Friday, 19 December 2014

Back in the USA!

By Julie-Ann Blom

So it's been 2 months since I've been back in the USA. 

Work is going well and we are going into the holiday season which will be our busiest time.

So far, we as, a group, have had many adventures. We have been to Universal Studios which was really exiting! I have celebrated my birthday here as well with all my friends around me. I felt very special being here especially as I am away from home and not have my family with me.

I think all the international staff are very blessed to have made friends here through especially as it is their first time away from South Africa.

We have had great times here so far at Sailfish Point. I’m on my 4th season as a returner but I still learn new things every day. 

Soon we will be going into the New Year and I can't wait to see what new adventures will be waiting for all of us in 2015!

I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and remember you have your Workaway family and friends with you this holiday season!

Speak to you again in the New Year!!!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Jupiter Christmas!

By Jasper Burger

After 7 seasons Christmas here at Jupiter Hills have always been merry but this year just felt extra special! Besides the fact that my dearest mother is here to enjoy it with me staff here at the Hills have grown into a very tightly knit group of individuals.

Our staff Christmas party was something members would rate as 5 star quality and fun. There is nothing like having to dress up and have a glamorous evening with colleagues and friends after a already very busy first 2 months of the season.

Being graced with some time off to show my mom around this epic town called Jupiter is a blessing especially this holiday season. The water of the intercoastal is looking blue as ever with the sun shining on creating beautiful sparkles just once again makes me realise how much I appreciate the town of Jupiter.

The club is looking festive as well with beautiful decorations all over with real trees giving the club a very fresh Christmas aroma.

So I would like to take this time and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Jupiter, Florida!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Hellllloooo Sunny Florida!!!

By Julie-Ann Blom

Hi everybody!!! So this is my first blog since I've been back in America!

I really hope everybody is doing well at their clubs in Florida and enjoying it!!!!
My flight to America left on the 15th of October, the goodbye on the airport was very hard. I only saw my family for a short six months before heading back to America.
I met all the new recruits at the airport heading to Sailfish Point my country club, I work for in Florida.

We all were a bit nervous but became fast friends as we were going on the same journey together.
The flight was long but full of laughs and talking about our new adventures.

We landed in JFK early in the morning my friend Mel and I headed straight to Starbucks!

We flew down to West Palm and a Workaway representive picked us up and took us down to Jensen Beach where we live.
We were met by our managers from Sailfish Point and it was fantastic to see them again after 6 months!!!

We received our uniforms and then met all the new staff from Ireland. I saw all my friends that had returned from up north.

I have made so many new friends and had so much fun working and just enjoying Florida since I've been back and I hope everybody else does as well!!
All the guys from Jozi please invite me on facebook book I would love to hear how YOUR experience in America is so far!!!
See you soon 

Thursday, 30 October 2014


By Jasper Burger

Deciding to go to Key West in the spur of the moment is something I thought would never happen, but I’m so grateful I got the chance to go and experience it!

My recent visit to Key West was truly a great adventure – both exciting, but also very relaxing at the same time.

I allowed myself some “me-time” and much deserved relaxation while I was there.  I can safely say that afternoon naps on the water in a hammock just outside your hotel room can do wonders.

The restaurants and cuisine are unique and quite different when compared to the country clubs and even back home.  I really liked that fact that there were various styles of dining offered because it’s always nice to have choices.

The beaches are tranquil and peaceful, which really complements the lifestyle and attitude of the locals – they’re very laid back and easy-going which I found quite refreshing.

One of the most fascinating aspects of my trip was realising that I was standing at the most southern point in the US!  It is crazy to think that Cuba is only 90 miles away, as well as the US 0 mile mark.

Landmarks like Ernest Hemingway’s house, where he produced some of his best work, made the trip very enjoyable, and certainly made the long drive from Jupiter to the Keys worth it.

Upon my return, reality struck once again as work started straight away and there was no more time for relaxation.

As the new season starts with new recruits joining various county clubs in Florida, I wish you all good luck, and share a friendly reminder to enjoy your surroundings each and every day while you’re here!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bon voyage Cape Town, Hello Florida!

By Prudence Smart

My American adventure with Workaway International is almost here and I am so excited to start this journey!

I first heard about Workaway through a friend of mine, Robin Miller, who has previously been on the programme.   After he told me about how amazing Workaway is, I carefully considered joining, but nearly passed on it because I thought I would probably need to pay a lot of money to be a part of it.

Needless to say, I was wrong, and I am so happy I didn’t let this opportunity pass!  Robin kept persuading me to go to a presentation, which I finally did, so I owe it to Robin who helped me kick-start this adventure.
When I got that phone call to say I was successful, I literally did a happy dance and my bags have been packed for two weeks already.

