Tag Archives: volunteer

To learn what you (don’t) want

So in the last weeks I learned so much at my voluntary place, Crann Og Eco Farm. I got to know myself better. I learned a few new skills. And to my surprise I discovered that I actually didn’t enjoy some things that I longed for since a long time. You know, those things that you think you like and you daydream about them. Sometimes you need to know what you don’t want in order to know what you do want.

Like peace and quiet. One of those things I always  wanted more off. And now I am here, at this place with just a few people, and I actually miss more people around me. Or at least the possibility of people to observe or talk to. Somehow it makes me more connected to myself.

Another thing is that I imagined myself in a little house in the woods, maybe even off-grid, back to nature. And at my current volunteer place I actually had the change to stay in a carabin (wooden house and caravan combined) in the big garden. And I passed. To actually make my own fire to be warm at night and to leave the building to go to the toilet, nope, that didn’t sound tempting at all. So I stayed in a bedroom in the main house.

One thing I never realized before I went here, is that I need the possibility to look in the distance. Like at the sea, cliffs or near a big river. My souls needs it. I need it. I like the forrest and the garden here, but I miss a bigger view.

Crann Og Eco Farm

All this, and a few other reasons, made it clear to me that I wanted to go to another voluntary place after a month here. So about two weeks ago I browsed through interesting projects at HelpX and Workaway. There are so many possibilities!

And with my new knowledge about myself, I knew better what to search for. I got in touch with few places. Most of them didn’t have a place in the timeframe I was looking for. Others didn’t really match I discovered after some mailing. In the meantine I was also in touch with my former manager at Dzogchen Beara, the place were I volunteered for almost half a year.

And end of this week I am going back there to volunteer! A few weeks working and living in the hostel again. And a few weeks assisting with accomodation manager tasks when someone is on holiday. I will also get a more private place to life then. I am really looking forward to that place that feels like home, the people, the meditating, the great lunches and the beautiful view. Time for new experiences on a familiar place. And I take all the new skills and nice memories I made at the places where I am now with me.

The cliffs at Dzogchen Beara

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To live in a hostel dorm for 5 1/2 months

In a few days I will be leaving Dzogchen Beara, the place where I came in August to do voluntary work for two months. Instead I stayed for 5 1/2 months.

When I leave here, I can look back at staying in a hostel for 168 days. And sleeping 165 nights in the female dorm. In which I had the dorm for me alone for 2 nights. And the whole hostel to myself for 4 days and nights (that was around Christmas, when Dzogchen Beara was closed for guests and my only fellow-volunteer at that time went to her family in Ireland). During my stay here, there were 3 nights that I slept in on the cottages here, instead of the hostel (that was a few months ago, when my family came to visit me and here.)

If you would have told me before I planned to come here that I would sleep in a dorm for months, I’d probably have said to you that you were crazy. Because it sounded like a very unlikely thing for me to do. Since I’m quite sensitive, to light and sound and well, everything. And in need of my own space and alone-time every now and then.

But I made the decision to come here. And it went fine. It is a nice hostel to be. We’re in the middle of nowhere and there is no alcohol allowed here , so people don’t stumble in drunk in the middle of the night. And most people come here for some peace and quiet time and go to bed early.

And yes, there were moments that I couldn’t stand someone with a massive flashlight (or so it seemed in the dark dorm), a loud plastic bag, talking to me when I just woke up (I need some time before I get social) or snoring next to me. But most of the time I coped fine.

I meditate almost every day here and had the pleasure of participating in lot of retreats about meditation, Loving Kindness and compassion. This all makes it easier for me to annoy myself less, to let things and people be as they are. Without judgement. Without making a whole story in my head about it.

In a few days my adventure here is over. I will go to the Netherlands for a little while and then back to Ireland to do more voluntary work in different places. I hope, and presume, that I will take some of the meditation, insights, peace and Loving Kindness with me to the ‘outside’ world!