WE ARE GIVING UP ON LIFE IN S’PORE, INSTEAD WE WILL LIVE FREE IN PORTUGAL

My.girlfriend and I are just fed up of the city life. Always working to pay bills. So much haze and so much waste and pollution. After careful consideration and planning we are selling everything and going to Portugal to start a self sustainable community. I have handed my notice at credit suisse and my girlfriend at an international school.

For the price of a car in Singapore we can buy 12 acres of land and grow our own food and be very healthy. We will host volunteers who can eat healthy organic food that is grown on our land and practice yoga and help out on the farm or kitchen.

We first came up with the idea when we were traveling in South America and visited a yoga farm. We felt so recharged while we where there. We ate fresh food that was grown on site and there were no constant distractions from phones, TV cars, adverts and all the usual things you find in a city. We thought that we could live like that. Of course this was more of a dream than a plan.

When we got back to Singapore we started growing our own food on the rooftop, lots of herbs, potatoes, tomatoes, okra and some spices. Growing your own food is so rewarding and the passion to grow our own food grew more and more. Then in 2013 we went to a yoga retreat in Bali and we got that same feeling again of starting are own farm or a yoga retreat. We talked about our ideas with some of the other people there. Later in 2013 one of the guys we met at the yoga retreat in Bali send me a message saying he was at a yoga community and eco farm in Portugal and it was very similar to what we had discussed so he thought i should come and join him and check it out. So i quickly booked some leave and flew over.

I fell in love with their life style and fell in love with Portugal. Of course you cant run an eco farm in Singapore due to high cost of living, i feel this place is built for everyone to make money and feed the economy rather than be happy and connected with nature.For the price of a car in Singapore, we can buy land big enough to fit the largest HDB complex in Singapore and own it with no debt. If we can grow our food and create our own energy we don’t needs so much money to get by, we will have less stress, healthier food, more sleep and be more connected with nature. So when I got home, I researched Portugal and found it to be cheap and with the current economic crisis there, they are open to anyone who wants to come and invest money. Portugal also has good weather for growing food and living an out door life. Over the past two years we have been planning our yoga farm and community and uping our skills on sustainable building, healthy cooking and teaching yoga. Its actually due to our plans in Portugal that we have met so many like minded people in Singapore, i just wished we met them all earlier. There are various FB forums full of people who share knowledge on how to grow food at home

The biggest difficulty has actually been selling all our belongings and knowing when the best time to switch our money from SGD to EUR, watching the SGD go down has been very painful. Also learning Portuguese while planning the big move, selling our belongings and working our day jobs takes everything out of you.It will cost too much to post all our stuff to Portugal so we are selling it all, everyone wants to negotiate the prices of our stuff down to very low prices.

In the past when i have had some crazy idea like to go travelling or move to another country, usually most of my friends and family say its a stupid idea and i should work and save money. But this time with this idea, we have had nothing but encouragement from everyone we speak to. I feel that a lot of people are feeling the stresses of city life, frustrated with the Haze and the high cost for healthy organic food, so i hope these people will visit us too. The concept of our community is that everything from the building, cooking, farming and art work will be done by volunteers who want to take a holiday or long term break to de-stress and connect with nature. Even my boss gave me encouragement when I gave my latter of resignation.

We are launching our website just next week, it will be very basic just like our farm and be there just to send people updates on progress, We will be literally be buying a field and then building everything from scratch, a lake, eco buildings, the farm so we will be living in very basic accommodation until its built up.

Laurence & Kimbo
A.S.S. Contributor

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