Thoughts on worktrading (1 Viewer)

Abirdperson

Pilgrim
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
11
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Homebase
Eugene, OR
Just wanted to share some slightly organized thoughts about my experience worktrading. I hope it helps anyone who is thinking about living this way for any amount of time.

Shelters:
- bring your own/tent
- trailers/tiny homes
- room in house with host
- hostels(bunk beds, sleeping around other people)

Food:
- host goes grocery shopping, you make a list
- host gives a food stipend, you go shopping
- host takes you to food bank, you sign yourself up, get food (not technically allowed by many food banks but a lot of farm owners are just broke and can’t afford to buy food to feed their workers)

Work:
- workaway, wwoof, helpx, trustroots, coolworks, craigslist
- 5 hrs/day, 7 days/week for work trades(work in exchange for food and shelter), can usually arrange a schedule with each host that works for both parties
- can pick any kind of work you want by finding the right host (farming, pet sitting, house sitting, landscaping, cleaning houses for air bnb, baby sitting/childcare, elder care, bar tending)
- many hosts don’t require any prior experience
- I have a resume listing all of our prior work-trades, what we did there, and references to farm owners we particularly got along with. I send this to every prospective host.
- make a detailed profile on whatever website you use
- when you message hosts customize the message to each one
- offer to do a phone interview if you can, it helps to make everyone more comfortable with the arrangements if you get to hear each others’ tones of voice
- be careful of things that sound too good to be true, always ask the host about things you are unsure of before you head out to them

Getting to each host:
- walking/hitch hiking (need backpacking gear, ways to carry water, food, good boots/shoes)
- buses/trains/planes
- friends drive you half way, new host drives half way and picks you up

Extras:
Sometimes hosts have good wifi. If you can make money online in any way do it. You aren't paying for rent or food. All the money you make can go towards your next adventure, gear, weed or whatever you want. Pretty cool. We sometimes carry a little netbook while traveling for this purpose(also fun to get to watch movies for a little while too). You can also just save the money so when moving gets tiring you can maybe get a roommate for a couple of months and just chill. Traveling can get exhausting. Especially when you are going from worktrade to worktrade. You get a new boss every time. That can get old.

When it doesn’t work:
- it takes about a week on average to figure out if we want to be with a host for longer than a month(the quickest we figured out we didn't like a place was two days, we stayed for four days total)
- we usually give two weeks notice like a normal job, this gives us time to find another host near by
- we have camping gear for when it really doesn’t work out with a host, that way we can just walk away
- examples of it not working out: guy invited us to a farm in hawaii, didnt tell us it was a “tantric healing sex retreat” until we got there, that basically meant this guy having loud sex with his bedroom door open down the hall from our room, got super offended when we declined; got dosed with mushrooms without being told because we ended up at a cult of some kind, lots of sketchy shit, got their profile taken off of the worktrade website they were using; seeing animal abuse/neglect at a goat dairy that has been running for 23 years, animal control came out multiple times and did nothing because the guy didn't want to do his paperwork.

When it works:
- we got our best job just meeting someone on the street and mentioning that we do farm work trades, they invited us out and now they are our absolute best friends, we have spent a lot of time with them and gotten a lot done, they gave us a honeymoon at a hotel on the beach when we got married, we are broke travelers, it was the kindest thing anyone has done for us.
- a hiker hostel on the east coast. In exchange for 5 hrs/day 7 days/week we got a bed to sleep on inside, all meals made for us everyday, a beer each day, rides to trailheads to go on beautiful hikes.
- making great friends, people you can visit the next time you are in the area.

E379A885-1087-4849-9BE4-4DD99A338461.jpeg

(On the Appalachian Trail, our host was kind enough to give us a ride to the trailhead)

Anything can happen on the road once you are traveling. You have less control over your life, you are open to more.

If anyone has questions or things to add to this list please comment or message me! :D
 
Last edited:
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Ashtree

Newbie
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
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11
Age
27
Homebase
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Thanks for posting this helpful information. :)

If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin (not the most glamorous or convenientl located place, but it is pretty), two of my friends and I are starting a permaculture homestead in Viroqua this Summer and we’ll probably need worktraders come next spring. Right now we’re starting with water catchment and tree planting, but then we’ll start with natural buildings and the vegetable/herb gardens and maybe we’ll get some chickens by that point, too.
Pretty far from Hawaii and CO, but we’re excited about it! My two friends who bought the land are 84 and 70 something. They have the vision and knowledge, and I am the 25 year old friend who has the body power, willingness, and some knowledge and experience, too.

I’m actually technically doing a work trade, but it’s more of a long term commitment for me. Anyway, my friends are awesome and I’m excited and if you ever come out to Wisconsin let us know!
 

