HelpXing on Saltspring

The last three weeks have flown past and my time on Saltspring Island has been unforgettable. It has been as much of a retreat as it has been work – aided by having my own getaway cabin and gourmet food served down at the house! I have been working 3-4 hours a day on the farm 5 days a week. This has consisted of odd jobs (ranging from fixing sheep feeders to building large greenhouse walls), feeding the sheep and chickens as well as chopping, cutting and stacking wood…. a lot of wood!

During my time off I have been exploring the island on foot and in the van, relaxing in the cabin and also doing a little work – a nice mix of a little freelance and working on my own projects. I even did some paid web development work for my hosts who needed a helping hand with a website they had made!

The resident sheep were very interested in my activities around the farm

The scenery here is amazing – as the island is full of hills everywhere you go there are views. There is also a network of hiking trails which start just behind the cabin, but unfortunately as I have injured my knee I was not able to use these as much as I would have liked.

When I arrived my host Michela said that the view is constantly changing and she was spot on – every time I look up it is so different. A few mornings I was lucky enough to wake up early and witness the sunrise from the cabin. The first time I couldn’t believe how stunning it was – I could see above the clouds which covered the Cascade mountain range in the US like cotton wool flowing down to the water, with Mount Baker breaking through the clouds, backed by an orange sky. Unfortunately the photos don’t do them justice.

The view from the house

Another sunrise from the cabin. Worth waking up early for.

My friend Iva came to visit me for a couple of days on the island. She is over here also on a working holiday visa and after living in Vancouver for just under a year her time here is nearly up. I met Iva when she hosted me on Couchsurfing in 2008 in her hometown of Ljulijana, Slovenia. I haven’t seen her since the start of my West coast US trip last September so it was great to catch up again. We drove around exploring the island together and even stopped in at a goat cheese farm for some samples šŸ™‚

So many excellent cheeses to sample!

With Iva exploring the Tsawout Native Reserve

I have worked hard during my time here but I have also had lots of time to relax and reflect and I managed to find a nice balance between them which is exactly what I needed. For this I have to thank my hosts: Michela, Matteo and the kids who have not only made me feel welcome – but part of the family. Did I also mention the food has been fantastic?

Chopping wood in the sunshine

Tomorrow I take a ferry back to Vancouver Island and then i will drive up to Comox to meet up with some friends. We are planning a camping/canoeing trip which will be the first time I get to try out the van. So I will be sure to update on that.

Also this morning I spoke to my sister Ruth who is almost due to have her second child – thinking of you and the family lots sis x


Hi, call me Joe. I am a traveller, a runner, a beer drinker, a film lover, a web developer, a hiker and not a very good darts player. I am from the UK, have a BSc in Computer Science from Cardiff University and currently live in Canada.



about 7 years ago

he joe how are you having fun. we are going to school tomorrow see you sebastian michela matteo and julia



about 7 years ago

Blast from the past! The cheese farm rocked :D


Ruth Pritchard

about 7 years ago

Love you Joe! xx


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