The summer of my dreams is officially underway. When I moved to Spain, I knew I was going to want to explore for the summer and take a break from teaching. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I knew I would find a way to make it happen.
Traveling around like a normal backpacker was out of the question because my “budget” is pretty much non-existent. I had to find a way to travel, work, and live on the cheap. Done and done!
When Marshall and I went to Central America, we had plans of working on farms or in hostels for a few weeks here and there along the way to save money and stretch the trip out since we wouldn’t be dipping into the budget. We signed up for this site called HelpX which is like WWOOF, a volunteer site for farms, hostels, resorts, and all kinds of other types of places. While we never ended up volunteering on our trip, it really came in handy for me this summer.
HelpX popped back into my head with the help of a friend who was doing it for the summer as well. When he told me of his plans for summer through HelpX’ing it was like the clouds parted and the rays of the sun shined down in a magical and majestic way, showing me the path I should be on. I knew for certain that that was the answer I had been looking for.
It is incredible how things come to you right when you need them the most.
I didn’t know where it would take me or what it meant exactly for my summer, but I looked at it as a kind of “get out of Granada for free ” pass. And damn was I right.
Before I left Granada I had my entire summer planned. I am not normally a planner, so this was kind of a strange feeling for me. I prefer to just go with the flow and the feeling and the vibe at the moment. But in order to feel secure that I had a place to stay throughout the summer, I felt I had to get all my ducks in a row first.
Interestingly enough, the first week into my summer plans, one of the commitments fell through. This particular commitment I didn’t feel great about booking. There was a little pull on me from the day I said yes to join them for 2 weeks that just didn’t feel quite right. I dismissed this gut feeling (which I am slowly learning to not do) with the justification that it was only 2 weeks and it was on the beach and I would have a place to stay and good food to eat while I waited to go to the island for yoga. Silly me. The universe knew this was not right but it was taking me some time to catch up.
I got an email that there would not be accommodation for me as the owner of the place I was going to work at was unexpectedly moving his daughter into the room that was meant to be mine. This was a blessing. An overwhelming feeling of relief came over me because I was not tied to this position anymore. I was released from something I wasn’t 100% stoked on to begin with.
Things are happening for me and there is no other way to describe these little occurrences as anything other than divine. Coincidence. Beautifully designed by my true intention with a little help from the universe.
So now, I am free with 2 weeks to fill at the beginning of August with whatever my heart desires.
Here’s the plan:
- Now-July 31st: Los Castillejos Resort, Lake Viñuela
- August 4-18: Who knows
- August 18-21: Xavia visiting my flatmate from Granada
- August 21-?: Mallorca working at a yoga retreat (I booked a one-way plane ticket…surprise, surprise)
So, here I am on the first leg of my 4-part jaunt around Spain. I am by the most beautiful lake I have ever laid eyes on surrounded by majestic mountains and dots of villages and country homes. I am staying in an ancient village called Los Castillejos doing work for a GORGEOUS room and delicious food. I was given the best room in the village (who knows why, fortune favors the bold I suppose) with a private roof top terrace. I can literally see the lake and sunrise from my pillow. The sun peeks over the peaks and wakes me up with a sleepy smile and a peaceful heart.
Most mornings I do yoga on the terrace overlooking the lake or I just eat a sleepy breakfast by the swimming pool, collecting energy from the sun and listening to the world around me wake up.
I really scored with this spot and it was very last minute.
I got confirmation that I could come here while I was in Portugal, 6 days before departure. Whew! I was almost starting to get nervous that I wouldn’t have anything planned for July. But of course, in true Morgan fashion, I was cool as a cucumber knowing that whatever happened was for the best and it would all work out the way it should. Little did I know I was on my way to paradise.
The village resort is run by a lovely Buddhist family. An English man named Paul, his Polish wife Anushka and 6-year-old son named Milsoh (who is the real boss of the place). Paul has lived here 20 years and slowly and painstakingly converted the modest and simple village into a gorgeous resort.
This village is ancient. The buildings are thought to be over 1,000 years old where people have lived for just as long. The energy is palpable. Years of people and personalities and souls and love and loss and happiness and hardship. Spain has a dynamic and colorful history and this little gem is no different.
The house I am staying in is believed to be the oldest.There is a street running through the middle, an original outdoor brick oven (which we make pizzas in), a prayer room (now used for yoga and meditation for the guests and Buddhist owners), a gorgeous pool overlooking the lake, original olive trees, lush greenery and bright flowers, and multiple terraces all with breath taking views. It is quaint and gorgeous and full of history and life. I would love to live in a little village like this in real life. My aunt and uncle have always joked that when we all go off and get married and have babies that we are going to live in a compound…I’d like to upgrade that to an ancient village.
