This is a love story. A love story about how my greatest hobby allows me to learn about life and about myself. A love story that started traveling. And remained.
My first camera I got when I was 7 years old. We moved to Vienna and I had the first school excursion. Discovering Vienna!
My mom put in a new film for me because I wanted to take the camera on this city excursion.
I remember being so amazed by this new city and how different it looked than where I come from. I was pulling the film and pressing the shutter at every little detail I liked along the way.
No thinking, just doing. Following my desire to memorize those moments of joy and discovery.
At the end of the city trip I went home with the full film. I remember my moms angry face because I had finished the whole film …
After some time we developed the film. 36 frames. My first roll.
The pictures weren’t anything special (my mom must have them somewhere in her photo albums, need to look after them next time I visit her). They were quite boring I’d say.
But what was truly changing and incredibly beautiful for me, was that I was able to express. As through language I couldn’t because I didn’t speak German at that time (and for many years after).
I could create memories of how I saw the world. It allowed me to show what I felt. And still does.
Since then photography has remained a very important and beautiful companion for me. It followed me through all the beautiful times and the not so beautiful ones and through it I could express all the emotions that came along while life was happening …
Trying to capture a feeling in space and time, the feeling that makes you feel alive and present.
Shoot the world to learn about yourself!
We’ve become a visual culture and photography is a powerful form of visual expression, available to everyone.
What can we learn through the act of making?
It allows us a glimpse into our own mind – both its surface and its depths. In Zen tradition, practitioners make a distinction between the thinking mind and the observing mind — the mind’s witness.
The mind, in other words, can observe itself. The mind is associative, constantly making connections to past experiences, previous understandings, and its backlog of impressions from direct perception.
Aprox. 75-80% (at least) of the mind’s contents are unconscious, usually unavailable to conscious reasoning. Art can help you bring up content from your sub-conscious mind.
We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us. – Ralph Hattersley, Discover Your Self Through Photography
To observe the chaotic contents of our own mind, we sometimes need help. Art can give you the assistance you need. Keeping a daily journal of thoughts and impressions, writing freely, can help shake loose the wild mind.
Uncover your being through art/photography
Taking photographs daily of everything that catches your attention can uncover your sympathies, antipathies, your unconscious complexes expressed in metaphor and symbol, as well as the seeds of your genuine being.
Try it. Photograph daily for a month or two and observe the stream of consciousness found in those activities. NO judging, just observing!
Over time, you will find patterns and connections and understandings previously unavailable to the surface mind.
Enjoy the journey to YOUrself.
Photographs by me since 2007
I think it was about time for you to get to know me closer. It’s no secret that I’m a crazy adventurer, I camp alone for months and love to challange myself. But what else is there about my person to tell? I’ve answered some questions you were asking to get a closer look on that gypsy behind all those stories here on my blog.
How old are you?
23 yrs young, though my soul feels ancient for sure.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sibiu, Romania and from the age of 7 raised in Vienna, Austria.
What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
Deisy, Deea, Gypsy. Call me as you wish.
What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
Good question, wow. I’m a Gemini so of course I do 10000 things at one time. Books on my shelf right now: Travel Photography, One Spirit Medicine, The Art of Dreaming.
How many countries have you visited?
Hm, lemme count … Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Romania, France, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy.
14 countries in Europe.
What country do you want to see next?
I want to travel the world, no matter which country I’m going next!
When did you start traveling?
I cannot exactly say that, but after I finished my college, almost 3 years now with some breaks home in Vienna.
Your best milky way shot is:
It’s not the best, but my fav at the moment! It was the first try that turned out so good and that’s why I am really impressed by it. What do you think?
Your favorite star/planet/cosmic object?
Betelgeuse, Merkur, Black Holes
Your favorite book?
I have a fav book for different times and feels, but at the moment it’s
Dr. Joseph Murphy – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
What advice/quote do you wanna share with the people?
To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven.
Are you a real gypsy?
I am as real as I feel. What’s a real gypsy anyway? :)))
Tell a life changing experience
Well, traveling alone for three months and sleeping only outside.
Where do you have money for all the traveling?
I work – save – travel. When my bank account has some money on it, I book a plane ticket (or a new lens).
When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
Hiking up a almost 4.000 m high volcano; from 30°C to -4°C on the peak.
What gear do you use for your pictures?
Sony α 7 II, 14mm f 2.8, 50mm f 1.7, 135mm f 3.5, 70-200mm f 4
Where did you learn photography?
Got my first analog camera when I was 9 and my first digital when I was 15. I studied two years multimedia art in Vienna.
What’s the closest thing to real magic for you?
Looking into my lovers eyes and being out in nature under the night sky. Those two combined are pure magic for my soul.
What is your best childhood memory?
Going camping for weeks, fishing and defending brown bears from our camp site. Hell yeah, that childhood memories made me the gypsy I am today.
Who inspires you?
What’s something that amazes you?
Universe & the Human mind
What lifts your spirit when life gets you down?
Meditating, chanting, rituals, movement (dance or just swinging my body from one side to another), my boyfriend, nature
How did you meet your boyfriend?
We met at Noise Poison festival in Slovakia and I went further with him to the next festival; OZORA in Hungary, 2,5 years ago.
How do you spend your free time?
Photographing, editing, meeting friends, read a good book (in a library), having a walk in nature
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
Camera, laptop, phone, CBD drops, incense
Those were some questions I received from you and I hope you know me a little bit better than before. Just a normal, crazy girl! 🙂
Thanks for following & for all the messages ♡
Keep following your dreams!
Winter is here and I need some sunshine, beach vibes ♡
Found some unpublished pictures from the time I was living on that hippie beach in Tenerife. Playing and dancing in the sand with my girls, eating cake and fooling around. Oh, that wonderful easy times*
Transylvania – the mysterious land of bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves. I’ve listed 5 awesome places I visited last summer you need to visit too! Read also the article 10 things you need to know before going to Transylvania.
Hit PLAY for some funky folklore music.
Last summer me and my boyfriend Laurenz were traveling around Transylvania for one month. We are fascinated by the wilderness and beauty of this part in Romania and that’s the reason I love my birth country so much. We’re always having such a good time in Romania. ♡
Here are some places we’ve visited and loved.
1. Balea Lac | Transfăgărășan road
The Transfăgărășan mountain road is rated as one of the most spectacular roads in the world according to Top Gear. It’s 90 km long and runs through the Făgărăș mountains. This national road numbered 7C in uniting the regions of Muntenia with Transylvania.
The Transfagarasan rises to a height of 2134 meter and has sharp narrow turns, a real challenge for driving. The road is often closed from October till June due to the snow that is blocking the road.
It was such a foggy day when we arrived at the Bâlea lake the landscape was all covered in white, dense clouds.
I told Laurenz he needs to see the lake but when we arrived there it looked like this:
Disappointed by the fact that the fog was covering the whole place so Laurenz couldn’t see a thing we decided to drive back.
On the way down we noticed that the fog and clouds were slowly disappearing from the top. So we decided to turn around and drive back to the lake. When we arrived the second time it looked like this:
Be prepared for freezing temperatures up there!
Road back down
2. Castelul de Lut | Valea Zanelor
This „castle“ is called the clay castle and is situated in the valley of the fairies. What a wonderful name to build something like this, isn’t it?
The clay castle is as it’s name says made out of clay. Only recycled and natural materials were used to build it. Not only does it look good, but it’s also sustainable. That’s why I love this place so much. So simple and yet so special.
We met the owner of the castle who was sitting outside in the garden with his dog. A handsome man with a beautiful vision of life. He told us that this place will be opened as an hotel next year and we can’t wait to check in a room. ♡
3. Dracula’s Castle | Bran, Brașov
Bohooo, the home of Dracula. When I tell people I’m from Romania, Transylvania the first thing they say is aaah, Dracula. You probably know what I mean if you’re living abroad and are from too Transylvania. This castle became known abroad owing to the Irish writer Dracula novel Bram Stoker. The name Dracula comes from the surnames of Vlad the Impaler’s father, the Dracul, he was the member of the Dragon Order.
This summer I visited the castle after 14 years again. Meaning I was there at the age of 9 as far as I remember. I had the castle much bigger in memory haha. Nevertheless it is still imposing.
