“The Isle of Skye, in October….Seriously’?! A friend of mine was bemused as to why I was going to work in Scotland in the darker, colder months of the year.
But Skye has always had a place in my heart since I was a kid. Memories of summer holidays driving up from the Midlands plugged 90’s pop music on my CD walkman.
En route, we would stop off at Loch Lomond before continuing on through the Highlands and over the bridge at the Kyle of Lochalsh, usually staying at a hostel in Southern Skye.
“You don’t go to Scotland for the weather, you go for the scenery”, my dad would announce. As a teenager, these words were hard to believe when friends were holidaying in sunnier parts of Europe. But as an adult, I understand this truth.
After juggling a part-time job, my small cake business and a couple of volunteer placements for two years, I felt it was time to press pause and take stock.
And I knew it was Scotland I needed to head to, a place which I return to time and time again to refocus and rethink.
It’s like my reset button.
Life becomes simple again, no endless choices, noise or the chaos of commutes.
It’s a place which allows me to be me.
The work exchange
Using the trusty Workaway website, I found a hostel in Uig, at the very north end of the Isle of Skye, looking for workaways to help for a month on a part-time basis in exchange for a hostel bed, laundry and internet.
In addition, the hostel also offers private ‘pods’ in little wooden cabins overlooking the Uig harbour.
The hostel used to be owned by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association, and I actually stayed here as a child, the night before a trip out to the Outer Hedribies. Back then, it was basic and functional, old-school hostel style.
The site was sold to private owners who converted the site into a boutique bunkhouse with a large open plan kitchen, lounge and cosy wood burner.
My work consists of cleaning the bunk rooms and bathrooms in the morning, plus occasional evenings of helping on reception to welcome and check in guests.
I have two consecutive days off each week to take off and explore Skye or the Outer Hebrides, which I will be documenting in a weekly diary on the blog and giving you tips on hidden gems of the island.
For more frequent updates, follow me on Instagram, where I try to post little scenes from my day to day life on Skye on Instagram Stories 🙂