New Adventures

Inspiration Shot February 2020

Do you know that feeling? That you are on the cusp of something new, something exciting, something that makes your heart beat faster? That special energy that makes you completely radiant when you talk about it? So excited that others are ignited by your enthusiasm? I have that feeling now!

I have embarked on a new adventure: buying a piece of olive orchards in Puglia, Italy. Purely because my intuition insisted that I have to do it, NOW! Not with the intention to live there, not as an investment; right now I just see it as a ‘pet project’. If you are drawn to something so strongly, then new perspectives and opportunities naturally arise.
Are you curious about how you embark on such an adventure? Do you want to be inspired by your dream/adventure? Then this ‘inspiration shot’ is for you!

Puglia?!?

Buy an olive grove? How do you even come up with the idea? Why Puglia? What does something like that cost? What’s the plan?
During my search, I kept a video blog, which resulted in this 19 minute ‘road movie’ … At the end, you can even witness how I fall in love … On Valentine’s Day! 🙂
Travel with me and enjoy the journey.

Many people have asked me if I have not yet found ‘the ideal place’ to live. That remains difficult: there are always things that appeal to you and things that you don’t like. So far, Mallorca, Amsterdam and Curaçao are favorites. And in future, I will spend a little more time in Puglia, where I hope to find the same happy feeling as I knew in Mallorca. But once a nomad, always a nomad. I do find it hard to stay in the same place longer than a few weeks… 🙂

A Writers Cottage?

Next to the 200-year-old ‘Trullo’, I will probably one day construct a tiny house or ‘writing cottage’, with a wonderful view on the land. There is a good chance that I will organize a writing week in Puglia next year, but for this year I’ll stick to the retreats in Curaçao, Mallorca and Thailand. There is still 1 spot for the retreat in Curaçao from 12-18 March, if you feel inspired to join me…

The ‘every year itch’

Do you enjoy getting inspired by people who follow their dreams? I was recently interviewed for the ‘Every year itch’ podcast, where I talk about my life philosophy and dealing with uncertainties. There are also many other fascinating interviews in this series

Pizza and pasta

Of course, you can’t write about Italy without talking about food … 🙂

I feel inspired to collect all local vegan recipes, bundle them into a booklet and make them available each season in my (writing) house. Just like I turned the recipes of my Mallorcan writing week into a ‘writer’s cook book‘. So if you come to Puglia in May or September, you could go on a ‘fig holiday’ and find all the recipes for the fruits and vegetables that are seasonally available on the land. In October there are almonds and a month later olives. From April to November it is a party every month! 🙂

Why vegan? There are already enough recipe books with meat and cheese. However, the less affluent farming population often ate vegetables because they were abundantly available and therefore cheaper. Puglia should be a ‘heaven’ for vegans and I want to put more focus on this. Read about my 30 day vegan challenge.

In Bari there is a street with stalls where local women offer their homemade pasta. The perfect instagram spot! There is a fantastic back story about the ‘Pasta mafia’: a local restaurant was fined for serving this ‘illegal pasta’ whose origin (according to EU rules) could not be traced. The three kilos of pasta were destroyed by the inspectors. So sad.

“A specialist is someone who wants to know more about less and less, until at the end he knows almost everything about almost nothing.”

I have found someone who has made a real study of his search for the perfect dough for the pizza base. The perfect pizza dough

Life lessons from ski?

Just before I flew to Italy, I was skiing for a few days. For the first time in years I took a ski lesson. To my surprise, exactly the same thing happened as during the tango lessons that I took and even the watercolor lessons: I took life lessons from it. How can you apply everything you do to a larger whole? Read my blogs with ‘life lessons’ from skiingsurfingtango, and even watercolor lessons. There are probably useful tips for your own adventures.

Did you know...?

… that I have more in common with a ‘Trullo’ than I thought?

In the old days, the early settlers, built these kinds of houses from the local stones, without using any cement. Later, when ‘lords’ took over the land, they sent tax collectors to those settlers. Of course, these nomads thought it was unfair that they had to pay tax over their meagre possessions, so when they knew the collectors were on their way, they just pulled some stones out of their Trulli and let them collapse. “settlement?” they said when the tax collector arrived? “house?” I don’t see anything we should pay tax for…” 🙂 After the tax collector left, they would rebuild their Trulli and continue their lives.
Do you see the analogy: ‘Work with what you have’, ‘Be flexible, be adaptive’, ‘Fight injustice in a creative way’, ‘don’t be afraid of hard work’, ‘No excuses!’
Anything I have missed?

Where is Esther?

After a few days of wonderful skiing at Nyenrode’s friend Martijn van den Elzen, who took over two catered chalets in Les Arcs, France, I flew on to friend Annaliza, who lives just outside of Rome. Together we drove to Puglia, where our great adventure began. With her help (and thanks to her Italian) everything went well and I am now the proud owner of a two hundred year old Trullo and a piece of olive grove. I immediately started learning Italian! A few days in Nl to ‘pack up’ and then I leave for Curaçao for a month, for the Caribbean writing weekworkshops, to visit friends, to enjoy and to swim every day ….

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