For the last month and a half, my boyfriend and I have been backpacking in France using HelpX, a website that allows you to exchange work for free accommodation and food ( basically broke travelers gold mind). We are now at our second location and in a few days moving on to our third location, this time in Germany. There has been many, many experiences and adventures in the first month, it may take me another 10 months just to talk about them but I'll try to narrow them down...
We made our first flight together successfully and then as we tried to follow our hosts directions, we got on the first tram we saw and never even thought about checking where it was going or where we had to go and we couldn't ask anyone because we don't speak any french, but hey it actually worked and we managed to find our way correctly. Our first location was i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e (I will do a separate post on it) and we were so lucky to have it as our first experience. The people we met, the places we got to go and the care we were given will never be forgotten and only now looking back do we appreciate it all.
Our second location was a little, em, basic. We were way too spoilt in the first place so I didn't take too well to all seven helpers being housed in a separate building from the main chateau, where we did have our own dirty rooms, but Rich and I had separate broken beds, we never met our actual host until the third day and literally everything was broken. But now that we are here our third week I have relaxed and gotten used to all the massive bugs, broken shared shower, unclean laundry and being pretty much dirty and stinky the majority of the time. I mean this is real backpacking and what you would expect in a hostel.
Our whole idea of traveling was to get experiences in any way we could.
- I've danced with professional Argentian dancers in a park,
- had a 5-course meal with part-owners of Morgans cars,
- been shown around by a local French guy who we had met at a festival and said he would take us to his favorite sights,
- fell off my bike into a huge nettle bush and cried for about six hours,
- had a bonfire in rural France with an Italian woman, a German man and an awesome girl from New York,
- and lastly enjoyed every second.
We have the next two locations planned out and know where we are going up until the new year, but between now and then (and after) is anyone's guess as to what will happen.