There aren't often opportunities to escape your routines to go make a difference in the world and have the tab covered by someone else. However, that's more or less what Airbnb is offering with a new installment of its sabbatical program.
Airbnb and the Bahamas National Trust, an NGO the protects 32 national parks in the Bahamas, is looking for five people to spend two months in the Bahamas. It's not just a break from your everyday life that's on offer. The travelers will spend their time throughout April and May 2020 working alongside locals to preserve the beautiful open spaces of the Bahamas.
"In recent years, several Bahamians have stepped up to pave the way toward a more sustainable future for The Bahamas, bringing back traditional practices rooted in agriculture, ethical fishing, and coral reef revitalization," the announcement states. "These ongoing local efforts are complemented by The Bahamas National Trust’s mission as they team up with the participants tasked to support these growing industries, protect several national parks, and empower the community leaders shepherding these sustainability efforts."
The five selected participants will work on the islands of Andros, Exumas, and Eleuthera. In Andros, they'll work with photographer Katie Storr on a coral reef restoration program in North Marine Park. On Exuma, participants will help freediver Andre Musgrove with ecosystem restoration and efforts to curb invasive species in the island's waters. On the third island, time will be spent at Leon Levy Native Plant Reserve working to establish a bush tea farm and on propagation techniques for native trees. There will also be boatbuilding, pineapple farming, and sea salt harvesting among the duties while on sabbatical.
"As The Bahamas rebuilds [from Hurricane Dorian], it’s a privilege to work together with the Bahamas National Trust to support and shine a spotlight on a nation whose economies are benefited by tourism," Chris Lehane, senior vice president of global policy and communications, said in a statement. "To continue these efforts, we’re also pleased to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Tourism to promote tourism to the country through Airbnb even beyond the Bahamas Sabbatical."
If you're looking to apply, you'll need to do it before February 18. Participants aren't going to be paid a salary, but you will have travel expenses, food, and accommodation costs covered by Airbnb throughout the two-month stay. If you're looking to change up your routine in the new year, this is certainly one way to do it.