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Helpers stories of HelpXing...

Stef and Emilie - Australia 2006/2007

I do not remember how we found out about HelpX now, though I strongly suspect it just came out of an extensive Googling session for alternative ways to travel around Australia - on the cheap side. Think about it: a single night in a gloomy, shabby, crowded hostel is at least $25. Signing up with HelpX, virtually gaining access to a never-ending well of accommodation and food all over the world is 20 for 2 years. Need I say more, really?

What we soon discovered, though, is that money is just the tip of the iceberg, and in the end has become but a very secondary reason for our addiction to HelpXing.

What we found in HelpX, having stayed with half a dozen hosts up to now and fully intending to meet more of them, is a way to learning and practicing new skills, to seeing wonderful scenery in obscure to well-known locations, to meeting incredible people whose strength, generosity and funniness we will never forget.

Through the network, we have worked on houses and in numerous gardens, we have weeded, raked, pruned and planted, we've sanded windows and fixed them up with putty to keep out freezing winds, we have painted fences, walls and ceilings. My girlfriend has made one of her dreams come true working as the only rider in a stud to train young horses, while I was able to get close to them and learn to deal with them by being the resident stablehand. Our patience, understanding and sense of responsibility have been heightened when we stayed for 5 weeks in Sydney where our main task was to care for a 35 year old man suffering from Down Syndrome.

In each and every job, we met different people, all of them characters in their own rights. Living with strangers who soon become acquaintances, friends or even family, has boosted our social skills and renewed my faith in humanity - no kidding. HelpX is what you want to do to get away from the media-promoted idea that serial-killers and perverts of all shapes and forms abound in this world, and that trust is foolish. We have come to respect, like, and sometimes love, all the people we have met on this journey, who open their homes and practice inspiring lifestyles. It has made us more environmental-conscious, and this learning gets deeper every day.

Travelling via HelpX has been an adventure, both for body and mind, and I strongly believe it's helping us towards becoming better persons. It allows you to experiment things you would never try in normal circumstances while at the same time allowing you to step back from others. In the end, your mind opens up more and more, and you start feeling new truths - not just hearing about them.

As a famous slogan goes: just do it.

For more pictures and travel stories, Stef and Emilie's personal website Toothbrush Nomads

Stef and Emilie from France

HelpX: Thank you Stef for translating some of the HelpX pages into French.

Emilie riding her favorite horse (host1635)

Staying in Bob's tree farm in Gympie (host105)

By being a stablehand, Stef learned to drive a tractor

feeding plastic milk to Bob's calves (host105)

Swimming in the Gorge in Launceston, Tasmania

the iconic view of Circular Quay, Sydney


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