play, a fundamental role in creating the traveler that I’m becoming”.
Follow Melina on Instagram: @milena.cello
7. Fagner Andrade Ferreira
"I found myself living life on the road! I started living more, learning more, and getting to know myself better with each new destination that came up. At the beginning, I let go of everything that was holding me back, like a fixed job, apartment, family, and more, to search for more FREEDOM in my days!” said traveler Fagner, who had his first volunteer experience on the Island of Maré, near Salvador.
He said that after this experience, “something clicked in my head”, which is why he’s still on the road after two years. Beside the many learnings from exchanges, Fagner emphasizes the power of connections: “I found the love of my life while volunteering in Florianópolis, she’s also a Worldpacker and we were at the same hostel. Now, we’re traveling together exploring Brazil! Thank you, WP!”
Follow Fagner’s travels: @andrade.fotoarte
8. Nancy Martínez González
Nancy from Mexico started her Worldpackers experience in Ibagué, Colombia. “I improved my English, became more confident socializing, and learned about bioconstruction, hostel management, and other countries, cultures, and languages”, she said.
Affirming how the experience of volunteer travel can be transformative, she definitely noticed a “before and after” in her life after completing a year of travel with Worldpackers: “I’m glad there are platforms that are so honest and successful. I came back to Mexico and my family, and my experience seems like a dream”.
Follow Nancy on Instagram: @nan_martinezg
9. Victor Hugo Luna Mendoza
Also from Mexico, Victor Hugo found Worldpackers on a recommendation from friends and had his first experience in Turkey, which was also his first trip abroad. He volunteered at a hostel in the heart of Taksin, and later in a house of digital nomads in Montenegro.
During his exchanges, he developed various skills, but said that the most important thing was overcoming a block he had with foreign languages: “I improved my English, lived in Portugal and learned Portuguese, and now I’m working on German”.
Follow Victor’s Instagram: @vickyngo.luna
10. Yolanda Azucena Fernández González
Yolanda (Spain) started her volunteer trip alone, and then was joined by a friend. “I realized that we don’t need that many material things to live and enjoy life. And that no matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone to lend a hand if you need, and vice-versa”.
Learn more about Yolanda from her Instagram @yoliazu
11. Melani Adriana Anaya Garcia
Melani started traveling soon after graduating college. She’s from El Salvador, and spent 2022 discovering Mexico through Worldpackers volunteering.
The experience that affected her the most was her exchange at the Hostal Central in Oaxaca. “The hosts are the most loving people you could find, not to mention the staff and beautiful family we created as volunteers. The hostel has evening activities so you can get to know the local culture”, she said, sharing that she left feeling practically like a “oaxaqueña”.
She stressed the importance of leaving your comfort zone to discover incredible things outside it: “I learned English and how to cook, clean, be a tour guide, receptionist, social media manager, party promoter... And now I’m way less shy!”
Follow Melani on Instagram: @melanianaya
12. Enrique Martínez López
For Enrique, who started traveling with Worldpackers looking to escape his routine and have new experiences, his most impactful exchange yet was at the Casona Alemana in Puerto Montt (Chile), where he spent three weeks sharing in a family’s daily life. He loved connecting with locals and travelers from all over.
“I also got to learn a lot about bioconstruction, thanks to the multiple exchanges I could do with that focus”, he finished.
Follow Enrique on Instagram: @enriqueemartineez93
13. Magdalena Astigarraga (Alias Asunta)
After retiring, Magdalena from Spain decided to make her travel dream a reality. She chose Worldpackers as a way to learn new things and interact with different people, while spending less.
Among all of her volunteer experiences, she highlighted ones in Costa Rica and Guatemala. “I think it’s really important to put yourself in others’ shoes and work on non-attachment. To learn to live in the moment”, she emphasized. Magdalena proves that there’s no age limit for volunteering or achieving your dreams.
14. Andrea Zamora Núñez
“Signing up for Worldpackers was the best decision of my life”, confirmed Andrea. She said that during her trips, she was able to practice her English and learn lots of different things, like massage, time and money management, sustainability, new recipes, and animal care.
“I love the community we create at every exchange. Traveling on vacation is cool, but it’s not the same as volunteering”, she commented.
Follow Andrea on Instagram: @andyzamora.nz
15. Andrea Aymara Aquize Apaza
Andrea Aymara had her first volunteer experience in Máncora (Peru) to enjoy a vacation while saving money, but it was much more than that.
