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Folks, We're Worn Out

About two weeks ago, our Workaway hosts Maria and Mateo had a family of twelve (plus the four of us, making it a group of sixteen) over for a late lunch party. This was the family of their house's new buyers, who will be moving into this little slice of heaven in November. Maria and Mateo have poured an incredible amount of love and work into this property that hardly had a livable dwelling on it 25 years ago, but after two and a half decades, they are passing it on to an enthusiastic clan who seem to be a perfect fit--and they themselves have a new property project they're working on about 5 minutes down the road.

At this gathering, I was sitting across the table from the sister and brother-in-law of the couple that bought this place, chatting about our trip. At one point, I was asked, "So what's it like traveling for so long?"

"Exhausting," I said lightheartedly, though it's a truthful answer. They seemed honestly surprised.

"Really? How?&qu…
Recent posts

Our Fab Five (of Workaway)

When we set out on this trip, we didn't have a goal for an "ideal" number of Workaway experiences, but now that we are a chunk of the way through our fifth, I think five is pretty perfect. It's not an even number, but there's more data to collect from than three, but it's also not so many that each stay's individual value gets fuzzy, you know?

But before I get ahead of myself, we left off in our last post in Barcelona. I want to finish painting that picture so you can see the appropriate contrast here.

We had a lovely time exploring Barcelona, of course. The architecture is fabulous and like nothing we'd seen yet in Europe, the weather was lovely, we drank sangria under an umbrella near the beach and tried the famous vermouth cocktails with our tapas. The enjoyable bits, however, were exclusively reserved for out of the house moments--our selected Airbnb, which was nearly the only thing we could get in our price range (getting to the end here, people…

Not Always Just Sun and Flowers

I look down at the shower drain and realize I forgot to remove my blister band-aids before getting in, and they now drift feebly at my feet. That was what I forgot while we were at Lidl earlier, because I was distracted trying to find moisturizing lotion with aloe in it amongst the minimal selection, all labeled in an unfamiliar language, so we're still out. (It turned out the aloe lotion was in a summertime display near the checkout. Crisis averted.) I reached down to collect them--I know myself and will forget them there later--but in doing so my elbow bumps the shower faucet handle (again) and the water pressure is suddenly like that of a fire hose and the temperature jumps to scorching. I shriek and turn it down again, because it's very startling, even though this happens every single time due to the absurd smallness of this shower stall. It was this moment it occurred to me that it's all too easy to make our blog posts about this trip sound almost entirely idyllic, w…

Fifty Shades of Rosé

We have already, sadly, come to the end of our Workaway here in Thuir, France. This beautiful little town is just outside of Perpignan, and very close to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Our usual style of travel for Andrew and I is to pick a place that we're curious about or looks interesting, show up, and then discover all the cool things it has to offer. We aren't really the types to do extensive research about a destination (maybe on a short trip, but can you imagine how many hours we'd spend on the internet on a trip like this?) so we had no idea what to expect when we showed up in the South of France.

It turns out, this region of the Pyrenees is bustling with summer activities and bursting with hidden gems to explore. Besides all the concerts and open-air markets and tapas and picturesque beach towns, this Catalan/Mediterranean/French lifestyle is one both of us can totally get behind.

This is our fourth Workaway together. (We have one more scheduled in Spain nex…