Ok, so let’s rewind a bit: First I had to attend one of Workaway’s presentations (there were quite a few running this year from 5 August onwards). Team Workaway is very organised and everything is explained in detail at these presentations.  All participants are reminded of the dates for interviews, visa appointments and all other relevant dates during the entire process, which makes it so much more convenient for the applicants. This also made it easy for me to carry on working while getting all my paperwork ready for the visa.

I worked until the very last week, and then spent five days being a tourist in my own city.  Cape Town is truly a beautiful place and I will surely miss waking up to the splendid Table Mountain every morning.

My motto for this adventure is “I believe in myself and my ability to do my best.” I know that it will be hard work and that I need to give it my all, but my aim will be to also take some time out of my busy work schedule to see a bit of the environment I will be living in. So keep reading as I will be sure to update you on ‘all things Florida’ and maybe a few trips into the greater America too!

Monday, 20 October 2014

USA here we come!

By Craig Renney

I have been on the Workaway programme several times, and now at the age of 25, I am getting ready to leave for Florida once again for the upcoming season!

The Workaway programme is truly a life changing adventure. You get the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to discover places you have only seen on TV.  During my time on the programme, I have met some of the most amazing people, and every time I go back I make new friends from around the world, which truly is a blessing.

This time around I have the opportunity to go over as a server captain where I will be working at the Polo Club of Boca Raton.  This is all thanks to Workaway International because if it wasn’t for this programme, I would not have the experience I have today that enabled me to apply for and be given this great position.

To all those that have been accepted on the programme and have already set sail: get ready because Florida is about to change your life like it changed mine!

Florida has so many great things to offer.  While the work is tough, the adventures are unstoppable.

As we’re now well into the visa process I’d like to say good luck to you all of this year’s successful recruits.  The main thing is to keep calm because I am confident everything will be approved and we will soon set sail on this new adventure.

Once you are that side, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that Workaway International is always there to help you with anything and everything you need.  Their head offices that side are always ready and willing to help so don't be afraid to contact them.

I believe we are all ready and set for this adventure thanks to the entire Workaway team.  Florida USA here we come!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Considering Workaway in 2015?

By Struan Goss

A handful of people have recently asked me about going on the Workaway programme next year. This blog is for those of you who are interested, and what you can do to improve your chances of successfully getting onto the programme in 2015.

Each year Workaway conducts presentations from about May through August in Joburg, Cape Town, PE and Durban. Keep an eye out for the dates of these events on our website as this is the best place to find out exactly what the programme has to offer. Apart from the basic requirements set out on the Position Requirements page at, the following are a few tips to getting on the programme and useful skills for it.

Since the majority of positions available tend to be waitering positions, or serving as they call it in the States, it is important to have some hospitality work experience. Currently having job at one of South Africa’s many wonderful restaurants would be considered solid work experience. The skills you would learn at an À la carte restaurant would come in very handy on the programme. These include a great customer service orientation, knowledge of how to set out fine dining silverware, professional wine service, a bit of knowledge of your wines (for example the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), and a good understanding of how to manage your tables.

Of course there are other positions available, such as being a line cook, where you would need some hot line, À la carte work experience. There are often also golfing positions, where you would need some golfing or sports retail experience. The various other positions offered are also up on our website and are usually more limited thus being slightly more competitive to get into.

For all applicants, having a positive attitude, smart attire and a great service orientation is held in high regard by the Country Club managers and Workaway recruiters alike, so make sure you come to interviews wearing neat clothes and a warm smile. Most importantly, be honest and be yourself.

Best of luck to anyone reapplying next year or those of you coming to our presentations to see what Workaway is all about for the first time!


By Julie-Ann Blom

This will more than likely be my last blog post before I leave SA for sunny Florida to start my new Workaway journey!

I'd like to start off by thanking Workaway for the wonderful opportunity of working as the Johannesburg representative over the past season.  From the very beginning, this journey has been a wonderful adventure and I have enjoyed every minute of it, right until the very end.

The visa application process over the past few weeks means that the season has slowly come to an end.  Over the course of this process I have been meeting with all the successful recruits at JB's Corner in Sandton during the week so that I can prepare them for the questions that will be asked during their interviews. We've had a lot of first-timers with nervous faces, but luckily we've also had some returners going back on the programme, and they've been able to provide some much-needed advice and motivation.

At this stage, everyone who has had their visa appointments has been successful, which is truly a great result!  It has been wonderful to see the happiness and excitement on their faces - knowing that they are one step closer to the USA.  The only step left is to get on the plane and make it through the 17-hour flight.

