I meet Marie at a backpacker's hostel in Picton, New Zealand, where she's just taking a break from WWOOFing for a few days ("willing workers on organic farms.") The 25-year-old French woman wonders why I'm asking her if she'll tell me about her From her point of view, she has nothing interesting to report, but she agrees anyway.We sit in the garden of the hostel under a beach umbrella and she begins to report rather indifferent from her career.
Because the subject was fun at school and she knew no alternative, Marie studied geography after completing her social science high school diploma. She liked the first two years, and in the third year she became lazy. The fourth year she no longer interested. For lack of teachers, the lectures were held in general and they could not specialize in "environment" as planned. So after two months she stopped going to college.
This was the beginning of a strange year, which was not particularly enriching, as she says. She occasionally searched the Internet for career opportunities, worked occasionally on the father's farm and rode his horses. Otherwise she did not do much.
Accidentally discovered the Traumberuf
By accident, she discovered the profession of topographer. She decided to give it a try during an internship and was allowed to watch for three weeks as private land was measured. She then enrolled in a two-year high school graduation program (BTS: brevet de technicien supérieur) in which she alternately spent two weeks at school and worked two weeks.
After the graduation, she looked more or less motivated for work, but the long-drawn desire to go on a long journey alone went through. Thanks to WWOOFing, she is able to combine the journey with her naturalness. For food and lodging, she works in New Zealand on farms or in private individuals who follow biological guidelines.
A bit more reserved, Marie talks about her childhood and the divorce of her parents. The years after the separation, the then twelve-year-old Marie closely welded to her three-year-older sister. Together they stood the spatial separation from the father and the unwanted school change. Marie's face looks very determined when she says that she knows many divorce cases and therefore does not intend to marry. She has not thought of children yet, but she is not fundamentally against it. I ask her what's the priority in her life right now. The answer is short and clear: "Me."
Since December 2009 WWOOFt it completely on itself in New Zealand. Their work in the kiwi farms is different: goat milking, cheese making, riding excursions. The journey is good for her ego. She is proud that despite the shyness and low level of English, she has taken the lead in the country alone. And it was the traveling fever that gripped her. When she comes back, she wants to work as a topographer for two years and save money to travel again, this time through South America.
In the distance the home discovered
Nevertheless, she wants to live in France for a long time. Then she can not only enjoy the French cuisine, the bread and the cheese. From the distance, she becomes aware of the importance of family and close friends. Marie is especially looking forward to her sister, who has recently become a mother. Also to the friends from the school, to which she has gone before the divorce.
After traveling through South America, she will no longer have to make as much money as possible. In the long run, she wants a career in which she can work in the wild and has contact with animals. It can unfold in it.
"What advice do you give to our generation?" I ask my interviewee, Marie 25 Marie from France during my interview.
Marie hesitates. "I do not know if that's responsible." I tell her it's not about it. "Then: enjoy life!"
Career choice - do not see the forest for the trees!
Marie's helplessness towards the flood of job opportunities is not an isolated case. Many young people no longer see the forest for the trees, among other things because it is difficult for them to judge the different options appropriately. Making a decision means at the same time ruling out many things that cause further perplexity. Maybe we are not in vain the generation internship.
After studying, it can also be that you need time to give what you have learned a place in your own life. This is especially true when there is no career planning and is not the first place to earn as much money as possible. The alternative priority must first be found.
Travel helps in exploring the possibilities
Traveling can help build a healthy distance to life at home and prioritize priorities individually. You have to answer questions like: What fascinated me most about studying? What do I want to continue, what do I recognize as secondary or uninteresting?
The best way to do this is to concentrate on yourself for a while, in an environment that is not familiar to you. Marie, in any case, has discovered in New Zealand what is important to her - on a professional and interpersonal level.
Alternative to marriage
By the way: In France there is an alternative to marriage - pacser (Pacte Civil de Solidarité). People in a heterosexual or homosexual partnership, but also close friends or acquaintances can enter into this "civil pact". They then enjoy the same tax advantages as married couples.
In addition, a transfer of one partner takes into account the place of residence of the other. A "divorce" is not uncomplicated, but completed faster than that of regular married people. I believe that by this possibility, the institution of marriage loses meaning.
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