Inspiration Shot November 2022

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 healthy 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?

Construction ‘blues’

My Tiny House is almost finished…. almost. I am literally living on the construction site as a kind of statement: please finish this house as soon as possible… For the past few weeks, something has been set in motion every day: a sink in the kitchen, the shower, the dishwasher, and the stove. I am as happy as a puppy with every step (see video). The kitchen doors are made from the wood that was also used to shape the cement for the counter, but it will take another month before those doors are ready.
Unfortunately, I still can’t really use the kitchen, because the kitchen counter needs to be impregnated to protect the white cement (a stray cat walked over it yesterday, leaving paw prints in red mud 😱).
And the house is super damp because the stucco on the walls has yet to dry. The air conditioning and floor heating have already been installed, but to put them into operation we need the electrician, who won’t leave his house when it rains, like this week… So, it will take just a little longer…
In the meantime, I also manage the renovation of the Townhouse in the village. Sometimes I drive up and down three times a day. Everything is delayed, and there is no communication. Sometimes it makes me feel hopeless. But as soon as I ‘let go’ out of frustration, suddenly the next step is taken. It’s like a dance: one step forward, one back…

The ‘Sunday feeling’

After all the stress with the construction projects, I decided to enjoy Halloween (a holiday here in Italy) at my Tiny House, enjoying the sun, peace, and quiet. Suddenly all kinds of neighbors, old and new friends came by. My neighbors from Rome visited to see my tiny house and showed me the progress at their @trulloEVO (photo below). The geometra/surveyor with his girlfriend passed by and brought a box of delicious pastries. The designer visited with her boyfriend and stayed to chat. A lady from Venice, who might want to buy the land next to me, just walked onto my land again to catch up. It felt peaceful and natural, I felt completely ‘local’ and suddenly I realized: this is it! Just ‘be’ and enjoy. That’s how things are done here. 🙏🏻

Olive harvest: hope for my trees?

When I compare my harvest with previous years, it is clear that the trees are struggling. There are significantly fewer olives and the PH value is slightly higher than before. But compared to other lands in the same area, my trees are doing much better. So hopefully all the experimental medicines I am trying out will help give the trees some resistance to the deadly Xylella bacteria.
Just like in previous years, the taste of the freshly pressed olive oil is fan-tas-tic: creamy, grassy with a slightly peppery ‘bite’. Last year DHL turned shipping to The Netherlands into a nightmare. I hope for a smooth delivery this year. From November 21st I will be in Amsterdam for a week to personally package and send all orders. There are just a few cans left, so you can still get my delicious @tinytrullo olive oil…

How about a workation? Maybe in Puglia?

More and more people decide to work from another location for a few weeks, preferably in a sunny country. What exactly is a ‘workation’? And which common mistakes should you avoid making when you start working remotely?
You might want to try a workation in Puglia. Then you can experience for yourself how this land affects you; how to relax and be productive at the same time.
You can also stay in my trullo this winter for a private writing retreat. So you can experience the magic of this place AND work on your book, with my guidance.
And… save the date: the month of April I’m organizing a super cool co-working month in my village. More about this soon.
My Tiny House between the olive trees and the Townhouse in the village will be for rent via Airbnb shortly. Let me know if you are interested, so you can be the first to reserve your favorite dates, of course at a special friend rate.

Workshop alert

How to turn anything into a business

  • Are you considering resigning and starting your own business?
  • Are you trying to find out what your added value is and how you can earn money with it?
  • Do you want to make your current business more profitable / more visible?

In this workshop, I will show you how to recognize and seize opportunities. And how you can turn any idea into a business.

PS. Check my Black Friday offer: this month you get 2 workshops for the price of 1

Inspiration bites


During the writing retreat in the French Alps, I first saw the cookbook that Maartje and our private Chef Martijn made for their company during a previous writing retreat.

Frida Kahlo

Frida is a special personality, creative and full of life; way ahead of her time.
For someone with so much life energy, it must have been extra hard to be limited by a car accident. Yet she finds her own way. I enjoyed watching this movie.

Did you know...?

…that I have turned my greatest ‘weakness’ into my greatest strength? I was often perceived as pushy, but when I started working for charities I suddenly became a go-getter. That’s how I learned that it’s better to change your context instead of trying to change yourself. I wrote this blog about it. You may also discover the power in your ‘annoying’ qualities…

Make your weakness your greatest strength

Where is Esther?

I’m enjoying ‘rooting’ here in Puglia. During the Puglia Inspiration Trip – the last one I will organize in this format – 7 participants enjoyed my little paradise, as you can see in this video compilation. Strangely enough, most registrations were last-minute again, a new trend!
Next week I’ll be on ‘workation’ in Iceland with a group of local independent entrepreneurs from the Dynamite Circle. Then I’ll be in Amsterdam for a week to send my olive oil and see friends. I will travel back to Puglia by train, with some stops along the way. After all, I still have that three-month first-class Interrail card!
Finally I will spend my first winter in Europe in 15 years. I am very curious how that will feel, at a new, lower, pace. Perhaps you will visit for a private writing retreat in my Trullo?

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