I'd like to wish everybody good luck as they embark on their latest adventures in Florida.  Hopefully I'll see some of you there!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

An opportunity taken is never an opportunity lost!

By Marielle Beetge

Last year I found myself at the Hilton Hotel in July sometime, sitting in the back row for the presentation to go overseas. I remember I went there because a friend asked me to go and I wasn’t that interested, but I went anyway. The more I listened the more interested I became and by the end of the presentation we all moved closer to the front to undergo a screening.

I will never forget this day, because this was the day I met someone so special. We were both sitting in the same row and ended up both moving forward and sitting next to each other. We spoke for 2 hours, non-stop. By the end of that day we knew that there was a connection, something strong.

We spoke for a long while after, through social media, and eventually made plans to meet up. It didn’t take us long to figure out what we had was special when we both were just so comfortable. It felt as though I had known him my whole life.

A few weeks down the line, we were inseparable. But life, as per usual, threw us a curve ball. He got accepted to America and I never. This seemed as though it were the end and I struggled to understand why this had happened to us. Little did I know, it was life’s way of showing us how strong we were. A month or so later, he was in America and I was here. We Skype’d almost everyday, between our working schedules and the time difference but don’t get me wrong. It was hard.

We started dating and only 7 months later I got to see his face again.

There was always a plan for us, we just had to figure out a way to be stronger than our emotions. This love has led me down a strange path that I didn’t think I would be on, and I’m sure he feels the same way, but every bump in the road had its reasons and lessons.

A year later and we have both been accepted. I appreciate everything more this time and I am extremely grateful to have an opportunity like this.

I sometimes think, ‘what if I didn’t go to that meeting?’

So, next time there’s an opportunity to do something really awesome, maybe you should stop doubting yourself because something great might happen. It might not be what you expected but it might become an important part of your life.

“You only regret the chances you didn’t take”

Just a short introduction of who I am!

By Marielle Beetge

My name is Marielle, I’m a photographer, a former gymnast & adventurer.

I’m starting this blog to record my journey to the USA. Follow me and become a part of my journey.

I will be taking photographs, recording events that happen and just living life to the full.

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take"

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Employee appreciation!

By Jasper Burger

It was a gloriously beautiful day in Springfield, New Jersey, when the employees of Baltusrol Golf Club got to enjoy the clubhouse, fitness center, and most importantly, the famous upper and lower golf courses. Generous members of the club volunteered to help out with the day’s preparations, as well as the organising of the event and competitions, including the putting contest, longest drive and best players of the day.

This annual event is one that all employees look forward to.  Every year the event seems to be topped by the previous one – whether it is the amazing food we get to enjoy, the beer and drinks on offer (in moderation of course!), or the amazing prizes that are handed out to participants – all of this makes the day that much more exciting and enjoyable.  Apart from this, and most importantly, is the amount of continued effort that is put into the event by all involved in order to make it a success.

The day usually starts off slowly and picks up pace as all the golf and activities are in full swing.  Some staff enjoy the fitness center on the day, while some like to indulge in a good coffee and bagel in the grill room. During the day, there is no time constraint, meaning that the club is open to us all day - and the relaxing vibe is exactly what is needed after a busy summer!

Prizes on the day include golf gear of top brands like Nike, Adidas, Titleist and Callaway.  Baltusrol shirts, hats, jerseys and shoes are also handed out to each employee.

As the day finishes at the club, it is a tradition to stop by the local pub for one last celebratory “thank you.”  Although this is a good way to show our gratitude to the members who arrange this great event for us, the best way to do so is to get back into the grind at work and to do the very best we can in our respective positions and departments.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Exciting time in Jozi!

By Julie-Ann Blom

Well, it's been a crazy time here in Jozi this past month - we've been doing so many presentations and interviews! It's been so wonderful and exciting to meet new recruits and to see the people from our first interviews again.

Last weekend we had our country club interviews. Boca west was first and it was such a lovely day to be able to see everyone that I had interviewed.
There were a few nervous faces, but all the potential candidates were well prepared for the interviews with Boca West Country Club.

Following this was the interviews with Admirals Cove, St. Andrews and Ballisles country clubs, with Mr Bill Mayville there himself! It was a very busy, but exciting day!

Skype interviews were conducted on the Sunday with the rest of the country clubs and I got to see my managers from Sailfish Point Country Club, which was a great treat for me!

I would just like to wish everybody good luck with the rest of the club interviews and hopefully I will see some of you at the pre-departure orientation soon!