Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Priceless Adventure

By Christiaan Haasbroek

If you unlock all the doors you can surely choose an adventure to suit you, and that is exactly what I did in 2015. I unlocked a door of endless possibilities when I applied for the Workaway International programme.

Now almost 3 years later, I returned to South Africa and I am now the Johannesburg recruiter for the 2018/19 season. It has been a wonderful experience meeting the potential recruits over the last two weeks. It is also always exciting when I see some familiar faces.

I have had a few recruits ask me how the programme was and what I enjoyed most about being in the USA. Honestly, the only word I can think of to describe my experience is ‘priceless’. I have been very fortunate to work 3 consecutive seasons at Admirals Cove Country Club. This journey has been a rollercoaster ride, where I have made life-long friends from all corners of the world; something I never thought was possible.

The opportunities are endless once you have arrived in the USA. I have always loved to travel, and my one goal was to see as much of the United States as I could - I went to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston, Atlantic City, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Los Angeles and these are just a few of the places I was able to experience.

I have had the most amazing time as a Manager in our Blü Restaurant at Admirals Cove, a country club with high standards and expectations that taught me so much about the hospitality industry. It has been a world class experience working here and I am looking forward to the 2018/19 season.

I hope that all new recruits and returners this season will find the adventure they are looking for, this is truly a priceless experience that will teach you self-control, discipline and independence, with irreplaceable memories and friends for a lifetime.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Finish Strong

By Arthur Devon Petersen

Sadly, this is my last blog for the season. Boca West Country Club has been nothing but good to me for the last 8 months and I cannot thank them enough.

It is currently very quiet at the country club as many participants has left. Some are going up north and others are returning home. There is still so much that needs to be done before everything is in full swing for the summer season.

I am spending a lot of my time packing, preparing all my uniforms to be returned to the country club, cleaning the apartments we have been staying in and simply enjoying my last days in sunny Florida.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work here for 8 months. This is not goodbye as I plan on returning next season and that makes me very excited. Thank you to everyone who made this a wonderful working experience for me! I appreciate everything and I look forward to seeing everyone next season!

Monday, 28 May 2018

Goodbye Florida and hello Durban

By Robyn May

I recently returned to South Africa after being in America for a year and a half and my experience thus far has been nothing short of amazing!

I got the opportunity to walk the streets of New York City, see the Statue of Liberty, sky dive at 15000 fee and see John Legend perform LIVE! The Workaway International programme allowed me to see things I have always dreamt of. However, as much as a miss the lush palm trees and my Florida family, it is still so good to be home. 

I have now been given the opportunity to make potential candidates dreams come true by being the new Durban representative for Workaway International. I am so excited to meet all the potential candidates. We are looking for people who would love the opportunity to work in the USA, earn US dollars and experience a different lifestyle and culture.

If you have working experience as a waitron, chef or have golf experience, then you should attend our presentations and apply for this once in a lifetime experience.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

It is the end of the season

By Latella Smit

The season has finally come to an end; people are leaving bit by bit with some going up to North Florida, to begin a new and exciting journey.

Majority of us from Boca West are going to New York city alongside each other. I will be in Westchester County working for Eric Trump! It is scary starting over but exciting at the same time. This is an opportunity to learn new things and to travel more. I am very honoured to get the opportunity to gain this rare experience in golf.

The hardest part about leaving Boca West Country Club, was leaving all the friends I have made behind. The bond and experience we all share is indescribable.

My top tip to people wanting to travel to North Florida, after a sensational season in the South of Florida is that they should not shop too much. Flying up north is very expensive, and you do not want the unnecessary luggage and travel costs.

I cannot wait to return to Boca West next season as a server and see all the fantastic people I worked with – the country club really became a home away from home.
New York I will see you soon!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Goodbyes remain my weakest point…

By Nasiphi Sobahle

Hospitality is a social industry and we are often told that we should not associate work with our personal life. However, I find this extremely difficult as we work 12 hours a day, six days a week, with the same people. It is impossible not to grow attached to members and colleagues. How does one separate the two?

This will mark the end of my sixth seasons at the Hunters Run Country Club and one would think that I have mastered saying goodbye. I am always extremely emotional during this time. I have connected so much with the members of the Hunters Run Country Club over the years that they have become my seasonal parents and grandparents.

