…and how it all began

I think it took me more effort than anything se to write next few lines about myself. It is actually pretty difficult to put into words what is still an ongoing process every day because of new thoughts and experiences that are being formed and lived. But let’s give it a try. Fasten your seatbelts guys, it might be a pretty bumpy road!

Last year I came to an understanding that regardless of all my beloved ones, all the comforts of my life and fun I tried to have I didn’t actually feel happy or fulfilled. I had no energy or motivation to do much even though I was lucky to be living in such an incredible and beautiful city as Barcelona. I was trying the best I could to find solutions; I went swimming, cycling and running a lot, I was cooking and experimenting with new recipes, meeting my friends and reading books. I had many visits from home and went on trips, but still I felt that my life was slipping through my fingers. With each day I had less and less strength to get up from my bed in the morning. I could tell that something was going really wrong and I couldn’t figure out what was it exactly.

Then in May I met with my two dear friends from home in Amsterdam. We stayed at our buddy’s place and had a blast over the weekend. I felt completely in love with the city (and so many handsome guys!) After that with one of the girls I biked all the way to Belgium. What a trip! Taking it slowly, sightseeing a bit, visiting old friends and meeting new ones on the way, we arrived in Brussels six days later. Beautiful landscapes, lots of space for thinking and our complex conversations I believe were the trigger that woke up something that was seeded in me already a long time ago.

After coming back home I kept on thinking of the freedom and happiness that I felt while being out there, outside and in nature. Breathing the fresh air, seeing lots of green spaces, falling asleep into quiet night and waking up to the birds singing. I understood that I actually felt like a caged animal in the office. Attached to my desk and keyboard with all the windows locked and air conditioning blowing l the bacteria and dust on me for eight straight hours. A New Age slave of the smart phone and the computer screen. Addict of Google, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and you name it. The city felt like a trap with all the constant noises and lights. The air pollution and people always rushing somewhere. Traffic on the streets and crowds in the metro. My work like many others felt to me useless and unnecessary. Because what is it all about if not one massive and continuous consumption? Constant selling and buying? We go to school to later go to work to make more money to buy more to produce more waste and make already rich people even richer. If we had to use one word to describe our societies it would be consumerism. The world seems to spin around consumption. But why do we buy all that stuff? Needless gadgets we get bored with after few hours? New cars before the old ones break down? Fill up the fridge from bottom to the top and then throw away half of the food that got expired or turned bad? We don’t repair things anymore, because it’s cheaper to buy new ones. We are repetitively told that by getting a new car we will spend more quality time with our families; drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola with our friends will be unforgettable and make us happy; a cup of instant coffee – relax; a box of chocolates – show our partner that we love him and new clothes – make us feel better in our own skin. But does it really work like that? Do we feel real changes thanks to these objects or is it only a temporary experience that passes away like clouds? Have you ever gone on a long-awaited vacation o a nice hotel with a swimming pool and free mojitos, and while sipping one of them you looked the views and felt a bit uneasy? Perhaps you thought that it was a fair deal these holidays BUT maybe this other hotel would be still a better choice, because it had one extra pool and a bathtub in the room? I think you know what I’m talking about. And I know it well, because I studied and worked on the mechanisms of how to make people want what there is to sell, either a product or the idea itself.

Nowadays we have so many choices that it is hard to choose and be fully satisfied. There is always something that seems to be a better or newer deal. There are so many promotions and deals that we find ourselves running around the city from one corner to another just to save a few cents, but in reality spending lots of them on the gasoline, not to mention our time. We are also offered so many possibilities to develop our talents, learn new skills, languages, begin new hobbies and necessarily share it all online with others (which I’m precisely doing at the very moment :)) Actually, it’s not only the fact that it is a possibility to develop – it’s almost a necessity if you want to be someone in the modern world. Everywhere they expect you to add new skills to your resume. And don’t get me wrong, it is not bad to be interested in many things and progress, but after all that when do we have time to cherish these happy moments with our friends and family? When do we relax on our new comfy couches with a brand new book in a hand and a cup of coffee? Do we still know what it means to rest and relax? Can we leave our devices at home when on holidays or simply while watching a movie with friends? Aren’t we overstressed, depressed and with multiple anxieties? Constantly sick? And of course what about the environment that we degrade minute by minute? The air and water pollution? Deforestation? Climate change? Peak oil? All natural resources being depleted? People starving and dying? Animals being exploited and killed? Endless wars? What will we breathe if we destroy all the forests there are and what will we drink if the potable water is depleted? What will we eat if the soil is so exploited that it doesn’t give more healthy harvests? Well, these sorts of questions kept on multiplying in my head like mushrooms after the rain. The more I though about it all, the more I understood that I just can’t take it anymore like that. I had to take a longer break and clear my mind and heart. Go on a soul-searching mission. Find another way of living this life since I don’t want to be in this game anymore. Definitely not to fool people around and tell them that consuming more superfluous and unhealthy products will make their lives better and happier. There has to be another way and fortunately I believe there is one. I am living it right now, exploring, learning and evaluating. And honestly it’s not always easy, because after all for so long I was a city animal just like you, used to all modern commodities and pure consumerism. I’m not 100% sure yet where exactly this road will lead me, but I’m open to all there is to come, my heart and my mind. About this journey in my search of a more sustainable, self-sufficient, healthy, happy and natural life I want to tell you about here. Because I believe there is a way for all of us to live differently but still happily. That we could stop this destructive process, which ruins not only us, but especially our mother Earth who is after all the provider of our body fuel. Deciding last summer to leave my work and go on a solo cycling – voluntary work journey in Scandinavia turned out to be just a beginning of a process that turned my life upside down. It feels like I couldn’t have made a better decision. I have the impression that I’m finally following the right path. I’m also thankful to my dear Mum and all of my friends who even without fully understanding the choice I’m making, anyways supported me and encouraged me all the way (and still do it!)

So here it is, the journal of my experiences through WWOOFing, permaculture, cycling and walking travels to a more sustainable life. hope it will become handy and show that it is not that difficult to make this switch, either living in a city or on the countryside. I want to share here my new knowledge, thoughts, feelings and whatever else I consider useful. If you have questions, please ask and I hope to answer the best I can. I want this place to become a good seed dropped in the cyber field. Hopefully, even one of hundreds planted, will grow out of here. Lots of sun fellows and remember that life is just a ride and we have only a ay ticket! xx

Photo by Raquel Fialho