29 +1. Chapter – My first long holiday

4 mins read

Summer has arrived, but I didn’t go directly back home for my vacation. I got 3,5 weeks off, before the radio training. I felt extremely lucky and we decided with my girlfriend that we’ll pass two weeks in Nice to visit the city and its surroundings.

When I started this blog, I wanted to describe how the French Foreign Legion is from inside.

My main goal is to show you the everyday life, the missions, the training and not talking about my own life. But. Since we relaunched this project, I’ve received many messages asking me about free time in the French Foreign Legion, holidays and vacation. So I decided to insert this extra post about something “more usual”.

The platoon chief left the unit in June

so the platoon sergeant was in charge to give out holidays for everyone. I got the confirmation about mine in June, so I had a bit more than a month to organize two weeks in Nice.

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We found an apartment for 650 euros for the two weeks, not extremely far from the beach. Fortunately, the man who rent the apartment spoke English and even gave me a 50 euros reduction from the fee. When we came back from Valloire at the end of the BAM, I left the regiment the same day, passed a night in Avignon and caught the first TGV next morning to Nice. I met the apartment’s owner, paid for the two weeks and went out to the station to meet my girlfriend. 

french foreign legion free time
The view from the “Jardin exotique” in Monaco

I enjoyed those 2 weeks

and could visit many places nearby, like Monaco, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cannes or Théoule-sur-mer. I felt free and happy that I passed my first year in the French Foreign Legion and my future seemed to be pretty bright. Before joining, as I couldn’t have the right information from a trustable source, I thought that I won’t have free time during 5 years. Fortunately, it wasn’t true and I could pass holidays like normal people.

When you are on “permission” or “PLD”, you can rent an apartment, a car (if you have a civilian driver’s license) or do whatever you want during your vacation. If you want to go abroad, you only need to ask for an official authorization, but it’s rarely refused.

This rule applies for the whole French Army, so it’s not something special in the French Foreign Legion. (I even have a friend working in the civil sector who has to ask for an authorization if he wants to go abroad, so this isn’t an uncommon procedure).

The Côte d’Azur

At the end of the second week

I went back to my home country with my girlfriend to pass the rest of my free time with my old friends. As my holiday ended in the middle of the week, I had to pay for a taxi (60 euros) to go back to the regiment, but I didn’t mind. I felt ready to go back to Castel for my first “serious” individual training.

Each time when I was on a long vacation, time was passing by with and incredible speed, but it wasn’t only true for the free time. With the exercises, missions, services and holidays, I haven’t seen the time gone by.

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  1. Hi Aron, I have a friend who is in the 2Reg like you, he told me that you engineers specialize in making bridges, defusing bombs etc, unlike the infantry regiments that your training is based on assault tactics, raid etc, I really liked the 2Reg why he specializes in mountain but my idea of ​​joining the Legion is to learn and train combat tactics, I liked the idea of enter the 2Rep but the fame that they have almost no OPEX or different missions, with your experience, do you think it would be more worth joining the 2Rei or 2Rep over the 2Reg, thanks for this blog.

    • Hey,
      Yes, your friend has right, however you need to pass years in training before you can defuse a bomb. As a légionnaire you’ll only detect it and nothing more.
      All 3 regiments are good and the mountain part in 2reg is just awesome, but if you are more interested in tactics/combat and you want to go on missions, 2rei would be a great choice.

  2. Hi Mr. Aron, I really want to join but of recent I have read an article about dark life inside ffl,racism,beatings by superiors and alot of crap. I would appreciate if you share as well the negative side of ffl so we know what’s really it is

    • Helo Steve,
      Thank you for your question. Actually, the goal of this blog is to share as many information about the FFL as possible from every point of view. I didn’t write about beatings by superiors and racism, because it doesn’t really exist. It can happen that you got into a trouble with someone, but those are isolated cases and are sanctioned each time without taking the rank into account.

  3. Hello, what do you think about 2 rep? Curved teeth would cause trouble.
    I have an advantage at age 18, I am an athlete, would I have an advantage?

  4. Hi Aron, I have to ask, how is it to combine your girlfriend with the life in the FFL? Did you meet her there or was she with you before, and how is she adjusting to this lifestyle? My husband is about to try and join – and I’ve prepared myself for all the horror stories I’ve read online, but yours seem to be a lot less bad than others..

    • Hey Steff,
      Excuse me for the late reply. My Gmail sent all of your messages in my spam box..
      I’ve met my girlfriend before joining the FFL. At the beginning it wasn’t easy at all, because we could only met once in 2-3 months and during my longer holidays, so we didn’t pass too much time together. It changed a bit when we started to rent an apartment in town, but it’s still not obvious to run a life next to this job. You’ll need a lot of patience, but it has also positive sides. You’ll appreciate the time you’ll pass together much more than other couples.

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