Happy Sunday wanderers! In a recent Instagram poll I asked if you guys would like to see a recipe or a travel update this weekend and although it was close travel update pulled through as the winner. At least I think it did, I lost Wi-fi before I saw the final results. I can understand why because seemingly at the beginning of January I was on vacation with my family in St. John and then, I never came home. Everything happened very fast and I barely had time to explain my decision to my close friends before I was on a flight that was not headed back to Boston.
For a couple of months I had been checking out opportunities on Workaway. If you are not familiar with this site I suggest you check it out. It is a great resource for budget travelers who are able and willing to do some work. Basically the site helps you find individuals interested in a mutual exchange of some sort all around the world. For example, I found an opportunity in Hawaii where a family needed a nanny 25 hours a week and they were offering lodging and a $200 weekly grocery stipend in return. I suggest browsing the site to see if anything sparks your interest. To actually join the site is $34 dollars a year and this enables you to actually message with potential hosts. If you will be traveling with a friend you can sign up as a pair for $44. Browsing the opportunities is free. Everyone on the site has a profile where you can see reviews from other people who have stayed with a specific host and your host can leave reviews about you as well, this way other hosts will be more willing to have you in the future. I think the joining fee is also important to weed out the people who are not serious about the opportunities. You can read more about how Workaway works, here.
Initially I had planned to return home to Massachusetts after vacation with my family and continue exploring these opportunities. The nannying job in Hawaii seemed promising but my host did not need me until February or possibly March. Once in the warm weather of St. John for my family vacation I couldn't fathom going home. I had already been home for over a month for the holidays and although it was lovely, the cold & the snow is not for me. I had made a promise to myself long ago that as soon as I was out of college I would not see the upcoming winter in the North East. So while still on vacation with my family I started exploring Workaway opportunities local to the Caribbean. This is how I found Alaussa, the monohull sailboat which is my current home. After a lot of explaining to my parents about the opportunity and why I needed to take it my flight home was cancelled and I was scheduled to fly out that same day to meet my captain in Martinique. I found a great deal on Cheapo Air at about $300 with an overnight layover in Miami. Luckily I have a friend in Miami so I stayed the night at his house for no cost.
The opportunity I found is very unique. Usually the host is looking for some type of labor in exchange for lodging. That is not the case here, I actually pay rent to live on the boat which is $500 per month. The mutual exchange is that for me I am traveling around the Caribbean for multiple months paying only the cost of usual rent for an apartment instead of staying in expensive hotels. Also we are traveling by sailing which is much cheaper than flights around this area. The captain Leo benefits because he has someone to travel with and share expenses with such as groceries, water, diesel, etc. Also I get to learn about sailing while Leo has another hand on board to help out with everyday tasks. These include but are not limited to cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, sailing, anchoring, and docking the boat.
My original plan was to stay for a month but that deadline is approaching soon, and I have decided I will actually be staying. So far my journey on Alaussa has been amazing. Starting in Fort De France we explored our way down the Southwest Coast of Martinique stopping in Anse Noire, Anse Dufours, Anse D'Arlet, Grande Anse D'Arlet, Le Marin and Sainte Anne. Along this way we encountered many sea turtles, sunsets, beautiful hikes and beachside jam sessions. In Sainte Anne we enjoyed many cookouts and dinners with other sailors from Texas, Ireland and Brazil.
From Martinique we made a passage to Barbados which took about 30 hours. On this passage I enjoyed the sunset and the clear night sky with no light pollution. As the boat made wake through the night the bioluminescence in the water were activated and it looked as if the sea was trying to mimic the sky with stars of its own. Shortly after sunrise we passed by a pod of about seven dolphins.
We have been in Barbados for about a week and I love it so much. The local people here are truly amazing and so kind. We are anchored in Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown but have been able to explore the island via the public buses which are just $1 USD. So far we have explored Bridgetown, St. Lawrence Gap, Oistins, the Platinum Coast, Speightstown, and many beautiful beaches. We also visited Niki Beach, Foursquare Rum distillery and Cutters which is a famous deli with some vegan options. The local food has been so amazing, I can't wait to put together a post of my vegan finds!
I hope you enjoyed this post! As always please message me or let me know if there is anything you would like me to elaborate on in another post. Stay tuned for more caribbean adventures.
Wander often & Wonder always,