Thursday, 19 July 2018

Adventure is Worthwhile

By Christiaan Haasbroek

I got great news this past month: I will be going back to Florida for another season!

It has been the journey of a lifetime these past 3 months. I have been home and working as the Johannesburg representative for Workaway international South Africa.

I have met so many new people and they all share the same dream: to gain international experience, to travel and explore the world. Once you have traveled and experienced different parts of the world you realize what a small space you occupy.

I truly cannot wait to experience this amazing journey with all the new recruits. Going back, after working for Workaway as a recruiter, will be a different experience on its own, but definitely one I am looking forward to.

There is a quote by Ibn Battuta: " Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a

I have never really understood the magnitude of this quote until recently… One Sunday in July, we were celebrating my father’s birthday with family and friends, I was talking to so many family members about my journeys and experiences that took place over the last 5 years, and that was when I realized that my traveling has truly turned me into a storyteller.

Like Tim Cahill said, "A Journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

From stranger, to friend, to family…

By Robin May

Travelling to the United States of America, on my own, was daunting at first. It was my first time being away from my friends and family. It never occurred to me that for the next 6 months, I would have gained so much more than just great memories but that I would also meet some amazing people.

At presentations, participants always ask: "What if I get home-sick and want to come home?" or "Will I get support from the programme?"

I tell all participants that there is always someone to talk to whether it be your manager at work, your colleagues or your housemates. There are even representatives from the Workaway International programme who are based in Florida to listen to any difficulties you may be facing. 

You make so many friends while in Florida and they quickly become your family away from home. I made such good friends, who are not only from South Africa but from the United States and as far as the United Kingdom.

So, if you have any fears about meeting new people, trust me you are going to make so many friends, have so many laughs and make such great memories that you are going to forget any fears you had in the first place. 

I look forward to returning to the United States of America! I cannot wait to catch up with my Floridian friends and hear all the summer tails, that they have to tell. Here is to many more memories with people that make my days a little easier being away from home.

The excitement of a Novice Golfer!

By Nasiphi Sobahle

Growing up, I have always had an interest in playing every sport one can possibly name however golf was not one of them. I grew up in an environment where golfing was stereotyped as not being a real sport, that it was boring and that golfers were not classified as “athletes”.

I have been brainwashed into thinking that the above was true and that the sport is for the rich and elite and that the middle-class individuals could not really afford to play. All of this has made me lose interest in all things golf related.

Six years ago, I ventured into the Workaway International programme and I was placed at the Hunters Run Golf Club. I am embarrassed to say that I still had no interest in learning about the sport even though I worked at a golf club and had all the information and resources made readily available to me.

Fast forward to today, I am now working at the Sebonack Golf Club for the summer, the members of Hunters Run could not believe that I was accepted to work in one of the world’s prestigious country clubs - they were happier than I was! This is a club where players like Mr. Tiger Woods & Dustin Johnson are regular guests. A club where the owner (Mr. M Pasccuci) personally selects who will become a member in his club and this is the very same club that allows the employees the opportunity to play golf. As I sit here and think about my journey, I am amazed at how far I have come with Workaway International and the country club lifestyle. 

I am excited to start my golf lessons after the US OPEN 2018 and I could have never dreamed of learning how to play golf anywhere else but the Sebonack Golf Club.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Countdown Begins

By Tara Clampett

With just over one month to go before the country club interview process begins, I am sure many applicants are feeling excited and anxious. I am quite nervous and excited myself - I have decided to return to Florida and have applied for this year’s recruitment season.

While I am thoroughly enjoying my job as a recruiter for Workaway International, I am always up for a new challenge and ready to step out of my comfort zone. I have discovered through the recruitment process, for many of you (including myself), the step you take when applying for the Workaway International programme is the first step out of your comfort zone.

Leaving behind friends, family and all things familiar may feel daunting at first, but once you have settled in to your job and surroundings in the USA, you will never look back! One thing I realised when looking back on my experiences within the Workaway programme, is how sheltered my experiences and worldview was before I went to the USA. 

I clearly remember standing at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, overlooking the entire city; a lump formed in my throat as I realised how much I have grown and how many of my goals I have achieved. At that moment I realised, my dreams had now become a reality… all thanks to Workaway International.

My advice for anyone sitting on the fence about applying for the programme, is to take that first step out of your comfort zone and start the journey of a lifetime…As the saying goes: “Great things never come from comfort zones”.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The American Dream

By Christiaan Haasbroek

I did not know what to expect, when I got on the airplane at O.R Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg. I did as much research as I possibly could before I boarded on a 16-hour flight to New York City…and then off to West Palm Beach, Florida.

I did not know one single person on the plane and thought to myself: “This is going to be one huge challenge, to make new friends in a country that I know very little of”. I arrived in West Palm Beach around 2pm on the 10th of October 2017: we were picked up from the airport; taken to do some shopping for necessities at the local Publix; and arrived at our apartment, which completely exceeded my expectation!

Myself and all the other participants had the day to unpack, and to enjoy the Floridian scenery of stunning beach views and orange skies! I spent the day on the beach and got to know some of my fellow colleagues that have already arrived from Ireland and South Africa.

The next day we arrived at Admirals Cove Country Club, where we all worked together as a team. I was completely amazed at how beautiful the country club and surroundings were – I could not believe that I would be working here for 6 months.

The first 3 months, up to the Christmas Party hosted at one of the other country clubs, was an absolute dream. The friends I made became family. Work was a pleasure to go to everyday and we were offered great guidance and support from the country clubs management. At this point, I felt what “The American Dream” was all about…

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Beauty Through Your Eyes

By Robyn May

While marketing in Ballito, Durban, I got the chance to view the arts and crafts of a man who makes souvenirs. This made me realise, that often we forget to appreciate the simple things.

I watched the waves roll onto the shore which made me feel calm and allowed me to forget about all the negativity and appreciate all the good things that are taking place. Remember, when worries get you down, stop, think and acknowledge all the good and positive things happening in your life.

I challenge you to take the time to look around you and see the beauty, not only in the things around you but in the people as well. Never forget that after every storm there is a magnificent rainbow…

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Sebonack, you feel Like HOME!

By Nasiphi Sobahle

Google defines a home as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”. I would go further and claim that home is not a place, it’s a feeling, it is YOU. And Sebonack Country Club feels like HOME! One may wonder, how a workplace could feel like home – I am more than delighted to share the reasons!
Those who are very fond of me know that I am from a very small town in South Africa, a town that is nestled in the heart of East Griqualand, a small town that sits on the boundary between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, a town that boasts a population of 50 000... I am from a town called Kokstad and I am basically a proud farm girl.

Arriving at Sebonack Country Club in Southampton, New York, I really had no idea what to expect and I was certainly surprised. Who would have thought that one could find chickens in the Hamptons? I know I never did. But it turns out that Sebonack country club also practices poultry farming. We raise chickens for eggs and these are the very same eggs that we offer on our breakfast menu. Discovering this definitely took me back home.

As if learning about the chickens was not enough to leave me in awe, I was then introduced to Sebonack’s beehive. Yes, we produce our own honey, which is beautifully and proudly set on our tables in the dining rooms. Tell me that this is not impressive! This definitely sets us apart because we live in a world where the majority of people are now health conscious.

Kokstad is well known for its cold, biting, dry and bleak winters. Here, at Sebonack, they collect enough wood to last the entire winter. Walking into our staff housing, the beauty of the wood stacked in front of our building always catches my eye, and I think of how my hometown friends back in South Africa would love and appreciate this wood during the months of June and July. I can see them now, around the fire…

Sebonack, you definitely took me back home! Thanks for being my home away from home.