The practical stuff

The practical stuff...

I am sure everyone wonders about the practical stuff in our lives (instead of only about my spiritual blah blah and all the stuff we’re going through).
For instance how much money we actually have, to spend. My experience is that money is very ‘fluid’. We have a certain amount that we could add up from our bank accounts and then we can estimate what we still need to get back in taxes. I must admit I actually don’t know how much we have. I know ‘sort off’ how much we have. It feels scary to write this ‘sort off’ amount down here, as if I ‘pin myself down’ and it can’t ever –magically- become more.
I can put it in other words and say; we definitely don’t have enough money to buy any decent piece of land. And if we would buy a small, remote, barren, cheap, unliveable piece, we wouldn’t have enough money to live any more.
I can also say that Nikki and JF would have never made the jump to go to Ecuador and after this to Spain if they had the same amount as us. They think we are either crazy or courageous, which is probably true in the eyes of many.

So what the hell are we still doing here? And why do we think we can still buy a nice piece of land?

Good questions. But why would we be anywhere else? Would it be easier, for instance in the Netherlands, to make an income, than here?
In Ecuador we were trying to start up the whole Alpaca business. Website was all set up, contracts almost signed and then it stranded. Twice. So for more than 1 year money has only been spent, not been coming in. And we are not the kind of people that will ‘sit’ on the money we have. We still buy good stuff, we will still invest in things we find interesting.

Buying land with no money. A very interesting one.
Nikki and JF reassure us that they can buy the land we will all live on. It is not necessary for them that we contribute in that way. That is, of course, very reassuring. It feels good to be trusted this way. Still it would be nice to do this on more equal financial terms. And there are other options.
The guy who owns this Airbnb (and has lots of land around here) for instance. He bought land and built a house on it for the Dutch mountain guide, who is trying to start a life here. He will rent this house from him, use the land and pay a very doable 450 dollars per month in rent. The investor is happy; he doesn’t owe the bank anything, only buys with what he actually has and he gets monthly rent. The Dutch guy is happy; it gives him a chance to build up his business.
Another option could be to propose to a seller of a great piece of land, to rent it for 5 years with option to buy and make a down payment at the start. Who knows how far we would get with that?
However way we will do it; we will require an income at some point in the near future. If we are very careful (which we are not) we might stretch the money for a year. But I presume -knowing us- we might also spend it in half a year.
So we have been thinking again; how to get income…?
Lots of things crossed our minds and we are looking around to see and hear what could work. So that is work in progress. Knowing us, I’m sure we’ll come up with something.
We still don’t know if this is ‘the right’ place, but it doesn’t really matter. If it isn’t, we will find out at some point. And then we will leave. Again.
There is only one way to find out and that is to dive in.
It is not very reassuring that everywhere we seem to go in the world, the weather suddenly changes for the worst. Why are we getting the worst summer in Cuenca? The worst and wettest winter in Yangana? And why did the temperature just drop to under 10 degrees here in Spain (which is considered abnormal for this time of the year)?
Why –on the other hand- did the Netherland just turn into the tropics?
Trying not to take all this personally and just ignore this crazy world for now.

One afternoon we were chatting with the Dutch guy who is building up his walking guide business here. He said he really loved the area South of the Sierra Nevada. This area is called ‘The Alpujarra’. It houses a town like Orgiva, where all the expats and hippies can be found. If you would drive further into the area behind Orgiva, you would come, supposedly, across beautiful land.
That evening we watched an episode of ‘Ik vertrek’ (so we could see someone else’s misery). And, yes, the people in this episode went to exactly this area in Spain. They bought a house with 6 hectares of land, on the top of a mountain. It had beautiful sea views. But I was a bit disappointed in the landscape. Later on the Dutch guy said he was talking about a specific area behind Orgiva, which was green.
Everyone has their own taste, but I notice that our family doesn’t like dry land. We all agree on that (even Lem). And the monoculture in Spain is terrible. It makes me really sad to see hundreds of hectares of just olive trees on parched land.
The whole area above Granada looks like this and lots of areas East, West and South as well.
We instantly fell in love with the Sierra Nevada and the town with the unpronounceable name (Guejar Sierra). There is a lot of green areas there. But a lot of it is very steep.

We are looking for land with water, beautiful views, mature fruit trees (why wait years to grow them?) and the potential for large flat areas. The land should not be located further than an hour’s drive from Granada and the sea.
I will place a google map picture here of ‘which’ area is ‘what’.
We really wanted to drive around to look at all the areas this last week. Just drive through towns and see how they feel, how the landscape looks, etc. But yeah; our car is still not functioning well and we don’t have a replacement car yet. Apparently we might get one tomorrow (fingers crossed). So we have been kind of ‘stuck’.
Deciding there is a reason for this stuck-ness, we didn’t get another rental car. Instead we are just biding our time.

I decided to start going into raw food again. I did this in Australia for half a year and my body really liked it. I started about a week ago and I notice that I feel more fit and need less sleep (although sleeping is still my favourite hobby). Eric and the kids decided to continue their normal eating routine, except for Eric deciding he is eating a whole lot less. After a few days of eating less, he felt he should skip bread. That has made him feel hungry for most of the day, so I think it is working.

Thursday mornings is a large farmer’s market in Orgiva, where I get an enormous amount of veggies for the week.
On Tuesday afternoons we go to beach meet-ups with worldschooling families.
All steps to commit to the area.

Next week we start homeschooling again and we made a list with the kids of what they would like to learn, next to the basic stuff (math, science, Spanish).

Lem would like to learn more about traffic rules and about basic law/rules in general. He also wants to know about how to open a bank account, how it works with taxes and which things you need to pay per month, when you rent a house.
Also; he needs to find a way to ‘find his way’ practically. He gets lost within 50 meters of the house.
For now he has decided to stay with us and not go back to the Netherlands. But he does want to work towards it.

Beer wants to learn how to make proper sentences in English. Language is his Achilles heel, so this would require a huge effort.
He has the same desire to learn more about practically living in a house, paying rent, electricity, etc, as Lem has.
He loves science and he agreed to start teaching history to Lem and Mar (since he is a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to that).

Mar is mostly interested in biology. She is fine with all the other stuff Lem and Beer want to do. She agreed to come to the weekly meet-ups with the worldschoolers, even though she got off on a wrong start. The two times she went with us, she withdrew herself from the other kids for different reasons, but in fact she is just very shy. We are fine with her seeking us out for safety, as long as she keeps coming there with us. At some point something will happen.

The mood goes up and down for us. One day we feel great, the other day sucks. Some days it is fine to feel purpose-less, other days it is not do-able.

But I guess that all this is called life and presumably normal….
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