France is known for having a large gypsy population so it was no surprise that we passed gypsy trailers while making our way through the country. Gypsies are attracted to France because of the large influx of tourists. This has been problematic to the French government as gypsies often resort to pickpocketing as a means of survival since many of them do not have papers. The French government tried to combat the situation by offering gypsies plane tickets and money to move back to their countries of origin. However, many just returned. The Schengen Agreement has also made it easier for gypsies to travel throughout Europe.
I say this at risk of embarrassing myself but I have watched episodes of reality shows such as Gypsy Sisters, American Gypsies and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I have been fascinated by gypsy culture and norm so I was excited to actually pass a gypsy settlement. One can only wonder how real these “reality” shows are and how factual they are so I was happy to experience this for myself even if it was just in passing. It must be exciting being a traveller!