Vlas Tepes was known for his cruelty and that he impaled his enemies.
4. Peleș Castle | Sinaia
Located at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe.
Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art. Peles Castle was the first European castle entirely lit by electrical current. The electricity was produced by the castle’s own plant.After visiting Peles castle you can go wild camping and start a hike to Bucegi mountains on the next day:Wild camping is still legal in Romania. One HUGE reason more to travel to Romania! Enjoy, don’t leave trash and be aware of the bears.
5. Bucegi Mountains
The Bucegi Mountains are a wonderful natural attraction in Romania. The peak, Omu, rises 2505 meters above sea level. Since 1935, the valley has been considered a national park and is included on Romania’s protected areas list.
Bucegi have become newsworthy not because of their picturesque peaks or abundant wildlife but rather because of fantastical claims of alien occupiers and international conspiracies. This place and it’s history are truly mysterious.
One of the must-see attractions in the Bucegi National Park is the Romanian Sphinx and the Babele. The rock formations were formed by erosion. The Sphinx stone is called like this because it looks like the Egyptian Sphinx of Giza, Bagdad.
The Babele (meaning old women) stones are shaped like mushrooms. Some believe that they are a signal of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth.
They are truly mystic because in the flat plateau there aren’t many huge stones but them which have really crazy formations. But don’t ask me because I’m pretty much into supernatural places, energies and aliens. Nevertheless the energy up there is truly special and mystic. See for yourself when you are there.
Theorists believe that in Bucegi there are underground tunnels with huge rooms, with huge tables and stone chairs for people much, much taller than us”. Going still further, the theory suggests that “These rooms were created 50,000 years ago and each is connected to each other, protected by an energy source which actives all as one is activated. The locations are: near the Sphinx in Egypt, Baghdad, Mount Kailash in Tibet and the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. The inner tunnels lead to a secret World under the Gobi Plateau in Mongolia and to Antarctica.” (Day, 2013)
Those are the top 5 places to visit, even though there are 1000 amazing places to visit in Transylvania. I can say I love almost every piece of nature there. That because a lot of parts are sill very wild and untouched. Proud to call this my home country. ♡
Have a safe trip & enjoy the magic of Transylvania.
As some of you know I worked as a hotel photographer in Mallorca the past two months. It may sound easy to some but the reality is: it wasn’t! Working 9 hours a day, at temperatures of 40°C at 80% air humidity, shooting families with small children who don’t want to be photographed can be really exhausting. In fact I was doing what I love but working together with so many different types of people messed up with my mood some days. + the heat made me feel exhausted all the time.
I’m writing this article to sum up my whole hotel photographer experience. Here are some things I’ve learned:
It’s about quantity not quality.
What? Yeah, you’ve read it! In a company which runs a whole business with photography it’s about the numbers not the image quality. So sadly those people are in fact business people with great animation skills, not photographers. Photography still is art and should be seen as an act of creating a great piece of art. At least for me it is. No matter if I already took family portraits for 1000 families. I get the point that with a higher number of photos it’s more likely to sell more but STILL it has to be a specific quality in my opinion.
Everybody can be a photographer (that being said after point #1).
I mean everybody sees himself as a photographer today. Almost everybody I know takes pictures with their phones. Which is not a bad thing but don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t make you a photographer. There is so much about this to learn and even me myself would say that I’m photographing for 7 years now but I would call myself a professional photographer only after my experience in Mallorca. I’m constantly learning new things, start to see new angles, compositions and more and more I see photography for more than just capturing a moment it’s about telling stories through it.
Just because you have a great, expensive camera doesn’t mean you know how to use it.
Haha, how many times I believed that some people with great cameras I see must be really great photographers. Truth is: they have money but not the skills. I talked to some of the guests which had cameras about photography and gear but more than half of them told me they use it only in automatic mode. Appearances can feint. Which leads me to the next point:
People are never as they seem at first, give everybody a try.
They may seem to be photographers at first but when you get to talk to them you realize they’re not. Kidding, why I’m writing this point is about giving people a chance in order to change your first impression about them. I stumbled upon some nasty clients who were unfriendly when I was asking if I can take a picture of them who later turned out to be really nice and even wanted me to take some pictures of them. Another really freaky looking family (everyone was looking at them in the hotel) turned out to be the nicest people I’ve met in this time.
Conclusion: Normal people with ordinary life stories, try to understand and you will see the world different.
Beautiful women have the biggest complexes about themselves.
What the hell ladies? Learn to accept & to love yourself! I got to photograph some amazing girls, really beautiful and photogenic girls. Guess what? They weren’t able to choose few „good“ shots of them. I can tell that I liked almost all shots because a beautiful person looks beautiful from each angle. But nah, not beautiful girls/women. Seeing women all ages being unsatisfied about themselves really made me sad. It’s hard to accept yourself but in the end you’re the one you have to live with all your life, so it’s easier if you love rather than hate yourself.
„Ugly“ people tend to like most pictures of themselves.
Don’t want to say ugly because beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but let’s say random people, not the most photogenic ones tend to be happy about the results of a photo shooting. They just don’t bitch around when showing them their photos. I like those kind of people. Easy going!
Taking photos of children is awesome.
I got to love it! They are just so pure and beautiful, their souls shine through every single photograph. Hard to photograph but easy to impress. 🙂
Most of the people have no idea about photography.
People buy over exposed, blurry what so ever pictures. Says it all.
Photography still is underrated and not valued enough.
„8 € for a photograph? Are you kidding me? I can print it myself for couple of cents.“ Seriously dude? It’s worthless wasting energy about those kind of people I had to deal with. BUT:
Photography gear is worth couple of thousand euros + editing programs + huge the amount of time one is investing on learning about photography. Could you all please take one moment to think about it before you expect somebody to take (and don’t forget the post processing) some pictures of you for free or before you say „Omg, that’s so much money, it’s just some pictures.“
Every experience brings you one step further
I found out that working with people can be really hard and challenging but also amazing! I used to capture mainly landscapes and stars but I really challenged myself to take a step further to communicate, to get to know people and start to capture also faces.
Photography teaches me so much about myself and my deepest fears and I really think that what motifs you photograph the most says a lot about your personality. Me for my part learned a lot through this experience in Mallorca and I am happy that I took the chance. It showed my clearly what I want and what I’m ready to do by being a photographer but it clearly showed my what I don’t want.
AND it showed me that most people who spend one to two weeks in an all inclusive hotel are pretty boring because their lives are so random, working all day so when they’ve got some free time they just want to lay around the pool in the hotel and do nothing. Not even walking 2 minutes to the beach to swim in the sea … how sad, isn’t it?
BUT I also was lucky to meet some awesome, young families who made my time there a lot more fun. I know some of you are reading so – Thank you for supporting me and making me have a good time in the hotel. Wish you all the best. ♡
What about you? Somebody reading right now who worked as a hotel photographer? Where? How was your experience?
Would you like working as a hotel photographer?
Coves del Drach
The caves of the devil are four caves that are located on Mallorca Island, one of the Balearic Islands archipelago in Spain. Located near Porto Cristo, a small beautiful city with a harbour (must see if you are around). The caves extend to a depth of 25 m and reach approximately 4 km in length. The four caves are called Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and Cave of the French, all connected to each other.
Refuge from the pirates
The name of the caves goes back to an old legend that says that once there lived a scary monster deep down the inside of the caves who was protecting a treasure of gold.
The inhabitants of Mallorca weren’t afraid of the monster as they were of the pirates. They used those caves as a refuge when the pirates came to rob the island, which happened quite often because the pirates loved Mallorca.
Inside the caves
The caves can be visited during the whole year. In the center of the caves there is a underground lake named after a french cave scientist Édouard Alfred Martel – „Lago Martel“.
It is 180 m long, 40 m wide and it goes to 28 m deep. Each hour there is a classical orchestra concert on this lake. Four musicians performing on a small boat while the other two boats are following. The visitors follow the show from a tribune in total darkness while the concert and the light show on the lake are taking place.
The light show illuminating only the lake and the boats in the dark big cave are an incredible experience. The whole concert in this place feels like a dream, an unreal happening.
