I recently experienced my second adventure with work away in Palawan, The Philippines. https://www.workaway.info/.
I was in Chaing Mai, Thailand when a young woman I met was extolling the virtues of the Philippines. She had just returned and her enthusiasm piqued my interest. I immediately typed the Philippines into the workaway site and used the filter yoga teacher. BINGO! The first offering that showed up sounded like what I was looking for. I applied and received an immediate reply from the owner, Chit, at Namaste Yoga and Spa. “You are exactly what we are looking for,” she said. I told her that I had a prior two-week volunteer commitment at New Life Foundation but I would come after that. https://www.workaway.info/ https://www.newlifefoundation.com/th/
I was happy to be part of the team at Namaste Yoga and Spa for two weeks.
I hadn’t taught classes for a while but I felt that my long term dedication to my yoga practice would suffice and I could polish up on my teaching skills. I was right and felt comfortable being in the front of the room again and making students’ adjustments. I especially enjoyed the beginner student’s enthusiasm. The open-air bamboo studio with its peek of the ocean a few hundred meters away, palm trees and the breezes blowing past my skin lent a serenity to the place, making it a perfect setting for a yoga practice.
As with most workaway agreements, I was given accommodations, basic but adequate, at least one meal per day and a little extra generous offering from Chit giving me a little financial compensation for each class I taught. I was scheduled for one to two classes, five days per week, so it was an easy schedule with free time to explore around Palawan, a picture postcard island. After my two weeks teaching, getting to know some of the locals and expats living there and visiting a few of the deserted outer islands on a fishing boat, it was time to explore more of The Philippines for my final two weeks before my VISA expired. More adventures found me on the islands of Cebu and Southern Lyte, places recommended to me for some amazing diving.
I went scuba diving a couple times a day, experienced the sardine run and swam with the Whale Sharks! Protected reefs, fishing areas, and supremely clear ocean visibility in made it my best underwater experiences in memory.
For a deep cultural experience, I highly recommend workaway. You immediately get to meet locals and expats that live there and learn about their daily lives. The added benefit of free accommodations lowers your cost of travel. You can read more about how I travel the world for very little money in my soon to be released E-Book How to Travel More (for less than you think you can!)