Finding Sunshine in Portugal

Winter 2021 | Finding Inspiration


For me, 2020 felt like a big slap in the face! A huge wake up call that has never ended and continues to surprise, alarm and delight me every day. Finding inspiration has never been easier because it feels like now is the time to pay attention to EVERYTHING!

I have never been overly interested in the news and politics, I always had a sense it lacked truth as I watched the world go round and round in argumentative circles in order to entertain and distract the masses. All the while doing abominable things to the human race and our planet whilst we look the other way. That was until I started paying attention due to the huge changes we have been subjected to this year. I won’t talk about this too much as we all have our own feelings about what is happening, but I will say that it woke me up and shook me up.

With that in mind I knew I really needed to start thinking for myself and not presuming that people in power have our best interest at heart or that anyone is going to save us. It has been obvious this year, whatever you believe, that a few extremely rich and powerful people are controlling everything we consume mentally and physically and the human race is a giant science experiment. So how can we take back our power, how can we change anything?

During the spring lockdown in the UK all I kept thinking was that if I was just able to see the sea and feel sand under my toes I would be ok and I would know what to do. So as autumn came and the media starting ramping up the misery, myself and my husband decided to purchase an old caravan from a jolly Irish gypsy, complete with a few bullet holes in the side. It also had a Jim Morrison poster from the 90’s which I took as a good sign as my best friend Gemma and I used to listen to ‘The Doors’ continuously throughout our hilarious teenage years.

We ripped out the interior and within 10 days had refurbed the whole thing, complete with LED lights and a new kitchen. We threw our life inside, strapped the kids up and raced to catch a ferry to Spain. The wheel of the old gypsy caravan fell off on the way threatening to foil our plan, but we made it by the skin of our teeth and boarded our ship for the first leg of our escape lock down adventure! Once on board we met our friends who own Tee and Toast Glamping, also with a caravan and 2 kids in tow, high fived and headed to the bar! We felt like bandits on the run as we watched the UK disappear behind the foam and froth.

I’m not going to deceive you and say it was all sunshine and lollipops from then on. Caravanning with 2 little boys with endless energy and massive personalities was hard. As we travelled down through Spain and into Portugal, camping along the way, it became clear that the Wroath’s neither fit in a caravan nor enjoyed it much!

After a few stormy nights, a lot of thick mud, power cuts and no sleep we started to regret our gung-ho escape plan. I knew we were in trouble when my ex military husband turned to me miserably in our tiny bed and said that he felt more at home at war than he did in a caravan. Now, my husband can endure a lot, he’s directed 5 festivals, one in the middle of pandemic! But caravanning with our children took him to a place he’d never been and I decided for the sake of our sanity to put our tiny home on Market Place the next morning. We sold it the same day for nearly 4 times what we’d paid for it due to its boutique shabby chic. I’d like to add that it NEVER looked like it did in those dreamy and beautiful photos I used to entice our buyers, when we were inside it was akin to a war bunker in the trenches.

We were now free of our cumbersome mobile home, the sun came out and we found a lovely Airbnb on the side of a hill overlooking a stunning beach in the Algarve. Things started to feel a bit more like we’d imagined it and we started to hatch a plan of how to stay in this glorious country.

First up, to create the headspace needed for feeling inspired and motivated we had to find school for the boys. The caravan adventure was our second time trying to homeschool (the first on a deserted beach in Panama.) For the second time I realised that my boys need so much more than just us and our marriage was at risk if we didn’t all get some time apart! So we enrolled both boys at school in the Algarve and Roman and I could finally breathe.

After dropping the boys off on their first day, we high fived with utter joy for the 2nd time on this escape adventure. The sun was shining and the sea beckoned. I left Roman drinking a coffee and catching up with emails on the beach and I grabbed my board. As I paddled out I was directly under the suns rays reflecting off the sea and the water looked like it had a million diamonds shimmering on the surface. For the first time on this trip I caught a clean wave that didn’t feel like it was trying to kill me and I surfed it into the white Sandy beach. I had turquoise water all around me and sand under my toes and I thanked the universe for this moment and all moments that had lead me to this wonderful place.

As with all transitions and transformations, it was painful at times. But in my experience it’s always worth the discomfort when you arrive on the other side.

We are not immune from the pandemic over here, there are still twists and turns of lock downs and changes. But there’s sunshine, beaches and we can’t understand the Portuguese news so we’re removed from all the drama. We are able to focus on creating the future we want to see rather than being sucked into a timeline that is manipulated by power, greed and money.

And as long as I have my family, my surf board and my laptop to work from I can keep feeling inspired no matter what.