Late Sunday night Anders arrived at Toulouse airport and we are back together after more than three weeks of traveling and exploring separately.
Working in the old stable
It’s very nice to spend time together again, and lots of catching up to do. We’ve been talking and watching the moon until late the past two nights.
Bonfire with friends last night
We are now both at the house we will be house sitting at the coming two weeks, and have exchanged some work for food and accomodation. Tomorrow our hosts leave and we’re in charge of chickens, sheep, horses, cats and the highly productive vegetable garden.
Today's harvest of tomatoes
We’re gonna have tomatoes in all different ways possible over the coming weeks.
Lots of cherry tomatoes
Anders have been part of checking if the apples are ripe enough to collect for winter storage.
This is the second time we’re house sitting for this couple, and we really like to spend time with them, as well as experiencing this part of France in the late summer/early fall.
Since we don’t have a car here, it will be different from last winter in the area and we’re lucky to know several people not too far from us.
See you soon! //Anders and Wivan
Chicken house and sunrise
How about this view in front of the chicken house!? Not bad, huh!
In a few days Anders arrives and I can’t wait to see him again. It’s been three weeks, and so much has happened for both of us it’ll take some time to talk it all through.
Flower in my bedroom
The first days back in France, together with friends, have been truly awsome. So much caring and love among our friends here, the views take my breath away every day, and I get to both do my own things, be a part of other’s lives, and learn new things. Great mix!
Yesterday after a pool session
It’s been warm enough to sun bathe and swim in the pool = I’m a happy kid!
As for the renovation project it moves along very well and we have put in some good hours of work.
Now time for a little walk before breakfast. Take care and stay cool!
When we first got to the Workaway host we’ve stayed with for a week, we were told to “dress for painting tomorrow”. And we were thinking… What do we actually have that can be used for painting?
Dressed for painting
The thing is; our packing is rather compact, since we’ve got all of our clothes and belongings in a backpack each. We do have the car, wich opens up some bonus possibilities, but still, the clothes are limited.
Anders in his “painting gear”, and also a helping paw…
We found out we’d be good in our relax/yoga clothes. So Anders is wearing his brown pants from the Swedish brand Hängmatta and a t-shirt from Craft. And Wivan’s using her comfy-pants bought at a Spanish market last spring and an ecological singlet from Kapp Ahl.
Anders and Benji having a little break
For outdoors, these clothes work as well, and Wivan likes taking her rain-pants over the blue comfy’s to stay dry. And we’ve got our really good boots to put on and thereby stay dry and are good with pretty much any type of work or weather.
Us in the middle of an outside working day
Wivan started using her “fine long sleeve shirt” for outdoor work, since the wool-jacket wasn’t an option. And that’s just it, things and clothes need to have more than one function in order to really work when travelling. We’re learning by doing.
Today we’re spending the day in fancy Nice, probably taking the train to Monaco. And our outdoor-clothes, with pants from Fjällräven, will be the choice of the day. Everything can be used for any occasion, as long as you remember a trip like ours is not about fashion… 😉
Enjoying some painting
//Anders and Wivan
In a hotel in central Nice
Today we’ve left our Workaway host and driven to Nice, almost on the border to Italy. It’ll be a couple of days on our own before we’re taking on our next house sit, south of Toulouse.
Sure, this is a bit of driving in the “wrong” direction, but we’ve been really eager to see Nice and the coast.
It was a challenge, as always, to drive into the city, but now that we’re here it’s so well worth it. And, after four weeks of travelling, all of a sudden we met four Swedish ladies in a small supermarket – speaking the same dialect as Anders. We started talking and they were all very sweet and wished us the best of luck on our travels.
Such small things mean the world to us, as well as getting help from a bicykle messenger on the street when we were totally lost (we still don’t have a gps).
Since it’s the first of December we’ve opened the first day of our liquorice Christmas calendar.
Thanks for reading!
