On the subject of what the heck are we doing/where the blazes are we going next, we have some ideas (in no particular order)...
Okay. What's a WorkCamper? What's a Workamper? And what is the difference?
According to Wikipedia, a volunteer camp host is a WorkCamper, while a PAID camp host is a Workamper. "Workamper" is a contraction of work and camper that is copywritten by Workamper News, Inc. (fascinating, right?)
When this idea first occurred to us, we had no idea what a "workamper" was. It was the day of our very first open house back in August (which also happened to be my birthday.) We spent the day avoiding reality as best we could at Leo Carillo State Beach in Malibu. There was this RV situated in a lovely nook on the beach with an unobstructed view of the Pacific and a little wood sign that read "Campground Host." Campground host? It had never occurred to me that there was such a thing. But of course. Why wouldn't there be? We started fantasizing.... imagine living in Malibu ON the beach and getting paid to be there!
With a little research, we discover that the Leo Carillo Campground Host gig is UNpaid. But still. In exchange for 20 hours weekly, you get to camp there for FREE including all services (electric, water, sewer, telephone and AT&T Wifi.) That seems like a good deal, actually. 20 hours of work leaves plenty of time for another job. And you get to live on the beach. Bob can do his job anywhere there's a wifi connection. Check. I can write anywhere. There's a Starbucks down the road. I could be a barista/writer/campground host. This could work. Right? Well...
There's the little matter of needing to purchase a camper, however. Though I do enjoy tent camping for a night or two, I'm really not interested in living in one. And so far we haven't landed an Airstream for free. Not yet, at least.
Opportunities for volunteer campground & park manager/hosts in CA:
-California State Parks
An intriguing Paid Campground Host/Manager gig in Alaska:
-Kenai Riverside Campground Host/Manager (ALASKA)
2. LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER
Ever since watching Pete's Dragon as a kid, I've fantasized about living in a lighthouse. Who hasn't? Did you know that you could live in one for FREE? Well, in exchange for being it's keeper, of course.
How to Be a Lighthouse Keeper
I'm really loving this idea!
3. PROFESSIONAL HOUSESITTER
I think this idea came from my mom. We've been thinking about it. How it would be an opportunity to live rent-free short term somewhere we've always wanted to live but have never had the chance. I'm sure a lot more goes into it (as all of these ideas) than we can see on the surface, but it's definitely fun to look at some of the listings...
Like this one found in The Caretaker Gazette
MEXICOAnd this one:
HOUSESITTERS of adventuresome spirit, Europeans, jet setters, retirees, caretakers. Discover unspoiled Alamos, Sonora's city of silver in semitropical Sierra Madre Mountains. Live in 250-year-old Spanish colonial mansions. Experience a unique community. The Santa Fe of Mexico. Little theater, tennis courts, bridge club, poker, chess. 4000' municipal airport.
ARIZONABiggest fear about house sitting? The Shining. I mean, it's right there in the ad: "couple able to handle isolation"?! If that's not a warning, I don't know what is.
COUPLE, or a single person able to handle isolation, is needed on a remote southern Arizona ranch for various short-term time periods. Caretaker, cooking, housekeeping, and maintenance responsibilities. Small salary, housing and insurance provided.
Sabbatical Homes - House Sitting Listings
4. URBAN PIRATES
Googling "Living Rent-Free" generated this intriguing and slightly scary idea- living like a pirate in NYC. There is apparently, however, a 400 person wait list!
Urban Pirates via Gothamist
and from the New York Times:
A Floating Home
Moored in a spot about a 10-minute boat ride from Midtown, a ship has become home for a small group of secretive and resourceful people looking for an inexpensive, unorthodox place to stay. The ship is 6,000 square feet across four floors with 15-foot ceilings, and from a roof deck the size of a tennis court there is an unbroken view of the Manhattan skyline.
Idea #5 comes from Vagabondish in "8 Tools to Help You Travel Forever and Live Rent Free"
WWOOF stands for World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
According to their site,
WWOOF is a world wide network - It started in the UK in 1971 and has since become an international movement that is helping people share more sustainable ways of living.WWOOF USA- for Wwoofing locally
WWOOF is an exchange - In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.
WWOOF organisations link people who want to volunteer on organic farms or smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.
For more information, here's an article about WWOOFING in Australia: "Labour of Love"
To WWOOF or not to WWOOF...