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Tiny Trullo

On a whim, I bought a plot of an olive orchard in Puglia, southern Italy, at the start of 2020. The 6,500m2 plot of land has 24 centuries-old olive trees, plus a number of almond, fig, and other fruit trees. There is also a more than 200-year-old mini-house, a perfect example of a traditional ‘Trullo’, which is only found in this region. My Tiny Trullo land is an oasis of peace and nature. I fell in love immediately and embarked on this new adventure.

Would you like to enjoy it with me?

‘Turning a blind eye’ – Inspiration shot January 2023

2023-01-23T13:54:41+01:00

“If you had to choose, would you rather be blind or deaf?” Do you remember how you answered this hypothetical question? I always chose sight. Even though I know that sound is important, and being able to have a conversation; as a writer, reader, and traveler I value my eyes the most.  So it was quite a shock when I suddenly had flashes of light in my right eye a few weeks ago. I rushed to the emergency room of an Italian village hospital… It turned out that part of my retina had detached; I have permanently lost partial sight in one eye. I gained a lot of inSIGHTs from this experience, which I would like to share with you in this inspiration shot.

‘Turning a blind eye’ – Inspiration shot January 20232023-01-23T13:54:41+01:00

Slow travel – Inspiration shot december 2022

2022-12-15T10:49:10+01:00

To me, an airplane is a kind of 'time machine'. You enter with a certain climate, time zone, culture, and language and a little later you exit in a completely different world. Fast travel gives me a kick! But I've wanted to take it easy for a while. So when I saw this super deal on a 1st Class Interrail ticket; 3 months of unlimited travel through Europe, I bought it without thinking. In this inspiration shot I'll take you on my trip and will share some inspiration examples to reflect on your (life) journey: do you prefer fast or slow?

Slow travel – Inspiration shot december 20222022-12-15T10:49:10+01:00

Patience… – Inspiration Shot November 2022

2022-11-10T12:10:43+01:00

How patient are you? I hate it when things don't go fast enough…. Do we need to learn to be patient? Or is it heatlhy to want to speed things up? Here in Puglia, South Italy, living on a construction site, I am confronted daily with situations testing my patience. Construction workers arrive late, or much earlier than agreed, or sometimes don't come at all. Material is delivered much later than expected. Suppliers can't find the address, but don't bother to call or view the Google maps location, which I always include. My neighbor Mario, who has built my tiny house, laughs at me every time I want to do something quickly, which of course never works. He says, “Esther, you have to learn to be patient. That's how it works here.” And yes, maybe that's why I ended up in Puglia, to learn to be patient. But my drive for efficiency is being put to the test. What's more important? Efficiency, or feeling relaxed?

Patience… – Inspiration Shot November 20222022-11-10T12:10:43+01:00

AT HOME! – Inspiration Shot October 2022

2022-11-10T12:11:00+01:00

The past month has been a chaos of movements. From Amsterdam to Italy, via friends in Portugal to Miami, and with various stops back to Italy, where I am still staying in an Airbnb because my house is not ready yet. It makes me feel restless, but I know that peace will soon come; when I can finally move to my Tiny House and start decorating it. The end is in sight. In the meantime, I have daily WhatsApp contact with a friend in Hawaii who is temporarily homeless. There is a housing crisis since corona because many Americans have moved from the mainland to the islands, making both purchasing or renting a place impossible or unaffordable. My friend lives in her car and is completely in survival mode, with no hope of things getting better. Several coaching clients are about to give up their homes to travel in a motorhome and become entrepreneurs. Although that is a conscious choice for them, it also causes stress. All this makes you think. What does (at) home mean? Is home a physical place? Is it 'where the heart is'? Is it where your laptop automatically recognizes the WiFi? 😜 A few reflections for this month, so that you can determine what (at) home means to you.

AT HOME! – Inspiration Shot October 20222022-11-10T12:11:00+01:00

Save my olive trees, part 2

2022-09-05T12:52:34+02:00

When I found out that the olive trees on my TinyTrullo land are infected with the deadly Xylella virus, I wrote this blog, hoping I could find a solution. Many people responded with concern, others came up with possible solutions, and some helped by adopting an olive tree. Those adoptions help to finance the various experiments.

Save my olive trees, part 22022-09-05T12:52:34+02:00

Save my olive trees

2022-08-26T11:52:54+02:00

When I bought my olive grove in Puglia, I had of course heard the stories about the deadly bacterium Xylella, which has already killed all olive trees in the south of Italy. But everyone in my area said/hoped that things wouldn’t turn bad, that the deadly disease would not reach our part of Puglia, or that a solution would soon been found. So I did what all the locals did, and did not think about Xylella; instead I just enjoyed my beautiful, centuries old trees.

Save my olive trees2022-08-26T11:52:54+02:00

Follow your heart – Inspiration shot May 2022

2022-12-29T12:17:19+01:00

After recovering from the post-Covid energy dip (which took longer than I thought), and some other hiccups/dips, I feel like there is a new quality in my life. I have had to slow down quite a lot in the past 2 months or so, which gave me time to practice surrender and being in the moment. I want to be able to listen to my heart even more. The most important thing for me now is to live with my heart open. It has been scary for so long. Scared to be vulnerable, scared to be hurt. Yet pain is part of life. Even with my adventurous life full of great things, I cannot enjoy everything fully with a closed heart. That’s why recently, in my beloved Puglia, Italy, I got a tattoo of a small heart on my heart; to remind myself every day to live with an open heart. In this inspiration shot, I would like to share some things that may help you to follow your heart too.

Follow your heart – Inspiration shot May 20222022-12-29T12:17:19+01:00

Uncertainty as a comfort zone – Inspiration shot November 2021

2022-08-17T20:33:32+02:00

After 30 years of entrepreneurship and more than 15 years of location independent living, you could say that uncertainty has become my comfort zone. For me, this means staying both alert and flexible, resulting in a more interesting life. If you let go of all expectations, there is room to be surprised. Sometimes positively, sometimes… less positive… :) I don't know what's in the air, but last month was full of surprises! Have you experienced that too? I would like to share some of them with you.

Uncertainty as a comfort zone – Inspiration shot November 20212022-08-17T20:33:32+02:00

Enjoy what is… – Inspiration Shot October 2021

2022-08-17T21:21:14+02:00

More and more friends call me, anxious for some perspective. They feel like they are losing their sense of freedom. Apparently, they assume that I see the world differently and thus can broaden their perspective. Perhaps I do. When you travel as much as I do, you encounter different interpretations of the same facts and circumstances; different measures, solutions, attitudes, and therefore perspectives. I have learned that you can focus on what is not there (anymore), and what you can't or are not allowed to do, but you can also look at what is still there. The trick is to focus on everyday beautiful things. I myself am still surprised by the effect of paying attention to the little things that you might otherwise miss. A sleepy village, a beautiful FaceTime moment with my father, the complex taste of my olive oil, a beautiful nature photo or a new idea, a new opportunity. In this Inspiration Shot, I will share a few of those with you.

Enjoy what is… – Inspiration Shot October 20212022-08-17T21:21:14+02:00

Free from restrictions – Inspiration shot May 2021

2022-08-18T18:12:29+02:00

On Liberation Day I traveled from Geneva via Amsterdam to Puglia. In the middle of the various lockdowns. That made me realize again that many boundaries and limitations are more in our heads than they really hold us back. In this inspiration shot, I don't necessarily want to glorify traveling, but I do want to make you think about what freedom means to you.

Free from restrictions – Inspiration shot May 20212022-08-18T18:12:29+02:00
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