Rob Law did not travel to Iceland to learn how to paint, dig, and clean. But that is exactly what happened during a month of workaway volunteering in Borgarnes. Rob arrived at a time when many projects were underway but none were finished. He quickly established himself as someone capable of stepping in and working on anything. “Rob took an amazing load from the daily stuff that I had to do.” said host Michelle Bird. “He took over all of the daily bed and breakfast stuff, the stuff that nobody likes to do. He painted the kitchen really well. He painted the laundry room and stained the entire cabin, which was a big job.”
“For the first two weeks,” he said, “I was really knackered every night from working.” Though Rob had never tried physical labor before, he excelled in every task asked of him—especially the painting. According to Michelle, Rob “sort of became the house painter.” With a background in rock climbing, he was able to complete challenging painting projects—like roofs and ceilings—that required strength and balance. And through long days of work, Rob contributed even more by documenting the projects via photography.
For Rob, living and working communally afforded him an opportunity to learn and grow. “Living in a house that isn’t my own taught me to never leave the toilet seat up,” he joked. “Traveling alone is the biggest thing for me. It’s great to meet people from different walks of life.” Rob added that the scenery and the food were special, saying, “I’m going back to living in student squalor, so not having roast lamb every few days is going to be heart breaking.”