I with my Backpack

Insta : Shubham_supertramp

How to Earn a paid vacation in France

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Gare d’Angers

Follow my vacation here. I’ll be making updates every now and then. This is for Bruno and my other blog followers who may not have any social media. See you soon Bruno

Friday, 18 December, Nantes

9:38 am

In train. About to reach Nantes. I had a host in Nantes, a 60 years old lady but she isn’t replying anymore. Well well well. Let’s see. Not my first time when I am going to a city without any accommodation. Have been to Brussels, Luxembourg, Geneva and Milan without any accommodation and it worked always except in Milan.

11:10 am

Walked 50 minutes (3kms) from Gare de Nantes to arrive at an Xray lab and now waiting in the salle d’attente (waiting room) to get done with my chest xray. Nantes wasn’t in my travel list. It’s just I have my OFII rendezvous today.

walk walk walk

OFII stands for Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration . (French Office of Immigration and Integration). Once you step foot in France with a long duration visa, you must register to Visa Validation (ex OFII) to be able to travel back and forth into France after 3 months and during the duration of your Visa. You have to pay an amount depending on your visa category. I paid 200 euros but for students it’s 60 euros I guess.

12:46 pm

There are two different appointments in Nantes to complete ofii. The distance is 4kms. Here’s my ride below.

Bicloo

13:50

First meal of the day

2€ meal

03:11 pm

OFII done!

By the way, I got two new hosts in Nantes and the lady has replied as well so three hosts in total. Well I am staying with the 60 years old lady as planned earlier. getting another Bicloo (bicycle).

16.26

I have arrived at my host’s place. She lives in a wonderful building and close to city centre. The apartment is amazing. Wait for pictures.

11:50pm

Last night I couldn’t make an entry as I was with my host. I am still keeping this entry on yesterday’s date and time.

So how was my time with the host? Amazing but weird. She’s a well I dont know what exactly we call the people who practices magnetism? Ohh darn I must ask her what she does exactly in a word. But she told me some weird things. A lot weird than you can think. I’ll talk about it in a video not all because that can be scandalous. I don’t know if the English word for what she does can be psychic because that’s what I get from all what she explained. But again weirddddd. As a host, she was kind and nice. Everything was good.

I found the word and it’s “medium”. It’s sort of a psychic but not exactly a psychic. What I understand is that it’s psychic pro max. Just kidding, do your research.

Saturday, 19 Dec, La Rochelle

15:26

Ride in La Rochelle. Going out with my host.

Sunday, 20 Dec, La Rochelle

11:25 am

Ready to go to Ile de Ré (Re Island). We are gonna cycling around 50kms today to and fro the Island. When I am with my hosts, I don’t get a lot of time to make updates. I made Egg Bhurji for my host yesterday and we had it with Cidre bretonne.

Egg Bhurji with Cidre

And my host from Nantes has left me a reference. I left a positive ref too as she was a good host just a bit weird but good host.

Host in Nantes

21:18

I was wrong about 50kms. We cycled around 80 kms. I was dying with every pedal on a slope during the last 15kms. I have pain in my foot, thighs, palm, thumbs, upper back, hips and joints near hips and I have a trip tomorrow morning at 9, okay now I have head ache too, lol. One last thing, now if I take a deep breath, I cough. I guess it’s just because of I did excessive cycling and I am not used to it, right?

Taking a hot shower surely helped though and then hot beverages and a hot vegetable soupe. Rachel (my host) is nice. She made it all while I was in the shower. No doubt I meet amazing people during my voyage.

And I also made a video when I finished the mouning part on the bridge that connects La Rochelle to Île de Ré.

I have a lot of photos and videos to share but I guess I will wait for the right time to share it, properly. Watch some selected pictures/videos for now.

Monday, 21 Dec, en route towards Bordeaux

10:00 am

I like to put myself and my body in difficult situations to see if I can be a traveller. In La Rochelle, I experienced 85kms of cycling in 8 hours with a few breaks. All I was thinking during the last one hour was : Stay on the cycling and keep peddling, don’t walk and drag it and don’t blackout haha. We started at 11:30 and returned to my host’s place at 7:30 pm. It was an adventure. I saw an island all of it via cycling. Now I am off to Bordeaux where I am going to be with a family. Still don’t know where I am gonna go after Bordeaux.

Tapestry in a church on Ré island 🏝
It’s raining in La Rochelle

4:00 pm

I am starving and that’s what I wanted to write first.

I have arrived in Bordeaux and met my hosts. They live at a lovely place and in a beautiful abode. I have a private room which is nicely decorated. I am staying with a family. There are three members. A couple, Eric and Edwige and their daughter. I have left my bag in the room and have taken the Tram to arrive at the centre of the city.

Tuesday 22 Dec, Bordeaux

Yesterday evening, I went on a walk to the Place de la Bourse which has a splendid architecture and a pretty sight on the opposite side with the bridge and water.

I came back before the curfew and chatted with my hosts until 2 O’clock in the morning. They are wonderful people and have been hosting Couchsurfers since 2012. I made them an Indian dish and I tasted Bordeaux in Bordeaux.