After the concert is over the visitors can chose if they want to take the boat on the Martel lake or to walk besides it to the exit of the caves.
By bus we reached the caves very easy. The bus stop is directly in front of the caves. The entry price is 15 € which is quite ok for that experience. The boat drive on the lake is included in the price, we thought we need to pay extra so we chose to walk and not to take the boat. If you want to take some nice pictures I would recommend walking but the boat drive is for sure an amazing experience too.
The walk through the caves took approximately one hour. It is a guided walk and followed by a couple of guides which are walking after the last visitors so nobody gets lost.
It happened to us that we lost the guide and our group in another cave when suddenly the lights went off and we were standing in the dark cave as we were taking pictures. Was funny tough because I was asking myself how it would be to walk in complete darkness just before it happened.
I had enough time to take pictures even tough I wish I had more. It is not allowed to shoot with flash or to use a tripod but using a fast lens will make it to capture some amazing shots.
The last bus back home left 20 minutes after the tour was over so it was perfectly scheduled for a short day trip to Cuevas del Drach.
If you visit Mallorca this has to be on your must see list! Not only for cave lovers but for the love of mother nature perfectness. 💚
Visit their website for more information.
Ever wondered how it is to live in a cave? Far away from civilization in a remote place?
I was always curious to see how this way of life is manifesting. I stayed with my friend from Russia in a cave where he is living for one year now. Well hidden in the cliffs on a Canarian Island, this is the perfect cave home I can imagine.
Waking up in the cave
After having the BEST sleep ever I woke up having the best morning ever. For me falling asleep with the sound of the waves hitting the cliffs is the most relaxing and beautiful feeling to fall asleep to. I feel so free and connected to everything around me. I really appreciate those moments where I can sleep and wake up in nature.
Time seems to pass by so slowly here … I love that!
This basket is full of vegetables and fruits we recycled from the supermarket „trash“. In the bags we had some cheese, yoghurt and some nuts in the bottles. All still good to eat but thrown away by the supermarkets because they have some small defects or are over the date of expiry. Good for us! We eat your „trash“. Making it possible to live almost without money here.
Cooking place and living space
The cave people in their natural habitat
What are your thoughts on living in a cave? Being one with nature, experiencing the most simple ways of life. Would you like to make this experience? Did you already do?
Maybe you know some places like this? Would love you to tell me about them.
Peace & a pocket full of sunshine from the cave home,
When you love yourself, you´ll watch the sunset like never before
When you love yourself, you´ll feel love and want to give more and more
When you love yourself, you´ll hear the birds singing sweetly for you
When you love yourself, you´ll appreciate what your body can do
When you love yourself, the love for yourself will carry you through
This beautiful lines are the lyrics of the song my friend Riyaz wrote. This song perfectly describes what is going on in his mind and what he learned in the past year since living completely off the grid on the smallest Canary island called El Hierro.
Going there and living a life off the grid showed me again what life really is about – not only a way of living but also a way of thinking.
Riyaz is originally from England, now living for one year on the smallest of the Canary islands: El Hierro. For the majority of his working life he was taking care and helping other people. He started questioning the existence of so many problems and the wars. He finally came to the conclusion that the problems were deliberately engineered and that his lifestyle and thought process added fuel to the system fire. He knew he had to be the change he wanted to see and that the journey has led him where he is now.
We only have on body so we should respect and love the one we have! This is one of the many lessons Riyaz learned on his journey after he decided to leave England and to make a change on his mindset and life.
This little house was built by himself only by reused (upcycled) materials. It has a huge amazing garden with lots of vegetables, fruits and trees. The piece of land he lives on was a gift from a local farmer who met him and was impressed by his vision of living a life like this. How lucky!
What’s growing in the garden
A list from the greens he is growing in his huge garden:
It’s simply amazing how good the veggies and fruits thrive in this garden and the passion Riyaz is taking care of them with. One day Riyaz brought me a strawberry from the garden and I swear I tasted heavenly! It reminded me of the days I was a child eating strawberries from the garden of my grand parents in Romania. It was such a strong flashback.
At the same time I got sad because the strawberries (not only, also other fruits and veggies) we eat now don’t taste like they did some years before at all. They completely lost their taste and they are genetically modified and sprayed with all kind of pesticides. Oh boy, how sad isn’t it? I want to go back to the roots, where they had a taste and were really healthy.
A normal day here
By sun rise Riyaz usually wakes up (I was sleeping until around 8 or 9 a.m.) and goes to bed at sun set around 21:30 to 22:00 p.m
As there is no electricity there is not much to do after the sunlight is gone. Well, starry nights are still the best cinema if you want to stay up longer. We also slept on the beach because for me it was a little bit to cold in the house at night (the house is located in the mountains) and I love sleeping on the beach. We took enough food and water and took the bus direction beach. From the bus we were lucky and hitchhiked in a van directly to the beach. (40 minutes walk but with the car only 15 minutes)
There Riyaz had left some blankets because he is spending a lot of nights on this beach.
I loved watching the waves all day, taking pictures and having a swim in the natural pools. And the best part: stargazing while laying in my sleeping bag on the beach, priceless!
After two days on the beach we had to return home to water the plants.
Cooking delicious meals with fresh veggies from the garden, having a walk with the dogs on the beautiful hills, playing guitar and singing were some of our activities. Simple and beautiful, just enjoying where we are and what is around us.
Life like 100 years ago
Staying with Riyaz in his simple home was one kind of experience for me – I felt teleported like 100 years back in time. Living without running water, a normal toilet or electricity. Sleeping on dry pine needles with one mice (eventually) and loads of other insects in a room.
I have to admit the last part freaked me out because INSECTS.
The night can get really cold here because the place is up in the mountains. But I got up with the most beautiful view: the green veggie garden, sun sparkling on the ocean with view to La Gomera island. How amazing! Oh, and the fresh air I can tell you …
Love yourself first
One can hear it in his songs, one can see it in his self care and connection to his body, one can feel it by talking to him. He really is respecting and loving his body and for me this is such a beautiful thing to do. Everyone of us should love themselves at maximum. Because how do you want to love somebody else if you don’t know how to love yourself? You have to start with yourself first.
Treat yourself right
It is so important to do that. Healthy mind = healthy spirit = healthy body.
Take best care of the body you’re in – don’t miss treat yourself and accept yourself as you are. Life is so much better when you accept yourself.
Simple as that
„I love being able to watch the bees in my garden, flying from one flower to another, to swim with the fish, to play guitar on the beach, to listen to the waves, to watch the stars all night and falling asleep where ever I feel comfortable.“
Wonderful isn’t it? My friend is living it, living his dream and he enjoys every precious second of his time here on planet earth, because one can never know if tomorrow he will still be here … So let’s make the most out of it!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world
The change in the world starts with you
So break down the walls and hold the world tight
Once again everything will feel alright
Love yourself and the universe will take your hand
You will realize that we are one…all of us the sun the sun and the sand.
I want to end this post with the last sentences of his song – take a moment and think about it.
Riyaz, my friend, I know you are reading this, you are a wonderful human being. May you be blessed and happy forever.
BE THE CHANGE – LOVE YOURSELF – DO GOOD – LIVE HAPPY! ✌🏼
Wearing: Shirt by GREEN SHIRTS (100% recycled)
16:00Taking the bus 947 from Santa Cruz, the capital city of Tenerife to Chamorga, a small village in the northern part of the island. Ready for my planned 60 km long hike in the Anaga mountains – the remote side of the island with enchanting Laurisilva trees, a type of subtropical forest with high humidity and evergreen trees. Beautiful landscapes in total wilderness.(Please note the motivation at the beginning of my trip, not knowing what awaits me.)My trail:
19:30I arrive in Chamorga – the last bus station in the mountains. The road ends here.
I am the only one in the bus until that last station. The bus driver asks me:„Do you visit somebody here?“
„No I am alone, camping …“
„Camping? Here? Alone? But it’s cold here and there is nothing but forest, you are not afraid?“ He looks at me very shocked.„No, I’m not … hasta luego.“ I get out and make my way into the rain forest.Of course I’m not afraid … still not knowing what’s waiting for me in the rain forest.The beginning of the trail looks like this:At the beginning of the trail there is a sign: 5 km until the next village, it says. Ok, let’s start here.I get deeper and deeper in the mystical forest. The road is difficult and slippery and the vegetation gets wilder and wilder. Various birds are singing … sounds like one of those „8 Hours of Relaxing Meditation Music“ videos on YouTube.
