European Wilderness Volunteer 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

When the sun rises in the Alps

Hi! My name is Karolina and I’m from Ukraine. One month and a half ago I became an EWS volunteer. My story started in February. One of my work projects in Kyiv was coming to the end I had the feeling that I want to do something meaningful. After my quick research on European Solidarity Corps website, I found a lovely project about nature protection in Lung au, Austria. That was a pretty attractive offer because I worked with a phytopathological organization before and to spend 12 months near the Alps sounded amazing to me. I filled out an application and started to wait.  How everything was....

Quarantine in Vienna

Upon arrival to Austria, I was graciously met by my EWS-colleague Nathalie and we headed straight to the vaccination. As a matter of fact, I already have a Russian vaccine, but since it’s not acknowledged by the EU I had to make another one.  The vaccination experience turned out to be surprisingly exciting, performed at the very heart of Vienna in Stephen’s Cathedral during the Holy Mass. A nice introduction to the Austrian Culture. Unfortunately, after that, I headed straight into the quarantine for the incoming 5 days. For that, I got a cosy little apartment in a nice....

Dashing through the snow… and driving through the Lungau

Although I was able to see a lot of the Lungau since arriving in October, we hadn’t yet had an extensive tour through the region. That was about to change… Over the fields we go… A real treat was awaiting us after lunch last Thursday – a horse-drawn carriage, complete with sleighbells! Max and Anni had organised a tour around Tamsweg for us. As it had snowed heavily the day before, it was the perfect time. We sat in the back as the driver took us around Tamsweg and the surrounding villages. It was a lovely new way to experience the area. We were very lucky with the weather....

An evening of food and culture

Hi, Vicky here! I’ve been a volunteer at the European Wilderness Society since October. So much has happened since then, and various daytrips, dinners and winter sport activities have let me properly settle into life in Tamsweg and get closer to everyone in the office. One thing I was really looking forward to was an international dinner, an EWS tradition. With just one volunteer though, it wasn’t really worth doing it in the autumn. When Elena joined us in January, it was finally time to have a multicultural meal together. Cooking up a storm Although we’d already prepared some of the....

740-hour walk and all the wilderness I have skipped

Hi, Servus, Привет, my name is Elena and since January I’m the new ESC-Volunteer at the European Wilderness Society. Here’s the story of my 4297 km long journey from my hometown in Russia to Austria.  From the banks of Volga to the banks of Danube I cross multiple regions and countries, different ecological and time zones on my way to the EWS office. I move through a substantial part of the Earth, densely occupied by humans with gems of wilderness scattered among it. Although unfortunately, I skip most of it by plane, even a quick look over such a natural diversity provides a good....

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....

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