I just wanted to write a little post to say thank you to ALL the people who we met as a family along the way doing Parent Tribe online and also on our adventure in Portugal. Parent Tribe has been such a bloody amazing project that took us on a journey when we were trying to break away and make a different life for our family. So many inspiring things came our way through this project and what a journey we had!

From connecting online with inspiring families, to then going on our own adventure to live off grid in rural Portugal for almost 2 years and buy our own piece of land, these were things we had never dreamed that we could or would do – totally mind blowing all of it!

The experience in Portugal was life changing in many ways. It was so tough yet so freeing. I was pushed to my limits yet it made me feel truly alive! It made me realise what is important and what you can let go of if you need to. It taught me how to live in accordance with nature and to trust in the universe and the flow of life. I met some hard core inspiring people. It gave me a real inner strength.

Since we moved back temporarily last July and had plans to go back with more money to build our dream retreat, we realised actually how much we love home in The Lake District. We love the hills and English countryside, we love being near family and having running hot water again, we like life being a bit easier whilst having young kids. And for various personal reasons have decided to stay for the for seeable future and get our boys settled after a few years with lots of change and uncertainty. Although uncertainty and learning to flow with change is certainly one of the secrets to life, definitely character building, we feel that helping our boys settle into somewhere they can grow up and make childhood friends is important right now.

I have needed a few months offline to process this change of direction. I was scared people would think we’d failed on our dream, given up or such like. I guess I felt a little bit like we’d failed, even though we’ve gained so much more. I needed time to think about it and feel into what it was I really wanted. I have realised that it’s ok to move forward and let things go, maybe not forever but for now. And it doesn’t matter what others think, I think having time offline a bit has helped me realise this too. Change is good and going with what feels right at the time. As I have mentioned before I haven’t always felt this way, I used to struggle with change, so now I am proud of myself that I can easily flow and change direction in life when needed and without much anxiety.

I know I haven’t finished with our Quinta in Portugal yet, but I cannot say what the future holds there. And we have good people looking after it and can visit when we want which is such a blessing. Right now I feel rooted here and am happy to see my kids thriving in this environment that is my home. It’s lovely to see them with old friends and family, little buddies with some of my school friends kids and my eldest on the same football team as he was when he was 5. These roots are something you can’t replace and in Portugal it was difficult to recreate in the end unfortunately. It’s also lovely to have time with them, to join in all the groups and explore nature with them, not always be torn between my design business, working the land, running a family group, setting up a family retreat, flower essences etc (whilst in the hot sun and without proper running water and no financial security or family help) – it was too much. I took on too much and I know it now looking back. Such a great experience though I will never ever forget.

I want to say to the people we met and befriended living in the Penamacor area or who came to visit our family group – Thank you.

Thank you for inviting us into your homes, inspiring us and giving us advice.
Thank you for teaching us new things, how to live off grid, how to get solar installed, harvest olives, link a well to a house, make fermented food, grow veg, the list goes on…..
Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.
Thank you for being like family or old friends when we didn’t have any there.
Thank you for putting up with our tardiness.
Thank you for the laughs and fun days out.
Thank you for listening to us on bad days.
Sorry if we let some of you down. We were stressed and stretched a lot of the time.
You were all so inspiring and I’m sure we’ll see many of you again. We made some great friends I hope to always keep in touch with and hope to connect with Penamacor peeps when we return to our place sometime in the future. ♥

I am writing this as I am stepping back from Parent Tribe. It’s something that served us as a family and my creative needs for a long time, but now I feel my energy is flowing to other things, something that is more a personal project than a family one. The family one was ace but now I want to give my kids more privacy online and move forward with things that are in my heart. I’m working more on my flower essences business which you can check out at HattiBurt.com and my design work over at Creative Soul! 

What a fucking adventure we had – still many more to come!

I am going to keep my emails open and if anyone wants any advice on moving off grid or to Portugal do get in touch and I will reply if/when I can. I don’t discourage it. It was an amazing life changing adventure that if your heart yearns for you need to go for it. It can work for many, it didn’t for us this time but maybe one day we can make it happen again. And maybe you can too! Always follow your heart and your dreams. Peace out x