It is just me and the animals out here (I know there are no dangerous ones here so I’m chilled about that part).
It gets foggy and dark. The cold clouds are rushing through the forest. As they do so, it suddenly gets pretty dark and it confuses me because I have the feeling that it is much later than it actually is.
I’m not sure wether to walk further or to put up my tent. Sun should go down soon, so I better find a spot to sleep. But somehow I don’t feel comfortable being alone deep in the foggy forest and knowing that in less than half an hour it will be completely dark around me (Hah, you don’t say Andreea!).
I walk further in hope to find a open space where I can sleep. I get more stressed, I keep walking … My 13 kg bag feels heavier and heavier on my back, I am exhausted …
20:30It is really time to settle down for the night. Luckily I found that spot I was looking for …
Building up my tent, having a fruit and seeds meal and waiting for the night.
Slowly the daylight fades away, darkness is about to come. The birds stop singing. Total silence around me.
Somehow I don’t feel like I expected to feel. What did I even expected? I was always afraid of dark forests haha.
I feel lonely. Not the nice kind of lonely. My mind is playing me tricks and I try to control my thoughts rather let them control me.
It’s totally dark. Nothing to do. I try to sleep. I can’t. I’m laying and trying to deal with the total silence and my thoughts. I start meditating. I fall into this state where I am totally calm and almost with no thoughts.
Crazy sounds and birds fly over my tent, I hear steps and I’m totally out of this blissful state and I am afraid. I start singing mantras to calm myself; and do so for the whole night.
So basically I was just laying in my tent and singing mantras all night – besides the crazy dreams I had which felt so ridiculously real and woke me up couple of times! It’s a nice feeling being able to successfully control your fears but either way … I wished not to be there in that night.
Daylight! Birds start to sing again. I open my tent. Foggy and everything sooo wet. I feel totally exhausted after this night. I lay down for another hour and start to pack my stuff. I eat an orange and start hiking again.
I walk and walk, the road is moody and water is dropping down from the trees. My bag is just too heavy to hike this road. I feel uncomfortable and I have almost no water to drink.
Distance to the next village: ???. No signal. I have no freakin‘ idea where I am. Maybe my boyfriend was right by telling my to take a compass with me.
I reach a intersection of roads. Not marked.
Great … FUCK! RIGHT OR LEFT? Hmmm …
I don’t want this anymore. Can somebody get me out pls? No!
Ok Andreea, you can do this! Go left.
Big road, caves and magical trees. (Pretty nice but nothing could brighten up my mood …)Ok maybe it’s the right way. Keep walking.
3 hours later
The main road! Woah! Holy shit … I’ll keep walking here, at least here I am safe and some cars may pass by so I can ask somebody to take me to the next village.
I walk and walk, it’s cold, I wear only a shirt because I’m sweating like hell. My back hurts and I’m thirsty. I have just very little water im my bottle. I didn’t even brush my teeth this morning just to save water.
Sounds like a good hike what? Hahah
As I’m walking down the road 3 cars passed by … but in the wrong direction. So I keep walking. After couple hours and 10 more km I reach a hostel in the mountains. I stop there to rest and charge my phone. What should I do? Check in there and stay for the night? And what then? The morning after? I’m too tired to continue hiking here and the dark foggy atmosphere is pushing me down. Oh boy.
I was sitting there for 3h. I wanted to take the bus to the city but the next one was in 5h. I want to go to the city NOW.
Then a couple went by and I thought ‚Hey, let’s just ask them if they are going to the main city.‘„Sorry guys, are you going to Santa Cruz?“
They look to each other, look back to me (I was sitting there totally sweaty, tired and with a big bag.)
.. „Ehm, yeah ?…“
„Wait, where are you from?“ I ask them.
„Oh, pai si eu sint tot din Romania.“ I told them. Meaning I’m also one of them.
„Oh sure get in.“ YES!Hihi HAPPY me. I am „saved“. It’s so funny how I meet Romanians everywhere I go. Gypsy connection is strong. 🙂
I was so happy about that ride. They asked me where I’ve been and what I did up in the mountains. When I told them I was camping there they said I’m crazy.It’s fine … after that trip I also thought I am.
They drove me to the bus station in Santa Cruz where I took the bus to El Medano and checked in at the hostel I was sleeping the first night. Having a good rest, food and a warm shower. How good.
LITERALLY EVERYTHING hurt. I could barely walk.
30 km hike not 60 km as planned and only one night not 4-5 as I imagined to stay but I’m totally fine with that. (How did I even think to do this COUPLE of days???) I am proud of myself that I faced my fears and also that I made it through the night without crying like a baby, hahah.
Side note: There was a guy I was writing with through Couch Surfing and he did the same trail, we actually wanted to meet but I went one day later into the forests to start my hike. After my first night when I arrived in the hostel I got a message from him telling me that he interrupted his hike because his first night was a nightmare … too cold and scary in that forest. So this somehow made me feel good because I was not the only one without balls (obviously). :)))
Don’t go camping alone in a rain forest after a party weekend. Don’t go camping alone in a forest if you’re afraid of dark forests. Don’t go camping alone where there is no signal …
if you plan to go camping alone keep in mind:
(Just little reminder to myself – the only way I can handle my experience of that camping trip; Sarcasm ON)
- It can get very dark at night in a rain forest.
- It can be also creepy af there – and it will be for sure.
- You may need shit loads of water with you. If you don’t want to die, obviously.
- Try to walk couple of miles with the water without breaking your neck.
- Warm, waterproof clothes are also a good idea if you’re hiking in a RAIN forest.
- The compass is a useful invention for finding your way where there is no signal on your amazing smartphone with free internet Europe-wide.
- DON’T START THE HIKE LATE IN THE EVENING.
Last but not least:
- Take a friend with you! Not the imaginary one like mine was …
Hah, no, really – it was a great experience after all. It’s for sure not a activity for everyone (also not for me; I can say that now) but this rain forest is not dangerous, there are no dangerous animals so you are basically ALONE (that indeed is the scariest thing!).
My camping trip was definitely as creepy as it sounds in this post but just because I was still exhausted from the party weekend in Berlin and because of the bad weather on that day. I still can’t believe I did it … once is way enough.
You don’t necessarily have to stay over night there, but it’s a must see place on day time for sure!
I’ll keep camping on the beach, it’s more my environment.
Stay wild. Overcome your fears. Enjoy the ride.
Traveling is truly one of the coolest and most amazing things you can do together with your best friend or your loved one. While solo travel is empowering and inspiring a trip with your special friend creates blissfully memories that you will cherish forever. Being friends with someone is one thing you know, but traveling with them? An completely different story, I can tell you. Traveling is good for your health (Read: 8 Reasons Why Traveling Is Good For Your Health) but still … it needs to be the right travel buddy to benefit rather than harming your calmness.
„Better off alone than in wrong company“
After my experience couple of years ago where I was traveling with one of my best friends (at that time) I promised myself that I’m better off alone traveling than with the wrong friend by my side. We just didn’t have the same style and idea of traveling …
You might be really good friends and have a lot of fun together but when it comes to traveling, it can be entirely different. I think it is really hard to find a travel buddy who travels the same way you do …
Sharing doubles the happiness
My solo trip to Tenerife for three months last year was exceptional for sure. But being there again this year with my travel gypsy sister Valeska showed me how wonderful it can be to share those amazing moments with someone.
It was our first travel together and luckily I found out that having this amazing bond when traveling is the most amazing thing that can happen in a friendship. 💙
10 Reasons Why Traveling With The Right Person Is Awesome
Your friendship get’s to another, deeper level
You are together in the good days as well as in the bad ones. Especially through difficult situations you will get to truly know the other on a deeper level.
You have loads of inside jokes
Oh yeah, it’s just too good to just look at each other and to exactly know what one is thinking about or about to say without saying it.
