Into the mountain wilderness of France

Town

I’ve always thought that I would find guidance in school or in the army, perhaps from someone telling me what to do and how to think, something that could add meaning to my life.

But since my travels have started I always ended up meeting special people when I least expect it, in this story it is an old man I met in a village in France he carries a strong message and I guess I listen because I am still searching for something, maybe for an answer to a question of mine.

The question is who is living right:

The people in the cities always running to their 9 to 5 jobs, working just to pay off some bill at the end of the month while fighting traffic to and from a job they hate, rushing home to sit on their couch and watch an electronic reproduction of life on a television screen, while saying “one day when I have enough money I will search for my happiness”, while their world is slowly getting smaller.

Or the people living in the mountains or by the ocean, small villages and towns cut off from society fighting to keep their solitude undisturbed, there are a lot of these communities and they all sit with the same problems but just a more pleasant way of coping with them.

This is just my opinion and has been a debate for a while now, I have stayed in a city for most of my life but always found it hard to swallow, because that’s the way I have been told to live my life and it’s probably the same for most people reading this. I’ve always had a choice and I guess it all depends on how strong of a vision you have.

How I started traveling:

Duik

I started working as a scuba diver not too long ago and it gave me a chance and the confidence needed to start a life of traveling, hustling my way from country to country mainly doing scuba diving, always looking for my next big adventure and I have done anything possible to keep my travels alive.

There’s a saying that has stuck with me over time, something my old boss said “you get paid with sunrises and sunsets in this career” It’s more like a lifestyle than a career but what he said was very true and was a good mind-set to enter the diving world with.

A guide to living in a village while traveling:

Streets

My adventure has brought me to France where I currently am, I have been introduced into a small village community and even though it’s a lot different to the ocean life I am use to, it’s still a really good place to find solitude.

View

In these mountains which are the French Alps, in a small town called Moulinet I’ve met people that have stayed here for generations doing work such as selling fruit and vegetables or making honey for the community. It is a very slow pace life with very little going on other than the towns bell ringing every hour.

Moulinet.jpg

It takes time getting into the routine of village life and that means keeping busy with hard work as the locals do.

When it comes to Life I help build a wooden cabin where my job mainly consists of laying the floors and painting work as the shell of the cabin is already built. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the village and the view is amazing as it overlooks the French Alps and the little village below.

Work

In my off time I explore the mountain roads by scooter and hike along the many waterfalls surrounding the area, I have found 3 beautiful falls and even though the water is freezing I have made it a point to swim in all of them.

Hiking

I love nature so most of my time is spent listening to swallows nesting on the cliffs above the waterfall, it is where I wrote part of this article and gave me some much needed alone time.

Sky

This is my favorite waterfall because most of the locals don’t even know about it and I have found what I think to be old war time ammunition in the streams, this town was a hideout spot for some soldiers during the Second World War and as the locals say the last pocket of resistance was found in the current ruins of Massif de l’Authion which is not far from where I am.

Waterfall

The locals:

It took me a few days but I have finally made a new friend, I have named this little fox Ohm and he has gotten more comfortable around me, he now stops by every once in a while, mostly when the village is quiet and I am busy writing my blog.

Fox profile

The French people are a bit harder to communicate with due to the language barrier between them and foreigners but lucky for me the friends I stay with are pretty fluent in French so it’s easier getting into the village community.

The people here live a very simplistic lifestyle, you’d find most of the locals working in their gardens or taking a walk around town giving this place a very village like feel, to a judging eye these people might have a few imperfections hidden in their character but I think it makes them real salt of the earth people as we say where I am from.

I had a conversation with an old man the other day and he gave me a lesson on spirituality, one of the few subjects that’s always caught my attention.

He explained that an animal does not have any fear of the future or even death because it lives fully in the moment as he pointed to one of the donkeys standing close by, humans on the other hand focus on the pain of the past and the worry of the future thus breaking our spiritual bond with the present.

Sun

It took a few minutes for my friend to translate our conversation and as I was writing it down, the old man’s words made more sense. I have always seen myself as someone trying to enjoy the moment and even though it is not always easy, it gets me into situations like the one I was living at that moment.

I appreciated what he said because he lives a life that is worth writing about, living day by day always providing for his family while at night he reads stories to his children and in the morning he gets up and sells fruit to the community. What a life he has even though very few could live as he does it was an honor meeting such an individual on my travel through Europe. This is what I had in mind when I thought of a small village in France.

End

If you would like to explore this area, I would recommend a small guest house run by my friend, you can inquire her on Airbnb or Booking.com, the name is Foxglove Villa Moulinet, by referring my blog on the inquiry she will give 25% discount on your accommodation and possibly put in a little tour around the area.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you liked the story, there are many more to come.

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