We spent a large chunk of today digging in to the website Helpx.net, an “online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.” After reading so many hosts’ postings and profiles, I’m convinced that once we land in Italy and stay in a beautiful countryside home/farm/villa, I will never want to leave. It’s not just the beautiful surroundings that capture me, however, but the whole philosophy of living that many of the residents (at least on Helpx.net) seem to have.
Permaculture is, essentially, a way of designing not just your garden, but your whole landscape in order to take advantage of the natural patterns and relationships that exist amongst plants, weather and animals, and in a way that yields an abundance of food, material and energy. This sounds fascinating to me, and I envision a landscape working as a whole, nothing being wasted, with so much more value to discover than the typical American household can achieve. This is what I’m getting the most excited about – being able to experience such a useful, natural way of living and gain the knowledge and skills to incorporate this into my life. Additionally, we will hopefully get the added bonus of meeting a wonderful family, eating meals with them, working hard and experiencing daily life in Italy. What more could you ask for?
We also booked our first hostel stay today! We will be staying in the hostel “FRESH @ The Crown, Clapham” in London for the first few days after we arrive in England. I am pretty excited about this visit as well. I have heard a few stories from Jesse about the great food he ate and drinks he imbibed while visiting London before.
There are many great things to see and do in London and I know we won’t get to all of them, but it will be an unforgettable experience, I’m sure! Now… where to after Italy?