You step out of your comfort zone together
And this is where the magic happens! Step out of that freakin‘ zone, together.
You learn from each other
Oh yeah, and how you do. It’s funny to realize how the other person is just a reflection of yourself. Observe the other and learn about yourself.
You encourage and push each other
Hiking to the crater of a volcano is simply „easier“ if your friend kicks you in your ass when you are about to give up for the 100th time. We need friends like these so much in our lifes.
You have a photographer and a model all the time
As a photographer you will always have a person to photograph. Also really nice in case you want pictures too (like in my case – I’m always the photographer but there are rarely pictures of myself).
Two thinking minds are better than one
Faster and better problem solving – if you’re not drunk of course. :))
You feel safe
… and you can hope that the other one is saving you, just in case.
You can pack less because you will just share everything
„Damn, where is my razor?“
„Don’t mind, I have one.“
„Crap, all my socks and pants are dirty!“
„I still have some, you can take mine.“
„I love your skirt, I think it would look good on me today.“
„You can wear it. Can I wear your pink top today?“
Hahah, girls stuff. Just awesome. 😀
You will create memories you can share for the rest of your lives
And you’ll have a lot to tell …
They make sure you stick to your budget (or not)
Well, they are supposed to. But not anymore when it comes to drinking Barraquitos (a special coffee from the Canary Islands with liquor).
„Living la vida loca“
One guy we were staying at said to us that we are the happiest girls he met so far.
He was wondering how we can have so much fun and laugh all the time (like literally all the time, also half of the night). Well, living la vida loca with the right travel sister is easy you know. You just vibe. 💕
What do you think is the best part about traveling with your best friend?
And what’s your favorite place you’ve been to with your bestie?
Leave a comment below.
Canary Islands, Tenerife, Teide Volcano, 3.700m altitude.
8 hour hike to the top. Temperature: -4C°. Overwhelming feeling to arrive on the top. I’ll let the pictures speak. See the dramatic beauty of the volcanic landscapes we encountered on our adventure.
So far my impressions from hiking to Pico del Teide at 3.700m.
If you’re into hiking and astrophotography you gotta go there asap. 😀
The song that I was singing on my hikes to the Teide volcano 🎶
Yup, I am flying to the magical Island again. This marvelous place got me like really really bad. Since my last years trip I’m totally hooked about Tenerife and it’s magical spots. And I also feel really connected to all that is there. I definitely gotta go back.
BUT I want to see new places, not the ones I explored last year because I want adventures not routine. Only exception: my hippie family on the beach in the south! I’ll be there for some days too, for sure.
This time I’m going to travel ‚only‘ for 3 weeks because I got to return to my university classes and to work a bit to save money for the next adventures. Last year I did 3 months but I missed my classes and I had to start the first year from the beginning. It’s not like university is such a big deal for me, I’m not really doing it for the degree but for myself … however when adventure is calling, I must go!
This time I’ve decided to hike the green, wet northern part of Tenerife – enchanting Laurisilva forests, endless hikes through forests and coastlines with view over Teide volcano, the dry south and many more spots which are waiting to be hiked.
You gotta watch this to see what a Laurisilva forest is and to get an idea of the place where I’m going to hike:
And I’m flying ALONE, yeah, I know I spent almost 3 months camping on the beaches of Tenerife last year BUT this time I’ll be in the forests, foggy, dark forests. I am afraid but that’s not going to stop me! You might think I’m crazy, I think it myself too! 😂
“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.
Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.
You are not on your own path.
If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
― Joseph Campbell
But honestly there is a special kick this idea gives me, to be on my own, to push my limits, to explore, to walk as far as my feet take me and to see what I’m capable of.
Last years adventure already expanded my consciousness, gave me power and I (re)discovered my adventurous part. I went camping in the forests of Transylvania with my parents and my best friend when I was a small girl, so I always had this camping love and connection to nature. But doing this alone is another level of exploring the world outside as well as the inner world of my being.
It really is about going out of your comfort zone and do things that are new/scare you. As we overcome our fears we gain power! And as we follow our bliss the most beautiful things happen. This I definitely learned on my last trip to Tenerife!
I’ll be hiking in Tenerife for 12 days – alone and after a good friend from Switzerland is joining me and we take the ferry to the smallest of the Canary Islands – El Hierro. It’s a paradise there. 10.000 inhabitants and almost no tourists.
The island is designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve , with 60% of the territory protected.
El Hierro is the first island in the world which is self-sufficient for electrical energy! How awesome. It looks like paradise and I’m so excited to explore this small island with my friend. Solo travel is awesome but some crazy girls adventure time is definitely rad too.
Watch this cool aerial video from El Hierro:
Another thing I really have to do is to hike to the crater of Teide volcano the see the sunrise from above which looks like this:
Teide is the third highest volcano in the world and the highest point in the Atlantic Ocean.
The shadow of Teide is the largest shadow in the world projected onto the sea!
It is designated as a “Starlight Destination” – Isaac Newton suggested that the telescopes were installed on the highest mountain peaks. That’s so cool! Also the largest solar observatory is located in the area at an altitude of 2,390 m.
From Teide, it is possible to see 83 of the 88 constellations that the starry sky presents us.
I can’t wait to get lost in the starry night sky and it’s constellations from there! Astrophotography is all I can think about – and this with my new Sony A7II, wooopwooop. 🌌
I’ve been a couple times in the Teide Nationalpark last year, but I had to cancel my stay at the Refuge because the roads were closed due to snow. So I didn’t manage to hike to the very top because you need a special permission to do so. Therefore this time I have to take the chance to hike all the way up and spend a night at 3,260m before hiking to the crater to admire the sunrise.
Writing about those things right now make my heart go CRAZY, you know what I mean? Super duper excited, oh boy.
I still have some time until the beginning of April but I’m already planning my hiking routes, collecting ideas for spots to shoot and most important: where to sleep and how to survive the nights in the forest. 😂
Some of the 1000 tabs I have open right now:
Sony a7S Astrophotography Review (Astrophotography lovers: you NEED to check LONELYSPECKS Blog!)
… and so on 😂
Greetings to all adventurers out there.
PS: Let me know if you’re in Tenerife at that time and would like to do a hiking/photo session with me. ✌🏼
2017 started here for us. Time is passing differently in this quiet, little, remote village in Transylvania – it is passing slower. Mobile phones have not yet found their way into this village, and horse carriages are far more common than cars. The village, surrounded by fields and mellow hills, is overlooked by the church-fortress Seligstadt, one of the oldest in Transylvania.We decided to spent the transition into the new year in a youth center in Seligstadt where a couple of beautiful people gathered for a party. So we were leaving my home town Sibiu after midday and arrived there in the evening. After we left the road from Fagaraș city we were 30 km away from that village.
As we left the paved road which was covered with snow we took out the sleigh to tie it to our car so we can have a ride. You may haven’t done it before if you grew up in Austria for example :))) This was the biggest fun of my childhood while spending the holidays in Romania but for my boyfriend it was the first time doing that.
Most of the houses in the village are abandoned and look pretty shabby. You won’t meet many people while having a walk through the village although we saw some old farmers with their cows and sheep and some small children playing in the snow.
There is a car driving through the streets (Seligstadt has only 6 streets if I counted correctly on Google Maps) and sells bread. They have a megaphone announcing they have fresh bread to sell and people go out on the street to buy some.
The only place where there is more life in this forgotten village is the youth center where big groups of people find place to gather and enjoy life and activities at the country side.
We had a nice New Year’s Eve party for 3 days including activities like sledding, making camp fires, playing games, dancing, grilling in the snow, hiking up the tower of the fortified church and watching projections on the organ inside the church while having a beer . (Drinking my first beer in a church, haha) Oh, and we ate a looot, we had delicious Romanian kitchen, 3 times a day, 100% bio.
