Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Pay Me: A Documentary About "Voluntouring"

In the past year, one of my writer friends published a book using me as an inspiration for one of her characters... Then in London, I inadvertently ended up as a poster child for The Color Run UK... And now, I am going to be featured in a documentary about volunteering and traveling. 

Busy year!

"Voluntouring" is a term that is being used more and more in the travel community nowadays, and it means exactly that --- Volunteering while Touring! That's actually what I'm doing via the website called, Help Exchange, where you can get free board and lodging anywhere in the world in exchange for a few hours of labor.

While I was voluntouring at The Shanti House in Italy, 3 Polish Filmmakers came to visit and film my fellow volunteers and I as we were working there.


Their documentary, "Don't Pay Me," is essentially about "an alternative way of living, traveling and self development without money". They traveled to 8 different places around Europe to film and document the life of a volunteer in various locations and work situations. They've gone to places like Healing Castles to Breweries to Farms, to The Shanti House -- a special and rustic B&B, situated up in the Western mountains of Italy.


To be perfectly honest, I doubt these guys got any good footage of us actually "working" at The Shanti House. Not because we were lazy bums, but because they came at a really slow time where there were hardly any guests. There were about 5 of us working when they came, and I think all they ever saw us do was hang out, play music, drink some wine, eat pasta and cheese, and party!

With my fellow volunteers and my amazing hosts at The Shanti House

The ONE TIME they caught us "working"

Hanging out listening to live music. One of our many "down times" at The Shanti House

They did however manage to interview all of us, including the owners, Franco and Martina. They even tagged along when we had our day off in Cinque Terre! It was weird having them follow us with their cameras then... Weird in a cool way, though. It's not everyday I get my own personal paparazzi... :)

My interview footage!

Paparazzi Shot at Cinque Terre

A photo of me taking a photo in Cinque Terre


As I got to know the boys and their project, the more I realized that their film is actually more about inspiring people to get out there and do something outside of the norm... and to let everyone know that it is possible to live an alternative life. That life doesn't necessarily have to be what society says it should be... That you could be much happier with less. They want to advocate that you don't need a lot of money to be able to do things that you love... and that job satisfaction doesn't necessarily equate to the amount of cash you make.

I was singing along to one of the singers visiting The Shanti House. One of my favorite things about being there: The Music
It's really very similar to what I hope to achieve through this blog... which is why I think it's pretty cosmic that I ended up meeting them and getting myself featured on this documentary. "Don't Pay Me" and "Earth2Eartha" have the same cause... We both want to inspire people with the knowledge that we have, and share it with anyone who wants to listen.


Piotr and Grzegorz in action!

I met the boys and we were filmed in August. They released the trailer, and I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that I'm in it!!! Please check it out and tell me what you think. I really have high hopes for this project, and I think it has a GREAT message. Help me support my friends by liking their Facebook Page and following them on Twitter to get news and updates about the up and coming documentary.

Play the trailer above, or see the video through this link

Piotr, Ryszard and Grzegorz... Best of luck to the three of you! Buona Fortuna! Ciao! :)

(Photos by Grzegorz Hospod)