Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
News & Blogs: AlumBlog

Around the World Adventures

mercredi, 17 janvier 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shahnaz Radjy
Share |

This time, when I swung the axe again, I didn’t concentrate quite as hard. I just focused on the log that was sitting in front of me and on my desire to split it down the middle. The axe hit its mark, and two half-logs fell off the stump. After so many tries, I had split a log on my first attempt! It felt nothing short of amazing.

I was in Tasmania with my husband, and we were two of six volunteers on a farm. The weather was cooler than I had hoped for, even in spite of the owner’s warning, a good six months ago and via Skype, that it could very well snow in Tasmania in October. But I was right where I wanted to be, and life had never been so good.

Life on the farm

In the weeks that followed, on rainy days we made bread from scratch, reorganized the library, planned our sunny day activities in the vegetable garden, and made yoghurt. I learnt how to use a drill, worked muscles I did not know I had shoveling woodchips into a wheelbarrow, weeded and prepped soil for new vegetable beds, and harvested potatoes. All these skills got added to my growing arsenal, each and every one bringing me closer to fulfilling a lifelong dream: to become a farmer. It was the fifth of our trip, and the seventh farm we were volunteering on. 

Pack-up and go!

To put things in context: in May 2016, my husband and I quit our office jobs, emptied our New York City apartment, and set off on a yearlong around-the-world honeymoon during which we were volunteering on farms. The goal? See the world and learn from different sustainable agriculture projects so we could then relocate to Europe and set up our own farmstay. We caught up with friends along the way, a few of them also Ecolint alumni. Ultimately, our itinerary spanned 11 months, 24 countries, and 12 volunteer projects.

Once back in Geneva, Switzerland, it almost felt like we had never left. Except I now know more about farming and homesteading than I ever thought possible (and yes, it’s still just the tip of the iceberg). My ultimate post-trip realization isn’t something profoundly life-altering:  it is simply that 90% of showers in the world are poor designs that would not be hard to fix (water usually gets everywhere, anyone over 1m40 in height has to embrace contortionism to wash their hair, changing water temperature carries with it the risk of electrocution – each fun in their own right), and that few things rival having a good mattress to sleep on.

Since then, we have relocated to Portugal to find our future home where we plan to set up a farmstay and ecotourism project. Many people thought it courageous to organize a yearlong honeymoon where you have to spend 24/7 with your spouse for the better part of 330 days. We navigated that challenge happily, if not effortlessly. Let’s hope Portuguese bureaucracy and farm life are as inspiring and manageable as going around the world was!

Shahnaz graduated from La Grande Boissiere in 2000. To read more about her adventures, visit or check her out on Instagram If you’re interested in volunteering while you travel, the platform they used was

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal