Have you ever felt when you’re traveling and moving too much, you continually felt exhausted thus you just wanted to stay, collecting back your soul before you’re ready to disembark on another journey. Frankly, that’s how I feel at this moment. It’s funny while some people desperately need a break from their life by having vacation, I need a break from my traveling.
I was in Lombok at that time. According to my plan, I supposed to travel to Sumbawa followed by Flores and ended up in Bali at the end of the year, that was my plan a month ago. However, I didn’t feel like moving around. I didn’t have that enthusiasm like I had before. I thought something was wrong with me, am I not into traveling anymore? Well, apparently there’s a term (I just knew about it) called travel burnout and it’s really a normal thing. So I had a massive change of plan to stay in Bali until I catch my next flight.
I tried to figure out what’s the best thing to do, maybe rent a room for a month and do stuffs like blogging or watching movie, go to the gym, go to the beach when I want to. It’s actually a good idea but I worried my laziness would take over and I’d just be a lazy bum in the room. Then I had this idea, maybe I should try Helpx, I could get free accommodation, have things to do, while I can still do stuffs in my free time, perfect!
It’s not a new thing anymore in traveling slash backpacking world, this Helpx, Workaway, and WWOOF websites. Most of you must have heard or known about it. These cool website allow you to work or volunteer in exchange of accommodation anywhere around the world. It can be working in a farm, garden, hostel, teaching, it can be anything. You have to pay to be a premium member so that you can send message to the host, otherwise you can only view and wait the host to contact you.
Anyway, short story I contacted a host in Bali and she invited me to come. When I arrived I couldn’t believe that I would stay in this place. It’s a private-owned villa near Jimbaran. You can’t really tell there’s a villa because it’s located far from the main road, deep down a small path and surrounded by high walls. This place was huge, probably as big as three soccer field. There were three main area; Guesthouse, Nomad’s Land, Villa with were seven rooms in total. Such a beautiful tropical villa with lush surroundings.
It’s a little bit unusual because my host was not around, in fact we never met at all. All communication was made through Whatsapp. There’s a complete manual book for us so it’s easier to get information, rules, things to do, etc. Another unusual thing was, there’re more than one helper in the same time, six of us! Feels like I’m staying in a hostel. I met some cool guys from Belgium, Latvia, Russia, German, France, England, you know some stayed for ten days, some stayed for weeks, it’s just fun meeting different friends and not being alone in this huge property.
My job was doing some gardening activities such as weeding, trimming leaves, removing rocks. In a nutshell, we had to maintain the look so that it doesn’t look abandoned. It’s not a hard work at all, but when the sun’s up it could be a bit torturing. I like doing these stuffs, makes me wanna have my own garden, although sometimes I’m scared to get in touch with the plants, afraid that something would crawl on my skin.
Gardening was physically draining our energy but there’s something more challenging and mentally disturbing us, taking care of animals. Yes they’re cute, yes they’re lovely but in some point they can be so annoying and you just have to deal with it. We had four dogs, four cats, and more than thirty chickens (they crow in midnight) to be taken care of. All these animals had to be fed twice a day, early morning and late afternoon. Dogs had to be taken for walk and play. Even though more work were involved in animals, I really like their company.They’re just too cute to be ignored. Let me introduce you to the cats:
- Ziggy: He’s a two years old persian cat that has really cute face especially when he’s asleep. He’s the one that has most trouble with the dogs.Let me introduce you to the cats:
- Pea: We called her the grumpy cat cause her face always look like she’s in a bad mood. She and Ziggy are siblings. One night she sneaked into my room and didn’t wanna go out. In the midnight I felt her touching my back trying to wake me up.
- Batman: Opposite to Ziggy, Batman always try to play with the dogs but the dogs just ignored him. He loves chilling at the roof so we had to climb up and get him down.
- Sari: She looks pure like an angel from her white appearance. Unfortunately she’s deaf so she won’t respond when you call her. She loves tuna more than anything.
Here comes my favorite part. I love dogs but I’m scared of them cause I had a traumatic experience with the dogs. However, I knew there’s gonna be four dogs so I was prepared.
- Roxy: When I first arrived in the villa and the gate was opened for me, Roxy jumped out first. This two year Rotweiller might cause me a heart attack if I didn’t know it from the beginning. She’s big, when she jumps she’s just as tall as me. Even though she looks scary, she’s the most gentle dog here. When she plays with the other dogs, you can tell her bite is so gentle. It’s not hard to deal with her as she listens. She’s my favorite.
- Jacky Chan: Oh my god! He’s so cute! He’s small but when they play, Jacky always be the target but he always fight back even though he’s smaller than the others, he’s fast (maybe that’s why his name is Jacky Chan). I love him around when I’m sitting on the couch and he’ll lick on me. He’s dead when he’s asleep, he won’t respond unless you startled him, and he looks really dumb when he’s sleepy, so funny. When it comes to eating, he’s the slowest one, and like a kid who doesn’t wanna eat, you have to push him and persuade him to eat.
- Molly: She’s a nightmare, that’s what we always called her. She’s the most difficult dog to handle with. She’s still a puppy though, around 6 months old. Molly is the most playful dog and has a lot of energy. When all the dogs are taking nap, she’ll just tease them hoping that they’ll play with her. She’s an eating machine, in 5 seconds she’ll finish the food. She eats everything, cat’s poo, string, tissue, she broke a remote, she broke many stuffs. She needs to be disciplined. But she can be cute and funny as well. She loves attention, if I touch Jacky or Roxy, she’ll bite them and ask them to move so she gets the attention. Also, she like to imitate the others. Once, she saw Jacky tried to fu*k Roxy and she stood on Roxy’s back like Jacky and did that funny movements, everyone just laughed. There’s another time when Molly stretched out her paw trying to scratch like a cat after she saw Ziggy did that.
- Arti: Nothing much to tell about Arti. He doesn’t really like to mingle with other dogs. He’s old, 7 years old. We called him a loner. When the dogs are playing he’ll just sit in one corner. He doesn’t care and he likes doing his own stuffs. He’s a bit slow and it takes time until he follows. I like Arti, sometimes he’ll come to me when he needs attention. Despite of his carelessness he still come to me which makes me happier and appreciate him. The dogs love him as well.
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