To WWOOF in Rural France

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More than a year has passed since our WWOOF experience in the rolling, verdant hills near Lagorce, France. But, like every life-affirming experience, I talk about it all the time.

Olive Farm France Ardeche lagorce sunshine

The rundown: a family of four welcomed us to their roughly 3,000 tree, local, independently run organic olive oil farm. Two parents, one son (a grown man slowly taking over his father’s farm), one son’s live-in girlfriend (who used to be a WWOOFer, oh lala) and two massive dogs. We collected olives for over a month, harvesting what felt like the full scope of their immense orchard. We learned some French, ate with the family at all times, and lived a remote, self-sustained life.

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The Metro: Transportation for the Soul

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I’m sort of in love with metros. Is that weird? I think it’s weird. 

Not the smell of over-heated metals rubbing through windy sub-urban tunnels. Not the awkward and illicit encounters late night rides usually provide. And especially not the whole disease ridden, modern-medicine fail, where the zombie-apocalypse starts aspect of the metropolitan transit systems.

London the Tube

Those scare me. What I love is the spider-web. You know, that physical trace of lines we dig like war trenches into the ground, publicly cementing the makeup of our society. It is the connection, the shuffling of hundreds and thousands into straight lines and round bends, all shuttling together and forward towards something. 

Uniformity in the dense complex of human society. Mmm.

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Salzburg: The City We Would Have Never Seen

There are wonderful travel days filled with long walks, hot coffee, and epic photo ops—the kind that reaffirm your expensive plane ticket. Then there are those rocky travel days filled with—well, even longer walks, cold coffee, and the haunting underbelly of urban life.  Every day you might not know what is in store but in the end it’s all about your attitude, right? I am of the mind that with positivity your day has a much higher chance of being magical. This is even more true when you are traveling—the stakes are higher, the lows so much lower (did you see Taken? Yikes!) and the bare essentials suddenly feel like gifts from God. Our trip from Vienna to Milan took all of this into account, from the caffeinated beverages to the questionable gas station sandwiches, and it looked like it would be quite the bummer. Continue reading