When I decided to take an extended holiday in Iceland, I had a specific purpose. Although I have traveled internationally, I have never stayed longer than ten days and I have either been doing missionary work or following a tourist circuit. This time I wanted CULTURE. For me, to achieve this goal, I would need to spend more than two weeks in one location, preferably with the locals.
I have been aware of working abroad for several years now. For instance, you can get a year-long work visa to Australia and have a grand ol’ time working as you go. Unfortunately, there isn’t a comparable Icelandic visa (that I have been able to dig out of the depths of the web), and frankly, I would rather not have to deal with government regulations and paychecks if I don’t have to. Like, really, it’s hard enough paying out-of-state income taxes, I don’t want to think about out-of-country income taxes. And then the clouds rolled back and I found www.workaway.info. *The following is just me gushing about the site and, sadly, I am not reimbursed for this endorsement*
This site is a medium through which people seeking volunteers for their home or business can connect with people who want to stay long-term and work in exchange for room and board. All the volunteer has to do is buy the plane ticket. I paid the small registration fee (in euros. As a frequent flyer, here’s a trick of the trade: Get a visa credit card with no international transaction fees.) and browsed the list of hosts in Iceland who looked like good matches. I found several matches and sent an interest email to a family who operated a bed and breakfast in a small town on the western coast of Iceland. Although I had planned to send more interest letters, it was late—and you know how I am about staying up past my bedtime—so I decided to send the rest later. The next morning I awoke to find an email from Alda, the host of the bed and breakfast! Sadly, she had already accepted a volunteer for May-June, but she wished me the best of luck in my search.
A week went by and due to life and a busy schedule I had yet to send more interest letters. Then it happened. Another email from Alda. Her volunteer had cancelled and Alda asked if I was still interested! *insert girlish squealing noises*
After a few pertinent questions and answers, we confirmed my travel dates and arranged for her to pick me up in Reykjavik. I bought my plane ticket and travel insurance from my darling travel agent and I was good to go. Easy peasy.
And now you know the skinny on how I actually arranged a work abroad scheme. Next time I’ll tell you what on earth I’m doing!!