Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘You may as well be broke in other countries than broke in Dublin’ – travelling to escape Ireland’s cost-of-living crisis

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Work exchange websites offer food and accommodation in return for short-term work. These Irish twenty-somethings logged on to escape the soaring cost of living back home…

Fionnuala with Mount Fuji in the background

Taking a dark and winding road through the mountains of Japan, I had my first creeping doubts about leaving my rented house in Dublin in favour of a fishing village in the middle of nowhere.

I’d arrived in Japan last summer — it was the last stop after some meticulously organised months of travel in countries like Australia, Vietnam and Cambodia. I’d also realised I didn’t want to go home just yet. With my travel funds running out, I took the advice of a friend to check out Workaway (, a website that offers homestays and short-term work in exchange for lodging and food.

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