We met in London, England in 2007 where at the time, Anna was living in Wimbledon and managing an interactive television channel for Gala Coral Group which was broadcast on SKY, working around the clock to raise her profile and advance her career.
Olof was living in Earlsfield, working as a Graphic designer in various London design studios, with high ambitions to make it big in the city, working long hours to deliver new websites for the likes of EMI, Newcastle Utd and Chelsea FC.
In the March of 2008 an opportunity presented itself which unbeknown to us at the time, would boost our careers and set us on a journey of many self discoveries. By April of the same year, we had relocated to Gibraltar where Anna started an intensive yet flourishing career with William Hill and Olof set up his own freelance design business.
In the 7 years that followed we have shared many experiences through our travels and the time we have spent together, which would start to shape what is now going to be the next chapter of our lives.
Firstly living as an Expat exposed us to a new way of life, one which is culturally more diversified. Initially it took us out of our comfort zone but it soon taught us the value and importance of friendship and community.
Been based in Gibraltar meant we were lucky enough to have the wonders of Spain on our doorstep and we took advantage of this delight at every available opportunity. We spent countless weekends rambling through the amazing countryside of Andalusia (we quiet literally walked all the way from Ronda to Bolonia), indulging in local cuisine and admiring everything that nature there had to offer. We absolutely fell in love with the rural Spanish lifestyle and it’s hospitable people, we couldn’t get enough. From camping on the Costa de la Luz, B&B’ing in the Alcornocales, Yurting in the Genal Valley to Glamping in Alhaurin el Grande, we started to yearn for a way of live that kept things simple and close to nature.
And then there was Africa, glinting at us everyday over the straights. Yet for somewhere only 14 miles away it really was another world in so many ways. We made several visits to Morocco over the years each of which were enlightening if not emotionally demanding at times. Our exposure to Morocco enhanced our culinary practices, bowled us over with the ambiance of home life and taught us how to adapt to new cultures.
The desire to travel and learn, to understand nature and benefit from nature and expose ourselves to different ways of life and culture become like a drug and over the years we found ourselves in Brazil, America (learning how to build Earthsips “Eco houses”), Argentina, Thailand, Hong Kong, Lebanon, The Azores, Italy, Greece, Croatia, France, Portugal, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. But this wasn’t enough, we could learn and observe, we could talk about our discoveries and how we wanted to start to live our lives but we had days jobs which more often than not were day, night and weekend jobs.
Through our enjoyment of the natural world and food, I guess it makes sense that it wasn’t long before we started to grow our own vegetables. Initially it started as a hobby, but it soon flourished into something more serious, something we started to study. Amazon had a field day delivering books on Permaculture, Square foot gardening, Mushroom Cultivation, Companion Gardening, Biodynamic Farming, the list can go on and on. Olof studied permaculture and gained his PDC. We set up our own Eco club, where we made rocket stoves and tried to brew our own beer and cider. Close friends started to buy us gifts such as solar powered stereo’s, Fruit trees, yoghurt & cheese makers. It wasn’t long before we agreed that we wanted to be self-sustainable, to live in an environmentally sound way, to eat organically and reassess our general well being.
So in turn all of these experience’s have led us to our new conclusion. A goal that we now aim to follow and achieve on our new path.
After 6 years in Gibraltar and a combined 28 years in the western worlds “rat race” we wave goodbye to the rock of Gibraltar and give the fondest of farewells to our family and friends, to hit the road and start our Eco-Quest.