I hesitated for a moment about whether I wanted to share this. It feels a bit silly to share something that’s not going to happen at all, but I was quite saddened by it. A few weeks ago, I spotted a beautiful piece of land near Valencia. Imagine this: 11,000 square meters of land, a stunning view, some neighbors around but not right next to the plot. And despite there being no house on it, the basic amenities (water and electricity) were already in place. (That’s usually not the case in the countryside here.)
So, I went there in a friend’s car, took photos and videos, and drew up detailed plans of how it was going to be. I was planning to build a small house on it, with several yurts around that I would rent out through Airbnb. It was a fantastic plan. It still is a fantastic plan. I just needed to check on how to obtain a permit to start a campsite before making an offer.
It turned out that it would take about 1-2 years and depend on many different authorities who all have to sign off individually for permission. In other words, if there’s even one person who doesn’t want a ‘campsite’ at that location, the whole plan would fall through. You can understand why I never made that offer because I can’t buy eleven thousand square meters of land without the certainty that I can do what I envision.
So, I had to let go of the vegetable garden I had already planned in my head. I had to let go of the yurts. I had to let go of the whole camping idea where people could come to meditate. And now, I have to start looking for a nice apartment in the city again. It hurts, but for some reason, this apparently wasn’t what I was supposed to do with my life right now. Maybe someday.
The Soft Detox challenge
Just as randomly as I stumbled upon the book “The Artist’s Way” (definitely read the blog post if you want to tap into your creativity), I saw that Sarah from Simply in Balance was offering a Soft Detox. Transforming my diet over a month in such a way that my body can rid itself of toxins without too many unpleasant side effects and hassle? Count me in!
So, every Monday evening at 8:30 pm, I’m ready for the live session with explanations about nutrition, and I eagerly read all the course material and the associated recipes. I find it challenging to implement everything all at once, but I see it as a long-term thing. In other words, I’ll take all the recipes and tips to make adjustments that help me stay healthy for the rest of my life. For example, a daily cup of matcha tea (see photo) where I cheat a bit by using oat milk as a base instead of water. Super delicious!
And for those who might think, “You already know a lot about nutrition and eat really healthy, right?” Believe me when I say that I do my best, but Sarah has shared a lot of things with me that I didn’t know. I’ve always had a kind of passion for healthy eating, in the sense that I find it a beautiful idea to provide my body with pure, natural food that it can thrive on. But at 37, I still struggle with acne, often lack energy, and would be lying if I said I always eat healthy. Not that it’s the ultimate goal (don’t overdo it), but I find it comforting to be physically in balance. Healthy eating is a significant part of that for me.
By the way, in case you didn’t know: there’s peanut butter with a vanilla-cinnamon flavor, and it’s AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. I found this jar from the brand Natruly at the organic supermarket in Valencia. I have no idea if they sell it in other countries, but if they do, buy it and thank me later.
Christmas 2023 is just around the corner
And just when I had accepted that summer was coming to an end (not that I minded it very much), I found myself entirely unprepared in the Christmas section of El Corte Inglés. Wow, I thought, already? It was 25 degrees yesterday! But if I have to believe all the Dutch, even gingerbread cookies have been on the shelves since September, so it’s undeniable that Christmas is just around the corner. I’ve always loved Christmas, the atmosphere, the lights, the coziness, and the delicious food. So, I feel grateful when I think that it’s just two months away again.
I treated myself to a Christmas ornament in the shape of a tiger and strolled back home, realizing that this year, too, I’ll be celebrating Christmas under the palm trees, and it will never get as cold in the winter here as it does in the Netherlands. Speaking of gratitude.
With love, Leonie.