Spending two months in Portugal on the `road´ gave us time to reflect. Actually, we did not see much road. What we did encounter were many, many inspiring people, wild coastlines and creative and sustainable projects to learn from. And did we mention surfing at all? Viveka, surf instructor and example of someone living a free life, rents out cosy campervans via Snailhouse Campervans (website is in Dutch, reach Viveka by mail in English via snailhousecampervans@gmail.com).

Portugal

Portugal

The warm and dry climate in combination with a good amount of hippie hearted people, led to a great variety of educational farms as well as many forms of eco-tourism. Sadly, several beautiful projects that we were hoping to visit have been completely burned down in last October´s forest fires. Our love goes out to all the beautiful and strong people that are building their houses from scratch again. Creating a healthy forest in the burnt areas is essential for the safety of all inhabitants in the future so the time to act is now.

Portugal

Lynn is an inspiring woman that lives her dream in `A vida Fausto´, building her dream house in a sustainable way and sharing her off grid, nature-oriented lifestyle with visitors. She created an oasis in a piece of forest with a bird´s house to live in. She organised Digital Detox retreats as well as permaculture courses in which people learn work on the land in harmony with nature´s rhythms. Unfortunately also her dream has suffered from the fires. Her house as well as most of the trees and other houses in her region got lost in the fires.

Now Lynn is working on a vermicomposting system, an irrigation system where worms help to irrigate the burnt land with the use of household water. This is an example of how natural solutions can be harmless and even beneficial for animals, nature and people at the same time. Hopefully the time will come rather sooner than later that Lynn can share her lifestyle and life lessons with visitors again. To see how living with the elements can be, how she is building a new guesthouse and residency `A vida Fénix´ on the ashes and to learn how she works on restoring the forest, follow her!

The importance of a sustainable lifestyle becomes clear once more. And we can tell you, it doesn´t get much nicer than that anyway! We were a guest of eco-lodge Brejeira near Silves, where Claire, Sander and their two children Ayla and Ravi are living the true nature experience in their little paradise. The old fire truck that Claire and Sander started their travels with, while being fresh in love, is now one of their lodges. How romantic is it to know this story about the bed you are sleeping in? Besides that, there are several yurts on their land.

Portugal

Portugal

We stayed in their amazing vintage circus wagon. It is the cutest fairy-tale home you can imagine.
The warm outside showers at Brejeira heat on solar energy and come with a view over the valley, plus some tips how not to spill a drop. Learn from this family to live according to your own dreams and rules, being supported by nature. Do we need to say more?

Portugal

Another unique spot we have seen is Into The Wild Algarve (https://www.intothewildalgarve.com/). Even though we were there off-season, we almost moved in permanently in their tree house. You can swim in the lake, there are surf spots nearby and you can join their yoga classes in summer. This is another perfect place to tune out off any busy routine.

Portugal

This journey has taught us again how important it is to stay aware of the needs of your environment. Even though we are still moving around in our cute but stinky van, we are a step closer to create a lifestyle where people are living hand in hand with their surroundings.

About: we are Mark and Marrit, mostly based in Berlin but often on the road. Mark is a passionate analogue photographer  from North Italy, while Marrit from The Netherlands loves to write about what inspires us on the way. We´re often on the road in our cute orange van called Yak – named after the strong buffalo that lives in the Himalayas – that helps us to broaden our horizon time and time again. Since a year or so, our 1 year old daughter Raja travels with us.

Our goal is to develop ourselves and to figure out how to live according to our hearts truth. We are outside as much as possible, while exploring new places and learning from different people and cultures. We are excited about eco-friendly projects and creative lifestyles. They remind us to the fact that you can live according to your own rules and in harmony with your surroundings. Remembering this helps us in our search to the next place on the countryside to call our home. Every now and then we will share parts of our journey with Meet You At The Bridge.