I have been here just over 2 weeks now. The first 2 weeks of work were spent getting ready for a rowdy week-long English wedding/party. I jumped right into it, working 8-10 hours a day on all types of jobs to get ready for the beautiful couple’s most important day. They are my age and brought many of their friends from England so it was really fun to be part of. I was happy to do the work and it felt really good to exert myself so much, working the whole time towards a beautiful goal.
I am doing some easy sewing (long bench cushions and repairing sun-damaged sun chairs), and cooking in the kitchen with Paul which I absolutely LOVE. Mostly however, I work outside. Planting, weeding, sweeping, cleaning the pool, trimming the vines/bushes/trees, watering the plants, etc. I have calluses and blisters all over my hands, my feet are banged up, I have mystery scratches on my arms from crawling through shrubbery, I have a gash on my foot from broken glass, and my nose is a different color from the rest of my face from the sun. And I am so happy.
I have never worked outside so much and it is so gratifying and therapeutic and peaceful and and physical and exhausting and sweaty. It feels so good to sweat while working and not care about how I look and concern myself with my appearance. I just work. Do the job with a smile while I cleanse my body and mind of toxins at the same time as bringing love and life to nature.
I am a really sweaty lady.
Ask anyone and they will tell you that my “Whitney is always working”! If you don’t know what this means or haven’t ever heard me say it, it would probably be best that I don’t publicly put myself on blast. But, this is your lucky day because I am trying this thing where I am being as completely honest and real and raw as possible. And I also just really don’t care, so I will let you in.
My Whitney is my upper lip, named after the late, great Whitney Houston and her notoriously sweaty upper lip when she sang. My sister gets all credit for this genius namesake.
Now, I know this is probably the least attractive thing someone can do; talk about a sweaty upper lip knowing people will read and judge, and probably gag. But as I said before, I just really don’t care. This is me and that is that. And I know I am not alone. Now can someone please get me a stick to beat away all the hot men that will be lining up to date me after reading this?
But back to the real point…I love working outside and instantly seeing the fruits of my labor. If I am planting in the garden, I see the new baby plants I just integrated into the earth taking root and looking happy. If I a sweeping, I see the tidy area I just cleaned. If I am skimming the pool, I see the spotless surface glimmer in the sun. This lasts for at least 5 minutes before the wind blows something else into it. Then I just walk away because I will never win with the pool.
Everything I am doing is cleansing in every aspect. Mind, body, soul, nature.
I am emitting light and everyone around me has made a comment on this.
I clean and landscape my surroundings at the same time that I am cleansing and clearing my mind. I have so much time and space to think out here. My mind is firing and I am thinking of so many things I want to write about and draw and do and say and think about. I’ve never experienced so much inner peace and tranquility, and at the same time so many rapid fire, thought provoking ideas. It is incredible to observe what happens to your mind when you allow it to run free.
There are critters and insects everywhere though. I have bites and stings covering my body. Some mysterious, some itchy, some painful, and some just annoying. I have been bitten by ants, mosquitos, tiny devil flies that hurt like hell, and I was stung by a wasp. Jesus that hurts. It felt like someone poured molten lava into a tiny hole in my thigh. It swelled to the size and density of a mango within 45 minutes. Ugh, really sucks. But on the up-side, it was right above my knee so it made my thigh muscle look huge! Silver lining hahaha! There are snakes, scorpions, creepy crawlies, big fat geckos, and sparrows as well. Nature in the raw.
I am endlessly inspired by my surroundings. How could I not be? I feel like I could write a book here. My mind is on fire and I can’t keep up. I feel ALIVE.
The lake looks different all day and everyday. Each day there is something new that makes the lake and surrounding mountains and villages look completely different. Fog, sun, clouds, smoke from a nearby fire. The mountains take on new beauty with the turning of the earth around the sun and I can’t decide if the sunrise or sunset is more beautiful.
But the stars…the stars take the cake. I lay on my private terrace at night and stare into the expanse that is the universe. With the Milky Way directly above and shooting stars all around, I can’t help but go deep in wonder with an awe inspiring view like that. My mind has wandered into places I never knew I could reach as I lay under the night sky with next to no light pollution. And the moon…don’t even get me started! More to come on all this at another time, don’t you worry. I have a lot to share. Stay tuned 🙂
I’ve never felt so much before. Every emotion is heightened here and I feel like I am going to explode from feeling so much sometimes. Happy, sad, inspired, curious, mind-blown, humbled, confident, sexy, sweaty, dirty, peaceful. More than anything, however, is the oneness I feel. I feel absolutely and unquestionably one with the universe and the earth. I have never felt this plugged in.
