Tomorrow is our last ‘working’ day at our current hosts. As is now my pattern I will update on this host after we leave but unless something totally out of character happens tomorrow it is shaping up to be our favourite host so far. The people are fabulous – inspiring, friendly, lovely, interesting; the scenery is gorgeous, the set up is awe inspiring and it is generally all round fantastic!
We are all four feeling slightly WWOOFed out now. It was said to us by a few people before we set off that moving from host to host every week or two might be a bit of a challenge and indeed it has been – great because we get to fit in as many hosts as possible, interesting for the variety and diversity but hard because it very much characterised this as our Year of Goodbyes – goodbye to friends and family and home before we set out and then goodbye to new friends and hosts along the way as we went. WWOOFing for just a short period often means we are simply not around long enough to be trained to be useful so we end up doing similar tasks each time. Much though we might enjoy being in the sunshine weeding or chopping wood it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm for those types of tasks when you are doing them week in, week out and there is a sense of frustration in not learning any new skills or trying new tasks.
Fortunately this host has been fantastic for renewing our passion, reminding us of what we want from this experience and in teaching us loads of new skills. We have tackled all sorts of new things here and will leave very much educated, informed and armed with new practical abilities. We will also leave with a mere 5 hosts left to go. Although we are only just over half the way through our planned time away we are over 2/3 through our booked hosts. This was accidental in the first place as when booking hosts for zone three it was nearly a year away so it wasn’t possible to fill every week. I was quite happy about this as it built flexibility into our plan and allowed space to take time out if we needed it. As it turns out we do feel we need it. We are not exhausted from work but we are ready to chill out, to recouperate as a foursome and take some time just for us. To chat, to laugh and to just be. To discus what happens next, to reflect on what we have learnt, what we still want to learn, where our adventure has taken us so far and what gaps – if any, we have remaining.
We left with so many objectives and goals for this year, so many hopes and dreams, so many expectations and ideas about what it might bring, alongside the practial skills we hoped to learn from WWOOFing we also had a plan for living off the land and seeing more of the UK. As we move ever further northwards that aspect of our plan swings into action and we anticipate dusting off our air gun, digging out our fishing rods and bringing down the spotter books from the shelf in the van as we try our hands at hunting, fishing, foraging, wild camping, wildlife spotting and enjoying the rugged wilder side of our countryside. We have at least a week between every host from now on and intend to spend it living as frugally as possible, getting back in touch with ourselves and nature and working out what happens next.