If you’ve been thinking about joining WWOOF USA or woofing around the world, you’re probably the type that likes to leap at new opportunities. The uncertainty is part of the adventure, but you’ll have a better and more comfortable experience if you choose a WWOOF location with goals you believe in.
Halfway through writing Edge of Something More, I decided to do as my MC did and try WWOOF for myself. I didn’t find romance on the WWOOF farm, but had a number of cool experiences, including :
- Peeing in the woods in the middle of the night. Yes, I enjoyed this, especially during the full moon.
- Helping to build a greenhouse.
- One of the guys liked to do photography, and we all got to be in a photo shoot.
- Gardening. A lot of gardening.
- Learning about chickens.
- Spinning my practice poi in the grassy area outside the barn at night.
- Going with my host to a theatrical puppet show in town.
- Bathing with the entire group at a local pond. I kept my swimsuit on while everyone else went naked, but it was still freeing.
Choosing a WWOOF-USA Host: Five Important Questions Before You Go
- What’s Expected?
Unless you’re up for anything, get a clear idea of what your WWOOF host expects. The everyday stuff, like what time you’ll get up, when your meals will be, when you’ll have free time, where you’ll sleep/bathe, and what the work will entail.
I went into my WWOOF experience thinking it would be like a job with set hours. The expectations ended up being less clear, which wasn’t desirable for me.
- What’s Being Offered?
Accommodations can be rustic, so don’t make the mistake of assuming your WWOOF host will have the same standards as you. The same goes for food. My host provided, but I have a strong appetite and out-of-control metabolism, so I ended up hungry more than I would have liked.
- Do You and Your Host Have Compatible Lifestyles?
WWOOF locations are as different as people are different, and a variety of personalities end up woofing or hosting a WWOOF project. If, like me, you fear social awkwardness, check that your lifestyles mesh.
If you curse, it would suck to choose a WWOOF host that cringes at profanity. A recovering alcoholic might want to pick a quiet homestead where everyone practices meditation versus a large farm where everyone parties at night.
4. Can You Commit?
Some WWOOF hosts ask for a commitment from their woofers. It’s nice to honor this, but don’t stay anywhere you’re unhappy. Sometimes, things change. I left my WWOOF location after about a week. The situation was awkward and I felt I had already gained everything I was going to.
Always do a phone or Skype interview with your host to make sure you’re okay with the vibe. Be your authentic self—you want to WWOOF somewhere you will be taken care of and appreciated!
5. Are You Passionate?
An important part of having a positive WWOOF experience is passion for the cause. WWOOF work is tiring but satisfying if you love it. With all of the locations out there, it makes sense to choose one with a mission that excites you.
Thanks for reading guys! I hope you all have awesome times with your WWOOF experiences.