My First Experience With Help X

When I first considered using a work exchange website, I scoured the internet looking for other bloggers who had used them. I wanted to know what to expect and whether or not the sites were worth the money. The 3 main work exchange websites I know of are Work Away, WWOOF International (farm work) and Help X. 

I’d met so many Germans in Canada who were travelling super cheap by working on farms in exchange for food and accommodation. Whilst it sounded like a good concept, I didn’t really see myself feeding baby goats or cleaning up horse poop for fun. So that ruled WWOOFing out. I opted to sign up for Help X as it was slightly cheaper and had more hosts in the countries I wanted to visit. My Help X membership was £18 for a full year.

I was interested in helping in homes rather than farms and I particularly wanted to work with children as that’s what I have experience with. Whilst the Help X website is pretty outdated, I was easily able to select which area I wanted to work in and see what type of work was available there. A lot of the hosts on the site are looking for help on their farms but there are many who just want basic household help. There are also opportunities to work in hostels, on boats and more.

I got chatting to a French-Canadian family and decided I wanted to work for them. I was concerned about safety and whether or not it was legit but the family had some reviews on site from previous helpers so I didn’t worry too much. You can read about my experience at their home here

The work they asked of me was very easy- all I had to do was clean, cook and help put the children to bed, which only took a couple of hours each day. I felt my work was very appreciated and they let me work on my own schedule- as long as the work got done. I was allowed to eat whatever and whenever I wanted from their kitchen. I know that I got a very relaxed host family and I’m thankful for that. Make sure you arrange what you’ll be doing and how many hours you’ll be working before you go. I heard some awful stories from other travellers about having to pick up sticks for 5 hours a day (?) or being treated like slaves. I’m glad I got it super easy.

I didn’t spend a single penny whilst there which was my aim and I was pretty pleased with that. At the same time though, I didn’t really do very much either other than hang around by the house. I spent a lot of my days alone as the parents were working and the kids at daycare. 

Often the help is needed in very remote areas where there’s not much to do. It was great for saving money and getting to know a new culture but honestly, I wouldn’t be in a rush to do it again. I felt I was just passing time there rather than “travelling” or living life to the fullest. If I was to do it again, I’d go for one in or near a city/busier area so I could go exploring when I wasn’t working. 

If you’re looking to learn new skills or save some money I’d definitely recommend using Help X. There are lots of different types of work options available and in my experience it was very safe, straight-forward and reliable. It definitely makes for an interesting travel experience and is a great way to get to know people around the world. 

Get to Know Me- 25 Questions Nobody Ever Asks

I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately and wasn’t sure what to write about this week as I haven’t been up to a whole lot. So I thought instead of forcing myself to write, I’d just do another Q&A tag. (see my travel one here)

I found lots of different versions online and I know the “TMI tag” is so last year but I love doing this kind of thing. Feel free to copy my questions if you want to do this too. 

xo

What is one quote you live by?

“It is what it is”. For me that means there’s no point in worrying about things that you can’t control. Everything always works out. 

How many boyfriends/girlfriends have you had?

How much do you weigh?

Around 9st/125lbs

How long does it take you to shower? 

About 3 minutes, ha. In then out. If I’m washing my hair I might go crazy and take 5 minutes. 

Something you really miss?

My fam back home in Scotland 

What turns you on in the opposite sex?

Respectfulness and good humour 

What turns you off? 

Neediness. Also game playing- bye Felicia

Last time you cried?

On Saturday when watching Titanic for the 107th time in my life

Last book you read?

Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Last place you went on vacation?

Canada- my life is currently one big vacation.

Last song you sang?

LA Confidential by Tory Lanez

Favourite chat up line?

Any of the really creepy ones that leave everyone in the room feeling awkward.

Last time you kissed someone?

About three weeks ago

Which physical feature do you get complimented on the most? 

My eyes 🍑

First thing you notice in the opposite sex?

Skin colour.. lol

If you had to live in the world of the last movie you watched where would you be living?

On the Titanic

If you could have any celebrity as your best friend who would it be?

The Rock. He’s funny.

Something that makes you happy?

Sunshine. And food. And naps.

Something that makes you sad?

The fact that my best friend can’t come in my pocket wherever I go. 

How do you feel about public affection?

I don’t care as long as it’s not excessive. Personally I’m not a huge fan.

A fear you have overcome?

Cats and the dentist (kinda)

What’s the best gift you ever received?

Memory books made by my friends on my 21st birthday

Which emotion do you experience most?

Is tired an emotion? 

Scariest experience?

Bungee jumping off a bridge 

What is one thing you really want right now?

An unlimited supply of money so I could keep travelling all ma life

Bye Bye Victoria 

Right now I’m on the ferry back to Vancouver to catch my flight to Quebec. Being on this ferry again is reminding me of how depressed I felt when coming to Victoria two months ago (read here). Fortunately, I now feel like a completely different person to the one who wrote that post.

Since March my life has been a total rollercoaster. I’ve, obviously, felt depressed… I’ve worried a lot and I’ve been stressed. But I have also had so many good moments too. I’ve taken steps to gain control of my health and my regular depressive episodes have disappeared which has made life a lot easier. 

I’ve had a lot of fabulous times and made some great memories in Victoria. I also have a lot of hilarious stories to tell in the future mainly because strange things/people are drawn to me naturally and my life is a comedy show. 

I’ve also met some incredible people, the type of people who just completely restore your faith in humanity. For the first time in a long time I’ve felt able to just enjoy the moment and not worry about what will happen next- particularly in regards to my circumstances, finances and relationships. And it’s so beautiful to be able to live like that. 

I’m happy that I started my job and didn’t leave straight away like I wanted to. Although I still hated working full time, the stress completely disappeared the moment I left the building each day, and on my evenings and weekends off I felt like I was on holiday. For my last few weeks in Victoria I felt I would be able to live there long term (minus the hostel situation obvs). I’m going to miss the city a lot but I know I’ll definitely be back one day.

So here I am, on the first leg of my 24 hour journey (the things I do to save a few dollars). I’m really, really excited for the next couple of weeks. I’ll be staying with my friend near Quebec City for a week then doing help exchange in a small town nearby for another two weeks. After that I don’t have anything set in stone but my plan is to travel down the East coast of the USA before meeting my friend in Florida.  Exciting times. 

So here’s to a new adventure. And to all of the lovely people I met over the last few months, thank you for making my time in Victoria so special. It’s been unreal.

xo

Depression.. again

I’ve only been gone for two weeks and haven’t even started working yet but already my depression is rearing its head again. I know it’s unreasonable and logically I know everything I’m thinking is a lie but this feeling seems uncontrollable. I’m sad, stressed and honestly disappointed. I had such high expectations for this trip which have left me feeling let down. Continue reading “Depression.. again”