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7 ways to gain life-skills, travel for free (in exchange for work)

No. 016 Reading Time 4 minutes

In 2020, like everyone else, both our life plans went for a toss. But that period made us introspect our lifestyles. We asked ourselves some important questions.

As the year ends, we get to reflect on our journey and what led us to take up this path in our lives. We both can trace it back to our internships in Germany. Raghav went in 2014. Ansh in 2018.

It is where the travel bug bit us and we traveled as backpackers. We got to meet people who traveled in exchange for work in hostels. We found the idea quite fascinating. But we never did get to try volunteering in Europe.

When Ansh returned to India, he volunteered at Meenabagh Farms. He worked on the farm during the day and made a cool projection mapping show at night.

Raghav quit his job to travel to South East Asia in exchange for work. He was to volunteer at the Bali Spirit Festival. Lockdown happened and all the plans went up in smoke.

Life had its own plans. We moved to the countryside.

Instead of volunteers, we became hosts.

We realized that we could not travel during the COVID-19 times.

But we could host people from around the world.

The mud house became a good excuse. Over the two years, we hosted more than 70 people from more than 15 countries who helped us build the mud house.

We made cob dancing on songs ranging from Albanian folk to French Rap. But everyone's favorite was Tunak Tunak Tun. We call it the national anthem of Tiny Farm Lab.

Volunteering is a great way of having cultural exchange. Every night we ate different cuisines. From Italian pasta, Spanish paella, and Greek salads to Humus and shakshouka.

We made friends for life. Now, we know we have many homes in countries like Japan, Spain, Germany, France, etc.

Most volunteers wanted to learn a specific skill such as building a natural house. They all had a common dream of starting their farm in their respective countries.


Whether you want to host or volunteer in exchange for work.

Here are 7 resources to gain valuable life skills that would go on and help you live your dream of traveling the world for free and eventually starting your farm.

For all those people who have been wondering how did you get so many people from such diverse countries? The one-word answer is "Workaway."

It is the most popular website that connects volunteers with host families. You can find more than 50,000 opportunities around the world.

From teaching English to kids in Vietnam.

Helping families homeschool their children in Poland.

Working on the farm in Bali.

Building a cob house in Rishikesh ;)

You can search for options by location, type of work, and more.

Workaway has a membership fee of US$ 49 for an individual account and US$ 59 for a couple's account per year. You can also gift a membership to someone. There is no fee for hosts.

It is an upcoming website connecting people interested in natural building and permaculture. The opportunities in India are currently less.

It is like Workaway but promotes more hands-on experiences. In a typical arrangement, the volunteer works an average of 4 hours per day in exchange for stay and food.

Helpx is more work-centric. Workaway is a choice for immersive experiences. They have free and premium memberships.

They have volunteering experiences ranging from hostels to ecovillages. They are known for their reliable support. They take pride in a thorough screening of hosts and volunteers.

The cool thing about them is that they have an app.

They have various plans for solo travelers ranging from 49$ to 99$ with insurance.

It is the go-to place if you want to find rural volunteering opportunities in India. VY connects rural hosts with travelers for affordable and unique travel experiences.

Travelers get to exchange skills for stay and meals, supporting rural hosts in India.

They have various opportunities for web development, digital marketing, teaching, content creation, etc.

The plans range from Rs. 999 (12$) to Rs. 1999 (24$ approx)

WanderJobs is part blog and entertainment, part Travel Job Board.

It is an updated portal where companies post seasonal jobs. It is a one-stop place with more than 100 resources to find opportunities that will allow you to travel for free.

It is a worldwide movement to link visitors (WWOOFers) with organic farmers. One can learn how to grow sustainably.


One can also find plenty of opportunities through grants, fellowships, internships, and festivals.

We hope that 2024 brings more meaningful travels for you.

Wishing you a year full of growth, abundance, and success.

Have a "Reflective" Sunday,

Raghav and Ansh

What are your goals for 2024?

PS: We’d also love to know what you thought of this newsletter, feel free to write feedback.


What you can watch - A Map for Saturday

A Map for Saturday is a documentary and story of Brook Silva-Braga, who quit his job to travel the world for 11 months. He says when you travel for long, every day feels like Saturday. Hence, the name.

This movie will have you itching to go on a long-term travel.

Raghuveer Singh Rathore, famously known as Ragh Raahi. He is a singer 🎤, songwriter ✍️, filmmaker 🎬, traveler ✈️, and natural builder 🌿. He passionately inspires people to fulfill their dream of traveling the world by teaching them how to travel in exchange for work 💪. When he's not exploring the world, you'll find him dedicated to crafting beautiful earthbag domes 🌆. 🌍✨

He also has a webinar, where he talks about the skills required to land a volunteer gig and what one can expect from this lifestyle.

“Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10 list of life-changing books. Why? Because one incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not just for one trip, but for the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss

It would land in the top 10 books that changed our lives as well.Rolf Potts explains how anyone with the right mindset, can achieve the dream of long travel.


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Tiny Farm Friends Newsletter. Every Sunday, we share tiny valuable lessons to help you transition to the countryside and build naturally.


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