New Year, New Goals 18.02.2022
New Year, New Goals 18.02.2022
Year 2022 has finally arrived. It seems like yesterday that I was dreaming about starting the project and building a tiny house, and suddenly the year has turned. As many people, I took this time to reminiscence about the past and plan for the future.
The project is still going very well. Sometimes I'm fully booked 7-10 days in advance., which makes me very happy, because when I started the TPA, I definitely didn’t expect that I would get such a positive response so quickly. January was very quiet for me personally. Even here, in the south of Spain, the days and nights can get quite cold. In the beginning I wasn’t sure if the chimney was really necessary, but after this winter I’m absolutely convinced that the decision to install it was the right one. The relatively long evenings spent sitting by the fire with a cup of hot tea gave me a change to reflect on the past months and set new goals for myself, which I will reveal in due time. Meanwhile, the nature keeps impressing me – here, in the south of Spain it’s already springtime. The rains have made greened the hills with grass and clover and the almond trees bloomed and so many other yellow and purple blossoms, creating a picturesque landscape like a stunning watercolour painting. During our long walks, Baloo and I are always discovering new things and chase an occasional butterfly. Unfortunately, the search for sponsors has so far been rather "semi" successful. The monthly fixed costs are higher than regular donations, but I am very grateful for the generosity of many of my clients. In order to be able to sustain the project as long as possible I have decided to suspend travelling and stay in the region of Murcia until further notice. When the time comes, I will keep you posted about where I will go to next. After this, slightly longer than expected stop, "The Traveling Psychology Advisor" will definitely go back to traveling. The goal now is to permanently finance the project from my own means. In order to achieve this, I will gradually build up a secondary income, which in the long term will enable me to keep the project alive. In the meantime, the project continues but in a limited timeframe. After a short break at the beginning of March, I will still offer the possibility of online consultations from Monday to Friday. The time frame for this will generally be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (small deviations possible). In-person appointments will continue to be arranged individually and mainly take place on the weekends. I would like to thank all clients who have already trusted me with their thoughts and with whom we have started a journey of personal development. I’m looking forward to many more future meetings, during which we can work together on finding solutions that will further increase their well-being. For the time staying in the region of Murcia will be no more monthly travel diaries, but I will regularly publish new stories about the project here. I wish you all the best, take very good care of yourselves. Jens
Feliz Navidad 18.12.2021
Feliz Navidad 18.12.2021
It’s been over a month since I arrived in southeastern Spanish province of Murcia, close to Cartagena and it seems like instead of continuing the trip, I‘ll be staying around here indefinitely.
During the past weeks I have visited cities like Murcia, Cartagena and Almeria, but also little towns of Aguilas, Mazarron and Lorca. I’ve also met many interesting people and discovered beautiful areas. Even though I chose to have Cartagena as a base, I spent a couple of days in Sevilla to attend an important sponsorship meeting. With a bit of luck this sponsorship could provide 2-3 months long financial support for the project – but only time will tell what happens. I only spent two days in Sevilla, but it made a good impression on me: beautiful architecture, nice atmosphere, friendly locals, and great vegan restaurants. Still, it’s a big city, which is fine for a weekend trip or a city break, but far too hectic and stressful for me. The project isn’t losing popularity and the demand for online sessions is high as ever. I try to promote it as much as possible both in person and online. Here, I’d like to thank Lars, who is on the road with ‘Van Vagabund‘ and has created a great short video about the TPA. Check it out on his YouTube channel! Big thanks also go to Ivan who interviewed me for ‘Trustroots‘ website and posted an article about the TPA on their blog. Christmas is getting closer and closer – and it’s an important time also here in Spain. Christmas markets, decorations and people dressed up as Santa, Three Kings and other Christmas characters are everywhere. At the same time, flowers are also starting to bloom, and the orange and mandarin harvest is in full swing at temperatures around 18-20 degrees. A bit unusual for me, but I can’t complain. On a personal level I’m feeling more and more need for rest. The special time of the year, germanic “Rauhnächte” are coming. It’s time to let the events of the year gone by sink in, a time for reflection and preparation for the new. The year 2021 was full of change and rapid development. It always surprises me to see the infinite possibilities that open right in front of us. I would like to encourage every reader to make their own dreams come true: be brave and take the next step. Of course, it’s not always easy, but it’s worth getting up every day and moving on towards the brighter future. At the beginning of this year, when the project was still in the planning phase I would have never imagined how it develops. This just goes on to show that once you set off on your path, new people and situations will keep appearing again and again, bringing on the change and showing new pathways. It’s just a matter of staying flexible and taking it one step at a time. I wish you and your loved ones a quiet, beautiful, and relaxing Christmas season. May the New Year 2022 bring you nothing but health and happiness! Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo! Slowing down 18.11.2021 Slowing down 18.11.2021
Despite many beautiful moments, one thing quickly became apparent: Nomad life is sometimes very stressful. In addition to the work related to my project I also need to search for parking - and that, surprisingly, takes up a lot of time. "Where can I get fresh water quickly and easily?" "Where is the nearest place I can dispose of my greywater?" "Are there any supermarkets nearby?" "Is there enough space to go for a walk with Baloo?" I need to ask myself those and other questions every single week. Contrary to what it seems, finding the right spot to park takes up a lot of time and energy, so I decided that from now on, I'll spend more time in places that meet my criteria. And thanks to the beautiful weather it wasn't too difficult - after all I was moving further towards the south of Spain.
