La dolce vita in Italy

Inspiration shot November 2020

I was in doubt about sharing travel stories during times of Corona. But I have chosen to continue living my life – with the necessary restrictions and precautions, of course – and to look for opportunities, adventures, and experiences. I want to share these with you because it is up to you whether you want to enjoy yourself (from home, while traveling, perhaps even in lockdown or quarantine?) or whether you focus on the limitations, which naturally we all feel.
If you’re still reading, fasten your seatbelts! I will take you on a wonderful journey to my Tiny Trullo, the olive harvest, ancient olive trees for adoption, a selfie of the earth, and much more…

Tiny Trullo

Exactly one year ago I was in Puglia for the first time. A few months later I fell in love with a patch of olive grove and bought it on a whim. And now I have just experienced my first olive harvest and am the proud owner of dozens of cans of freshly pressed olive oil!
I had them shipped to the Netherlands so that you can also taste this unique flavor if you are interested. You might even like to adopt an olive tree! At www.tinytrullo.com you will find all the details, plus beautiful photos of the olive harvest.

Travel in times of corona

These days I travel a lot less and stay closer to home, but to me, traveling feels like breathing. It is a part of who I am and I can’t stop. I flew to Mallorca for the writing week, then on to Puglia. A friend and I then drove to Rome, where I am now staying.
Many people consider it irresponsible or find it scary to travel at the moment. It helps to realize that people everywhere are just living their lives. Everyone wears face masks, keeps their distance, and washes their hands. Many countries have far fewer cases of the virus than the Netherlands, which has been classified internationally as ‘dangerous’. Many countries, including Italy, test for fever with a ‘temperature gun’ at the airport and at many other places including at all gas stations.
In addition, there are fewer people in airports and on airplanes. For me, traveling NOW feels much safer than I think it will be when the restrictions are lifted and more people will be on the move. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope that there will be an open discussion about this and that everyone makes responsible decisions and respects others in theirs.

A deserted Mallorca airport during ‘peak’ hours…

Learn something new

You may feel bored during the lockdown, feel depressed, or powerless. Or like me, you may have a hundred new plans. If you have time on your hands, why not learn something new?
Since April I have been learning Italian for a few minutes per day via DuoLingo. The app makes it easy and fun, just like a game. I’m already on day 238. And seriously, I understand almost everything and can already have simple conversations in Italian! I found that I needed more conversation practice, so I found a private teacher through LiveLingua. Every now and then I chat for an hour via Skype with Stefania, who lives in Bari. During our conversation, she takes notes on the screen of mistakes I make, new words, and some grammar.
It’s great to be able to work on my dream project even when I’m not in Italy. And quite useful too, because nobody speaks English in the countryside at my TinyTrullo …
Which language – or other skill – will you pick up again?

Black Friday

In these uninviting times, we can all use a windfall. That’s why I came up with some great Black Friday deals. They are only valid during the weekend of November 26 – 29, but you can already take a look at them now.
Especially if you want to write a book or like to read books, don’t miss this! There is also a very special RESULTant session offer if you would like to brainstorm your business, idea, or project with me.

Earth selfie?

If Google Earth is Google’s ‘selfie’ of our planet, then who is Google? Does it represent our ‘self’?
Just as we, humans, try to make our selfies look as good as possible, Google Earth also filters and selects what it shows us. Did you ever notice that it is always springtime on Google Earth? No clouds, no broken bridges, etc., everything is green and beautiful? And sometimes things come out a bit odd…
This article explores this phenomenon and asks some fascinating questions.

Did you know that...?

… that I rent out my apartment every winter for 3 – 6 months? I don’t spend more than 4 months a year in the Netherlands anyway. During the spring and summer I like to be in my own apartment every now and then, but I normally spend the winters in Thailand and/or Miami. This year it will probably be South Africa. If you know someone who – for some obscure reason – would like to spend this winter in Amsterdam, in this cozy place, please send me a message.
Of course, I’ll offer a special price for my friends and followers!

Where is Esther? 

I immediately felt so at home in Mallorca that I found it difficult to leave my special island again. It was lovely to catch up with my friends, to be able to hold the writing retreat in this familiar place despite everything, to spend time on the Finca where I used to live, to see my cats, and to enjoy the ‘grounded’ feeling that I always get in Mallorca. It was difficult and sad to have to let go of that again.
But as soon as I arrived in Puglia, I felt at home there too. I got to know people in the area, practiced my Italian, discussed building plans with my neighbor, and enjoyed my first olive harvest. Unfortunately, the internet was terrible in the place I was staying at, and all restaurants were closed due to the lockdown, so my friend Annaliza and I drove to Rome, where she lives – and where you can still eat out during the day. So here I am, working on the TinyTrullo website and writing this Inspiration Shot.
Secretly, I am already looking forward to the 10 days in Amsterdam before I leave for Cape Town for six weeks … In that short time, I want to record the English version of my online program ‘This is how you write a book!’. A total of 60 videos, in 10 days: that should be doable, right? 🙂

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