I really enjoy speaking to people about their own experience of travelling and this time I had the opportunity to speak to Clara. Clara is from Leipzig; a town in Germany. She is 18 years old and just finished her studies, before continuing her further education she decided to take a year out to reflect on what she wanted to do next and to discover something new.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I love to explore new places especially walking in nature and discovering new landscapes. I also like to spend time with children and meeting new people and their story. I like to keep a good relationship with my family and friends and enjoy listening to music and dancing. I am passionate about veganism, which has helped me to be more aware of and make more of a connection between people and the changing environment we live in.
Why do you want to travel?
As a child I was always happy to go out and explore the city that I was living in. As I grew older and we did some family holidays I remember the excited feeling that I would have. My two older brothers also went travelling a lot; my older brother went to Israel for 3 months, he was 19 on his own. He was working on a farm and when he came back I was very interested to discover his experience. My other brother was more of a camper and he loved to take his bike for a few days and explore. We did a lot of bike tours with my dad because he did not have a car so we would all ride the bike together, I guess that is also why I like to be out in nature. We travelled a lot around the Baltic sea. My mum had a fear of flying but in 2010 we started to travel more by plane to Europe.
Can you tell me why you want to take a year off and why workaway?
After I finished school I wanted to do something else, experience something else be independent. I was not sure what exactly I wanted to do for the future and so I wanted to discover myself on the trip. For me its not a gap year it is more of a discovery of myself and make sure I really end up dong something I am passionate about. I am lucky that my parents are quite relaxed and that there is not this pressure about studying or finding a career to follow straight after my studies. They understand that we need to discover.
Similar to what my brother did, I wanted to travel together with my friend, and I got to know workaway from a friends friend. It was a cheap and practical way to travel and discover.
What was your first workaway experience?
I decided to travel with a friend as I was a bit nervous to travel on my own for the first time. It was also nice to plan the trip with someone else. The planning stage was really fun, thinking about where to go. We chose to go to France first and then onto Italy; as we both spoke a bit of French and Italian we decided on 2 months in each country.
1st exerience was in Alsace in a hotel with a barn, in the countryside. There were 4 other workaways, we spent 2.5 weeks there. It was not an easy to start as you are with complete strangers but we started to feel more at ease as we sat and ate together, it was a convivial atmosphere. Our project involved renovating a living room and bathroom and working in the laundry for 5 hours a day, after that we were free to discover the place. It was interesting to be around different natinalities including; someone from Germany, Sweden, France, America and Japan.
In our spare time we would walk around to the border of Switzerland and went to a concert during the weekend.
|Manosque South Gate: Porte de la Sonnerie|
After our workaway expereice we spent 5 days in Paris, with other friends. I really enjoyed walking along the The River Seine, discovering The Louvre and visiting Montmartre,
How was your experience with travelling with your friend?
I have known her for a long time and before we did our travel together we spent a lot of time together. In the end it turned out really well; we both respected each others privacy when needed and also had great fun in each others company.
Where else did you go as a workawayer
We had a nice chance to stay in a castle with a Vineyard. This was near to Tour, we had our own living space but would eact together with the family. Our job was to spend a few hours with the children in the evening and to speak to them in German. The family also let us taste the wne they produced. We had a not of free time here and so had time to visit Chignon and Samur.
Our next destination will be Italy and I am really excited.
Do you have any tips for people interested in Workaway?
I wrote to many hosts because I found that many don’t reply. I also look at the profiles in details because then I can see if their interests are similar to mine to ensure a good match. ,Most importantly I listen to the feeling I have; so far so good😊
What did you learn from your travelling so far?
I have learnt a lot about yourself, I have never been away from home for that long, spending christmas away from my family. Focusing on myself, how you react to different situations, what is important in your life. All this made me appreciate the things I have in my life that maybe I took for granted.
what is your dream destination and why?
I am very interested in Italy, because I learnt the language language and am keen to know more about the culture. I have only been to Europe so I would love to go to India and am planning a trip to the US with family to the east and west coast.
It was great chatting with you Clara, we wish you an awesome travelling journey.
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