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Archive for March, 2012

It all started with this mad craving; a lust for alternative living. Our modern wage economy has chronically sapped our motivation. Our solution: educating ourselves in pursuit of a self-sustainable future. First step: volunteer farming.

We, that is Loran and Samantha, two 20-year-old Pacific Northwesterners, have selected WWOOF as our medium and our passion for the next year (…give or take). For those who are in the dark, this program originated in England in 1971 and was referred to as “Working Weekends On Organic Farms”. It was essentially a way for city dwellers to have their countryside escapes now and again, to the benefit of both themselves and the farmers housing them. Since then the program been known as “Willing Workers on Organic Farms” and, currently, “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”.

Essentially it is a loosely-based organization with 52 participating countries that link farms and volunteers. The farms, in nearly all cases, provide the workers with rooms or caravans and all meals in exchange of 4-8 hours of work 5-6 days a week.

We each have individual aspirations and expectations for our journeys of self-discovery, but our overall goal is to learn the art of sustainable farming, building, cycling, cooking, and overall living. We will be traveling primarily using our bikes, supplemented with the occasional train or bus.

Our departure date is quickly approaching! In exactly 2 months and 22 days we leave JFK May 31st and arrive in Milan the next evening at 8:45. The plan is to crash at an as-of-yet-undetermined hostel, overcome our inevitable jet lag and set off for our first booked farm, Galbusera Bianca Biodiversity Oasis, about 25 miles northeast of Milan. The farm is stunning, a perfectly serene portrayal of bliss. And this we’re just getting from their pictures! Here’s the link.

Of course we still have an extensive to-do list. We still need, for example, traveler’s insurance, some supplies (like panniers, first aid kit, plug adapters, a water purifier), an international bank account & ATM card, and our itinerary! Much of our travels will be planned along the way, hopefully with room for spontaneity, but for mental ease and safety purposes we’re steadily approaching a workable schedule.

More to come soon. Both of us would love to outline, at some point, the planning/ scheming process that we have experienced these past 12 months, so you can expect to see something of the like before too long….

Check back soon!
Loran & Samantha

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