It has been far too long since my last post, first my apologies. Well what can I say? The warm weather is here, the flowers are blooming, the birds have returned and the tourists and residents of Capestang have come out of hibernation. The streets are bustling with tourists; some on bikes and others on foot, all taking in the splendor that is Capestang.
Feeling privileged, we met Rudy & Ulla from Germany, a couple travelling around on bikes exploring southwest France down the midi toward Sete. Ulla is a doula and Rudy a physician. Between the two of them, they have been to nearly every country in the world.
On Rudy’s must see list: Gorillas in the Congo, Machu Picchu to visit the 15th century Inca site and the deserts of Morocco.
Ulla went on a gap year adventure 12 years ago in a fire truck/camper conversion across Canada, through Alaska and down the west coast to Central America. She loved Alaska and saw many bears and moose, had been to Vancouver and said she thought it was pretty.
Both extraordinary people, and the one night with us was not enough. I hope they come back soon.
We also had the honor of meeting a couple from Köln Germany; Dirk a record producer and Cecile a musician. Both very cool. Her family is originally from Capestang and they spent two lovely evenings here and one with us drinking Jägermeister. It was a touching experience for her to revisit her grandmother’s neighbors who remembered her after all these years and were so happy to see her.
An interesting couple, doing what we do, renting out a flat attached to their house in Ireland also crossed our paths during the low season, looking for a possible retirement home. They spent three days with us, and hope to come back during the season to see what the area is like in the summer.
Meeting people, from all over the world, makes my life feel so fulfilling. Not only do we meet fellow adventurers that love to explore, but also hear their opinion of our new life. Usually people are willing to tell us about themselves, share travel stories over a glass of wine, and sometimes we take them somewhere special with our family if we really hit it off.
We have a few people returning to visit this year and we hope to take them river rafting with the kids up towards Roquebrun. In addition, we may have another returning couple from Germany who’s coming for the 5-day fete in August. We try to go up each night as there is always good music, food and company.
Alfonz and I have been either very busy working on the boats down on the canal getting them ready for the spring lets, or getting our house ready for the hot weather and our own Bed & Breakfast guests. It’s been great after a long winter to finally go to bed tired from hard work; feeling a shoulder ache or a muscle pain from going at it.
I also wanted to mention the families we have met over the winter and as recently as yesterday who, like us, are searching for a life with more meaning and perhaps putting their family first as well. Their adventure families have also found their way to Capestang on their own path to their life’s dream. Tasha, we call Seattle, is here with her two adorable children and husband Andrew and have found a home 40 minutes from here just on the other side of Beziers.
Holly is from New Zealand. Her and I have talked online a few times about them visiting Capestang and they landed here about a week ago. From here, they are travelling northeast France, then six weeks in Italy. Like us, they took three months to travel with the children before deciding which area is right for them before deciding on a place to root and set up a new life.
Both families are brave and inspirational. Seeing their energy, their eagerness to make things work, reminded me that only eighteen months ago we were them. Our energy continues, although sometimes exhausting, sometimes- constructive crazy energy that makes you loop around everyone with productivity. I see the same drive in these ladies eyes.
Mallory, our close South African friend said yesterday, “It’s unbelievably how much you have accomplished in such a short time.” Conclusion, when you are up against a situation where you have no choice but to survive, when failing is not an option; you get it done. Throw offspring into the mix and guess what, it is amazing what you can achieve.
I foresee a busy season ahead for us in the Languedoc. This year I write about all the people that cross our paths, like Aidan from Montpellier who was also on House Hunters International who is living a parallel life to us just an hour away, with three kids of her own, writing fiction and non-fiction and running a blog of her own. A kindred spirit.
Lastly, we started our new page The Travel Bucket List where we list our visitors’ top travel picks. So many new things this season, we still want to keep it real. And yes that means spelling mistakes, rantings and tips on how to deal with life in France!
I hope to see you soon. We now have 2000 returning guests reading our page each month and another 1500-2000 just stopping by to say hello. For this I am grateful. I wish I could get to know you all, like Tasha, Aidan and Holly. Life is long, you never know…
Happy and Safe Travels,