“Wwoofing Eh?” was the reaction I received from most Canadians while I was over there for four months. From everyone else – before and after the trip – I received confused silence or comments on how a dog communicates.
However, it is simply a way in which a cash strapped person can travel a country for a length of time, and “contribute” to a farm or garden, in which they will work 4-6 hours a day and 4-5 days a week. In return the wwoofer will be given food, a bed and possibly be shown around the local area.
My plan was simple; to spend four months wwoofing my way across Canada, from Toronto to Vancouver Island (missing out Quebec, because, well, I couldn’t be bothered to learn any French)
As well as my aforementioned poorness, I had many reasons to why I wanted to wwoof, such as learning how to farm, gardening techniques and to understand a different way of life to my own. To my dismay, my first wwoofing experience was not quite what I was hoping for: on a farm in eastern Ontario with a volatile woman, a dozen cats and a deaf alsatian, I realised the two weeks I had planned to stay at the farm were too long to contemplate.
I travelled for over two months across Canada, before meeting up with my mum, who had been travelling the world for five months.
I found myself working through sixteen feet of snow and in the scorching temperatures of the Canadian desert. I slept on a school bus, began eating plants and experienced life like I never had before.
So…wwoofing…nothing to do with dogs.