Aside from the fact that volunteering will not only yield countless benefits for the people you’re volunteering for and help you sleep easier at night, it’s also a good opportunity to capitalise on free accommodation and board whilst travelling. And what’s better than a free lunch? Even if you are eating it with blistered hands…
Wendell Berry once said that “Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato.” If you would not like to have the second part of this statement apply to you then WWOOF-ing is your answer. Board and lodging is offered in return for a day’s work on any farm of your choosing.
You can go for any stretch of time between a week and several years, which makes the WWOOF option viable for anyone, especially when you consider that they have thousands of hosts in over 53 countries.
Turtle teams, Worldwide
There are thousands of small groups around the globe that aim to preserve the populations of threatened sea turtles. Most teams base themselves around one or two nesting sites and even appreciate just one nights help. There is often a cost for accommodation that ranges greatly, depending on the quality of where you’re staying, but some offer extremely low cost housing in return for long-term volunteering (though typically very basic), such as Playa Las Tortugas in Mexico. However, if you fancy killing two-birds with stone, why not coincide your lads/gyals trip to Zante with sometime spent with the island’s own endangered sea turtle population.
Conservation Volunteers, Australia and New Zealand
www.conservationvolunteers.com.au – Various short-term projects In Australia and New Zealand are available where you’ll be able to work in teams, protecting habitats and promoting ecotourism.
Projects that include overnight stays, meals, and lodging are typically provided at approximately AUS$40 per night for shorter stays, and starting from AUS$208 for week-long projects. The type of accommodations can vary widely from campsites to bunkhouses. UK-based TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) offers programs for EU residents ranging from no-cost day trips to pricier week-long International Conservation Holidays.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy South America
www.appalachiantrail.org – Over 2,000 miles long and with just as many endangered or threatened species, the Appalachian Trail has plenty of space for more volunteers. Work includes help with trail building and maintenance and in return you will receive food and very basic accommodation.
Help Exchange, Worldwide
www.helpx.net – A website that lists worldwide hosts who are looking for an extra pair of hands, whether it be in their farm or garden, working in schools or on religious projects, building houses or community centers, or simply helping a family take the kids to school.
A small membership fee is required to access host details, but board and lodging is provided in exchange for your work.
United Nations Volunteers, Worldwide
www.unv.org – From healthcare and economic development to assisting after natural disasters, the UN offers positions for those that are dedicated to making a difference abroad.
While many positions are open only to experienced professionals, the UN has links to hundreds of international NGOs that are looking for help in similar fields on a less formal basis.
Kibbutz Volunteer, Israel
www.kibbutzvolunteer.com – An area that is rarely out of the news, Israel is a land of tight communities but complicated politics.
Volunteering here will provide you with an opportunity to experience what a socialist community is really like. The region also serves as a good base camp for exploring the rest of the Middle East. You might want to be careful, however, as travelling to many of the countries surrounding Israel with an Israeli stamp in your passport will arouse suspicion. So get your cover story sorted, you sneaky Jew spy, you.
Millions of pounds, fast cars, big houses. 3 things that are almost synonymous with film stars. So why not take some of the advice that they spout whilst at work, and to make things even easier for you, The Free Press has compiled a handy list for you.
“The dude abides.” – Jeffrey Lebowski – The Big Lebowski
“If you can dodge traffic you can dodge a ball.” – Patches O’Houlihan - Dodgeball
“People should not be afraid of governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” – V – V For Vendetta
“Named must your fear be before face it you can.” – Yoda – The Empire Strikes Back
“Funerals are insane, the chicks are so horny, it’s not even fair, it’s like fishing with dynamite.” – Chazz Reinhold – Wedding Crashers
“You ask how to fight an idea. I’ll tell you how. With another idea.” – Messala – Ben-Hur
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” – The Joker – The Dark Knight
“And it’d better be perfect or I’m gonna call my dad!” – Yellow Bastard – Sin City
“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” – Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
“Fact can be so misleading, where rumours, true or false, are often revealing.” – Col. Hans Landa – Inglorious Basterds
“Just because you are a character doesn’t mean that you have character.” – Winston Wolfe – Pulp Fiction
“You don’t want to get laid, man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to talk to them.” – Danny McGavin – Colors
“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” – Man In Black – The Princess Bride.
“For Frodo.” – Aragorn – The Return of the King
LA’s FIDLAR are currently putting out some of the best Descendents/Blink182/Queers style puerile pop-punk. As you might expect, a lot of their songs dwell on getting drunk/high, surfing and girls. What make them unique are the glimpses of their nihilistic world view in the face of this hedonism; they’re aware of the futility and pointlessness of their actions.
Before you skim over this article on account of its quite frankly horrendous headline, please be aware of two things. 1. This story is interesting. 2. This headline did not win the bi-weekly Roger Federer award for ‘Dullest Headline’, it wasn’t even nominated.