My first longer term spot was in Denia - a hotspot for expats and vacationers. I stayed at a beautiful, green public car park, very close to the beach. An additional plus was that the parking spot was close to a busy restaurant and very near to the city centre - which means that my project drew a lot of attention. For the first couple of days the only thing that I could complain about was the weather. The storm turned the parking lot into a shallow pool that would be a dream come true for every kid. There was absolutely no way to stay dry - or, in fact, keep Baloo's paws from getting muddy. Thankfully, the trusted weather radar app promised that the almost tropical rainfall will end quickly (and so it did). I forgot all about the near flooding experience already two days later, when the sun was shining brightly, and it was easy to go for a walk with Baloo at the beach again. The TPA project continues to be well received. In September and October, I had around 100 consultations. Most of them online, but thanks to the fact that Denia was such an international place, there were also some in-person meetings. During my stay I met many nice and interesting people, was able to enjoy delicious food and also get to know Denia and the surrounding area, which has a lot to offer. The castle in Denia is definitely worth a visit, as is the thermal spring "Font Salada", the cliffs around Javea, the impressive stalactite caves or the endless hiking trails in the mountains. After two very productive weeks I felt it was the time to move on. The parking lot was closed down by the local authorities, so I switched to another parking space for two days, but it wasn't as nice as the previous one. That's the main reason I decided to move on, but I have very fond memories of Denia and I will definitely visit it again in the future. Next stop was between Torrevieja and Elche. By a total coincidence I found a great spot to park. It was a private land owned by Michael, who's making some of his property available for travellers. A city of Elche was an incredible, positive surprise. It caught my eye because of a big, beautiful palmtree garden and I thought that would be it, but it turned out that the old town was also gorgeous and inviting. The hiking and trekking paths around Elche are also worth mentioning, because nature has a lot to offer there. Elche, a place with a very positive atmosphere, will definitely see me again in the future too. I had to cut my time at Michael's place short because of a consultation request that came in from the area of Cartagena. Thanks to that, I discovered "Espacio Finca Alegria": a splendid, quiet place in the middle of sun burnt fields and olive groves. While working on the project and giving personal and online sessions, I also had time to check out the historic area of Cartagena and its surroundings. One of the particularly beautiful places is the Calblanque National Park. I will stay here for at least another week before moving on to Almeria and Malaga. The urge to travel quickly, which I initially felt, has gradually vanished. After all, with 23° Celsius, blue skies and long sunny days every single day, one can comfortably stay in one place in November, right?! I'm not entirely sure about the answer myself, but I know I'll figure out the right way. I know that I enjoy the quiet, rural parking spaces much more, where I have the peace and quiet to focus on online sessions. On the other hand, in larger cities (50,000 - X) the need for the project is larger. So from now on I will try to find a good middle ground. Stay happy and speak to you later, Jens Simply a great time! 18.10.2021 Simply a great time! 18.10.2021
Saint Pierre la Mer: this place completely fascinated me. I found a motorhome area set on the edge of a National Park, with access to fresh water and public toilets and shops within easy reach. The spot was basically directly at the beach, but very quiet. It was a perfect place for me to continue developing my project and relax at the same time.
