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Traveling the World Collaboratively

This is my first day on the job at the hostel…


8a6d70700baf09469887d0c038ee07cf

Mayara

Jornalista e locutora de formação, empreendedora de coração e viajante por natureza. Nômade digit...

Feb 02, 2018

I’m writing this during my first day working the late shift at the reception of the Fu House Hostel here in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ll get relieved by Dede, an Indonesian, who works the morning shift.

During my 48-hour trip here, I took a flight from Sao Paulo to Chicago, another from Chicago to Tokyo, and yet another from Tokyo to Bangkok, so I had to spend two nights in airports. I met some other people who, like me, were coming to visit Thailand.

As we got to talking, everyone asked me where I would be staying and how much I was paying per night. And they were all just as surprised when I told them that I would be exchanging my time working for accommodation.

As good as the exchange rate here is (1 bat is only worth about 10 cents), reducing travel costs was one of my main goals after deciding that I was going to spend three months in Asia. I started with accommodation, which is one of the biggest expenses.

With the creative economy growing in every corner of the world, there are tons of great projects by people who are working hard to help make the world a better place with their talents and passions. That’s what Eric and Riq did when they created Worldpackers, a platform that helps us live our dreams of seeing the world in exchange for sharing our skills.

And since I was going to be enjoying all the things that Thailand has to offer me, I was happy to have the opportunity to also offer my skills to give back to the local community.

With a little bit of courage, I was soon creating my profile on the site and looking for hostels that could host me. Of the six requests I sent, four hosts answered me. Of those four, two accepted me: the Fu House Hostel in central Bangkok and the Himmapan Resort on Koh Phayam beach in the south.

If you also want to travel the world collaboratively, here are some tips for creating your profile on the Worldpackers website:

There’s no one else like you in the world
I have a friend who says, "our identity is like our fingerprints, unique and irreplaceable." Although there are thousands of other people registered on the site, each person has different life experiences and their own unique knowledge. So if you write a great description of yourself for your profile, be authentic and show people who you are without being ashamed, the chances of being accepted by hosts is much greater.

You have the potential to do anything
Just because you have a particular degree or profession, that doesn’t mean you only have those skills to offer. I work in communication, but here at the Fu House Hostel, I share smiles and take care of the reception for 6 hours a day (with two days off per week). In exchange, I get accommodation, breakfast, and free laundry.

Organize your schedule and contact hosts in advance.
Not all hosts will see the messages you send them right away. It may take them a few days to respond, so my advice is to send requests to more than one host at a time. If anyone of them responds in time, you're set!

Keep an open mind. The great thing about traveling to other countries is getting to know different cultures. And there’s no better way to do that than meeting the locals. Being part of the staff will give you a much deeper experience of the country and its culture because you’ll be in contact with them all the time.

Do your best. Sometimes we feel insecure because we don’t speak the local language fluently. After I accepted that English is my second language (and theirs as well in Thailand), everything got easier: I began to accept that it takes more time for me to take in information, I stopped being nervous when expressing myself, and I was able to communicate better. When in doubt, just ask again. Here in Thailand, a smile is worth more than a thousand words.

So what will your next destination be? If you want to see some of what I’m doing, follow me! www.mayaracastro.me, Instagram



8a6d70700baf09469887d0c038ee07cf

Mayara

Jornalista e locutora de formação, empreendedora de coração e viajante por natureza. Nômade digit...

Feb 02, 2018


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