Workaway is a platform that connects people who want to volunteer with hosts all around the world. You can do almost anything on Workaway – opportunities vary and can include nannying, farm work, construction, web design, and more! Most of the time, you do not get paid with Workaway as it is purely a volunteer/cultural exchange experience, although there are some opportunities where you do. Normally, you volunteer about 25 hours/week in exchange for housing and food, but it does vary on the host.
I don’t really ski. Or snowboard. I did when I was a kid, and remember it being kinda fun. But even then I never remember loving it so much that I was willing to make 3.5+ hours long trek each way with my dad from Fremont to Lake Tahoe. That’s what ya gotta do if you wanna find snow in California, anyway.
And staying in Tahoe is expensive so we often did day trips, which meant super early mornings and a looooot of time in the car.
Then we had to rent everything, and wait in line at the chair lift (and don’t try and tell me that getting on and off is not the most nerve racking thing ever), and because we didn’t go often there was always a learning curve during which I’d fall a lot and stare down a giant hill and wonder how EXACTLY I was supposed to get down that thing in one piece on 2 toothpicks of plastic strapped to my wobbly feet.
I was still working as the Education Programs Coordinator at an environmental nonprofit. For the most part, I loved it. I’ll go into why I ended up leaving that job below.
I was also in a relationship that was about to end because I was leaving. That was tough, as we both still cared about each other, but neither of us wanted to do long distance.
And now, I’m writing this from Bansko, Bulgaria, a place I hadn’t even heard about back then.
So, I thought it might be fun to do a little recap of each month in the past year. This is honestly mostly for my purposes as I’m nostalgic AF and love reviewing the past (probably a little too much?).
But ya know, I’m also posting in the hopes that by sharing about my journey it might help others as well.
Sylt is a place I would’ve NEVER heard about had it not been for my German friend. Sylt is known as the place that wealthy people vacation, but our peasant selves just did a day trip from Hamburg. It was def a mission as it was about 3 hours each way by train! But I have to say, it was definitely worth it.It was such a pretty place! We brought our own bikes on the train, but you can totally rent bikes there, too (which I would highly recommend since the bike paths are wonderful, and what’s better than biking by the sea?)
On the west side of Sylt, you can take advantage of the more rugged North Sea and do activities like surfing and kitesurfing. On the east side, you can enjoy calmer waves in the Wadden Sea. There are also plenty of beaches for dogs if you’ve got a pup along with you. And in the summer, since it’s so far north, it never gets completely dark at night!
Arundel is a historic market town in southern England. It’s not a large town by any means, and totally walkable (my favorite!) It’s a popular place to visit, partly because of Arundel Castle – which was one of my favorite things to see while I was there!
Arundel is quite easy to reach, too – it’s about 2 hours south of London, both by train and by car. If you’re coming by train, you simply get off at Arundel Station! So easy.
Sooooo, like, what are you waiting for?? Here are some fun things to do in Arundel, England.
But if you don’t, well, we really shouldn’t be friends.But if you do, well, Arundel Castle in southern England is definitely a place for you, my friend (because I’m friends with anyone who loves castles.) I even visited alone and it totes wasn’t weird and semi-befriended these 4 older ladies (and by “befriended” I mean I just took their photo. Once you become a solo traveler anyone you interact with ends up being a friend LOL.)
But aside from its beauty, what was the most mind blowing thing about this castle to me? Um, that people actually STILL LIVE THERE.
There’s something so romantic about going off to a foreign country or place by yourself. Or at least I always thought so???
Cue movies/books like Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat Pray Love, Wild, and the like.
I am such a sucker for that shit. As a hopeless romantic, nostalgic-obsessed introvert/INFP, I eat. It. Up.
I took my first solo travel trip to Europe three years ago, when I was 23. I went to Greece, Ireland, and Belgium over the course of 1.5 months and ate my weight in crepes. I met a ton of other travelers by staying in hostels, which was perfect at the time, but these days I’m not as keen to share a room with 10 other travelers and pray that none of them snore.
I also purposely wanted solitude and reflection time during this trip (and hostels aren’t necessarily the BEST place for that LOL). My goal wasn’t to make a ton of friends and see ALL THE THINGS like it was before – I really just wanted to meet other digital nomads (in real life/online), work on myself, reinforce healthy habits like meditation and journaling, establish myself as an online English teacher, and get my shit together with this blog.
And so, I traded in people for pets and was house sitting in various locations around England from mid-June to mid-August. I spent 2 weeks in Welling (near London), 1 month in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, 1 week in Chichester, and 2 days in London.
My time alone was and wasn’t exactly what I thought. Here are my main takeaways:
Ah, Saltburn-by-the-Sea (or Saltburn for short if you’re ~in the know~.) This is such a lovely little beach town, and a hidden gem (I only say that because many British people I spoke with had never heard of it!)
But don’t fear, although it seems relatively undiscovered, there are still plenty of fun things do in Saltburn-by-the-Sea!I was in Saltburn for the month of July, and what a lovely (and cold, and rainy) month it was! If you’re looking for sun, sun, and more sun – well, sorry to say that Saltburn MIGHT not be the place for you. Like, it’s rainy and/or cloudy pretty often. But if you’re looking for beautiful beach views then Saltburn is your jam!
Ok ok, I’ll shut up about the weather and give you my recommendations of things to do in Saltburn-by-the-Sea:
Sidenote: In England, what is summer actually??? I’ve been here since mid-June and it’s rare that it’s over 70 F LOL. #summerinengland
Well, I’ve got ya covered, babe (or dude or unicorn or whatever ya identify as)!
After spending all of July in northern England, I’m convinced that this region has some of the most beautiful seaside towns in the UK!
I know that I eventually want to settle down and have somewhat of a ‘home base’.
But right now, I’m still traveling my little heart out. But while I love being a ‘digital nomad’, there are definitely some things I’m missing from my stationary life. Here’s what I miss the most: