Simply Living; French Keyboards Suck

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Hello, people! Sam here- and wow; these keyboards are killing me. The layout is completely different, ah well. I do apologize for any mistakes made.


I got to France and it has been quite the sight indeed. I went to a hostel and completely crashed- sleeping for 12 hours straight; explored the city, ate bread, wine, and cheese in scenic view of the Eiffel Tower with a woman I met named Orsola:

And I later met up with a group of vegans who were having a pot-luck dinner in which Couchsurfers could join- so of course I did! and I met some of the most amazing people there like the Woman who collects peoples love stories around the world, the Ballet dancer, and others. Everyone was truly great, and it has been my favorite CS event to date.


The next day, I began walking North towards Belgium and every French person I met was quite kind, contrary to what I was told by many, but perhaps this was because I was trying to speak in French.

But France had a sort of creepy vibe to it. There was a three day period in which I saw very little people. All shops were closed, all doors shut, it was very strange. I would walk into a forrest and get the most peculiar feeling, as if I zere being watched by something in the trees. And I woke up once and had two mysterious bite-like marks on my neck-

In 30 years from now, I will realize that I havent grown a day- Vampires anyone? At one point, during the weird three day period, I got lost and walked up a mountain and found some cool stuff, like this super great ravine/fire pit/cliff, that, to add to the creep factor, had about 50 condoms thrown everywhere

And then I came across this water fountain- it was so truly refreshing after being lost in the mountain for days that I drank and drank, and afterwards I felt very sleepy. I wanted to take a nap, but I was still feeling that strange, almost fairy tale-esque thing, and I remembered a story of the Hero that took a nap but woke up years later- well I didnt want that soooooo, I left.

And literally every church here has a chicken on top of the cross. You all think that I am playing, but no; I am totally serious:

After walking about 100 Miles, I began to hitchhike. Because I was sleepy. Oh, and because of a night of uh, lets say fun. I was sleeping in my tent when I was suddenly awoken by the distinct sound of walking. A deer, perhaps? No. No sooner had I begun to wonder did I hear three very clear and unmistaken sounds- Sniffing, Snorting, and then Squealing. Pigs. Or more concerning, Boars. I clentched my knife and waited for about 15 minutes before they left me alone. Maybe they were just curious.

I have been couchsurfing more often, and everyone has been so kind, generous, and interesting. I ended up singing Karaoke- Disney songs dubbed in French, with another group I was playing guitar and singing in a park picnic. One guy there started playing In The Jungle The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and while they sang their version, I sang mine.

“In english the Lion is sleeping?” they asked.

“Yes, of course.”

“In the french version, the Lion is dead!” and a hilarious laughter followed before one man chuckled, “eternal sleep,” and more laughter ensued.

I realize now that the Vagabond life is not separate from a simple one. Everyday I wake up and follow the same routine of 1. Pack up, 2. Eat, 3. and begin walking. Everyday I ask myself the same two questions: What will I eat today; and Where will I sleep. And in this way, complications have virtually vanished from my life all together. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the differences between a homeless person and a worldly vagabond. I had gone to a church and during the service I smelled something terrible and after investigation realize embarrassingly: It was me. A man had been standing next to me, but moved his seat hahaha. Both I and the homless, we smell the same, look the same, do the same things, sleep in the sane unorthodox areas, and very often I feel that passer-bys think me to be some sort of drugged and dangerous hobo. Tell me in the comments what the differences are, because I’m having a hard time figuring it out.

Bonus round: Notre Dame Catherdral in Amiens:

I eventually left France and headed into Belgium. I tried hitchhiking, but the Police said that I was reported by people and was not allowed to do it. Darn. So, I have been taking the train- an extra 6 Euros per day. The Dutch don’t joke with their sweets either!! My goodness, chocolate for breakfast. I ordered a croissant and bit down into it, but to my surprise I discovered it to be filled with nutella!

But if France felt like a fairy Tale; Belgium looked like one.

While walking in the city of Ghent, I took a break in a small stadium wherein there was placed a piano locked inside of a cage. Some children were playing it rather obnoxiously, and I began to eat my lunch. As I consumed peanuts, Nutella and more, an elderly couple, I would guess around 95 for they could barely walk, slid past the instrument while it was unoccupied. The woman led the man to it, and he must have been slightly blind as he stumbled quite a bit. He sat on the bench and rest his hands on the keys- I watched curiously. He at once began to play the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard in my life, and with such grace. His playing must have had a profound effect on my soul, for no sooner had he begun did I find myself weeping; not tears of sadness, but tears of joy. Such was the complete and utter perfection that came from that piano, and from such an old person- weak and fragile. I quite shocked myself- I didn’t know why I was crying so.

A crowd had gathered, and when he finished, we gave a great applause to which he jumped in fright- he did not know there were so many. He bowed, and played a few more. Many people played that day- all beautiful to be sure, but none as near perfect as the old man.

On a more joyful note, I finaly ate a real Belgium waffle with the help of Sarah!- Life goals hahaha

And with the help of my friend Dylan, I was able to meet these guys, who helped me out a ton and were honestly so great:


But right now, I’m taking a train into Rotterdam in a few minutes so, until next time. Thanks for reading, leave a comment below, share and subscribe- See you!!


12 thoughts on “Simply Living; French Keyboards Suck

    Denny Barger said:
    September 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Thank you for posting Sam, and such a poetic post at that. Your words are so descriptive – you are painting with words – I feel like I am walking right beside you. Love, Dad

    On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Minimalist Backpacking wrote:

    > Samuel Barger posted: “Hello, people! Sam here- and wow; these keyboards > are killing me. The layout is completely different, ah well. I do apologize > for any mistakes made. France!!! I got to France and it has been quite the > sight indeed. I went to a hostel and completely crashe” >


    Jim Gutacker said:
    September 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Luv it!


    Anna Lorang said:
    September 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Enjoying your adventure and wondering why I didn’t have the courage to do the same thing when I was your age! 😊 Safe travels~


    Mom said:
    September 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, I really enjoyed that. The ending was great and, for no apparent reason, I found myself teary as well. Love you ❤


    Momma G said:
    September 1, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    seg….After reading about the piano playing I said to my husband Jim Gutacker – Sam should have played!! But knowing Sam I realized that he wouldn’t want to take away from the elderly man’s debut…What a man of God you are Sam!! Crying also, Momma G I owe you Sam


      Samuel Barger responded:
      September 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Momma G!! Don’t cry, you might drown if you do haha. Keep Jim in order. I thought of you two because the family I’m staying with right now is getting ready to Build a tint house on a trailer!!

      Stay safe and god bless!


    Kate said:
    September 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Sammy, this is awesome! I LOVE reading your posts, so beautifully written. I loved the part of drinking the water and then feeling strangely tired, maybe you stumbled on the fountain of youth. And the part about the old man shuffling to the piano only to create such beautiful music. Such priceless memories. I love you! Be safe! 😙


    brayr said:
    September 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

    That was a nice walk-about with you Sam-Wise. Really enjoy your adventure threw this life. I found myself being VERY concerned for you when you arrived at the fire pit then thankfully you are safe. Did this woman get your love story? What will she do with all of them? So beautiful all the people and the scenery. Thank you. Deeply I pray for you, miss you and love you…. Until next time….


      Samuel Barger responded:
      September 20, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Hey! She got one of my love stories: My relationship with my guitar and how I started learning it. She writes them on a blog 🙂


    connie magnini said:
    September 4, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Hi! Sam So great to read all of your blogs…I sincerely miss you and wish you the best of everything…your special way with words and the way you dealt with customers at the library was very inspiring…sounds as though you are having a very memorable journey…..keep safe and well….looking forward to hearing from you soon…I keep you in my prayers during my morning meditations and prayers…..take care, Connie


      Virginia said:
      September 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Beautiful photography. – magnificent architecture and the people look warm and happy. Wonderful that you are having such memories mind, body and spirit all combined. What a traveling journalist–feels like being there. Thank you for sharing your adventures. It is a real pleasure. Virginia


      Samuel Barger responded:
      September 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Connie!!! I miss you!! And thank you for the kind words 🙂

      I hope all is well at the library in my absence. I find myself missing coworkers, patrons, and believe it or not, the crazy ones too hahaha


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