Eric smoking beedi

Christmas 🎄 in Bordeaux. Sorry what’s covid again?

Wednesday 23 Dec, Toulouse

All these years we have been seeing movies and reading that life is short and you must live every moment possible. While a lot of people may see it differently now because we have a virus among us but I haven’t forgotten that. Life is short. Those who are not living today because they want to live tomorrow are gambling and losing 24hrs each day from their life.

The day I embarked on the flight to Paris, I accepted all the risks and here I am travelling and living while taking the precautions.

En route to Toulouse

I am in the train and the destination is Toulouse “The pink city”. I have finally found a host in Toulouse as it wasn’t easy. Everyone is either moving or having Christmas time with their family and friends. Luckily, we have people like me and Emanuel (my host). He is mexican but living in France from last three years with his French wife Lauren. He seems nice and we have already decided to cook each other and I can keep it spicy without any problem. I am gonna stay for two nights but will ask him for one extra night if possible and if I don’t find a place where I wanna go.

I haven’t decided my next destination after Toulouse yet. It might be Cap d’Agde, or Foix, PERHAPS. I must decide by end of the day.

19:00

Mexican and French host (couple). Discovering Mexican songs and traditions with Emanuel.

Thursday Dec 24, Toulouse

17.00

My host Emanuel and Fred the cat
Learning Mexican shrimps

21.45

Went to a church with my host. He was drumming there for Christmas eve.
That’s my host

Friday Dec 25, En route to NARBONNE

10:30

Merry Chrsitmas everyone

Backpacking and couchsurfing is a sort of fatigue that can remedy all your tiredness. You meet some wonderful souls that energize you to survive your routine for a long time.

I met such people all along my backpacking in 2020. Yesterday I was at Emanuel and Lauren’s and I felt not just welcomed but like we knew each other from a long time. Emanuel is Mexican and married to Lauren (French). Emanuel cooked for me mexican dishes twice. I had a good time with them.

They have two cats. Fred and Mocca.

11:05

They packed me fruits and chocolates for the voyage today. Super hosts!!!

12:35

I love to travel and I love even more to improvise when I travel. I am in the train to Narbonne which yesterday I didn’t even know the name of. A host offered me a couch and there I go. I booked the tickets to visit Narbonne.

I made a good decision, it seems. From one window, I see greenery and fields with trees and crops. One part of the sky is clear and bright sky blue with shining clouds and the other part of the sky is grey covered in clouds. The other side the sky is grey but the view is better as I see big white windmills and plateaus covered with trees. I guess the grey clouds are dominating the sky. There’s a good chance of rain.

22:00

It’s confirmed that I made a good decision. This place is beautiful. I am in Bize Minervois with Vincent and his three kids, a dog and a cat. I went on a walk and I find that the countryside always speaks to me something much more than a city does. Vincent has worked in Paris as a researcher in biology. He left the jobs and bought 5-6 hectares land in his hometown to practise his studies and to grow crops. He invited me again, well all my hosts did but he invited me for a long period to stay in a Cabane if I want to, in May or June, on his farm land. We’ll see. I booked the ticket for Cap d’Agde tomorrow.

Saturday, Dec 26 2020

13:20

I have arrived at my host’s (Erik) place in Agde and we will go out for a visit in his car soon.

Sunday, Dec 27 2020, Montpellier

My hosts came to pick me up at the Gare. Patrice French and Eddie Malaysian living in France for almost ten years. They made me a full lunch meal and I tried some new stuff with them. I am going for a walk alone to see some sites in Montpellier.

14:00

I am walking around a wonderful place in Montpellier with a lot of Christmas decorations. I also booked my ticket to Lyon tomorrow.

Monday 28 December 2020, En route Lyon

I am in the bus to Lyon, a 5h journey but it shall pass. The landscapes are surely amazing to watch.

Tuesday 29 December 2020 Lyon

Where the city was born
Vieux Lyon

Published by The Indian Supertramp

Hey there, I'm Shubham. I am from Delhi and am passionate about traveling the world, meeting new people and getting lost in nature as much as possible. I was on the road for 17 days between May 31 and June 16, after completing my semester at the University of Rennes. Now, after three months in quarantine and the situation outside where people are avoiding travel as much as possible, I'm back to breathe the world with all the precautions, of course. It is a wonderful experience so far that I would like to share and continue to explore and take more risks (I mean travel risks such as couchsurfing, hitchhiking etc, please take all precautions for Covid). I hope this platform gives you inspiration (and practical advice) to go on a pursuit of your own adventures. I have experienced that chasing adventures and having new experiences is a unique education that you don't get in school or college, so come out of that shell, break the 9-5 cliché and make your life worth remembering.

One thought on “I with my Backpack

  1. Hey bro,
    This is Shubham
    Shubham-Shubham 😂
    I think I know you ( Alliance français), btw you blog was really aweome,
    I loved the way you managed marking videos by your own.
    You seem very happy on your own and I found it really impressive.
    See you someday in France

    Liked by 1 person

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