I knew that I loved Iceland. I knew that I wanted a chance to explore it more. I knew I couldn’t afford to take all the time off from work and pay to go away for a month. I had heard of slow travel and work exchanges in the past and decided to see if I could make it happen.
My first goal was to find all of the hostels in the Reykjavik area. I decided to use hotselworld to help me with this. I input Reykjavik and random dates to populate a list of hostels. I then opened each in a new tab so that I could find contact information for all of the hostels. I copy and pasted the e-mail addresses in a word document and went into my e-mail client to draft a letter. I chose dates that wold begin as I left Oslo, Norway and went for 1 month. I then wrote asking all of the hostels if they offered free stays in exchange for a few hours of work a day. I gave them estimated dates of when I would be there and then sent a draft of the e-mail off to each of the hostels I had found contact information for. I then realized I wouldn’t have a car so it was best to pop those addresses in google maps and see exactly where in Reykjavik they were in reference to where I wanted to be. I easily found some were too far for my taste and were put on the bottom of my wish list.
I heard back from one that said they did do work/stay exchanges. We chatted through the details and I decided to do it from Feb 10 – Mar 10. I would work from 10 – 3 Mon – Fri with lunch in the middle. I was to stay at the hostel and have breakfast covered daily, lunches on days I worked, and some dinners. It sounded like a pretty sweet deal. Now I just had to wait to get there to find out how it would go!
We’ll discuss the actual experience next week, but for now, start researching places you want to go and see if they would be willing to do exchanges with you!