I am a live wire that sparks with each gentle touch.
I am in tune, in touch, ALIVE. Along with yoga, I am doing a lot of meditation. I am going within to be able to understand myself and those around me at a deeper level.
This is exactly what I wanted and needed and I didn’t even know what I was getting into when I came here. I had zero expectations and could have never imagined this would be my reality. I was a bit nervous to come because I knew I would be isolated from a social life. I wouldn’t be the social butterfly I am so accustomed to being.
I didn’t realize that what I needed most was balance.
Peace, quiet, and alone time is what my body and mind craved. I needed to be alone. I wanted to be alone I just didn’t realize it.
I’ve already read 3 books and I have a few more from Paul’s expansive library that I’d like to read. I am in love with life and my current situation and the work I am doing on myself.
When I came to Spain it was to satisfy and long-time dream to live abroad (specifically in Spain) and speak Spanish and just let life happen. Now that I’ve been here for just over 6 months, I am seeing that the recurring theme or common thread in my experience is self love.
I’ve always been a confident lady. I’ve always known what I liked and who I was and what I believed in and what drove me forward. But when a long-term relationship ends it is normal to feel like you lose a part of yourself as well. As if the loss of love isn’t enough, a piece of your heart goes with it. But after the pain of the loss subsides, you are left with a glorious rediscovery of the self. I fell in love with things I had forgotten about. I picked things back up that I deemed I didn’t have the time for in a committed relationship. I read voraciously, I write daily, I do research on things that interest me to learn and I have time and space for all of it. This personal rediscovery and rebuilding has been the most magical period of time. I am falling in love with myself and falling in love with the process of it all.
One of the many examples of my connection with the earth and universe and my soul is a funny story. In this little village, there are no animals. We don’t have any pets to play with and I really miss the companionship of animals. One day I was really feeling the absence of a furry friend and I thought all day about how fun it would be to have a big dog here to roam around and go on walks with. It consumed my thoughts that day and I kept imagining all the things I would do with a pup. The very next day, a beautiful male boxer wandered into the village from out of nowhere. He had a collar on but there was no name or phone number of an owner. He was so sweet and gentle and playful. I have a strong love for boxers because I happened to be a mother to one for 4 years. So when this dog came into the village, my heart immediately filled with joy and he must have felt it because he attached himself to me. He would say hello to the other people staying in the village and sniff around, but he followed me all day. The owners of the resort spent the day trying to shoo him away, as I snuck him water and food and washed him down with the hose so he didn’t over heat. I gave him snugs and hugs and told him (in Spanish, obviously) how handsome he was and how happy I was he came to the village to see me. We spent the day together doing almost everything I had thought of the day before. It was beautiful and I could feel that he wanted to be around me so strongly. I don’t know how to explain to connection we had. It was so apparent and Paul, the chief of the village, said he wished he could keep him here because he saw how well we got along. But having a large dog in an environment with many families and small children was just not in the stars for Paul. We all went to bed and I kissed my new furry friend goodnight, fully expecting to see him in the morning and press repeat on the whole day. But, to my disappointment, he was gone when I woke up. Just as mysteriously as he came in, he left having satisfied my yearning for a furry friend. We asked a few surrounding neighbors and no one knew of any boxers in the nearby villages or knew of anyone looking for a missing dog.
Call it coincidence, call it random, call it whatever you want to call it…I asked for a dog and one came. And a boxer to amplify the message. It was magical and I couldn’t deny the divine intervention that brought him to me. The manifestation of my desires was met, and that is just one of the hints from the universe that it is listening to me and that I have the power to create things in my world.
I can make things happen, we all can. It’s just a matter of tapping in and trusting and believing that what we think becomes reality. There have been many other examples, but to tell them all to you would make each one lose a bit of magic to me. But know that things are happening and this life is really something spectacular.
This is only the beginning of my journey. I have only scratched the surface of what I want to explore.
Life is beautiful. It is meant to be lived, and baby I am LIVING!!!
Raise your vibration by doing something that reconnects you to the earth and makes you feel alive everyday. Go on a walk, sit in silence on your back porch and listen to everything around you, take trips out of the city, swim, howl at the moon, dance like you’re on fire.
Wake your soul up and allow it to become one with the earth again.
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~Kahlil Gibran