Tuesday, 6 December 2016

I am settled in so what now?

By Marvin Seekoei

Hi fellow Workaway participants. By now your homesickness should be gone and everyone should be well settled in at work. Most of you have had a taste of how busy it can get with Thanksgiving and for the next couple of weeks it should maintain a steady pace up until New Year’s Day?


So what now?

Now is the time to set up some little goals for yourself.

First goal should be to save some money. Whether you’re going north or back to South Africa, saving a little bit of money would not hurt you. For most of you there will be between 12 – 15 pay checks. Putting away $75 per pay check would end up getting you to +/- $1000 and of you add in your tax return you could end up with a handsome amount.

Second goal should be to buy yourself some nice clothing items. I would recommend you shop at stores like Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. I even buy clothes online where you can get some nice items very inexpensive like on E Bay and Amazon. I think you could spend approximately $50-$60 each pay cycle and you will be amazed how much you end up with.


Third goal should be to travel and explore this beautiful country. If this is your first season then I would recommend to just focus on Florida for now and whether you come back or go up North you could explore more States. For example you should do a cruise to Bahamas, spend a day or two in Miami. Sleep in a Hostel and not a Hotel when visiting Miami. You could also go to Naples to swim with dolphins on the West Coast. Just rent a car from Enterprise with 4 friends and it will cost almost nothing. Lastly you definitely would want to go to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and Disney World and watch at least a basketball, football or baseball match. It’s a lot of fun! Also look out for some of your favourite artist who loves to come down to Florida for concerts and music festivals. Just check Google for all information.




All these things are possible in the next few months so good luck with your season and I want to wish you a Happy Holiday!


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Life in America

By Emma Seager

I have been in Florida for about two weeks or so! Can’t even believe it’s real. Although we have been working VERY hard at the club, I have made some amazing friends and I can’t wait to get settled into life here. 


I have an amazing Manager and all my work colleagues are fantastic, all the returners are so understanding and helpful. The club is really amazing and so beautiful and I am so grateful to be here and have this opportunity. 

The work is mostly easy but when it’s busy it can get really crazy! I have been a bit sick since arriving which hasn’t been great but I’m sure my body is just trying to adjust to the climate change etc. I must say I was slightly nervous regarding the accommodation arrangements, however I happen to live with some great people and things are going pretty smoothly… considering I live with 4 guys... AHEM. 


My roommate is lovely and I am so excited for the next few months. 


Although I know I am here to work, I am so excited to explore Florida and hopefully travel a bit after season next year, possibly Mexico…or… Bahamas… I’ll keep you posted on that… Tonight the club has organised a trip to Miami which is so exciting! We also have our Christmas party coming up so there is so much to look forward to!!!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A QUICK STOP IN NEW YORK CITY, THE BIG APPLE!!!

By Nasiphi Sobahle

After receiving our flight packs and realizing that we have a 12 hour layover In New York, We could not wait to get on that South African Airways flight to the United States of America. The Big Apple experience that was waiting for us on the other side of the world made the 16 hour flight from Johannesburg to New York City well worth it.


I can only imagine how excited the new Workaway recruits were when they realized that they can actually step out of JFK International Airport and go into the city for a few hours. I mean, who does not want a few hours in down town Manhattan or some of the New York Experience in general!


We landed In New York and successfully went through customs, checked in our luggage and saw all of the other Workaway candidates proudly carrying their red packs in their hands and going through the daunting process of customs looking excited but exhausted.
At this point in time, we had all made new friends from all over South Africa and everyone was traveling to their respective country clubs. Some of us had reunited with old friends from previous seasons which made the long trip seem somewhat shorter.


May you all have a jolly good winter season, creating memories and learning as much as possible. Remember, this is an experience of a lifetime.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

“Work”away…Ahem…what work?

By Emma Seager

I leave for Florida in roughly 3 weeks. It has not even hit me yet because getting to this point has been one hell of a roller coaster ride… ‘DilEMMA’ is clearly my middle name! I am quite possibly the most frustrating candidate that Workaway International staff have had to deal with to date!


From being declined… to going for an interview and being accepted… to having my exam dates changed to December and having to pull out of the program… to organising to write early with my University (who would have thought)… to thankfully securing a job as a Cocktail Server at Boca West.


I have pestered Workaway more than one could think imaginable, I am pretty sure they have my number on speed dial! Through all the craziness and back-and-forth regarding the status of my situation, this process has been somewhat effortless, regardless of all the hurdles and obstacles.

The Workaway employees are clearly superhuman! I am so thankful for all the speedy responses and efficiency on their part. What is this ‘work’ you speak of??? I guess I will be finding out shortly! But so far so good - thanks to Workaway :) America here I come!!!



EmmaDilEMMA

XXX

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Happy Home, Happy Workplace and Happy Days!

By Marvin Seekoei

Moving into an apartment on the Workaway program with strangers can be a very stressful situation but as an 8 season veteran I just thought that I would like to share some of the tips that have worked very well for me over the seasons.



  1. Get to know your housemates and especially your room mate as soon as possible.

  1. First impressions always lasts so enter your home with a positive mind-set. Homesickness is real so try to be as polite as possible.

  1. The first few weeks can be very hard as some people will be missing home. Try to post everyone’s schedule up in the house weekly so that everyone can know each others work schedule to avoid that the other housemates don’t have a late nights at home with guests which could disturb that housemate’s sleeping pattern for the next working day.

  1. Try to have a petty cash for the house of minimum $20 per pay check to cover things like cleaning products, washing powder, toilet paper, milk, coffee etc. because there’s certain things you will always have to share.

  1. Try to have dinner once a week with your housemates and use it as an opportunity to keep a channel of communication open.

  1. Agree on a general cleaning schedule for the month as a clean house always causes less tension and irritation between housemates.

  1. Keep all bedrooms private and a no-go zone for any visitors and use communal areas only for guests.

If you follow these tips I can guarantee that you will have the best time of your life and make friendships that could last for a lifetime!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

KE NAKO (IT IS TIME)

By Nasiphi Sobahle

Finally, the time for departure is here.

Please allow me to take you back four months ago. Remember when you walked into Hotel 64 on Gordon for your first presentation? It was stage one of the recruiting process, and you were filled with all those hopes and dreams, and nerves. Some of you may have been too nervous to even see yourself reaching the last stage.

Niwakhe Magau is a successful Boca West candidate. When I asked her halfway through the selection process how she was feeling, she replied: “I am very excited and nervous at the same time. My visa interview is coming up and I get butterflies in my tummy every time I think about it but faith keeps me positive.”


Patience and faith are definitely prerequisites for every successful candidate. Those character traits got you through to the very last stages of the Workaway International recruitment process, as much as your professionalism and hospitality skills and experience.
Congratulations to every candidate who was granted a visa – what an exciting moment it is to receive that documentation and finally be assured you that you will be able to set foot in the USA.


Yes, it is happening. Enjoy the adventure. You’ve worked hard for it and you deserve it. Make the most of every opportunity, and make us, your families, and your country proud.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Not long to go, jetsetters!

By Melissa Chauvet

As departure dates get closer, it is difficult to stay calm. I recall packing and unpacking my cases weeks before I was due to leave. While time may seem to drag, it is just a couple of weeks to go. You have been so patient, you can manage another fortnight.  In the meantime, start getting your things together.


Many of you will have received notifications of your Visa appointment at the US embassy. Remember to dress as if you were attending a formal interview, which this is.



Pre-departure orientation is complete and while many applicants will be excited to be on their way, I remember being very nervous the first time I had this opportunity. There was so much to think about. If you have a few “butterflies” I want to put your mind at ease: while you might be a bit nervous, the anticipation and excitement will mount. Personally, once I realised that I was not alone but travelling with many others, my nerves subsided. Yours will too.


I have received positive feedback from various applicants on how helpful and professional head office is. Without their long hours and hard work none of this would be possible. They really guide you every step of the way.


Good luck to you all! I am so excited for you!