i’m back in love again

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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:

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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.

workaway.info/967944368781-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/238395469516-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/665323646289-en.html

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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!

workaway.info/17466699864d-en.html

We would really appreciate help with the maintenance of our 16th century chateau and organic vegetable garden in Crozon sur Vauvre

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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.

workaway.info/114773191127-en.html

Come and help out with a chateau in Burgundy

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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

Gardening
Building
Cooking / shopping
General Maintenance
Farming
Help in the house
Animal care
Helping with Tourists
Language practise
Art project

workaway.info/315855731417-en.html

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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…

workaway.info/355562711385-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/546125795287-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/243846814767-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/1669363514b5-en.html

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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.

workaway.info/388315282847-en.html

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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!

workaway.info/283742328522-en.html

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Caretaker couple wanted for Small fairytale castle in Loire Valley, France

and last but not least, the first image leads to this little cherry:

workaway.info/314682254c9a-en.html

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!

May 3, 2015. Tags: , , , . France, the world, Travel. 16 comments.

what happens in the middle of nowhere

Woman-silhouette-with-sunrise-sunset

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
-Bern Williams 

good norning and bon weekend! it’s memorial day so i’m sending thanks to all the troops who’ve worked hard to protect our freedom over the years without judgement or politics including my own dear dad and brothers.

VPF

vfp.org

we’ve been working non stop lately but last night i had a chance to do a little armchair traveling and explore the idea of going to a couple upcoming events with volunteers for peace  (vfp.org) this summer. below are two happening in july. there’s something for everyone including boys and girls, single adults and families. they’re held all over the world and range from archaeological digs to bringing clean water to communities in need. the sky’s the limit!  normally i’d never travel to the mountains or far inland as a coastal lover. still these are good jump offs to start an overseas trip. take a look at the site and if you decide to go, let me know!

FRANCE

The Valley of Wonders (La Vallee des Merveilles) is  in the French Alps. There were more than 40,500 protohistoric  rock carvings dating from the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age discovered throughout the region.

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this one is near the  Côte d’Azur. it’s also known as the valley of marvels.

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way up in the mountains someone stumbled onto ancient rock carvings that are thousands of years old. what were they doing up here way back then?

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It’s accessible only by hiking which is why the prehistoric site has been so well preserved.
Mount Bego, which rises to 2,872 meters, dominating its imposing stature valleys. The terrain has been shaped by glaciers that ran down its slopes there some 10,000 years ago.

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this little guy has become the poster child for the region.

being-valley

the work will be done in one of the caves of marvels

spiral-valley

so many ancient sites have the spiral as a recurring theme. some of the oldest are in france.

carvings

breteau-photographe.com/galerie/vallee_merveilles

and thousands of carvings like these are all over the rocks. i’m fascinated with the petroglyphs. what were they trying to say?

800px-Val_Merveilles_-_France_-_petrogliphs_paint

Vallée des Merveilles-fr.wikipedia.org

this traveler made a panoramic interactive of the region which he uploaded below:

valley

360cities-vallee-des-merveilles

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ITALY

anyway after that i’d head to italy where they’ve been creating a sustainable eco- friendly town from  ancient ruins. again, not in my first choice for a travel destination necessarily but a good starting point nonetheless! granara-eco-village-green-camp

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flickr.com/photos/franci86/2911938134/sizes/m/in/photostream

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it’s supposedly close to parma

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and picturesque to say the least

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The organisation G.Eco (Granara Ecology) is located in Granara, a 600 mt altitude rural village on Appennini mountains. Granara is an experiment in sustainable development of an open community. The activities concern solar and appropriate technologies, bio-architecture, holistic health care, environmental education, social activities, theatre and art workshops and promotion of ecological awareness of inhabitants and hosts.  Granara hosts a summer a Theatre Festival, dedicated to ecology.

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it looks like the town was once abandoned

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groups of dedicated visitors have come and put their hands on it to bring it back to life and repurpose and modernize it while maintaining its beauty and history.

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of couse you always eat well in italy, even in the middle of nowhere!

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ecovideo

youtube.com/watch?v=bv9Bm1PbKoA

above is a good photo video just to get an idea.

anyway VFP offers so much that it’s impossible not to find something to sink your heart and/or teeth into. they offer over 3000 projects in more than 100 countries around the world. below is just in europe! visit their site to open up the rest of the world.  in the meantime have a great weekend with the ones you love!

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England UK
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Northern Ireland UK
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Scotland UK
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Wales

May 18, 2013. Travel. 3 comments.

from here to eternity

miami-beach TPA

instagram.com/theparisapartment

good morning and happy sunday all! it’s a bright and early morning and another chance to have a great day. sometimes that means lounging around and other times it’s getting out into the world and exploring. i came across this montage yesterday and it’s been on my mind ever since. there really is nothing like traveling is there?

it cures what ails us, sheds a different light on the world, makes our problems seem trivial and connects us in a way that only being there can do. i know myself well enough to know that wanderlust is coming on strong and maybe it’s time to book a trip.  do you have plans this summer?

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well so, even if we stay in one place we can still create something out of nothing! have a beautiful day where ever you go!

May 5, 2013. Photography, Travel. 10 comments.

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