I recently spent some time traveling, and I was definitely on a budget. I went from New Mexico, to Colorado, to Missouri, to New Jersey, to New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and finally to Atlanta. One simple and fun way I found to keep my traveling cost low while I saw the eastern part of our country was to volunteer!
There are great websites now-a-days that connect people looking for help with their business or life goals and people that are looking for room and board in exchange for their assistance. I simply did a search, signed up for a site (there is usually a small fee) and started to get connected with the people that I was going to be helping out!
A lot of the people looking for volunteers on these sites are in need of help with gardening or farming projects. In Missouri and Jersey, I stayed on working farms and helped with everything from planting and harvesting to working with horses and other livestock. The craziest job I had was preparing gizzards for Thanksgiving turkeys, but mostly it was learning about and working with growing vegetables.
There is a lot to learn when you don’t know much about growing food. Farmers have a very ‘just figure it out’ attitude when it comes to their profession. Of course, there are proven ways to grow food, but there is always something to learn, some trick to be applied, some new problem to be figured out when it comes to getting the best possible product in the least amount of time and energy. After all, the more they can produce, the more money they make and put back into their work.
A lot of the solutions that I came across were simply problem-solving hacks that someone who was presented with an issue and then just figured it out with the resources available. There isn’t always a store around with just the right part that you need. There isn’t always someone who knows more about an issue than you do. Sometimes you don’t have immediate help in solving a problem. You just have to figure it out. MacGyver it!
This is really an amazing skill for a person to cultivate, and it can help in all walks of life, whether one is trying to get a tomato to grow using a watering can made out of a milk jug or trying to figure out how to get across the country on a limited budget.
Once you open the door into DIY problem solving, it kind of becomes a way of thinking that will help you out in ways that you never expected. However, every time I realize that I now have some experience with DIY, I am grateful for it!