Hi everyone!

Yes, despite the rumours, we are still alive and kicking! I know, I know. I’ve taken (too) long to write a new blog post. But hey, I have a good excuse- I mean, reason.

Yes, really alive! This is picture is from when Alba was still enjoying our 7-hour hike up the mountain next to our home! πŸ˜‰

The pace of this adventure is changing.

At the time of writing my last post, we were about to move into our new rental home. It was still summer. Alba still had a job!

So, some things have changed in the meantime, and I’ll update you on the most important ones.

Beginnings of a fresh breeze

If you don’t remember (and I’d forgive you after this long radio silence!), we got the keys to a rural mountain home on the 18th of August, with the plan to stay here for at least a year. Fortunately, we didn’t have that much stuff to move, as living in a caravan didn’t really allow us to take that many possessions. By another stroke of luck, the house was rented out to us completely furnished, so we had that covered as well. And lastly, we didn’t have to worry much about our caravan either, as we had someone local with a 4×4 help us to drag it uphill and park it on ‘our’ terrain!

Moving day!
The caravan in its semi-permanent place – do you feel like staying a few nights in ‘our’ forest yet? πŸ˜„

That same day, we went to one of the three (yes, three, despite Vallcebre only having a population of 200!) local bars to have a celebratory drink and then… Alba got sick! And I followed soon after! We both suffered a nasty flu during the first week of living in a house with four walls again after leaving behind the Netherlands about six months prior. But, life is like that. We stay strong when we have to and we let go when we feel we can.

Once we had both recovered, we barely had any time to organise our stuff in our house. We had Arthur and Pinyada visit us from Arnhem, we went to Toledo to celebrate Alba’s mum’s birthday, we went to Andorra to arrange some things for Alba’s apartment there, we were in Barcelona, and we had a -rather unfortunate – trip to the Netherlands where our car broke down several times (and even now when I write this, the root of the issue still hasn’t been found unfortunately – we just dropped it off at a garage for the fourth time in less than a month)!

But hey, at least that gave us a chance to catch up with a lot of people there again! Super amazing to see you there again Max, Roos, Arthur, Pinyada, Pim, Beki, Liam, Miguel, Maria, Brandon, Grieta, Julie, Josh, Branko, Peter, & Anke!

Great times with Arthur and Pinyada!
With the family in Toledo!
Bday Maite
Maite (Alba’s mum)’s birthday
Some good times back in Enschede with my fellow Lipses! πŸ™ƒ

So that’s what we did – but how is life?

Let’s have a brief look at how we actually feel here. How is life for us now in Bergueda, now that we can actually sort of say that we live here. Still feels weird – the move from the caravan to the house was done in one night, but in my heart I still have to get used to the idea!

Life in this place is wonderful though. We are meeting some amazing people and are in love with the natural beauty of this region. The weather is pleasant to us coming from the Netherlands, though many people here would disagree when they compare it to the coastal climate.

More important than nice weather or pretty nature is this though: Alba and I feel inspired.

Fuck.
This.
Place.
Is.
Beautiful.

We listen to inspirational audiobooks almost every evening. Alba is rediscovering her true passions in life. I am rediscovering mine. I also started meditating again (after a hiatus of many years) – and no, not as some kind of spiritual thing, but simply as a way to organise my mind.

And we are both working on our life project: Mission Paradise.

The status of our Mission

More than a year ago I wrote that first post about this idea, and when I think about it now, we really made some significant steps towards achieving our project. We found a beautiful area with people we like, and even live in a house with a big terrain overlooking amazing nature!

What we did so far was relatively easy in hindsight. The hard(er) part is coming!

I wrote this before somewhere, but this is a long term project. We cannot just show up, buy farmer Juan’s (or Pedro’s, or Jordi’s, or whatever generalisation you want to make 😜) land and start building. Plus, our project is slowly taking on a more concrete form as we continue to redefine what we want and what we can do.

Just like Juna, we are taking control of our lives (and hope we don’t drive off a cliff)! πŸ˜…

Currently, our project stands here: we are checking if we can buy an apartment around here to rent out to tourists, in order to get some practice and put our savings to some good use. Furthermore, Alba is possibly starting a (very long term!) project to attract tourists to this area and make a nice (side?) income, with which I’m happy to be involved as well. We also hope to buy our own home here through a ‘rent-to-own’ construction or – and this is new – through something called co-housing.

What’s rent-to-own? This is a rental agreement where the tenant and landlord agree that – at a given date in the future – the tenant will purchase the property at a pre-arranged price and a part of the rent goes towards paying off the house already. This would be perfect for us as it would speed up the process (we can start living in a house that later we’ll buy, as opposed to saving for years before we can afford the downpayment/have the regular income for a mortgage).

And what about co-housing? The idea is that you buy a property (or terrain on which you’ll build) together with others – with the explicit notion that you’ll live together but usually you do each (couple/person) own your own ‘unit’ or part of the property. This is appealing to us as we would love to find more like-minded people to share our life with, and of course there’s the financial aspect as well that would make buying a property here more accessible to us.

To be honest – we are in no rush to arrange either. We are investigating both in detail, but right now we are also loving the fact that we are exploring new (business/job) opportunities, finding a new pace of life in this new area, and rediscovering our passions. Life’s good here now, we need to work hard to maintain it (work-wise and socially), and we know we also need to work on our future (the Mission).

But hey, it’s all about the journey right?

– Jochem

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention we spent a weekend on the French mediterranean coast? The water was still amazingly warm!
Spending some time with my favourite niece ❀️❀️
Alba with her… substitute-niece? Sorry Lluismi! πŸ˜†
No wait, here’s her true nephew in anything but blood πŸ€—
Our new glorified garden house – hopefully next year an AirBnb experience! 😎
See you in the next blog post, thanks for reading!