Tell us about yourself and your work abroad?
I’m Raksha from India, a travel blogger at The Roving Heart who is always in search for offbeat and enriching experiences around the world. I volunteered at a local B&B in Rome, helping with social media and blogging. It was just half an hour from Rome, in an Italian countryside.
What made you decide to travel and work abroad?
I wanted to have an authentic Italian experience, which drove me to look for volunteering options with Workaway.
I had only heard of the warm and friendly hospitality of the Italians, and thought of putting it to test. And moreover, it’s hard to beat lip smacking Italian food.
I was MIA thanks to my phone which completely gave up on me. My phone display screen had many cracks and it was about time it did. I was pushing my phone to it's Max capacity. This digital age has made me so dependent on data that without my old data I would have been lost. Realized how essential it is back up as it spared me many headaches. 🤦 I was pushing on buying one plus phone awaiting the release of one plus 6. But couldn't wait any longer as I was pushed into a corner and ended up buying a one plus 5T phone. So far it's been amazing and whether it will survive my rigorous use only time will tell! This post is a tribute to one of non touristy places I went to in Italy. I went through a forest trail at Villa Gregoriana. And it was quite refreshing to be in the laps of nature. Its located in Tivoli - a lovely city of Renaissance villas and Italian masterpiece gardens. Check out the post to plan your trip there. Link in the bio. Exclusively at therovingheart.com So how have you been? #therovingheart #lonelyplanet #travelblogger #indianblogger #asianblogger #bbctravel #italy #tivoli #natgeoyourshot #nikonforever
How did you find, apply and interview for your teaching jobs?
I registered for Workaway and started looking for volunteering jobs near Rome. There were many interesting opportunities like gardening, farming, au pair, teaching English, yoga, and so on. I finally decided to stay at an Italian countryside helping a B&B with social media and blogging. It had rave reviews, and I found it to be a great fit.
What were the requirements for your jobs?
There are many volunteering opportunities in Workaway which doesn’t require prior skills. However, for the one I was looking for, they wanted someone with experience in social media and WordPress. Since I had experience doing it for over a year, I felt confident that I can help them out with their problems and it seemed to be the right fit for me.
In the 1500s - the medieval period when there was a war between the pope and the German emperor, the imperial troops entered Rome and sacked the city. The pope fled the Vatican to castle st angelo through a passetto viaduct, thanks to three fourth of his Swiss guards who were left to die covering him. Castle st angelo became pope's private castle and a personal stronghold in terms of trouble. But it wasn't how it started. The Roman emperor Hadrian built a Tomb here for himself and his families as the previous one was filled. And it served for over 100 years of emperors and their families since then. A fortress was later built on top of it and it even houses a prison and torture chamber. It overlooks the river Tiber and as you can see it is great for panoramic views of the city especially great during sunset. #travelblogger #indianblogger #blogger #bloggersgetsocial #livecolorfully #travelblog #travelgram #travelbloggerslife #instatravel #thehappynow #wandeleur #keepitwild #mytinyatlas #liveauthentic #theblogissue #finditliveit #bloggerstyle #livefolk #wandeleurspark #nothingisordinary #TRHinEurope #therovingheart
Can you describe a typical day?
My day started with having a typical breakfast of bread and cheese, followed by working in the common area with two other volunteers. Then a delicious lunch prepared by my host Ivano. I worked for around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. The timings weren’t fixed. And the host was very accommodating and helpful.
Usually, evenings were spent roaming around my town; Zagarolo and shopping to buy supplies with the host. My days usually ended up with a scrumptious dinner prepared by Ivano.
Just the authentic Italian experience I was looking for.
What was the best thing about working abroad?
It has to be the variety of people from different backgrounds that you meet at a single place. I was living and working with two more volunteers – one had been travelling in Europe for 6 months, and the other of Hungarian Romanian descent. My hosts – Ivano and Tehri (Italian Finnish couple), along with their adopted Chilean kids, were a lovely International family.
It’s our diversities that tied us together. Even when we didn’t understand half the eccentricities of another culture, our curiosities got the better of us. And we learnt a lot about each other in a short span of time.
Do you get to travel much and if so, where is your favorite place to visit and why?
Yes. I did. I worked for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I roamed around the town where I was staying – Zagarolo on working days, and I did day trips over non-working days.
My host told me about this interesting town featuring Renaissance villas and Italian master piece gardens and I fell in love with it. It is just an hour from Rome and can be done on a day trip from the city. Add it your list, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Have you been able to save much money after expenses and travel?
Yes. Definitely. When I was working for five days, I didn’t have much expenses, as food and stay was taken care of. And since, Zagarolo was conveniently located from Rome, I only had to shell out 2.6 EUR for a one way ticket to Rome.
What are your best memories and experiences of working abroad?
It was meeting new people, and understanding our differences.
Our conversations around the dinner table ranged from Hungarian Romanian conflict, the hidden gems in Italy, weaving culture in Finland, different languages of India, and so on. Travel can be a great learning experience; volunteering internationally, more so.
Life in a unique city like Venice can be quite tricky. Locals either walk through the meandering roads to reach their destination or take a water taxi through the canals. There are no cars or cycles owing to narrow roads. It's hard to imagine right? Especially on a snowy day like this one, the roads can get quite slushy and slippery. And walking around the city can be quite a task. I can see myself traveling time and again to Venice. But I can't see myself living here. What do you think? And if you'd like to explore the local things to do in Venice, then head out to the blog and read the post. Link in the bio. #travelblogger #indianblogger #blogger #bloggersgetsocial #livecolorfully #travelblog #travelgram #travelbloggerslife #instatravel #thehappynow #wandeleur #keepitwild #mytinyatlas #liveauthentic #theblogissue #finditliveit #bloggerstyle #livefolk #wandeleurspark #nothingisordinary #culturetrip #natgeophoto #passionpassport
What must pack items would you recommend?
Since I am a blogger myself, a notebook was essential for me. I would probably carry something from my home country when I’m volunteering the next time around. I tried working with my iPad but it was not as convenient as my Mac. So, I will be definitely carrying my Mac the next time around.
What advise would you give those who want to travel and work abroad?
Go for it! It’s a great learning experience!
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