01 Sep Asturias, Spain on the horizon
1st September 2021
With butterflies in my stomach, the day finally has arrived: Asturias soil soon to be underneath my feet! Three years have passed since I went on my first expedition in search of the same thing, but with a different perspective. One degree can make a big difference indeed. This time I am aiming for some concrete results. Step one: acquiring land to build my straw bale house on! Step two: community food forest project using permaculture principles. Step three: building a center for personal growth and development. First things first…step 1!
Working my way up to this point has been three years coming. They have lead me to meet and collaborate with amazing people, to grow as a person, to grow the concept I have in my mind and to welcome and see opportunities when they appear, at least some of them.
I tell you, it’s a scary business following your dreams. I don’t recall ever being fearful of them when I left high school. As my Canadian travel mates say “balls out”, that’s how you leap into the unknown. Alright, this one is of a larger financial magnitude and it also involves more people, but regardless, I definitely think too much, which is a gigantic hinder. The wisest advise I ever got was “don’t think!”. Now I get the meaning of it. Took me a while to figure that one out…And yes, sometimes I manage not to think now.
It’s as if, the older you get, the more conditioned you are to be fearful of change. “What if” becomes a steady companion and if you are not careful, an uninvited friend. Doing “dumb things” is no longer allowed, cause “what if”. In other words, you are placing yourself in your own straight jacket. Good lord, how brain washed do you have to be, to do that to yourself!!! Little or no room to explore and learn from your findings. It’s a sad world where that is normal.
So yes, I am out of my comfort zone, and yes, many a time I ask myself “woman, what are you doing!!” Thankfully in the end, I can’t help myself but to choose to live my life to the fullest, as best as I can at this moment. Part of that is stepping out of my comfort zone regularly and in doing so, making my world bigger than I can (now) imagine.
My dream is to live in a place that makes my heart sing, where the air is clean, where Mother Nature is loved, and where I can help communities thrive through solidarity with one another. ‘Be the change you want to see’, the perfect cliche that hits the nail on the head.
With that, I have gathered my courage and am ready to navigate through the countryside to see what the universe unfolds before me. My mother as my trusty sidekick to ensure this journey will be a true adventure full of magic moments and the gods on our side.
First leg of the trip
I wake up early to get a good start before we make our way to the train station. Feels a little surreal that we are leaving today. Lots of little things still need to be done before I close off the house. However, non of them important. Just nice to do so I know I come back to a house not invested my little creatures. We walk to the train station. Missed the bus by a hair, alas, it’s only a short walk. Mom is slightly anxious. Older age does demand a big margin of time to keep the heart at ease. We get to the station in perfect time and wait for our train to arrive. A free steamin’ cup of dark coffee from the Kiosk is welcomed (courtesy of Dutch Railways) as I am now feeling the impending flying moments…Yes, we are flying, I will spare you the why’s. I am not as fond of flying anymore as I used to be. Too many flights where I thought: this is the end. Not a nice feeling. Regardless, I have put my faith in the hands of the universe and trust she will get me to my destination with the rest of the crew and passengers.
Schiphol proves to be very busy. Who would have thought? Holiday period is over and it’s a total zoo.
Going through the luggage check is fairly easy. No need to take out your laptop, drone or other devices from your carry-on bags anymore. Apparently the scanning system can do everything it needs to do to ensure our safety. Boots still need to go off, though. So on socks to the other side of the scanning machine we walk, the part my mom detests greatly. She has an injured ankle and really needs the boots as support. Subsequently, I manage to hand her back her boots while throwing one of them on her ankle. I can see the stars dance around her head. For a moment she stops breathing, in total agony. A few deep breaths later and we are on the move again. Because we are so early, our gate is not announced yet. There is a Barcelona flight announced though, and mistakenly I think it’s ours. We walk, use the ‘mind your step’ belt and arrive. Thank god we didn’t have to walk 39 gates as pretty quickly it is clear we are at the wrong gate. We stop for a little toilet and lunch break, cause yeah, we are still early thanks to mom, before we head the other way to find our gate, B31.
A night’s rest at Palacio de la Magdalena in Soto del Barco
Two planes later with the marvellous Cote D’Azur as interim sight seeing pleasure, we land at Asturias Airport, one of the smallest airports I have ever been to. Now I understand why there aren’t any direct flights from Amsterdam. The exit is quick and painless. We jump in the awaiting taxi to take us to our hotel for the night. Our rental car we pick up the following day, when they are open again. A seven minute drive takes us to our Hotel Palacio de la Magdalena in Soto del Barco. Hot damn, it really was a palace!! For a moment in the lap of luxury surrounded by fabulous architecture and art that reflects the history of this place. Our room is a total pleasure, the view in of the bay and the shower helps revive us from a long day of travel.
Grateful to be on Asturian soil, breathe in the fresh air and be surrounded by its natural and abundant splendour.