Work and Travel with Hippohelp
One of my main goals since I’ve started writing this blog is to encourage others to travel. Placing yourself in a different environment where life-changing experiences are possible around every corner will help you grow as an individual and unlock your true potential. I also believe the world would truly be a better place if everyone traveled abroad once and exposed themselves to a different way of doing things. Not only is there beauty in our tapestry of unique cultures, but most travelers also learn a very important lesson at some point down the road: no matter where you go in the world, people are more alike than they are different. We all generally want the same things for ourselves, our families, and the societies we live in.
And with that gratuitously long hippy-fest of an intro, I want to share an opportunity that I’ve recently stumbled across that could be your first journey abroad. And somehow world peace. Leopold Huber is the founder of Hippohelp, a new and intuitive platform that helps travelers find work-stay opportunities abroad. Without rambling on much further, I’ve invited him to discuss his application, which I think has huge potential for helping new travelers find their first opportunity abroad. Enjoy!
Hippohelp is a map-based platform connecting travelers with hosts all around the world. Travelers provide a few hours of honest work per day for the hosts in exchange for free food and accommodation. The platform is completely free for all members, and you can use your Facebook account to log in.
How Hippohelp was born
The Hippohelp idea was born when my wife and I were developing our own piece of land in Guilin, China. I thought that we could use some help from the backpackers in the area, and provide them with food and accommodation in return. It would be a win for all parties involved, and we would hopefully also meet new friends.
I looked up websites that we could use but didn't find any good options. The problem with the major work exchange websites today is that they are either way too complicated with different sites for different regions, too outdated and hard to navigate, or too expensive.
To solve all those problems, I decided to create a free global website with a map-based interface that's easy to navigate.
From the start, I've had simplicity and ease of use in mind, and you never leave the main user interface, no matter what you do. It works more like a mobile app than a website that only lists hosts.
A few useful things that you can use Hippohelp for:
1) Scout all hosts in a specific area and visually plan your trip.
A marker on the map indicates the exact location of each host, so you can easily zoom into a local area to see all nearby hosts and visually plan on what host to go to after you've left the current one.
2) Meet up with travelers in your area
Travelers can also place markers indicating where they are or where they plan on going. Scouting for travelmarkers is a great way of finding fellow travelers to hook up with. It's also a great way of finding people wanting to share a ride.
3) Keep all communications in one place
All travelers who have been accepted as helpers for a hostmarker will be able to post on that marker's message board. It's a great way of keeping all communications in one place.
A use case of this functionality could be a host with several helpers that need to post some important announcement to helpers who plan on arriving. All helpers would then see the same message, and their replies would be visible to everyone connected to the marker.
4) Save users as friends
While using Hippohelp you can also save other users as friends, which is a great way of keeping in touch with hosts and travelers for future visits. You can use the built-in message system to communicate, and each user can also link his/her profile to Facebook.
Some of the current projects on Hippohelp:
One host on Hippohelp needs help from 1-10 travelers with building a surf camp on a small island located in the Philippines.
The helpers will be asked to use the resources of their surroundings to build the camp, and also to create pockets in the jungle to make room for more tents.
On their time off, helpers will be able to fish, snorkel in the clearest waters of the world, and explore nearby caves.
A small community in the southern parts of Spain is looking for people to help out with gardening, building projects, and keeping the place in good order.
The community is dedicated to self-sufficiency and spiritual development. On your time off, you'll be able to participate in spiritual ceremonies, meditation, and various workshops.
A girl in California, U.S. is looking for help with converting a school bus into a sustainable community kitchen. The bus is run on veggie oil, and according to the host a test-run of about 600km was made on only $0.54.
Once the kitchen is done, it will roll throughout the U.S. all the way down to South America. The host will stay at farms and help out along the way, and collect excess food that they may have in order to make meals for anyone she meets along the way. This is because she believes that everyone deserves a decent meal.
I hope you'll find the platform useful for your next trip. If you're interested in visiting China, then pan the map over to Guilin. My wife and I are also on Hippohelp, and we're looking for volunteers!