Abirdperson

Pilgrim
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
11
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32
Homebase
Eugene, OR
Thanks for posting this helpful information. :)

If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin (not the most glamorous or convenientl located place, but it is pretty), two of my friends and I are starting a permaculture homestead in Viroqua this Summer and we’ll probably need worktraders come next spring. Right now we’re starting with water catchment and tree planting, but then we’ll start with natural buildings and the vegetable/herb gardens and maybe we’ll get some chickens by that point, too.
Pretty far from Hawaii and CO, but we’re excited about it! My two friends who bought the land are 84 and 70 something. They have the vision and knowledge, and I am the 25 year old friend who has the body power, willingness, and some knowledge and experience, too.

I’m actually technically doing a work trade, but it’s more of a long term commitment for me. Anyway, my friends are awesome and I’m excited and if you ever come out to Wisconsin let us know!
Thank you so much! It sounds super intriguing and fun. Your excitement has me excited! We will be sure to let you know when we are headed in that direction.
 

Tony G

Wanderer
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
211
Reaction score
242
Homebase
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
Just wanted to share some slightly organized thoughts about my experience worktrading. I hope it helps anyone who is thinking about living this way for any amount of time.

Shelters:
- bring your own/tent
- trailers/tiny homes
- room in house with host
- hostels(bunk beds, sleeping around other people)

Food:
- host goes grocery shopping, you make a list
- host gives a food stipend, you go shopping
- host takes you to food bank, you sign yourself up, get food (not technically allowed by many food banks but a lot of farm owners are just broke and can’t afford to buy food to feed their workers)

Work:
- workaway, wwoof, helpx, trustroots, coolworks, craigslist
- 5 hrs/day, 7 days/week for work trades(work in exchange for food and shelter), can usually arrange a schedule with each host that works for both parties
- can pick any kind of work you want by finding the right host (farming, pet sitting, house sitting, landscaping, cleaning houses for air bnb, baby sitting/childcare, elder care, bar tending)
- many hosts don’t require any prior experience
- I have a resume listing all of our prior work-trades, what we did there, and references to farm owners we particularly got along with. I send this to every prospective host.
- make a detailed profile on whatever website you use
- when you message hosts customize the message to each one
- offer to do a phone interview if you can, it helps to make everyone more comfortable with the arrangements if you get to hear each others’ tones of voice
- be careful of things that sound too good to be true, always ask the host about things you are unsure of before you head out to them

Getting to each host:
- walking/hitch hiking (need backpacking gear, ways to carry water, food, good boots/shoes)
- buses/trains/planes
- friends drive you half way, new host drives half way and picks you up

Extras:
Sometimes hosts have good wifi. If you can make money online in any way do it. You aren't paying for rent or food. All the money you make can go towards your next adventure, gear, weed or whatever you want. Pretty cool. We sometimes carry a little netbook while traveling for this purpose(also fun to get to watch movies for a little while too). You can also just save the money so when moving gets tiring you can maybe get a roommate for a couple of months and just chill. Traveling can get exhausting. Especially when you are going from worktrade to worktrade. You get a new boss every time. That can get old.

When it doesn’t work:
- it takes about a week on average to figure out if we want to be with a host for longer than a month(the quickest we figured out we didn't like a place was two days, we stayed for four days total)
- we usually give two weeks notice like a normal job, this gives us time to find another host near by
- we have camping gear for when it really doesn’t work out with a host, that way we can just walk away
- examples of it not working out: guy invited us to a farm in hawaii, didnt tell us it was a “tantric healing sex retreat” until we got there, that basically meant this guy having loud sex with his bedroom door open down the hall from our room, got super offended when we declined; got dosed with mushrooms without being told because we ended up at a cult of some kind, lots of sketchy shit, got their profile taken off of the worktrade website they were using; seeing animal abuse/neglect at a goat dairy that has been running for 23 years, animal control came out multiple times and did nothing because the guy didn't want to do his paperwork.

When it works:
- we got our best job just meeting someone on the street and mentioning that we do farm work trades, they invited us out and now they are our absolute best friends, we have spent a lot of time with them and gotten a lot done, they gave us a honeymoon at a hotel on the beach when we got married, we are broke travelers, it was the kindest thing anyone has done for us.
- a hiker hostel on the east coast. In exchange for 5 hrs/day 7 days/week we got a bed to sleep on inside, all meals made for us everyday, a beer each day, rides to trailheads to go on beautiful hikes.
- making great friends, people you can visit the next time you are in the area.

View attachment 55673
(On the Appalachian Trail, our host was kind enough to give us a ride to the trailhead)

Anything can happen on the road once you are traveling. You have less control over your life, you are open to more.

If anyone has questions or things to add to this list please comment or message me! :D
Bro ive allways wanted to the at nice post really...
 

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