in love with life, that is! bonjour toute le monde, i hope spring has officially sprung for you. i have to admit it’s been a super long time since i’ve had the urge and/or sheer will to blog. upon a little self analysis, i found it to be a case of the old ‘overwhelmed and burned out’ combo. but tonight i stayed in and surfed the net (for the first time in awhile) and voilà
my passion for my business, blog, blog buds, travel, exploration and a general sense of WaNdErLuST came flooding back! there’s so much running through my heart and head tonight that i hope my hands can keep up!
so…since i’ve got to start somewhere let’s go with this…it’s a site called workaway.com which has the most unbelievable, one of a kind travel experiences imaginable. you can choose locations throughout the world and are hosted in some incredible venues from castles to chateaus to B&Bs in exchange for everything from gardening, decorating, painting, management, teaching english, horse care, babysitting or construction, JUST to name a few. beware if you visit the site, it’s utterly addictive and will pull you in deep!
since i fell victim to the delicious guilty pleasure, you can kick back and do a little armchair traveling to see if any of these experiences would pique your interest. this kind of barter could be a good way to see the world. i couldn’t post everything i fell in love with and kind of ended up focused on europe but did come across so many other amazing things in jamaica, south america, india, indonesia, malta, sardinia, capri, the us, canada, british columbia and more. just mess around see where in the world you’re drawn. here are some of my favorites:
Help with a rural tourism project in Mazzarino, Sicily, Italy
We are a rural tourism project about natural farming, simple living, yoga and outdoor activities. We are starting in Sicily, in a small organic farm.
We will be building a yoga platform, creating accomodations for guests and of course farming, doing yoga and surf, running workshops and other things.
We are a young team of professionals with our rural tourism project in mind.
If you’re curious to join, just contact us.
Help at a Spiritual Eco Village in Sicily
We are a couple living in the mountains in the Maddonie nature reserve, an hour ride from Palermo in Sicily.
We like to define ourselves as ‘the first spiritual ecovillage in Sicily’. This place is a very strong energetic point, and the winds are changing often.
We are in the process of becoming self sustainable.
We are musicians and artists and so music and creativity are very present and alive here. The place was created by Toto, a Sicilian musician, with a dream of creating a space for personal healing. We try to follow the changing currents and be attentive to ourselves and to others who surround us. We give support to each other in difficult moments and a big laugh in moments of joy. We practice energetic work such as reiki and every once in a while hold a sacred Native American ceremony called Temazcal – led by Toto, who has walked the ‘red path’, the shamanic journey.
Speak English in Exchange for 4 star accommodation in Spain
Our company organises programmes that bring together a group of volunteer native English speakers and a group of Spaniards for a week in a four star hotel.
The goal of the programme is for Spaniards to speak English and improve their capacity to communicate in English.
Volunteers get free **** hotel accommodation and meals during the week.
In exchange, we ask you to take part in activities such as one-to-ones, telephone calls, group conversations, etc.
Lavender farm in the beautiful Lot valley near Toulouse, France
Ian and Suzie (a Kiwi and Brit) have established a lavender farm in the beautiful Lot valley about 1½ hours north of Toulouse. We have 2,500 lavender plants, which we tend by hand, and would dearly appreciate some help in the spring and autumn. We have travelled and lived all over the world, and got the inspiration for our lavender farm in New Zealand. We now produce our own essential oil which is 100% natural. We are looking for a sincere, energetic couple/two friends who like working outside with plants and would enjoy helping us tend the lavender and garden. By way of variety, you might also like to help with small building repairs and painting jobs on the property – our “To Do” list is shrink-proof!
We would really appreciate help with the maintenance of our 16th century chateau and organic vegetable garden in Crozon sur Vauvre
We are an English couple who live in a 16th century French chateau. In summer we sometimes have music courses and concerts, in which the house is filled with people and music. The rest of the time it’s more relaxed, with friends visiting and parties in the evenings. The winters are much calmer! We love hosting new people and filling the house with music and laughter. We would really appreciate help with the maintenance of the chateau. This includes gardening, especially in our organic vegetable garden, and painting and decorating inside. During the workshops help with cleaning in the kitchen would also be great. Just let us know what area you prefer to work in.
Come and help out with a chateau in Burgundy
This is an amazing chateau with lots of history. It is buzzing with energy, used to be a monastery long ago, then owned by nobles and artists and still seems to have a special feeling. It is peaceful and nature surrounds it like its clothing. The views are spectacular rolling hills and its pureness touches everyone’s heart alike.
We have big beautiful outbuildings (gallery, event space) that need looking after and finding inspiring activities to do with them will be a pleasure.
This time we are going to maintain it as a bed & breakfast with possibilities as an art, workshop, culture center with a touch of holistic, already established by the high quality of life it offers. We lived in Bali for a while but nothing can beat this place and its magic…come and share it with us.
