Duncan Ridgley, the famous British paparazzo covering hard news for ‘The Sun‘ or freelancing to shoot celebrities like Michael Jackson, Madonna, George Michael, Nelson Mandela etc and royals, in particular Princess Diana, who eventually left UK to settle down in Maramures, northern Romania, told “The Romania Journal” about one of his new projects which took shape in late 2014. From photography, to hotel management and writing, nothing seems impossible for the creative, ‘wild about Maramures’ denizen. Enjoy reading a story by Duncan Ridgley himself.
There is a new way of taking a year or two out and going off abroad. In Romania, from what I can see, the normal way is you hear from the cousin that there is some work, you get on the bus, travel 30 hours to some where you have no idea where; he meets you and you start working the next day. You stay for a few months, or a year or two, see the capital city once, come back home and tell every one “ I have travelled, I have seen Europe.”
The problem with this, is there are more people in Romania now who want to work abroad than there are cousins… and there are Romanians who are now starting to really travel, and not just work abroad – they will kill your ‘travel’ story in a second when you return for your first sarmale cooked by your mother.
Well now you can do both, you can get work abroad and really see the countries you work in, and your cousin will never know where you are, will never visit, and therefore neither will your mother.
The concept of Working Traveller – a social network for travellers looking for work around the world, was born when I was building my first hotel for my travel company in the remote oasis of Siwa in Egypt in 2005. After weeks of looking for the skills I needed locally, I was horrified to be asked by the plumber “ Mr Duncan, no problem sir, but which way does the toilet go up?” I realised there where 100,000’s of people like me around the world with the same problem. The need for the right skills, at the right time, in the right place. I met plumbers, carpenters, artists, and all kinds of skilled travellers over the next few years, all wishing they could find work using their skills in the places they where now travelling in. The model for Working Traveller was formed and the site was built and finally launched in late 2014.
So, now its a different story. Alexandra Maak – 26 from Romania used Working Traveller to get work booked up on a farm in Germany before she left home. “I found Working traveller useful” says Alexandra “As my Mom was worried I would not find work when I was travelling and run out of money. I managed to get three work postings confirmed before I left, one in Germany, one in Spain and one in London. It was enough for her to let me go.” Juan López Tapia – 25 from Mexico had been on a Gap year travelling in Asia in 2014 and the money his parents had given him had run out. “ I used Working Traveller to extend my trip by six months and at the same time lean about different ways of doing construction.” Juan said “I am an architect and working on this house restoration project has opened my eyes to how I can do things differently when I get home.”
Jacky Ashworth – 27 from Australia has used Working Traveller to help finance her travels. “You wont get rich,” she says “but it can help pay for your travels. I am a writer and the work I am getting with Working Traveller and hopefully the good references in 2015 will help me get a job when I get home.”
Will the cousin loose his position in your life and ‘working traveller’ become the new way of financing your dreams? Time will tell. www.workingtraveller.com – currently has over 1,500 work postings world wide -the concept is catching on fast with hosts around the world like me who are happy to pay for the skills they need for the projects they are working on.
I am now using Working Traveller to find travellers who have the skills I needs to finish my new hotel in the village of Breb in Maramures – www.villagehotelmaramures.com.
Building here and using Working Traveller makes life so much easer than it was in Egypt. For a start, the toilets now go in the right way around.
What ever happens with your connection with the cousin, one thing is for sure, the question of “ How to do I find work when I want to go abroad?” just got a whole lot easer to answer.
- Web address workingtraveller.com
- Free for travellers to sign up and to get work booked up. 10 euro a year if they want their references to show in their profile once they have completed some work for a host.
- Free for hosts to use for all services.
- Over 1,700 work postings from over 1,500 hosts world wide and growing rapidly.
- Over 1,000 travellers have signed up in the last few months and up to 100 a day are now joining Working Traveller.