helpxwwofLet's not make a short story long. For details you may read l'article des deux froggys sur les réseaux WWOOF et HelpX from which I have picked these two short extracts that give a pretty good idea of both websites: :

"Since 1971, there was an existing similar network :  WWOOFing.The concept is the same. In exchange of a few hours work, you earn your board and lodging. 
Originally,  WWOOfing was destined exclusively to organic farms, but now the network is wider and jobs can be found in hotels or even on sailboats!  Members of this network are called « Wwoofer's »."


and


"Created in 2001, HelpX is an "exchange of competence system" that encourages the meeting between  members throughout the world, to help, learn, discover local "know-hows", and allows small budget travellers to sleep and eat free, in exchange of a few hours of daily work. 

I would like to tell you about  cotravel :

cotravel

It's a bran new service, that allows the meeting of other "travel maniacs".
Now, you'll tell me that other sites such as Couchsurfing do the same, but we're not talking about the same kind of meeting. 

 

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Since the time I've been wishing to make this trip, since the time I've been waiting for this departure, I will have had plenty of time to find a travelling partner.... and yet....."NOGO" :-(  (Well, maybe not really, it'll be the subject for an article to come:-) Many were those who cheered "What a project!!, How I'd love to come with you!....... But when it comes to agreeing on dates (not to mention itineraries).... not many are left!

It's hard to find somebody to travel with, even with forums such as: http://www.evoyageur.comhttp://voyageforum.com/http://www.abm.fr/http://www.routard.comhttp://www.connaisseursvoyage.frhttp://www.lonelyplanet.fr .

I ended up solving the problem by deciding to leave on my own.

But some of us may not dare try to travel alone, and therefore cancel there project because of that.

What a Shame!

So....

If you are a traveller in search of a travelling partner(cotraveller), or wish to share a trip...?

If you wish to share parts of your trip?

 If you wish to find one or several partners for a treck in Nepal,.............. crossing Viet-nam on a bike.............;, scuba diving in Indonisia....., or even a week end in Prague  

cotravel will help you find the right person, FREE!

 

As you may know by now, I intend to leave in March for a world tour, starting with a stop off in Turkey. And I decided to add an extra challenge, as I wish to reach this first destination  by hitch hiking to cross the mediterranee lenghtwise on a sailboat!

Later, I will need to find a way to cross the atlantic from South Africa to the Americas. Here are three sailing websites.

Yes, I know, because that is were I started my search, there are plenty of freight companys that offer tickets to cross, but they cost money, and quite a bit! Expect roughly 100$ per day, and the crossing of the atlantic takes about ten days..........

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stwSo, let me introduce you  to  Sail The World, created in 1997 by a group of passionate navigators, they gather about 10 000 people and offer a number of services through their website (unhappily, the site is not translated, only in french!) According to Alain Richard, the President, " whether for a world tour, a sabbatic leave, a big cruise, for begginners or experts, there is always room for you on Sail The World. In 14 years time, we've become the reference for preparing a saiboat trip, and it is as well a mine of advice, an open forum, a meeting point for crew members, and a guide to  high seas. Sail The World gives concrete and practical answers to sea loving traveller's questions- may they be adventurers, handymen, mile eat uppers, fishermen, or even dreamers!" And what I am interseted in, is the Bourse des équipiers that allows the meeting of skippers without a crew, and crews without a boat. But, unhappily for me, they usually get together for transatlantic or other big crossings and not for the tiny Med...

find_a_crewThen, there is Find a crew, that, even if it doesn't give all the advice that Sail The World does, offers a lot more adds for skippers without a crew and crews without a skipper. The website is in English and Italian, too bad there is no Spanish or French..  And, once again, the small Mediterranee doesn't seem te be short of crews..... , yet I've been told that the escorting season is between March and June. I'll find out, it's not too late yet....

And at last there is  Amis de Jeudi Dimanche Bel Espoir et Rara Avis…

They implement Michel Jaouen's religion, Jésuit : "the mixing of people, in need or not, for the benefit of alll".

AJD-476x315"We manage two three-mast skooners: "Bel Espoir" and "Rara Avis", and a fleet of small sail-, row-,or motor-boats, the island of Stagadon in the Iroise sea, a workshop for crew members, a base at l’Aber Wrach ( Finistère) and another one in Paris. We offer navigation and our knowing how to eclectic groups. It's up to you to tell us what you expect and offer from your personal richness."

I thought about contacting them for my project, especially the tranatlantic bit, but after a better look, they mention small sailboats... maybe they cross Mediterranee with them?


And here, I give you a website list where you can find and place an advertisement about the crew you are looking for:

 http://www.bourse-aux-equipiers.com/

 http://www.voyages-transversales.com/bateau2.htm

 http://www.lavoile.com/crew.asp

 http://www.equipier.fr/?id_rubrique=3

 http://www.bourseauxequipiers.fr/index.php?option=com_annonces&view=annonces&catid=2&Itemid=53

 http://www.bateaustop.fr/Recherche/Offres

 http://www.cotweb.com/indexx?search=annonces&rubrique=

 http://www.floatplan.com/

 http://www.vogavecmoi.com/

CouchSurfing

I heard about CouchSurfing (CS) around 2006 for the first time.
Then, many time I heard about without taking the time to come on the web site.
Finally, I heard about someone who travelled around the world only using CS two years ago.

I offer you to discover Wikipedia description:

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Couchsurfing is a neologism referring to the practice of moving from one friend's house to another, sleeping in whatever spare space is available, floor or couch, generally staying a few days before moving on to the next house.

Free to register, members have the option of providing information and pictures of themselves and of the sleeping accommodation they offer, if any. More information provided by a member, and other members, improves the chances that someone will find the member trustworthy enough to be his host or guest. Security is often measured in the reference established by networking. Volunteers may verify names and addresses. Members looking for accommodation can search for hosts using several parameters such as age, location, gender and activity level.

Homestays are consensual between the host and guest, and the duration, nature, and terms of the guest's stay are generally worked out in advance. No monetary exchange takes place except for compensation of incurred expenses (e.g. food).

The mission statement of CouchSurfing is Create Inspiring Experiences:

"At CouchSurfing International, we envision a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Building meaningful connections across cultures enables us to respond to diversity with curiosity, appreciation and respect. The appreciation of diversity spreads tolerance and creates a global community."

I'm sure I 'll apreciate CS during my trip. For now, I only meet people for a coffe. I have never host anybody and when I wneeded a couch I always used my own network.

There are plenty of site similar, BeWelcome and Hospitality Club very close to Cs, or also HelpX and WWOOF (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) which is a world network of organique farm created in England in 1971. Farms offer to host you if you want to share there daily life and farm job during some time.

I was a Wwoofer during a bit more than a month in two different farm in England. I really apreciate this way of meeting people. If you want to (re)discover the value of work (work to feed people), if you want to travel, if you want to take time to meet people from here or there, Wwoofing is a very good way.