Volunteering @ The Meander Taipei Hostel
DONE BY: James Larochelle | Milton Academy '16, University of Maine '21 | Milton, MA
HOW OPPORTUNITY WAS FOUND: www.workaway.info
LENGTH: 4 weeks
SHORTEST POSSIBLE WORK COMMITMENT: 4 weeks
LOCATION: Taipei, Taiwan
FUN: ★★★★☆ (FUN OF THE JOB ITSELF: ★★☆☆☆)
PERSONAL GROWTH: ★★★★☆
DAY-TO-DAY LIFE: One of the following shifts:
- 6:00am~11:00am: breakfast shift
- 10:00am~3:00pm: morning housekeeping
- 2:00pm~7:00pm: afternoon housekeeping
- After work: free time in the city
TYPES OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE:
Cleaning, cooking, sight seeing/exploring new restaurants/new corners of the city during free time
IN EXCHANGE OF 25 HOURS OF WORK/WEEK, PROVIDES:
- 1 bunk in the dormitory
- Breakfast every day
- Save up a lot of money. The more money you have, the easier life there will be
- Try to go out into the city for at least 3-4 hours to somewhere you’ve never been. Keep trying new activities offered around the city & new restaurants
- Don’t be afraid to try the street food/ food from stalls on the side of the street; the food hygiene standards in Taiwan are quite high, so you most likely won't get sick!
- Don't be afraid to just talk to people on the street. I got a lot of people who asked if I was American and wanted to take pictures with me. Taiwan isn't a huge western vacation spot, so they don't often see white people--so when they saw me, they just wanted to talk.
- Use the metro. It's super easy!
MOST MEANINGFUL LESSON TAKEN AWAY:
Financial responsibility. It’s super easy to spend more money than you have. Luckily, I don’t have a credit card, so I didn’t go into debt—but it’s so easy to spend money and then run out. I recommend not bringing a credit card at all so that there's less risk of spending too much.
MORE NO-CRAP TALK:
If you don't like cleaning, don't go; most of the work involves cleaning/housekeeping.