It was inevitable that this, our first Workaway experience, would be the one in which we suffered through the majority of our growing pains as we adjusted to this new lifestyle. There have been countless moments of frustration and doubt, but equal moments of joy and revelation. We are leaving France with new skills, greater strength and a better understanding of the nature of the workaway arrangement. I’ve come to realize that far more important than the actual work and tasks accomplished, is the discovery of what the host family seeks by bringing workawayers into their lives. Some hosts want company, others unpaid laborers, while others want a chance to mentor the younger generation. In order to have the best possible experience with each, we need to learn to place their agendas before our own, and thus open ourselves up to receiving whatever it is that they want to share with us. Our experience here has been a good one, yet I know that we will be able to use everything we have learned to create even more incredible experiences as we move forward.
I’ve always liked the French expression for goodbye because “voir” means “to see” and therefore “au revoir” literally means something like “to the re-seeing”. This makes it seem less like you are saying “goodbye”, and more like saying “until we see each other again”. Au revoir France: Until we see each other again.