I am a sculptor, photographer, jewel-maker, writer. My two sons (21 and 23 years) are into creating modern music compositions and we intend to use it! They studied in France, Holland and Bali, making them internationally wise and cool to be with. We are planning something special and invite passionates to experience this with us.
Burnand has a micro climate and nurturing grounds for 21 exotic orchids, making it a protected area. We will serve travelers going down south and who are smart enough to stop over and enjoy Burgundy’s secrets. This is the real France…we are aiming for people from all over the world.
Type of help
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Need help in my artistic B&B in Arles, south of France
Workaway,Workagay…..Welcome in Arles,UNESCO-heritage town in the sunny and beautifull Provence for everybody with good heart!
My name is Eryk, I’m a french man in love with ARLES and around.
I’m using the Workaway system in order to help me finishing building my house in a artistic way: that’s why I need a team of good handyman/woman.
I work outside two days/week, that’s why I sometimes need some general help for the B&B as cleaning, check in, general computer communication etc…
Come to the Côte d’Azur, near Monaco, help with gardening and learn French
In a wonderful surrounding, on the “Côte d’Azur” near Monaco and the italian border. Even in Paradise, trees grow too big, and weeds have to be trimmed! it is mostly for gardening that we need help, but also to maintain cabans built some time ago; we are a group of friends of various ages and origins, living on different spots of the property. I am a teacher of French for foreigners, and could help you improve your French.
Help out in a small hostel in the middle of the main street of a surfy town called Itacare, Brazil
My husband and I own a small hostel in the middle of the main street of a surfy town called Itacare. Itacare is one of the few remaining places in Bahia, Northeast Brazil, where the Atlantic rainforest meets the sea. It is famous for its surf, beaches, waterfalls, rediculous beauty, capoeira, reggae and amazing vibe.
We are a 10minute walk to 4 of the local beaches (there are many more!), 10mins to the town center and next to the bars and restaurants (because of how the property is arranged we don’t suffer with street noise).
Our hostel is very sociable and we pride ourselves on making our guests feel at home and providing lots of entertainment and relaxation. Part of what gives it that homley feel is that our volunteers are like family and enjoy being part of it and sharing it with others.
Help in Greece at a horse farm
We need all year but if you want to come in summer you should stay at least 2 months, from the end of June or July. This should then be someone with horse experience, since we need help with the horses. Also we need help with the garden and the house.
The other months, September to May, shorter stays are possible, but at least one week. Then we are more flexible with work, tell us your skills and we will see if it fits.
All the year we are happy to have volunteers with us who teach our son English while playing with him.
Help in a unique hotel in the Island of Sardina
In Santu Lussurgiu, a little village on the west side of Sardinia, there is my family’s house, built at the beginning of XVIII century by my great grand parents. It has been kept by my family throught out the generations. In 2002 my mother decided to move from Milan to this little village in Sardinia with my sister and I.
My mom has always loved this house very much and when she had the opportunity she turned it into a charming little hotel: she wanted to share her passion with people from everywhere.
Our hotel is an “albergo diffuso” which means that the rooms are spread out in different builings in order to preserve the architecture of the village. Our guests can feel like living in our community and for us it is like being part of a very big family.
Inside the Hotel, we also run a small gourmet restaurant where we only serve local foods and wine. During these years we became friend with the local producers and we often organize visit and classes for the guests in order to teach them how to make cheese, pasta or pastries.
We are partners of Slow Food association: we are a “learning center” of the Gastronomical Sciences University and many students come here to study.
Help us renovate our beautiful chateau in the Loire valley
Hi we are in the process of renovating a beautiful chateau in the loire valley, we are located in the Vendee which is the 2nd suniest part of france next the Cote d’Azur. Most of the heavy lifting is now done but we are seeking help in improving the grounds and clearing out some outbuildings. There are other bits and pieces to do in the house aswell painting etc We are looking for someone who likes outdoor work, dogs and cats and gourmet food as we have our own restaurant here!
Caretaker couple wanted for Small fairytale castle in Loire Valley, France
and last but not least, the first image leads to this little cherry:
well that will about do it for tonight considering it’s 4am, where did the time go? well i guess i did take a trip around the world so it was kinda worth it. anyway it was fun to fantasize. if you end up going (or have ever done this kind thing), i’d love to hear about it. by the by, i posted some of this on my paris apartment facebook page as it’s been easier to share stories and links than to blog. so if you want a quick update you can get updates from over there.
ok well, good night and sweet dreams of infinite possibility!
hey guys, happy easter/passover! whatever you’re celebrating here’s hoping your day full of friends, family, food & fun. i’m at my parents’ house and we’re doing all the traditional stuff from cooking to dyeing eggs. it got me wondering why exactly we do these things and what they mean. a quick google search provided a little education, a lot from this site in particular, homecooking-foodhistory and here are some of their insights below:
the word ‘easter’ derives from a pagan fertility goddess named Eastre. a festival was held each spring to in northern europe to honor her. the rabbit was her animal spirit and was also a symbol of fertility and the abundance of spring.
