Workaway, Wwoofing, the joy of volunteering. What's it all about?
For some reason, working for someone else and earning money is my idea of hell... the exception of course being when I enjoy the work. But somehow I've not yet managed to successfully combine earning a wage with enjoyment. There is something about a volunteer exchange that completely overrides all the misgivings I have about working for a living. It's as if it extracts the shifty middle-man (money), and embraces the act of exchange, a simple trade.
It also works with the law of attraction. You work for someone, they cook you a delicious meal, or at least show they've put the effort in rather than giving you kitchen scraps. Chuffed to bits with the memory of the yummy food still in your mind (though barely in your belly) the next morning, you work extra hard at your tasks, perhaps doing an hour over your allocated time. It keeps building up; both parties do their 'share' with love.
Ok, so this definitely happens with 'real' employment too, but not often on such a pure level. The work you tend to do is meditative - working on the land, cooking, harvesting fruit. Perhaps planting vegetables that you will never eat because you'll be off on the next chapter of your travels. It cleanses your karma.
The problem arises from the 'host' in that they often don't make any money or grow enough food to cover the costs of accommodating the volunteer, such as electricity and of course, meals. I guess the more people put this exchange into practice, the better people get at making it cost effective.
Apart from the love of your work, it's probably much more fun. Either you're working with others like you - each with their own travel stories, background, culture, way of seeing the world, keeping your days full. Or even if it's just a family, they too have much to offer in this respect. Making an impression on others is what's important, not chasing ambitions in the sky, always seeking to be higher. That life didn't make me feel particularly fulfilled. I kept wondering - how can I be higher than nature? It's an impossible feat. I am nature.