Only a handful of experiences really impacted my life, and our workaway with Pat and Doug in Canada is one of them.
During our year in Canada, we became members of the workaway platform. It’s the perfect way to visit a country if you want to save money and give back to the community.
You’ll have to pay a yearly membership fee if you want to join. You can join by yourself for €43 per year or as a couple for €53. You can even put it on your Xmas list so someone else can gift it to you!
Go check out their website if you want to know more.
Arriving in Lac la Hache, British Columbia
Our first experience left us a bit bummed out, but when we arrived at Pat and Doug’s 160-acre Ranch in Lac la Hache, it was apparent we were gonna have the best time. Coming from Belgium, it’s impossible to imagine how big 16°acre really is. Having a lake on your property that is bigger than the Lilse Bergen was beyond our wildest dreams.
We initially were going to stay for 4 weeks, but that quickly turned into a 6-week stay when they asked us if we would be able to stay longer.
Back to the owners then. Pat and Doug are the most generous, open, and fun people we’d met on our trip to Canada. While we stayed in a cabin on their property, we ate dinners together at their kitchen table in the big house. In the evenings, we played board games or cards, and we returned to our cabin before dark (never after dark because of bears!).
Although we lost track of time once, Florian drove like a maniac because we were super scared, haha! Walking anywhere was out of the question because 160 acres, remember. No, we had an ATV as means of transport (so much FUN!)
A Day in the Life of a Workawayer
We worked from 8 in the morning until 3 pm doing chores like watering the plants, feeding the little chicks and goats, or cutting wood. After that, our workday was over, and we could ride the horses, go canoeing, ride the ATV, or just lounge in the grass. On the weekend, we would sometimes visit the town of 100 Mile House for groceries or go see a rodeo.
The best part of our days was going horseback riding, of course. Besides my passion for travel and photography, I’ve always had an enormous love for horses. Being able to take care of them and ride them almost daily was like a dream come true.
I fell head over heels in love with Cinder, my little black beauty with a will of her own. She was so sweet but didn’t like to be caught, so you had to lure her with snacks and hide the halter behind your back so she wouldn’t see it. She kept running away if she was on to you, and it was challenging to get her. Very frustrating but also quite funny!
Because we arrived right in the middle of Spring, Pat let us plant the vegetable garden. We planted radishes, peas, potatoes, and other vegetables, something we had never done before. I took it upon myself to water the garden every morning and get the weeds out of the beds. I might have discovered my love of gardening here.
This workaway was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and I’m glad we got the chance to experience ranch life. Perhaps someday, when I’m older, I can start my own ranch in Canada. That would be so cool! Yeehah!