I enjoyed a lot to be far away from the city stress and troubles. It felt like we were taken back in time in another century. I wouldn’t mind staying longer there to get to know the locals and how their life looks like in a remote village like this. Would be interesting to know how old people supply themselves with food and medicine in such a remote small village. Nevertheless I was happy to spent 3 days there, to see other parts of Romania and different ways of life. I think it was the perfect start into this year 2017 in which I want to travel to get to know more places like this, going back to the roots, away from the city to places where time seems to stand still! Because sometimes I have the feeling life is passing away too fast, especially when it’s beautiful …
Blessings to all of you! 🙂
The summer of 2016 was a blasting one for us – with many adventures on our big Europe road trip! I was happy to get the car and hit the road, now that I had my driving license (passed the exam 2 weeks before the trip). Luckily my dad had the guts to give me his car, haha. So now we had this spacious Ford Galaxy for our journey. Me, my other half and a friend were ready and highly motivated for the adventure.
We started our road trip from Vienna and hit the direction Masters of Puppets Festival in Czech Republic. The first festival for the summer and we enjoyed it a lot I have to say! A really nice gathering with killer music in a magical place. It was the perfect start into a festival summer.
Loved it so much that the Milky Way was visible each night! Catches me every time for hours …
After the Festival we originally planned to go to see Berlin before the next festival was about to start but we had to return to Vienna because our car had no more battery … We managed to make it run but it still didn’t work properly because we had to steal our own car :))) The battery was that empty that the engine didn’t recognize the car keys anymore …
So we returned to Vienna, checked the car again, washed our clothes and left again – this time to the Freqs of Nature Festival near Berlin.
This festival had for sure the best decoration I’ve seen so far! It was something totally different than decorations at other festivals of that kind. Really, really magnificent.
We ate a lot on that festival :))) Had some really delicious food and PANCAKES!
From Berlin we left to Barcelona – loooong way ahead! We made two stops in France before we reached the 3rd festival – Kali Mela near Barcelona. Our friends had an crazy incident with their car that was on the way with us to the festival and they had to leave the car in France … Even if our car was big, it was so full that we didn’t had room for 3 more people so they came by train to the festival one day later …)
We continued our journey and after 2 days on the road we finally reached the area in the middle of literally NOWHERE, where the Festival took place. We got there by night – a very cold and stormy one! Expected other weather conditions for Spain but they showed up on the next day … from then on it was pretty hot and dusty all the time – we all had problems with our throat and I even lost my voice for some days … at least we had a lot to laugh about, as my voice sounded way too funny :)))
Kali Mela was a crazy Festival. Strong energies and many different people around. It was an awesome time with the tribe and the music was killer, killer!
After Kali Mela we spent 1 week on a camping spot near Barcelona. From there we drove every day to the city by train. We didn’t want to take the car because traffic in Barcelona is insane! We also heard about the many break-ins into cars with foreign number plates so we didn’t want to take the risk, as I made the experience in Tenerife. The car was safe in the camping!
It was my first time in Barcelona, finally! I wanted to see this amazing city for so long … and it totally didn’t disappoint me. It is even better than I thought. I fell in love with Barcelona even before being there. The vibes of this city and the people are just awesome.
Well, luckily we didn’t had any negative experience. There was just one case in the metro that two guys tried to steal something from our bags – they didn’t really came that far because we were holding our bags in front of us and I was watching the guys because I realized what they are trying to do …
If you are in Barcelona always keep an eye on your things and don’t leave them unobserved.
There we are – we finally reached PARADISE! After one week in Barcelona we hurried to the next festival which was about to start – OZORA. This time the road didn’t take that much because we were 3 drivers, driving with almost no break.
We convinced our friends to join us! We offered to pick them up in Vienna and take them to the festival. They were a lot into our idea, they had only one ‚problem‘: no money for the tickets, which were 130 € each. Too good it didn’t stop them. Asking for donations and giving cookies in return was a good idea – after couple of hours they had the money for 2 tickets! And a lot of coins … coins, coins :))))
OZORA was the last festival for the summer for me. It was so much fun. I like this festival a lot because of it’s wide range of activities and the diversity of people coming from all around the globe. Such a colorful, crazy tribe.
I was also very happy to see and dance with friends from Tenerife again. Really nice bunch of brothers and sisters we’ve been around there. Having a great time and connecting with beautiful souls.
On the last day of the festival my lovely parents came to the Festival to take me on a trip. We headed to the Black Sea in Romania. The last time I was there was when I was at the age of 4. So I was really excited to see this area again.
After the crazy road trips and many festivals I was so happy to have the possibility to come down and chill my soul on the beach. And I needed it so much – I was sleeping for days when we arrived. It was the perfect retreat to charge my batteries. Ah, how I love the sea, the beach life and vibes ∞ …
‚Vama Veche‘ the last beach before the Bulgarian border with colorful people and party non stop. You gotta experience it for yourself! 😀
After one week at the beach my crazy road trip came to an end! After 3 months of adventures and new places … back to Vienna, trying to arrive ‚home‘ again.
Got the next destinations already in my head … :)))
Hope you had a super nice summer and enjoyed every moment of it! 🙂
Blessings, Love & Peace, A.
For all the travel hungry souls out there: If you want to travel more and how you can afford it, how you can start living your dream – I’ve put together my favorite travel blogs, where I take my inspiration and daydream about the next destinations. Because gypsy souls are born for leaving and have the desire to explore. Oh, and I’m hitting the road soon again for a big Europa trip with the car, the map here, to see where the adventure is going.
„Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.“
Scroll down and get inspired!
Since my first click on this blog I absolutely love it! This guy from the UK converted his Van into his new home in which he is traveling Europe. You can download his e-book here to get tips on converting an old van into a home (If you’re in to that, for me it’s the ultimate dream). He’s got some great shots from his travels and also from some psy trance festivals in Europe. I absolutely love what he is doing and his style of telling stories. So if you’re into #vanlife, festivals and low budget travel you should check his blog out! Maybe he will make you want to buy a van and hit the road 😀
How cool is this project? Watch the video:
I’m in love with this dazzling photo blog with cool projects such building a tree house with a skate bowl in the yard, surfing, camping and #vanlife. Without doubt his photo books and projects are fascinating! LOVE
Well, another #vanlife, photography travel blog I’m totally hooked with! Mitch and his beautiful girlfriend are currently exploring Australia in their camper van, shooting brilliant pictures and sharing them with the world. Oh man … a dream!
„If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to travel cheaper, turn your dream trip into a reality, save money, or travel the world, you are in the right place! This website will give you tested tips, advice, and suggestions so you can see more for less and make your dream trip a reality.“ – Really good, structured blog on cheap travel and he has a lot of travel guides you can purchase online.
Sabine’s blog inspires me a lot about this whole blogging thing and how to be successful at it – after reading her article about how she can afford traveling I’m really into it. She has her own very cool way of telling a travel story and she has also cool videos and pictures. Her blog is really nice to read for hours! Inspirational.
This are my top 5 at the moment, but there are many other kick ass travel blogs out there on the internet. Ahhh, once the travel bug bites in there is no known antidote!
If you know some cool blogs on similar topics, please let me know.
Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife
The dracaena draco or Canary Islands Dragon Tree is is a subtropical tree-like plant. To be found in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and Morocco. The Drago is the natural symbol of the Island of Tenerife. The specimen called „El Drago Milenario“ growing at Icod de los Vinos in northwest Tenerife is the oldest living plant of this species.
The trip to Icod de los Vinos was the first trip we did together with our friends Olga and Taavi after sleeping at the squatted house. We had a rented car and decided to see some touristic attractions nearby 🙂
The small town has a very Icod de los Vinos is also famous for it’s beautifully carved wooden balconies that exist of many of it’s buildings.
The small Plaza de La Pila is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Canary Islands and is surrounded by some marvellous old homes – really small, charming place with many botanical specimens from all over the world!
Dracaena draco is a monocot with a tree-like growth habit currently placed in the asparagus family. When young it has a single stem. At about 10–15 years of age the stem stops growing and produces a first flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appears and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about 10–15 years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about ten years to reach 1.2 m in height but can grow much faster.
Being a monocotyledon, it does not display any annual or growth rings so the age of the tree can only be estimated by the number of branching points before reaching the canopy.
Tenerife’s famous version is huge and very old – estimates vary from 650 years to 3,000! There are claims that it is the oldest tree on the planet. Its massive trunk comes from the contribution of clusters of aerial roots that emerge from the bases of lowest branches and grow down to the soil. Descending along the trunk, they cling tightly to the trunk, integrate with it and contribute to its radial growth.
