As far back as I can remember I always wanted to travel. I have very few memories of my early life but what I do remember is knowing there was something else out there and that I wanted to see it. I am just going to come right out and say that I absolutely hated school. I loved to read, loved learning; hated school. It had a fair bit to do with the horrible oppressive lighting in the classroom but also what felt like the imprisonment of my mind and soul. It may sound dramatic to you but to me it was a reality. Since my own personal ‘grand renfermement’ things have changed. The mindfulness revolution and identification of certain developmental conditions has led to greater understanding in education. Or who knows maybe I just had an attitude problem. When I was still in the regular education system one of my teachers said “we live in the most beautiful place there is, there is no need to travel, you are already in the best part of the world”. I was seething. What kind of teacher would tell a group of impressionable young people that there is no need to travel? For someone who was born with wanderlust, this was a turning point in my ‘education’. I ended up in an alternative school, fell in love with history as a subject and got the hell out of there. Vancouver is indeed one of the most beautiful cities in the world and British Columbia is a fine place to live. Don’t just take my word for it though. Get out of your house, get out of your comfort zone and go see it for yourself.
Despite the beautiful beaches and the lovely climate there is too much to see and do in Occitanie to come here and just lie on a beach……….
Come over here to see Roman amphitheatres, Roman aqueducts, Cathar ruins, and medieval castles, Lourdes, music festivals, prehistoric caves, art galleries, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. There are gastronomic tours, wine tours, cycling tours and every other kind of tour you can imagine. If you come armed with information, dare I say from this site, you can navigate your way around Occitanie at your own pace and without being part of an organized tour. Do you really want the constraints of a timetable set out for you when you are experiencing the best of Occitanie? I believe in responsible, sustainable ecotourism. I love that travel is no longer reserved for the rich and privileged but it doesn’t mean you need to come with a tour group. Explore your own personal interests and put a little effort into your visit. The benefits reaped from independent travel far outweigh the ‘work’ involved in organizing your own trip. I believe that everyone who grew up in Canada knows enough French, even if it is buried deep in the quagmires of your brain, to get by on their own in this part of the world. Things have changed in France and a lot of French people speak enough English to facilitate the exchange of information. Besides, communicating is one of the fun challenges in travel.
Top tip….whatever you do, whatever you say, start with “bonjour”. As polite as “excuse me” is in English, a simple “bonjour” is how to start a conversation in France.
Start planning your visit slowly, dream about what you want to see and put a little plan in motion. Join me on my next trip when I visit the Camargue ….. wild white horses couldn’t drag me away!
Bon voyage in beautiful Occitanie