Wilderness Diary

The Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

Volunteering at European Wilderness Society

Hi! We are writing from Tamsweg, Austria, where the European Wilderness Society is based. While Rebecca was the first volunteer, who wrote the earlier blog posts, the rest of us volunteers have taken up her mantle to keep this blog going. Here we write about the personal aspects of volunteering life and the adventures we get up to. In the office we each have differing roles but as a team we are all focused in helping each other, in order to meet the mission of making Europe wild again. Here you’ll read about our adventures in the mountains alongside office work and trips further afield.

Our destinations

Skifahren in der Zeit des Lockdowns

Hello! I thought I would do a little German post seeing as we’re in Austria and that one of the key parts of being a volunteer abroad is learning the local language (although I’m not quite sure how much of the local Lungau dialect I understand still!). So here goes my winter update… Letztes Jahr habe ich während Herbst darauf sehr gefreut, in Winter Skifahren zu gehen. Jedoch hatte ich damals gleichzeitig Angst davor, dass die Skigebiete wegen der Pandemie geschlossen bleiben würden. Im Lungau gibt es insgesamt vier Skigebiete und in normalen Zeiten würden wir von der....

Arriving in Tamsweg during COVID times

Hi all! My name is Lia, originally from Spain, and I’m one of the new volunteers joining the European Wilderness Society team!  I arrived to Tamsweg the 15th of March, after a long journey that started the day before in Aarhus (Denmark), where I was staying at the moment. As we all know, COVID-19 makes travelling a bit more challenging than normal. So, to be able to take my flight at 07:00h and conduct the mandatory antigen test before departure (apart from a PCR), I spend a not too comfortable night sleeping in my yoga mat in the airport. Far from being done, a six hour layover in....

LIFEstockProtect by European Wilderness Society

Volunteering: an opportunity for more

Why do you volunteer? Maybe because you want to do something good or because you can learn more about the culture of a country? I personally always used it to gain valuable work experience while being able to live and travel in an exciting new place. I wouldn’t have thought that I would end up volunteering in my home country Austria, and even less that the volunteering opportunity with IVY would lead to a full time contract of employment. But that’s exactly what happened. Six months in Tamsweg Looking back to when I first arrived, I grew a lot – professionally and personally....

Interview with Gintare Tamulyte

For nine months, Gintare volunteered with the European Wilderness Society. As her time comes to an end, she tells us in an interview about how it was for her when she fist arrived to Tamsweg, about her favourite leisure activities and about how she learned to ski like a local in only two months. What stands out in her story is that she experienced many first times here in Austria, personally and professionally, especially because of the contrast of nature and work environment compared to her home country Lithuania. Listen to the interview here and if you want to read more about Gintare....

Wilderness Diary Jonas-31071.jpg - © European Wilderness Society CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

My advice: Make plans … and then change them

In January 2019, when I first heard of the European Wilderness Society, I did not plan that I would be in little Tamsweg in the middle of a pandemic in February 2021. Back then, I was in the South African desert during the hottest time of summer researching small rodents. Now I am amongst four different ski resorts in the Alps – the temperature difference between the two is up to 60°C. In between was a wild time with ups and downs, many new experiences and lessons. How it all started I first heard of the European Wilderness Society that January because someone shared on Facebook that they are....

International cuisine dinners at volunteers’ flat

When the start of the strict lockdown in Austria was announced, volunteer mood dropped. We were used to going to gym in the evenings and having a few beers together on Friday nights. How will we spend our weekends now? Especially in the cold months? What activities can we do together in our flat? In the beginning there was curry The answer to these questions was accidentally found by Jonas. He is passionate about various cuisines and has great cooking skills. And since we were all [loudly] dreaming about Indian food for a few weeks already (there is no Indian restaurant in Tamsweg), Jonas....

  • 6 Volunteers so far
  • 7 Countries visited
  • 120 km Kilometres hiked
  • 30 + Diary entries