Help-x, an alternative form of travel

For the past two weeks, I have been doing help-x opportunities. The help-x network is a type of work exchange. Usually, you do a few hours of work per day (normally 4) in exchange for accommodation and food. It’s also a cultural exchange, giving you the chance to live with a local family. I enjoy them because I find that I have trouble meeting people while traveling independently. By staying with a local family, I not only save money, but I get a sense of community. I did a few help-x jobs in New Zealand, and decided to give them a try here too.

My first week was spent at a home in Waneroo, Western Australia that had two horses, Harley and Gonzo. My host, Sally, had recently injured her shoulder in a horse show and needed some help with the horses. Every morning I would get the horses ready to go out to pasteur, muck out their stables, and then do some general yard work. In the evenings, I would help with dinner. My afternoons were free; most of which I spent job hunting. I also got to bake chocolate cake for the family!

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Getting Gonzo ready in the morning

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Harley and Gonzo

During the second week, I moved to Ballajura, which is another suburb in Perth to stay with Sharon and Taipan. Taipan is a gorgeous Siberian husky, who I got to take for walks every day. The other work consisted of  weeding and housekeeping. I was luck enough to stay here because I developed a bad sinus infection, and I had my afternoons free to rest.

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Taipan, the Siberian Husky

So most of my afternoons were spent scouring Gumtree, which is like Craigslist in the U.S. for jobs. However, I did take one day trip to Rottnest Island on November 19, which is a gorgeous island 25 minutes away by ferry…