My name is Amelia. I’m a 22 year old Drama & Performance and English Literary Studies graduate. I’ve always known that after university I wanted to travel. Whether it’s to ‘find myself’ or run away from ever approaching adulthood, I’m not really sure, but it’s always been my dream. A year after graduating, saving money, working two jobs and struggling with anxiety attacks, I’m finally doing it.
So, here I am, currently travelling around Europe with my significant other. At this moment in time we are in France, more specifically, on a train from Bordeaux to Lourdes. Oh that’s one thing I’ve learnt so far, French trains are ALWAYS delayed.
It’s been pretty much a month since we first jetted off into the unknown. We arrived into Paris on the 2nd November 2016. After three days of the typical touristy activities we travelled down south to Carcassonne where we got picked up by a stranger we met on the internet.
Now don’t worry, this is less ominous than it sounds and we haven’t been murdered, yet. Before we embarked on our adventure, we decided that to keep things cheap we signed up for WWOOFing. No, this does not have any affiliation with dogging, as so many people have questioned when informing them of our plans. WWOOF stand for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a volunteer programme where you can reach out to certain farms around the world and come to an arrangement of working for free accommodation and food. Not a bad deal eh?
This leads us to the stranger off the internet. Or in other words, a chestnut farmer called Geoffrey. Three weeks of work in the form of peeling thousands of chestnuts, processing said chestnuts, labelling jars and ending up with a heck of a lot of chestnut cream, crème de marron if you were wondering, which could then be sold in various French markets. Sounds like a bit of a ball ache right? Actually, it was a pretty cool experience. We enjoyed a variety of new and interesting foods along the way, visited some authentic French towns and got to play with the cutest kitten ever. This was all whilst living in the Black Mountains, so the view was pretty spectacular. Another bonus, I spent under €30 the entire time we were there, so you definitely can’t complain. In fact, I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in ‘living like a local’ rather than your typical city hopping and you gain some random new skills along the way.
However, we are now onto our standard city hopping. First Montpellier, a nice little town with the best cocktail bar. Then Bordeaux, a bigger city with a cute Christmas market. Now, Lourdes, and no, we are not religious, but it did feel like something we should see whilst we’re in this neck of the woods.
That’s about it so far, we shall see what happens next…