Majority of the Hunters Run members have witness me grow from strength to strength. I have spent so much time with them that I know their eating habits, their preferences and mastered the art of making them happy and always leaving smiles on their faces after every meal. This job is no longer a task I must complete, it has become a part of me and who I am.

These past two weeks have been bittersweet. I would like to say thank you to all the members that took their time to organize farewell gatherings for me, I am humbled by how much you care, and I will forever be grateful.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

And another season is complete...

By Claire Smith

I cannot believe another season has come and gone!  This has been my swiftest season in 6 years and it has also been my most enjoyable! I had the privilege of managing the Mirasol Country Club health restaurant this season. 

It was hard work as it was the first time the country clubs’ health restaurant has been open for the entire season. Our restaurant overlooks the country clubs beautiful pool so when families visit Palm Beach Gardens and it is a sunny day, we had the best time!

It was great to have worked within a team that supported me. I was fortunate enough to have had Workaday International participants from Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, all helping me make this a successful season! 

I am really going to miss all my fellow staff members, managers and even the country club members! I will be taking a break for now however, in a few months, I will be back for another season.

I urge all those interested in hospitality and travel adventures to sign up and get involved in Workaway International’s next recruitment season which has already started. I promise, it is so worth it :).

Thursday, 10 May 2018

From Workaway Participant to Recruiter!

By Tara Clampett

Hi everyone!

As the Cape Town recruiter for the 2018/2019 season I am very excited to meet both the new and returning participants over the next few months! Over the past few weeks I have had a great time with my colleague Michelle, travelling around Cape Town while marketing the Workaway International program. We travelled from Kloof Street in the CBD to the beautiful Paarl and Stellenbosch to Strand. When we got to Strand I told Michelle I felt like we were in South Beach in Miami... the clear blue ocean, the white sand and the high-rise buildings.

I was fortunate enough to go on the Workaway program myself during 2016 and 2017 and although everyone says this, it truly was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. The program not only offers the obvious rewards such as earning dollars, gaining international work experience and travel opportunities but it also allows you to really get to know yourself, grow, mature and learn life skills that you cannot be taught at school, university or college.

I went to the New York City alone and on my last morning the subway line that would take me to the airport had been closed for construction. I had a moment of thinking what on earth am I going to do, I am going to miss my flight! But then I decided to put my big girl pants on and I asked "my fellow New Yorkers" which other subway lines would get me to the airport and ran from one platform to the other and when I made it on time to the airport and was standing in the queue for security, this is the moment I realized how much I had matured and grown up.

With that being said; I am looking forward to seeing all the new faces at the upcoming presentations and getting you started on your journey to the USA and on your journey of self-discovery. Trust me, it is the experience of a lifetime!

On the job in the USA.

View of NYC from Central Park.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Saying Goodbye to Florida

By Emma Seager

This is the end of my third season and goodbyes are always bitter-sweet. I cannot believe how quickly the time went.

I am so lucky to have had my mother visit me during my last few weeks at the Polo Country Club. I was able to take some time off to show her Devils Den Spring, where we went snorkelling. We also went kayaking in clear kayaks which were so beautiful and peaceful; I would definitely recommend this to all future participants.

Last but not least, we went to Key West! We started off our road trip at No Name Pub which is covered in one Dollar bills, from the floor to the ceiling. We saw wild dolphins, snorkelled in the ocean and saw the famous Key West sunset. I also managed to get my mom to parasail, which was so much fun!

I only have a few days left at the Polo Country Club and then I am off on another road trip to Chicago with my friend Michelle - we have a lot of exciting things planned and we cannot wait!

It has been a great season and I have learnt so much working at the Polo Country Club. I met some amazing country club members who I really am going to miss. Overall, it has been a wonderful experience and I am excited for the next adventure!


By Megan Volker

As the season is coming to an end, I look back and reflect on the memories and experiences and I look forward to what is to come.

Who knew this season would have gone so quickly. The memories made on the Workaway International programme are ones that you will cherish forever - whether it be at work with your colleagues or at home with your roommates. There is always something exciting going on.

I am so happy to have been a part of such and amazing experience and to have worked at such a fantastic country club. I would definitely recommend this programme to anybody.

Soon everyone will be parting ways, some are going up North while others are returning home. I can definitely say it is going to be tough as it feels like you saying goodbye to your family. 

However, it is not goodbye; it is ‘see you soon’.