This French Postman Proved That You Don’t Have To Travel A Long Way To Live Your Dreams

This stunning palace was hand built by one guy... and a pile of strange looking stones

Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Ever since some shitbag thought of actually having to work to get by in life, humans have harboured a burning desire to get away from it all. We’re desperate to ditch the rat race and live the simple life.

30 years ago, that meant digging up your back garden, planting a load of vegetables, and owning a handful of pigs, chickens, and other things that are better on a sandwich than your front lawn. Sorry, Morrissey.

Photo: Emmanuel Georges

But in 2015, getting away form it all involves leaving the city behind, and making your own home with your bare hands. Often among the trees, but ideally halfway up a tree.

However,  French postman Ferdinand Cheval has proved that you don’t have to run off to Alaska and shivver in an abandoned school bus, eating a diet of poisonous flowers to live the dream.

Over a 33 year period, while he was out delivering letters to the madams and monsieurs of his native Hauterives, in the South of France, he started to collect oddly shaped stone.

Not content with just a small collection of rocks, he started to build with them, cementing together the rubble he found. He even started taking a wheelbarrow on his 18 mile long route so he could transport the stones without ruining the letters in his bag. What a pro!

Over three decades later, Cheval had constructed not just a home, but a bonafide palace! Calling it Palais Ideal, the French postie was way ahead of his time. He started the building process back in 1879, completing the structure in 1912. As such, there’s probably nowhere to charge your iPhone, unfortunately.

Photo: Marie Cardon

The amazing site is still standing today, and is open to the public for most of the year. It even hosts special events and concerts throughout the year – a tribute to how well Cheval built his dream.

It just goes to show that you don’t have to buy a plane ticket and travel half way around the world to have the adventure your imagination deserves. Sometimes the road less traveled is one you walk ever single day.

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