//Anders and Wivan
In the middle of an outside working day
We finished the painting of a room in about two days, and yesterday was mostly about picking up the other Workaway/Helpx-couple and some sightseeing. Today we got started in another project at our current Workaway-host’s place. Outdoors, since the sun was shining and it seemed to be really nice weather. (But it kept raining on and off throughout the day…)
Anders and the other guy got into the pond to clean it up (the dog wasn’t in though)
And Wivan and the other woman did some helping from the side, and carried all the wedges and stuff away.
Even if it’s fair temperature in the air, the water was cold…
Anders was lucky to get the pair of so called water proof pants that wasn’t leaking…
Teamwork at its best
This is what water filled “water proof” pants look like after a dip in the pond
Happy after getting up 🙂
This was a great team-work assignment and we had lots of fun doing it.
Wivan figured it wasn’t meant for her to get in…
Shoes that were brand new only weeks ago…
And our host treated us very well, as always, and got some fresh croissants and pain au chocolat for a break by the fireplace afterwards.
This is what Workaway looks like sometimes 🙂
Tomorrow we’ve been asked to paint another room, since the hosts are so pleased with our painting work the other day. Let’s get too it!
We’v started our “Workaway-careers” as painters.
Good we got lots of experience from painting our own house
This really is a first for us, and we enjoy trying it out. The people we’re staying with are very sweet and caring and the place is beautiful.
Anders and one of the dogs
To us, the two dogs are a real bonus!
Tomorrow another Workaway couple will come to stay and do some work. We’re hereby expanding our travelling network which is cool.
There are so many people in this world, and so many life stories to hear. It’s exciting!
In the car
After a three and a half hour drive yesterday, we arrived in Toulouse last night and checked in at a small Best Western Hotel in the city center. It’s such a nice treat to stay a night in a hotel after our first “official” house sitting assignment on the countryside of the Dordogne.
The Capitole square in Toulouse – a little bit like Malmö 😉
On the way to Toulouse
This afternoon we’re heading east, to the area around Nimes to do our first Workaway session with a family. Since this is another first for us, we’re reading up a bit on what Workaway is, how it works etc. And it really strucks how well the thoughts behind this website and “matching service” is matching our thoughts on life and the world. Especially Anders is talking a lot about this after hearing doubtful and scared thoughts from others before we left Sweden.
Any interaction we have with other humans depends on trust, whether we are driving along a motorway or leaving all our valued possessions in a hotel room. Travel tests our capacity to trust others to the max. Being a long way from home, we rely on others to show us the ropes and re-direct us when we get lost. In fact it would be impossible to leave our homes unless we had an implicit trust in the rest of the human race…or the majority of them.
Workaway works on trust!
From the Workaway website.
After reading this particular part of the website, it feels even more compelling to try out the Workaway-way of living. And hopefully do good work and get some new knowledge and meetings with people along the way.
Looking forward to update you all on how it’s working. Thanks for reading!
// Anders & Wivan
Place du Capitole, Toulouse. Nighttime and lots of people!
Downtown Toulouse Saturday night
Sunday breakfast at Best Western Hotel Athenee
Until now, we’ve used the website Trustedhousesitters.com to find ads and sign up for different house sits around Europe (and Egypt). About a month ago a friend showed us the page workaway.info where travellers and hosts meet for matching and the basics is that someone can apply for an open spot at a hosts place and get to stay and eat for free in exchange for 4-5 hours of work per day.
Workaway logo and the world map
The type of work differs a lot depending on the host – it can be anything from cooking to baby sitting and building, to volunteering, working with guests at a resort and making breakfast at a B&B. Anything really.
So, we searched the workaway-site to fill a gap between two house sits, and found a match! We’ve e-mailed with them back and forth,will talk to them tomorrow, but already made up our minds. On Sunday we’ll join their family to see what we can help out with around their home and the Bed and Breakfast they run.
It really is great to be able to use these websites in order to find open minded people, to see the reviews they’ve gotten from former visitors and to connect and see if there might be a match between the two of us.
Both hosts and travellers/workawayers get to create their own profile, describing the assignment or who they are, can upload pictures and add whatever information or details that might be useful to the other part. Like a matchmaking site with a work/living purpose. 😉
Do you have any experience from other useful webpages for travellers?
// Anders & Wivan