Eastre by Jacques Reich
what’s with the egg? the egg is an ancient symbol for new life and has been associated with festivals celebrating spring since pagan times.
easter takes place the first sunday after the spring solstice. it’s considered the time of year for renewal after a cold, hard winter.
all around the globe, cultures use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth.
a notation in the household accounts of edward I of england showed an expenditure for eggs to be gold-leafed and colored as easter gifts.
the first book to mention easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for easter was a real treat.
many old cultures attributed the egg with great healing powers. somehow the bunny rabbit and the eggs have morphed into the traditional way we celebrate today.
i have a slight obsession with the creative, gorgeous, innovative ways people have come to celebrate this time of year and am in love with the many styles of egg dyeing, lace cutting
and traditions from all over the world. it would be easy to get lost in blogland going thru pretty pics but i’ve got to get to work helping get this party started!
if you still have time, here’s a cool dye chart:
ok gotta go…enjoy your day with the ones you love!
bonjour mon amour, it’s officially valentine’s day 2015. i’ve been doing some research on feng shui which is an ancient oriental philosophy about creating spaces that bring abundance in different areas of the home by incorporating the yin and yang of furniture placement and the four earthly elements of earth, air, fire and water.
a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account.
since i’ve always been passionate about le boudoir, i’m taking v-day to focus on what we can do to bring some supercharged ions in to activate it for love whether single or married
the bedroom is that one sacred place you can really unwind and check out. it has to be as comforting as it is comfortable for you as well as someone special enough to be invited in
there are lots of theories (some conflicting) on how to go about creating your haven, but then there are other theories that are de rigeur. one of the first things that we’re advised to do it to let fresh air in by airing the room out. throw open all the windows and hang curtains that move gently with the breeze.
i came across this image and thought why not incorporate some lacy accent that will play with the sunlight on your skin
you’re basically supposed to keep it simple so that masculine and feminine energy are both at home but hey, a tiny bit of lace couldn’t hurt if if casts beautiful shadows across your bed…and you
the second rule is to keep the room uncluttered to let the chi (energy) flow. next is to have nightstands on either side of the bed which symbolizes and welcomes partnerships
next and maybe one of the most important (to e anyway) is having fresh flowers beside the bed. the fragrance and color enhance the senses and this is the place to amp the ol’ olfactories up
artwork in the boudoir is a super personal choice and a very strong statement to the universe putting out a very distinct message
i love rooms that turn into galaxies…that’s when the stardust starts falling
if you love the beach or the mountains or the moon but can’t have the real thing, this philosophy recommends just using a reasonable fascimile like an image of the sky or beach
or both if you’re lucky
one of the recurring themes is to take note of the EMFs (elecrtomagnetic frequencies) that are floating around the room. they’re emitted from phone chargers, computers, cable boxes and tvs so it’s best to remove as many as possible. if you have a big empty wall, a way to compromise with having a tv in the bedroom could be to use a projector so when it’s off, it’s gone.
of course if you have to have a tv make it supercool
we’d probably all love to have a fireplace in our bedroom, but since that’s not possible, there are lots of ways to bring in fire without installing a chimney per se
a faux mantle and candles will work wonders
or a modern mini tabletop fireplace
or a few simple tapers will do the trick
light should be soft, so definitely ban the curly fluorescents and think about using a pink bulb here and there
for the details, crystals are recommended since they’re known to emanate certain vibrations and frequencies. rose quartz is specifically mentioned for an erotic charge
one of the most important practices of feng shui is to clear a space using incense or sage.
for some reason plants aren’t recommended in the bedroom but it seems that bamboo is ok if you have two stalks. they also don’t recommend water as one of the elements to bring into the lair so i thought it was pretty interesting that this one plant could make up for a couple things in the balance:
Bamboo plays an important role as a living example of the feng shui elements of water, wood and earth. When you place this plant in the correct pot, it can introduce fire and metal to complete a balance of the five elements.
essential oils are the pure essence extracted from plants. certain scents are inherently sensual such as rose and jasmine. you can even make your own
one of the debates i came across was over which colors to use but all signs seemed to say that pink was a good go to hue
and that blue was cold but gray was ok
personally i’m into white but there was even debate on that!
ultimately you’ll decide what works best to create the space that nurtures your heart and soul
enjoy your bedroom for the sanctuary it is and let it be a work of art that you relish and play with each day and night
well, happy valentine’s day to you all, my really dear friends. hope all your dreams of love come true! xoc