Back to Central America.

You always start to miss something so basic when you don’t have it anymore. You never have problems with it because it’s always there, always working. I’m talking about energy! And then I mean solar energy to do the things which are so basic, such as cooking, washing clothes, charging phone and laptop, that kind of things. 

When these things don’t work well, or not working at all, although there’s plenty of sun, it’s starting to get annoying. It made me grumpy the last week or so. Because I don’t understand why it isn’t working in the midst of summer still. Suddenly you realise how dependent you are of energy. That without, you are also disconnected from the world. I wasn’t online for some days, the batteries were not charging. For some days I had no music, no connection to internet. I told the neighbour though about the problems with the batteries of the solar system. When Dorus will be back tomorrow they can have a look together. Now, I’m charging the devices in a café in the village. I didn’t feel like asking the neighbour, but I know I can and he would be willing to help, but somehow I didn’t…

It’s good to be away for some hours, because since yesterday I’m totally sucked into the book Verloren in de jungle, about two Dutch young women, Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, who were lost in the jungle in Panama in 2014. I still remember when I read about it. We were just living a couple of months on Ibiza when I read the news that they never returned from a hike to the jungle.

I could have been these young girls. I also went to Bocas del Toro, the islands just across the border of Costa Rica, I too crossed the bridge from Costa Rica to Panama and showed my passport on this unusual place where borders ended and started. But I haven’t been to Boquete where they got lost. Over the years many wild stories were told about what happened to the two women. So many contradictions. So much unclearness about the timeline. After two months a few body parts of the women were found in the deep jungle and a bag with their phones and camera in it.

Was it a crime or an accident? I’m reading the book now, and it’s so fascinating, but also so incredibly sad. Two journalists tried to fill the gaps and made sense of all the wild and crazy stories about what could have happened to them and so they did profound research, now 6 years later, although they were not able to travel to Boquete due to the pandemic.

Apparently on the internet you can read wild stories and conspiracy theories about this case, for example that they are still alive and are victims of human trafficking, etc. The two Dutch journalists, Marja West and Jurgen Snoeren did a terrific job to reconstruct the events; sometimes repeating the same too much though and their work would be more complete if they could have traveled to Boquete in Panama.

While I’m reading the book, I think of these two friends, who must have been so afraid and desperate. Why did they walk further and further into the jungle? After taking the path they went (which was a clear, not dangerous hike), the area became wild and dangerous, with rivers, big slippery rocks and heights and bridges made of ropes with deep down the strong current of the rivers. They tried to call the emergency number 911 in Panama several times, even the Dutch 112, but no reach.

Friday night I was reading till it was almost 4 in the night. The clock of the e-reader was the only time I had. I was totally lost in the book. It brought me back to my travels in 2003 to Costa Rica and Panama (Bocas del Toro). I went alone. It must have been horrible for my mum. I was 7 years older than the lost women, but I understand for my mum it must have been difficult, especially because I went alone. It was a very special experience for me, I still can think of Costa Rica sometimes and the islands in Panama, the images blurred though. The green jungle, the banana trees, the tropical birds, the sloths in the trees, the howler monkeys, the racoons on the beach. A paradise!

After more and more time has passed, it has become more of a feeling, how I felt back then when I went on my own to Central America. I felt very excited, but also uncomfortable at times. But back then I was more innocent and I think more of an optimist. Now, for example I understand much more how my mother must have felt when she waved me goodbye at Schiphol Airport; back then I didn’t really think about it. And now with the book Verloren in de jungle a lot of memories of that trip appear to the surface. I wouldn’t have missed my travels to Costa Rica and Panama for the world. I remember that I rented a mountain-bike on Bocas del Toro and that I asked in a shop a nice road to go to. I cycled to some beaches and there were hardly any people. I also met a group of English guys on the boat to Bocas.  They were cool guys and relaxed and I met them again to go on a boat trip together where I witnessed wild dolphins for the first time. The dolphins were swimming next to the boat and jumping out of the water. It was just magical. I felt so happy when I saw these beautiful animals jumping around us. I think I even said to one of the guys that it was the best day of my life or something like that.. On the boat also some American young women were present. We met later that evening for a drink. All the Americans I met during that trip were so self-confident,  extravert, talkative and happy. I hated them for this, because they were so different than I.

Yes, the book also reminds me of the openness you feel when you’re visiting other countries. Open to experiences, to people (even if they are the opposite of you), to your surroundings. Travelling like that is a gift. 

Tomorrow Dorus will come home! After his 8 week bicycle tour of seeing friends and family in the Netherlands and France. I am so happy. The last weeks have been a bit difficult. I am capable to be on my own very well, but life is much better together. Living alone can change you, you worry much more on your own. It’s less fun!

But first I need to turn the compost again (shitty and sweaty).

I’m writing this while I’m charging the laptop and my iPhone in the café. They’re almost fully charged. 

Just like myself.

Being lost in the story of the two women, also made me feel a bit lost the last days, without internet connection, no devices – and no music! Nice on one hand. Suddenly you realise you’re never offline for a couple of days. At most one day, but not a whole weekend or more. But being offline for a weekend makes you feel free and it’s important to give yourself that space. Unplug every now and then – with a good book, chocolate and wine. If you have that choice, it liberates.

