It’s only February, but if you’re already yearning for an escape from the gruelling nine-to-five grind, here’s a plum opportunity. Airbnb has joined forces with the Bahamas National Trust to offer five travellers an opportunity to spend two months in the archipelago for free as part of its “Sabbatical Program”.
The latter is an initiative that enables Airbnb members to discover exceptional destinations while getting involved in environmental causes. It notably took travellers on a mission to Antarctica at the end of last year. During the Bahamas sabbatical, selected candidates will help with environmental projects in the wake of the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged the tropical destination’s Abaco islands and Grand Bahama last September.
In partnership with the Bahamas National Trust, which manages 32 national parks on the islands, Airbnb is now offering free trips to the warm destination. Those lucky enough to be selected for the Bahamas sabbatical will participate in projects to preserve the natural environment, which is an important lever for growth and tourism in the Bahamas. Five travellers will be chosen to stay and work in the archipelago in April and May of this year.
Hosted on Andros, Exumas and Eleuthera — three islands that were not affected by the storm — the volunteers will participate in the creation of a reef restoration program, which will collect coral fragments that will later be regrown in a nursery. They will also count red lionfish, an invasive species whose population must be curbed to ensure that it does not take over the islands’ delicate marine ecosystem. Finally, they will be immersed in Bahamian culture, taking part in the harvesting of sponges and sea salt, the construction of traditional boats and the planting of pineapples and bush tea.
Those who are interested in taking part in the program should submit an application before February 18, 2020 here. Participants must be able to conduct a conversation in English, and have to be nationals of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mainland China, Denmark, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The names of the five participants selected will be announced on 24 March 2020.