Name: Maddie Bendziewicz
Hometown: Fort Mill, SC
Education: Business Administration Major, Concentration in Entrepreneurship and Minor in Economics
One day I randomly found a video on Tiktok titled “Day in the life WWOOFing in Italy.” The video showed a girl gathering fruit on a beautiful farm, hiking a mountain, and walking through picturesque fields. I was so intrigued, that I decided to find out exactly what she was up to. My search led me to WWOOF, or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, a network to connect people to organic farms across the world. Through WWOOF, you can find farms in various countries and communicate with hosts to find an travel opportunity that fits you best. I decided to obtain a membership to WWOOF France, since I was taking French language and humanities courses and being that my final class project was to create a two day Paris itinerary, I thought it’d be perfect to use the itinerary in real life. After filtering through various cities and hosts, I found the perfect opportunity and my bestfriend and I headed off to Paris!
The farm was located in Provence, France, a region famous for its picturesque and diverse landscapes with blossoming lavender. The WWOOF opportunity provided us with free travel, lodging, and meals for three weeks, in exchange for five hours of farm work per day. Our days consisted of weeding, mowing, and harvesting lavender from about 5:30am to 10:30am, followed by preparing lunch with our host. After lunch, we’d travel into town to explore! We took several weekend/day trips to Cassis, Marseille, La Ciotat, and Nice (which was my favorite) to visit, museums, art galleries, and more! This opportunity was life changing, I was able to experience a new culture, meet local natives, practice my French skills, and truly turn my dreams into reality. This was my first trip abroad, but it certainly will not be my last!