Con Amor,

Eva 

Image: Angel Silva/Unsplash

How much do we really want to “sacrifice” for a greener home?

It’s a question which is on my mind lately. I’m about to book a plane ticket, you know it’s so easy and cheap these days, but everyone knows if you travel by plane it’s impossible to save the planet. The techniques aren’t in place to fly eco friendly, but do I have to wait for that or do I have other options if I have to travel?

Irony

It’s easy. With one click on the button you make your reservation and you can fly to every country you might think of. For me it’s only after 2,5 hours in the plane before I arrive to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It’s cheap too. You have a one way ticket to Ibiza for only 50 euros when you travel in the right months. But we know if we keep doing this, we ruin ourselves.

It’s ironic, the Dutch government worked on an agreement to diminish the effects of climate change, this agreement will effect the Dutch households in making the costly transition from gas to electrical energy as one of the measures. In the meantime politicians are talking about the growth of Schiphol Airport (more and bigger!) and even a brand new Dutch airport near Lelystad will be built. Airline companies still don’t pay a cent of excise on kerosene and this whole industry isn’t even mentioned in the agreement.

Blind & deaf

Such irony, isn’t it? How can you speak about new measures to curb the damage we all do to our natural environment and leave one huge polluting industry out? It’s all about economic growth and power. Don’t mess with the status quote. This is just one simple example of how crooked politics can be. Those who decide over these issues pretend they are blind and deaf when it comes to one of the biggest industries. And meanwhile we fly to our destinations more than ever. Aren’t we blind and deaf too?

Time-consuming alternatives

And yes, it’s so easy to blame our “leaders”. Don’t wait for them to bring solutions. We have the solutions ourselves. In my case, I can travel by train or by bus, right? I don’t need to fly if I don’t have to. So I started to search the internet for alternatives by train and bus. The first isn’t bad, but a one way ticket is at least twice as expensive as a plane ticket, the second option, travel by bus, is cheap, but takes as long as travelling to New Zealand by airplane. And as I live on an island, I need a ferry to the mainland, so add 9 hours on top of it. Gosh, you need time to travel the alternative way.

Maybe I make a stopover in Barcelona, sit on a terrace and pick an olive? I bring a great book, my laptop and I write while I sit on the bus or train. I can go on an adventure! Actually see something when I look out of the window. Drink coffee in the train while foreign landscapes rush by.

My mum asked if I already booked a plane ticket, so I told her my possible alternative plans this afternoon. Of course, she didn’t like this plan. And that’s okay and I understand. The end of the month we already move to an off grid tiny house made by the skilled hands of Dorus, so that must be enough “alternative living” for a while.

Back to the question above. Am I willing to sacrifice the ease and comfort of travelling by plane for the sake of a smaller ecological footprint? I still didn’t make my bookings.

So what am I waiting for?

Watch this young girl, Greta Thunberg, she sums it up quite as it is.

To be continued..

Con Amor,

Eva

Yoga, my Companion on my Journey.

”The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” ~ Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

I have fully embraced yoga since I discovered its power and healing energy.

Flow, movement, effort and grace result in rejuvenation, gratefulness, calm and relaxation. When I’m on my mat, at times feeling uncomfortable, I know I will leave it with peace of mind.

Grateful for her, my wonderful teacher, and this practise I step into the world. I cycle home after dark in the soft autumn air, riding the country roads of Ibiza to the tunes of crickets, barking dogs and singing night birds off in the distance. There’s a kind of magic in these moments after yoga. With faithful starry heavens looking upon me I return home, light, unafraid and a heart filled with love. I am a mystical being. I feel like I am the stars I look at, I am the dark sky and the moon. Trivial and loud conversations in my head are muted, no longer determined to be heard.

All flies and all goes. There’s a stillness in and around me. No longer am I a worry woman, but a warrior woman. I know what’s worth fighting for, what really matters to me, yoga gives me that clearity.

Mornings started with yoga feel better than mornings without yoga. Then why do I still skip my practice some days? Yoga is discipline. If I want to grow further, I need to practise everyday. I am on my way. I am travelling. Yoga is my companion on my journey.

I have chosen this path to walk on, sometimes rocky and slippery, but worthwhile for the views on this path are magnificent. It isn’t the main path, the path which modern life expects me to travel. I decided to take a turn which is close to my beliefs. Once I step over the stones, these hurdles trying to brake me, there’s another one wanting me to change my course, not respecting my path, making me doubt, trying to make me fall and lose my balance. But this is my path, the road less travelled, where the treasures that wait for me on the horizon aren’t material wealth and success, but freedom and simplicity. Awareness and compassion. Patience. In fact, the journey, the path, is all this. And yoga is my comrade that keeps me balanced in travelling this path.

With both feet I always return gracefully to the ground after I float away on the waves of my breath. Yoga lets me drift away and escape from the noise which is all around. With yoga as my companion I follow my heart’s desires. I am aware and present. Held on to by old spirits and souls in heaven I pick myself up and continue my steps. Held on to by love’s power I walk on. Let’s come together where we can sweat in peace rather than to bleed in war. Let’s practise. Let’s walk here till there’s only love and unity left.

 

Con Amor,

Eva

 

 

%d bloggers like this: