Hi and thanks for responding to my post for a long term volunteer. I need to emphasise that that is exactly what this is – it’s not an offer for someone to relocate. It’s a chance to experience a life that may be quite different from your current one – rural, basic, foreign, hard work and as sustainable as I can make it. However, if you’re a UK passport holder, you can only do this for 90 days and it’s totally up to you to understand the legalities and the options.

So …. some background – there’s loads of information on this website and what you’ll see is that we have had a lot of volunteers – well over 300 in the last 12 years and we have appreciated all of them and the work they’ve done. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the help that volunteers have given over the years. Last year was obviously different – I had 5 volunteers all year – and it gave me space to actually think about this and to accept that I no longer have the energy or the patience to have a constant stream of new people coming in and out of my life. However, I do need help.

My daughter Elly and her husband, who is from the village, are currently in the UK and my son, who also has a house here, are obviously not able to travel. That means that I’m responsible for 5 properties in the village and as well as general maintenance, I’m always doing new things and new projects, usually around gardening and natural building.

One of our properties, The Purple House, is in the centre of Voditsa and has two self contained apartments – a one bedroom flat that I sometimes rent out, and a larger 3 bed place where volunteers usually live. I’m offering one of these apartments to someone, a couple preferably, who will live there and care for the place. This will be mostly gardening work plus anything that comes up really! There’s a beautiful outside kitchen and a big old barn to hang out in plus the garden. We live outside for as much of the year as possible. This could possibly work for a family but we’d need to talk about that.

The deal would be that I provide the accommodation including wood and bills plus main food basics – beans, grains etc and veg from the garden in exchange for two days working with me on my other projects and a couple of hours a day loving the garden at the Purple House.

I have lots of skills and experience to share and I’m looking for people who have something to reciprocate – this is not for first time travellers who have no real life experience – sorry but I know how much time that takes up for me. I’ve done that for over ten years and now I want to work with people who have some skills, some experience, lots of common sense and don’t need me to hold their hand.

You can learn about life in a small village that used to be large and now suffers from depopulation but still maintains the traditions of Bulgarian life. You’ll learn about growing in a climate with a temperature range of -25 to +40 ….. and a climate that is changing drastically and seriously. We build with mud, wood and recycled stuff and I could probably write a book on what you can do with wire and pliers.

Here’s my workaway profile if you need more info.

So that’s me – what about you? Who are you? What have you got to offer in this exchange? What are you looking for? What will you do after 90 days? Are you willing to commit to staying here for 3 months? Do you have any concerns?

Look forward to hearing from you and if things look promising, we’ll progress onto Whatsapp.

Good luck