Hola sea addicts, sun-seekers and animal lovers.
First of all, travelling is still possible! It sounds unbelievable, when most people are at home constantly being confronted with bad news about COVID-19, however I have been on my adventure for almost three months and am still going strong! Sure, not everything is going as planned, but when my biggest problem is that I can’t play beach volleyball anymore, I guess I cannot complain ;)
Who am I?
I am Geanne, but at the project everybody calls me G (because nobody knows how to pronounce my name haha). I have been here for almost two weeks now and have been asked to write something about travelling and being here during Corona times.
Beginning of my Adventure
Before I came to Tenerife, I travelled around Portugal for around two months. At the end of December it was getting cold in Portugal (I mean for me) because it meant being unable to wear shorts or go for a swim in the ocean. I decided to come to sunny Tenerife and join the AWdF volunteer project to find out if I want to do a study correlated to marine life.
Before I went off to Portugal I was a bit unsure what the travel atmosphere would be like, so I decided to do a workaway, which is a network where people all over the world can ask for help for all different kinds of things. For example, farming, running a hostel or building a house. In return for your help you will get food and accommodation. This is really nice if you want to travel right now because you will have a fixed spot to stay and something to do, no matter what our dear friend Corona decides to do. For me, this turned out really great and I would really recommend it!
I did two workaways in the South of Portugal and then spent a few days in Lisbon arranging my trip to Tenerife. This was a bit stressful, as there were speculations about a new lockdown starting from the day that I wanted to leave Portugal. Some people were even saying that they were planning to close the borders and I needed a COVID-19 test, which was an adventure in itself. I did a whole tour through Lisbon to find the hospital (my phone was out of charge, so no google maps haha). At one point there were 10 different people discussing where I should go, then I discovered that there are three different hospitals in Lisbon with almost the same name. I was two hours late for my appointment and because of that I only got my results one hour before my plane left BUT I made it!! And how happy I am to be here right now!
My Time at the AWdF
The first day at the project was all a bit overwhelming and I needed to find my way, but the day ended with a great three course dinner and a nice bonfire. When you arrive, you need to “quarantine” this means that you have your own private room and everybody is wearing masks when we are close to each other. To have a private room is actually really nice! (maybe I need to add here that I have the best wifi and the nicest shower of all the rooms ;). About the masks, you really get used to wearing masks all the time and right now everything is already a bit more chilled, because I have been here for more than a week.
Another thing that is different due to Corona is that we are not going out to sea with the tourist boats anymore. Instead, we are going with a smaller boat, which has the great advantage of the animals coming closer to the boat! This week there were some Short-finned Pilot Whales coming really close to the boat and we were able to take some great underwater footage. At the moment, we are eleven people on site, while normally there are around 40 volunteers walking around. I like that it is like that because you can have some more private time and you know everybody pretty well, there is more of a family feeling. Also, you do not need to cook for that many people. ;) However, for the running of the projects, it can be a bit too few people sometimes, so if you are hesitating about joining the project, please join!
Even when not everything is open or possible due to Corona there are still so many things left to do! For example, there are always some adventurous people around that want to do a hike. This week, we went for a sunrise photo session to El Teide, the big volcano in the middle of the island. It was my first time using a proper camera and I am already so enthusiastic that I want to buy my own! We learned the basics of photography and editing while we were enjoying the beautiful sights of Tenerife, so what else do you need?!
I am really enjoying my time here, and I have already learned a lot. I came here for the marine conservation experience, but I'm getting so much more! There are many more projects going on and you will get a taste of everything. I think, if there was no Corona, I would not have chosen to come to this project and do the workaways. I would just have gone travelling around Australia and New Zealand spending a lot of money! ;) Instead I have learned new skills and gained new knowledge, so maybe I should thank Corona?
Tell us about your ecotourism travel stories from throughout the pandemic in the comments! Or submit your own stories to Matúš at
Post by: Geanne Feitsma
We encourage all of our volunteers to submit a blog post, on any topic, whilst they are with us.