The species gets its name because, when the bark or the leaves are cut, they secrete a red coloured resin, which is said to be the dried blood of dragons which, apparently, has healing properties.
It’s a nice attraction, although we didn’t want to pay 5€ to get inside the garden, where the tree is growing because it’s very well visible from the square. But there is a bigger botanical garden with many other species so it may be worthy to step inside. 🙂
Icod de los Vinos is definitely a place worth visiting. I enjoyed the exotic plants and the old square and it’s architecture. The whole vibe of the place was so calming and welcoming. And the Dragon tree – simply amazing to look at!
Housing is a basic right for everybody. Houses should not be empty while there are people without homes to live in.
„Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land–or a building, usually residential – that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.“
In our case, we just wanted to have a home where we can live for a longer period without having to pay rent for it. Olga connected with me via Couch Surfing and invited me to join her squat in Tenerife. She told me that she was traveling alone for a couple of months and that she found a empty house to stay at. She was looking for somebody to join her in order not to be alone in this I have to say pretty creepy place :-)))
Some different people stayed for a while with her in the squat. As I was traveling alone and it was in the beginning of my trip, I didn’t want to be alone and I also was very curious how she is living there, so I agreed on joining her in the empty house.
It was definitely a good decision to do so! Like this I got to know Olga and also Taavi, two amazing young and interesting people and had for the first time the opportunity to live in a squat. Before to do so I never really concerned about house squatting, though I’ve heard about it. Staying there for some days made me think about the whole issue and why it is a great possibility to live – and for some people the only one. Due to the actual happenings and the many refugees having no homes, I think it is very important to be aware of this because there is an urgent need for housing, especially with the increased demand from migrants. Read some interesting articles about this topic here, here and here – think about it!
„Of course squatting occurs whether it is declared legal or illegal, and we only have to look around the world to see huge numbers of people living in informal settlements.“
I arrived there in the middle of the night and had no idea where it is – Olga and Taavi, a friend who joined her explained me how to get there but I didn’t manage to find the house in the dark. It was pretty scary to walk there, looking for a empty house. Luckily Taavi picked me up in the city (where I had to walk back) because I had no chance to find it.
The house had no electricity or running water but some candles and water bottles you bring from some water tap nearby will do the work – of course not everybody’s case. But I think it’s a nice experience for a short period.
Squatting by necessity is in itself a political issue, therefore also a „statement“ or rather a ‚response‘ to the political system causing it. During the period of global recession and increased housing foreclosures in the 2000s, squatting became far more prevalent in Western, developed nations. In some cases, need-based and politically motivated squatting go hand in hand.
Squatting is a matter of civil law, not a crime. You might be a single person without the capital for private renting. You might be a family declared „intentionally homeless“ or otherwise excluded from public housing. You might be a destitute asylum seeker. Or perhaps you’ve moved to find work. Squatting is hard work and has its problems, but it’s better than the alternatives. Some people find that the closeness and teamwork involved, the laughs as well as the crises, open up a whole new world and change their lives.
WHO OWNS THE EMPTY HOUSES?
Government departments own empty houses, due to mis-management and bureaucratic delays many houses can remain empty for many years.
Private developers keep houses empty so that they can make a fast buck, or maintain the ‚market rent‘ by limiting the available housing. Greedy individuals own houses that are left empty because they don’t need them to live in.
ONCE YOU’VE FOUND IT:
Finding empty houses is generally pretty easy, an unkempt look, tons of mails coming out of the mailbox, overgrown garden, broken windows and doors etc. You should always knock on the door before entering or when checking out a house. Sometimes old people are living in their home without electricity in rundown states.
Take a closer look inside and out, is there thick dust inside? No obvious signs of occupation? Check the overall structure of the place, are the gas and electricity meters still there? You need to know what to bring back to secure the house and fix it up if necessary.
Find out as much as you can about the house. Getting in is generally quite easy, often broken windows or doors previously forced by other visitors provide access. Remember, squatters never do criminal damage; local kids do that, and squatters just come along the next day and take advantage of it.
It’s best not to squat on your own: get together with a few others. A squat is only a squat while there’s someone on the premises. If nobody’s in, there’s nothing to stop the owner breaking in and repossessing the place. However, if anybody – including the owner – tries to gain entry when someone opposed to their doing so is in, it’s a criminal offence. So, you need enough people to make sure someone is always at home – at least for the first few weeks.
It can sometimes take quite sometime for owners to realize that anyone is occupying the house, anything from a few hours to a day to a few weeks even. This time should be used for getting the house together, fixing things up, checking the wiring and water etc. It’s a good idea to get services such as electricity and gas on as quickly as possible, so you can cook and maintain a life at your new home.
Try to keep the house occupied constantly for the first few days and weeks or until you come to some agreement over remaining there with the owner. Get support from other squatters, friends and others in the local area. If after a few weeks you’re still there and have heard nothing from the owners you can start to get a bit more comfortable, it is harder to evict well established households than people who appear to be just using the place to crash in. First thing to do is change the locks and secure the house.
In our case the owner came after some time, prepared with the house plans and the documents for selling the home. We were very surprised that he came by, like the house is literally in the middle of nowhere, only some banana plantations nearby… Anyway he was a nice guy, he asked us if we want to buy the land with the house but we explained that we are students looking for a place to stay and that we have no money for buying it (damn, we forgot to ask how much it costs … after we heard that prices in Tenerife are very low for lands). He had a look around and explained us that he has no problem with us staying there, he just wanted to see if everything is fine because some years before he had problems with squatters who grew Marijuana there. We assured him that we won’t do anything bad with the place, we rather take care of it! He seemed to like us and wished us all the best before leaving – very funny to actually meet him!
Before we left this house Olga left a message with her contact for people who will come after us and also a message for the owner asking how much the house costs … let’s see if she gets a response! 🙂
Read some legal and practical advice on squatting here.
More useful links for squatting:
Since I’m a little girl I dream about flying … many years I believed I am able to float, just because it felt so real in my dreams.
Somehow the right moment to do it didn’t happen until some weeks ago. Back in Tenerife I was thinking about it but it was too expensive for my hippie lifestyle. After seeing the Paragliders almost every day flying over my head, while laying on the beach, I decided one day that I’m going to do it too! I walked to the city to check my bank account and to find a nice paragliding team.
I spent my last money on the flight, hahah. But it was totally more than worth the experience. I booked for the coming week but when the day came, I got a call that the weather conditions will be not good for paragliding in that day so we had to delay the flight. I waited very excited for the next call and hoped the conditions will be good in the coming days. Couple of cloudy days passed when I finally got the call „Andreea, are you ready? Today we fly!“…
I was sitting in my base, doing some bracelets and enjoying the perfectness of the moment, so I was very happy anyway but this call made my day more than perfect!
Three hours later I got picked up near the beach and we drove in direction of the mountains …
I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous but still very chilled …
…. uuuuntil it stared and I felt how exposed to the wind I am and how every small change of the wind direction blew us from one side to another …
Although I feel that it was not very much Adrenaline I started to feel a little bit sick in my stomach (probably because I didn’t eat much that day and it was very hot outside). I was a little bit still for my characteristics :-))) I felt like throwing up a couple of times but luckily it was not the case!
The flight was a smooth experience, perfect for enjoying the view over the area from above and for getting the feeling of flying. And the team is so nice, I can only recommend to have a flight with them!
Let’s see when the opportunity for skydiving will come around 😀 Free fall + flying, aiaiaiii!
See the video:
It’s now one week that I’m back home … back to the city life, where everything is going fast, people rushing everywhere, events going on all the time, appointments, where date and time play an important role … where people don’t say hello to everybody on the street … (the first days after I arrived I wanted to say „Hola“ to everyone) and where people don’t thank the bus driver for driving them to their destinations …
… and where it’s cold as fuck, running with winter clothes and boots – from nudist beach to winter time, hell … thought it will be almost summer when I get back :-))
I feel very happy to meet my friends again, share my stories, listen to what happened in their lives while I was traveling. But at the same time it was very strange in the first 3-4 days to be in a big city again … well, it still is and will be but I think I just don’t like big cities anymore, haha.
