The all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas will take place from April 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020. Picture: Christina Holmes.

If you ever yearned to travel to the Bahamas, now’s your chance. 

Airbnb and the Bahamas National Trust, a local NGO that protects 32 national parks in the country, are offering five participants the life-changing opportunity to take time away from the everyday grind to live in an ecological oasis with the Bahamas Sabbatical.

The all-expenses-paid trip will take place from April 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020. 

While this experience is more a work style holiday, the lucky winners will get to live in an island that offers more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays that boast some of the clearest water on the planet. 

All travel expenses, food, and accommodation are part of the prize. 

According to an Airbnb statement, the winners will experience The Bahamas in a new way as they work alongside Bahamians to bolster once vibrant industries and preserve natural resources to help transform a country that depends on visitors’ spending. 

The statement revealed that these industries, which face issues impacted by a changing ecosystem and population decline, play a pivotal role in establishing autonomy and self-sufficiency for the country's ‘family islands’, a moniker used by locals to describe how the hundreds of islands connect and belong to each other. 

Eric Carey, Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust, said partnering with Airbnb is an incredible opportunity to help further preserve the culture and resources and share our diverse country and the Bahamian way of life with the world.

Chris Lehane, Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications of Airbnb, said the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Tourism in the Bahamas to promote tourism to the country through Airbnb even beyond the Bahamas Sabbatical. 

So, what would the two months entail for the lucky winners? 

Over April and May, participants will embed themselves into three beautiful island destinations: Andros, Exumas, and Eleuthera. In Andros, where the third largest reef system in the world is located, participants will work alongside underwater and travel photographer, Katie Storr, to create a coral reef restoration program in North Marine Park and will construct and install a brand new nursery. Participants will also explore blue holes, harvest sponges, and more.

At Exuma, home to the country’s first-ever national park, participants will work closely with freediver Andre Musgrove to replicate The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park ecosystem in other waters around the destination that have been overtaken by invasive species, namely the red lionfish. Participants will participate in conch conservation, traditional boatbuilding, and sailing.

At Eleuthera, participants will learn propagation techniques for the native trees and establish a bush tea farm. They will also research native species, practice traditional pineapple farming, and harvest sea salt. 

At the end of the two months, each participant will have collaborated to create lasting programs as well as new Experiences that visitors to these islands can book that will directly benefit the local community while supporting efforts toward a sustainable future.

To apply, visit airbnb.com/sabbatical