“It ended up becoming an experience on another level, it made a ‘switch flip’ in my mind. I made friends from the area, enjoyed my alone time, relearned how to ride a bike, went running barefoot on the beach, ate delicious foods, became more conscious of nature, and learned more about community tourism”, she shared.
After some other experiences, she came to Brazil for a month-long exchange and ended up staying almost three years. “I learned that I can live anywhere. One of our greatest abilities as humans is our capacity for adaptation. The girl from the mountains, 3,600 meters high, went to live on the coast in front of the forest”, reflected Andrea.
Follow her adventures on Instagram: @ayma_bolivian
16. Ana María Carrillo Sierra
One of Colombian Ana Maria’s best Worldpackers experiences was at the Social Hostel (Curitiba, Brazil). “I met people from all over Brazil and the world, made great friends, tried new foods, and had so much fun!” she shared. She also said that while volunteering, she learned that she’s capable of much more than she ever imagined.
She’s on Instagram as @analanitanana
17. Agustín Alabart Ceresuela
“I’m a curious person, so basically all of my exchanges are at different kinds of places, with the goal of learning something new”, said Chilean traveler Augustín.
Among other experiences, one that really stands out is his exchange at a farm in Ubeda (Spain), where he found a really united group of people and days full of laughter, advice, and skill sharing. “Positive thinking is the most important thing”, he advises.
Follow Augustín on Instagram: @agustin.alabart
18. Sara Repetto
Sara (Italy) was already addicted to traveling, but the desire to try something new made her and her husband look for alternative ways to travel, slower and in more contact with local cultures. With Worldpackers volunteering, they found the ideal solution.
“We started traveling in March 2022 and we’re still on the road. It’s been amazing! We’ve volunteered in Brazil and Argentina, and we’re planning on exploring all of South America with Worldpackers”, she said.
Sara’s most impactful experience was at the NGO Alma Vira Lata in Ubatuba (São Paulo): “I loved spending time with the dogs and feeling that I was doing something important, being a part of a social project with a lot of impact”, she explained.
Her personal Instagram is @repettosa, and she shares the travel account @mochilaremosporai with her husband
19. Emma Barry
Emma started traveling with her partner at the end of lockdown, spending 11 months on the road. “Without Worldpackers, we couldn’t have seen so much in Latin America. Our budget was tight, but by volunteering we could have the best experiences, save money, and much more”, she shared.
She really loved volunteering at an animal rescue center in Costa Rica, and said that she learned how life is much less about things and more about experiences, especially ones that improve other people’s lives.
On Instagram, follow her account @365.Carpe.idem
20. Daniela (Dana) Wilke
Volunteering can change the course of your life. That’s what happened to German traveler Daniela, who spent a month in Turkey taking care of farm animals and volunteering with children in the community, one month in Czechia training horses, a month at a hostel in Lisbon, and two months at another hostel in Jerusalem.
“The time I spent volunteering in Jerusalem changed my life. I decided to write my master’s thesis in ancient history about the city”, she told us.
Follow Daniela on Instagram: @_dana.wilke_
21. Daniela de Paula Marucci
“I love traveling. On one of my trips, a friend showed me Worldpackers and I identified with the platform. I decided to volunteer to meet new people, explore new places, and share experiences and learning”, said South African Daniela. She also loved our Beach Clean Ups, and said she made lifelong friends!
22. Ying Hui Wong
“My preferred travel style is to live like the locals, immerse myself deeply in cultures, and turn travel into a way to experience different kinds of lives. I think the best way to do that is by volunteering, exactly what Worldpackers offers”, said Ying Hui. She traveled solo for 9 months in South America, volunteering at 5 places along the way.
“On my travels, I realized that things I used to hate can be pretty rewarding, and things I thought I liked aren't necessarily as enjoyable as I imagined. You never really know if you like something until you try it”, she observed.
Follow Ying on Instagram: @wongyinghui
So, did you enjoy reading the stories of our Most Collaborative Travelers of 2022?
Register on our website now, save your favorite positions, and prepare to have your own transformative experiences! Who knows, maybe you’ll be on the list in 2023?
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Autora do blog Janelas Abertas desde 2012, resolveu deixar o emprego fixo em 2016 para viver viajando e produzindo conteúdo pela internet, com foco em autoconhecimento e turismo responsável. Hoje o blog é a sua principal fonte de renda e maior paixão. Em 2022, lançou por crowdfunding seu primeiro livro, o "Guia de viagens pra dentro e pra fora: como viajar de forma transformadora e responsável". 💙