17 de Agosto de 2017.

The art of being lost

Before arriving on the project – I didn’t completely know what to expect. Am I going to love it, am I going to hate it? Will I pick up the language easily? What will it be like being a non-native of the place I’m in for the first time in my life? Now that I’m here. I can honestly say I still don’t have the answers to these questions … But I do know one thing, it’s the curiosity of NOT knowing that is spurring me on and igniting the inquisitive flames of my heart to continue upon this journey. I always hated children’s shows like Dora the Explorer – I never thought that I’d be buying her books in […]
14 de Agosto de 2017.

Expectations

It has already been a month since I left my hometown in the northeast of France to live this experience of a lifetime in Madeira. How do I feel about that? If anyone would have told me that I would be in Madeira at that time last year, I would have never believed him or her. I was doing my end-of-studies internship in the Ministry of Economy in Luxembourg, and I was expecting, or rather, my parents were expecting me to find a job afterwards. Instead I started working as a volunteer in a non-profit organisation that promotes European values and informs youngsters about all kinds of mobility programmes that exist in the European Union. I was still looking for […]
10 de Agosto de 2017.

British Experiences of Iberia

Comparing my first experiences of Iberian life to the British soldiers who arrived in 1807. Upon arriving in Madeira I read The British Soldier in the Peninsular War (G. Daly, Hobart, 2013) in order to learn more about the history of the island. I have compared my experiences to the soldiers who occupied Madeira from 1807. The first thing that struck me upon arrival was the temperate weather and dramatic terrain. Lieutenant Sherer of the Cumberland Regiment was similarly taken, describing the wooded mountains of Portugal as ‘enchanting’. However upon entering the cities the initial optimism of the soldiers turned to revulsion; John Douglas wrote home complaining of poor hygiene and disease in Lisbon. While I have not been to […]
7 de Agosto de 2017.

Your own personal mountains

Dare to feel like a king of the island? After having set my adventurous foot on three trails connecting Pico Ruivo with the south (Pico do Areeiro), the east (Achadas do Teixeira) and the north (Ilha), I once again channelled my inner explorer to check the last remaining path – Vereda da Encumeada (PR 1.3) going west, to the mountain pass at Encumeada. And this vereda is no fooling around, this is not for Sunday hikers in flip-flops or the likes of a guy I once saw at roughly 1700 meters above sea level, carrying his equipment in a plastic bag from a well-known supermarket. This hike alone is 11,2 kilometers long and you still have to reach or descend […]
4 de Agosto de 2017.

My luggage

This month I’m going to Spain, and in this text I want to talk just a bit about the news in my luggage. In my luggage I’ll put the normal things, like clothes, shoes, sunscreen, but I also want to take some specific new things that I obtained in Madeira like new language skills, new friends, new knowledge. I’ll also take lots of histories about my job, my adventures, about the lovely people that I met here. I’ll also take new first experiences, my first picnic, my first successful hitchhiking and camping for the first time. I’ll also tell them the way that I’ve learnt how to be more patient, how to be more open, how I discovered some proper […]