Currently I am in Italy, almost 6 months after I started this journey. One evening, talking about the communities I visited, Corinne, a Canadian woman, asked if I wrote down some stuff for the people back home. I said that I don’t really like to express myself writing and that I don’t like to expose myself to the public like that. Yet during the conversation, she made me see the importance of simply sharing that what passions me with others. Reflecting back on it, I realized how much I have received over the past period and how beautiful it can be to just try to give back and pass on what I have received, like a little gift to the universe and its people. Most often, without really realizing, I listen to the little voice in my head saying that I don’t know enough yet, or that what I have to share is not relevant. I had the idea that first I need to be an expert at something, always gathering more and more information, before I have something to give back. But here I saw that this kind of thinking will always keep me “not knowing enough” and that the best way to learn more is exactly to share what you know. I don’t need to be perfect or nor need my ideas need to be so refined that they are beyond the reach of criticism. By welcoming criticism, and not running away from it, it actually allows me to grow and learn more. [So hereby I invite you to share your ideas, challenge my words and present your own point of view, highlight where some topics are too one-sided and nuance it, so that we might all learn together and make these blogs more interesting]
So, encouraged by the people to write down some of my thoughts and reflections, here it is. […And I hope this too can perhaps be a stimulation for yourself to start sharing something which passions you, you don’t need much, all you need to do is to start]. So even though it took me awhile to get me writing, the good thing is that I have had some time to let some of the thoughts sink in and crystallize a bit. So this should make it easier to make the post build up on each other and be a bit coherent, making it easier to digest.
Perhaps now is also a good time to give a brief overview of where I have been so far, before I dive into some of the topics which my mind pondered on. [if too boring just skip this part 😉 ]
The end of August 2017, I started in France, close to Perpignan, in a place called Can Decreix. There I joined Ecotopia biketour for around one month. Ecotopia is a self organized, anarchistic biketour [more detail on their website but really amazing!!, if you like cycling and want to experience what a traveling community feels like, if you want to meet awesome people and give not only your legs but also your mind a stretch, then that’s the place to be next summer 😉 ]. On the road we visited several projects and communities. Arriving south of Barcelona, the biketour ended and I continued alone by bike, heading north towards the pyrenees. There I visited some abandoned villages which were squatted starting from the ‘70 and onwards. Aineto, Solanilla and Urniza, all interesting places of between 8 and 30 people where they live together in community and experiment with different ways of how to live together. By the end of October, I arrived in Lakabe, a wonderful community with very open, warm hearted people. During 2 weeks of open ‘open doors’ they exposed us and made us participate in their community life. There I dropped my bike, befriended some hippies 😉 and traveled with them for a while, visiting some more abandoned villages. One of them, Artaso had a strong ‘hippie vibe’, and the other, Sieso de Jaca, another abandoned village that was occupied 12 years ago. Again lovely people with a very welcoming and open atmosphere. At a certain point I ended up back in Barcelona and stayed some more time in Can Masdeu, a squatted social center in the outskirts of Barcelona, and visited some more communities in the area. For Christmas and new year I had a short ‘break’ and went back home. Feeling the need of not just visiting communities, and crossing them of from my to do list, but to reconnect with ‘the why’ I am doing this journey, I went on a 10-day silent retreat in France. Close to Nimes, Ferme haricot, another open community inspired on the rainbow tribe, sharing and personal responsibility, hosted me. From there I hitchhiked to Italy where I am currently staying in Damanhur.