Now I’m walking differently through the city, I’m actually walking more than taking the public transport, I’m paying more attention to the surroundings, the buildings, look into people faces while they are busy to look at their phones or anywhere else to avoid eye contact. Actually I’m aware of a lot more details.
In a couple of days I start working because I need some money for traveling again in two months, where the next trip is waiting for me. I can’t wait for that to happen, because the city life and the people (not all of course) at the moment are a bit too strange for me. Luckily I live almost outside the city so I have a forest and the danube nearby … I’m close to nature somehow, but still, I miss being ONE with nature all the time. I miss the clear view of the stars at night, being able to follow the cycles of the moon … all this simple things that make me being balanced and connected to myself! Still my soul and body are full of energy and positive vibrations I’ve loaded while my travel. I’m still holding the smile, calmness, love, good thoughts and faith I’ve experienced there. Although I’m waking up in my bed, looking at the ceiling and not on the sky, I’m visualizing the breathtaking view I had every morning when waking up in nature and the days start good as well – no more „bad days“ starting with waking up … just like I had it before a lot of times. It’s always a good day!
The moment I arrived back, I started to sort out my wardrobe, to sell some of the furniture standing in my room and now I’m planning to sell my bed … the mattress should be enough! I feel that I don’t need all that stuff anymore, at least not everything. The power of having less material stuff is priceless!
Building myself a blanket tent and arranging an altar, where I can meditate, connect to myself and do my crystal rituals, hehe.
Well, this is how I feel now. But there are far more lessons I took with me, ideas that changed my mind, opened and stretched it. Though I was an open person before, I changed my mind about things that I had not imagined to see them the way I do now.
I want to share some of the ideas/lessons with you here.
Think about it, take them as an advice, encourage, or take them however you want :-))
*Spiritual lesson starts here* :-)))
- You have to trust yourself! You are capable of far more than you think. You are brave. Have no fears.
- Leave your comfort zone! There is where magic happens.
- Enjoy the journey.
- Spend time alone! Some people really don’t know how to enjoy their own company.
- Appreciate the little things in life. The ordinary little things that are far too often undervalued, but have great significance!
- Be thankful for everything.
- Try not to have expectations.
- Life is so much more than money. You don’t have to be rich to travel well.
- Love yourself first! Love others unconditionally for the beautiful souls they are.
- See the beauty in the people around you.
- We are not as different as you think.
- Let your friends know that you love them. Tell them more often.
- LOVE MORE.
- HUG MORE.
- Trust the universe. It’s the way to become ONE with it!
- Everything that happens to you, everything you do and everyone you meet is put on your path for one reason. The timing it happens is always perfect! In the end it all makes sense, why it happened when it did and why some persons appeared into (or left) your life when they did.
- Every loss is a win too! When life takes something away from you, it gives you something else.
- Always give your whole attention while talking to somebody else.
- Don’t take everything personally! Sometimes when people act the way they do or say things they say, it has to do with their own journey, experiences, disappointments, fears and so on.
- Try to understand why some people are the way they are or why they do the things they do!
- Start paying more attention to what you feel in different situations. What makes you happy, sad, angry, etc. and why. Try to find out why and how you can change it.
- Observe your thoughts and your actions.
- SMILE MORE
- Be aware of your thoughts. Keep them positive and kind.
- Let go of thoughts and actions that don’t make your soul rise.
- Be honest and say what you feel. And if somebody can not handle your honesty it’s their problem, not yours.
- Stay true to yourself and the people around you.
- Be more present in the moment! Pay more attention to what you are doing at the moment rather than thinking about some other stuff.
- Pay more attention to your body and what it has to tell you. Eat slow, chew more and be aware of how good it feels to just observe this.
- We have the great power to heal our body.
This is more a list to remind myself of the thoughts that came in my mind while I was in Tenerife and which I want to keep. I feel that I’ve grown a lot spiritually and that I want to share some of my thoughts with you, in order to make you think about it, even if some things may not be new for some of you.
I’m so calm and full of love, FULL POWER! So receive some of it, souls, phew phew! 😉
Blessings & a lot of many LOVE, A.
(a lot of many – Valentin, I’ll keep this saying forever I guess 🙂 )
Me and Sergio, my neighbor were planning to do a trekking together. So we decided to walk to the nearby mountains we see every day from our place. He told me that he already has been there before and that he loves the route, so it wouldn’t bother him to walk it a second time. He also told me that it is pretty long … I remember him saying something about 15km (this already sounded a lot to me!) … So the big day for our adventure has come and we took a healthy, powerful breakfast, drank tea, like always (Sergio is a tea addict – and he took me also to the dark side of black tea :))) ), put our trekking shoes on, prepared some food and water for the hike and started our walk, our friend Valentin joined our trip.
We began our walk at 11:30 from sea level to the next town Adeje. 4,5km later we arrived there. From there the interesting part began! Wonderful trekking road, getting more and more silent as deeper as we walked away from the city. This first part was a very rough one, as the sun was shining down on us, the road being very cliffy … ufff! Sweating a lot and drinking almost my whole water only in this first part haha. I thought the whole hike will be like that and I started to think the guys are crazy (it’s nothing new anyway that this guys, especially Vale, are crazy, haha) and that I won’t be able to do it … after asking couple of times „Guys, but how many kilometers do we REALLY have to walk? And how many hours? And when will we arrive? I need a break, I’m melting …“ At first I really thought „Fuuuck, maybe it’s too much for me …
They were trying to explain me that this is the first and hardest part, that we have to get to the top and there we will take a break with breathtaking view, after that we have the second part ahead of us with another break and after this second break we will continue with the third part and then we’ll finally arrive in Arona, the end of our walk. For me this sounded crazy as fuck, as I imagined the whole road to be cliffy and hard like in the beginning!
But the guys were right! After this hard part, with a lot of sweating and for me almost no talking, because I had to concentrate not to die (the guys were singing almost all the way up some Russian Hippie songs), hahah. The landscape was pretty dry with a lot of cactus, stones, small flowers and after a while we encountered the first pine tree .. growing alone in the middle of the desert-like scene.
As we arrived on the top (after aprox. 2,5 hours) where this marvelous view was waiting for us:
After a little break for a meal and resting we continued the second part. The landscape began to change … more and more trees grew among the road and it got greener and greener.
The smell began to change – clean, fresh air and the smell of pine trees, fresh gras, sweet flowers accompanied our walk through this part. I was so caught by all this beautiful impressions that I forgot to walk further at some points … just standing still in the middle of this enchanting surrounding …
At this point – exactly over the „Barranco del Infierno“ (we walked around it), we took our second break for resting. Eating some cookies and drinking a self made energy drink for the last part of the walk. We were standing up there and shouting out (the guys some strange Russian words and me making confused sounds :))) ) – crazy echo this mountains reflect!
I was just so amazed about all this, standing there in the middle of this huge stone mountains, giant trees growing on them, the sound of the wind whispering through the canyon, the beautiful sounds the birds were singing and despite all this sounds combined, the total silence there is. It really felt like a therapy for the soul! At some point I forgot that I am walking and that everything hurts, it felt like a state of deep meditation, everything seemed so easy and all that mattered was the present moment – well, the now is always what matters, but this reminded me how powerful the present moment is! Remind yourself to take yourself back into the present moment, if it happens that you are trapped somewhere in the past or future!
I recognized how much I missed the forest and the trees. The very deep connection I have with trees and their energy …
We kept walking and walking and walking … discovering huge caves, mysterious circles, empty houses and beautiful birds. It seemed like this hike will never end … after 6 hours of walking, no wonder! Slowly we hoped to get close to the town of Arona, where we can take the bus home … after 3 more hours of hiking we finally reached it!!! Hurraaa … „oh, but wait where is the bus station?“ .. After arriving there we realized we missed the last bus that was at 20:00! Sitting in the station completely done, with pain in our legs and butts :))) … we had to hitchhike back. We were very lucky that after only 10 minutes of waiting (in a place where almost no cars drove), a very nice and crazy girl took us almost close to Caleta. But we still had to walk 3km to there … but after 25km, 3 more didn’t matter anymore 😉