And while Baloo and I enjoyed the long, daily walks at the beach and in the natural park, my project started gaining momentum and the demand for online consultations increased. Initially I wasn’t sure if Zoom sessions was a good idea, but it turned out to be a real hit. Only in September I had 50 consultations, and some of the Clients continue meeting me weekly. At the same time, I was also giving the in-person sessions and, of course, chatting to people interested in my project (and there were many!) I am very happy about this development and the great response that I have received. It is a great motivation and a proof that there’s a great need for free psychological advice. I ended up spending two weeks in Saint Pierre la Mer, setting up a small routine of visiting local market first thing every morning to buy fresh fruits and veggies and a bakery for freshly baked bread. Towards the end of my stay, as it got closer to October, it got very windy, and the construction of the trailer seemed to fly like a ship in stormy waters. It was clearly a sign to move on. There was also a huge forest fire only few kilometers away, but fortunately, the region was well prepared to deal with it using small fire-fighting planes that doused the flames with extinguishing powder. It seemed that both the fire brigades and the police had the situation under control in every moment, but despite that, approximately over 10 hectares of forest were destroyed. After this, I was ready to go on with my journey and I started driving south, making a small stopover in Barcelona. I parked my truck on the idyllic, beautiful, and somewhat secluded campsite "El Vedado" and used it as a base to explore the city. What struck me the most was the beautiful architecture, happy people and the vegan “food spots”, especially “ Blu bar” with its excellent burgers and pizzas. One thing for sure: I had a very tasty stay. As much as I appreciated that LGBT-friendly place, I realized once more that big cities are simply no longer for me and I don’t need more than two or three days of sightseeing to get tired of them. The next destination was a jewel hidden in the middle of Priorat wine country, a little town called Falset, which I discovered thanks to an invitation from Silvia and Sophia. They have found their dream location and future home here, setting up a space of empowerment and creative expression called "Finca Adelante" (Insta: finca.adelante). Finca Adelante is a cute little house in the middle of the mountains on the edge of Falset. We spent some time together, exchanging views and having interesting conversations. In addition to incredible sunsets in the mountainous landscape, the place had other surprises to offer. I entered a bar "El Secret", set in a small alley. It turned out to be a very cozy restaurant – and 100% vegan! The restaurant and her lovely owner, Nuri, completely captured my heart. Not only because of completely homemade food but also because of olives and other local, fresh and organic produce that were simply delicious. After three wonderful evenings, 5 kg of delicious olives and two bottles of red wine (thanks for your gifts!) it was time to say goodbye. During this time I met a very interesting and nice person: Thomas aka "pilgrimanto" and his dog Rimu. The two have been wandering around Europe for over three years: they started in Hamburg and have walked about 5,000 km so far. We had a small dinner at El Secret and exchanged ideas about possibilities and life. What a great person to meet! I spent about 5 days in Falset and finally it was time to move on again. After about two hours of driving along the river Ebre, Baloo and I reached the famous "Delta del Ebre". A beautiful nature reserve with numerous species of birds (flamingos, storks, etc.), extensive beaches, rice fields and more mosquitos than one could count. We spent a few days here and enjoyed the paella con verduras, made of the locally grown rice. Thanks to good parking facilities and well-functioning mobile data I could give sessions straight from the beach, so I couldn’t have asked for a better setting, but in the end there were just too many mosquitoes, so I decided to keep moving along the coast to the L'Albufeira National Park, south of Valencia. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite play along this time. There were actually a few rainy days, so I decided to do small foodie trip to Valencia. Unfortunately, the vegan spots couldn't match up to the level of Blu Bar or El Secret. Since it’s forbidden to stay at L’Albufeira overnight, I travelled to the town of Cullera yesterday and I’m planning to stay here for a few days before continuing to Denia. After these four eventful weeks, I remember not only the great vegan food, but also the wonderful encounters and the beautiful natural landscapes of Spain. Of course, I give sessions from Monday to Saturday, between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and promote the project at the same time (which is quite a task in itself). I hope this post didn’t give you an impression that it’s forgotten. The encounters, adventure and beautiful times matter to me much less than the well-being of the project – and I will continue working on it extensively. Excuse me now, I will once again take a little walk at the beach with Baloo, because my loving, playful and cuddly companion won’t forgive me if I don’t spend enough time with him. Be happy and speak to you soon, Jens On the road - lost in nature and among the vineyards 18.09.2021 On the road - lost in nature and among the vineyards 18.09.2021
The first 4 weeks of my travels passed by like a lightning. After visiting Katja and my sister (greetings to both of you!) in and around Frankfurt, I picked up Eric, thefounder of an NGO called Youth Leader at the train station to head towards the French border. Of course, as rules dictate, we made a quick stopover right in front of the border to get tested. We stayed at St. Ingbert in Saarland and it was definitely worth it. I recommend the “Parkplatz am Blau” to all travel enthusiasts who are looking for a free, quiet and beautiful parking space to spend a night or two in the countryside. Travelling for many hours is a bit stressful, so we weren't very motivated to cook. We chose to walk Baloo through the very friendly and very green neighborhood, until we reached a pizzeria that was recommended to us. It was called "Piccobello Pizzeria" and it's totally recommendable. It's not every daythat you find such a great vegan pizza - and it's for takeaway too! The next morning we continued the trip towards Grandrupt-de-Bains, where we planned to spend the first week. I chose this place via Workaway on purpose, because I really needed somewhere quiet to stay for the first few days and clear my head. Maria and her family gave us an incredibly warm welcome and in the end the one week turned into two. The place, which is in the middle of nowhere, or rather, in the midst of incredible natural landscapes with as much peace and quiet as you wish and hardly any Internet. Exactly the right thing if you really want to relax. During my stay, we all worked together, fixing up bits and pieces around the old farmhouse, Baloo enjoyed long walks to the small fishing lakes and in the evenings we all sat around the table to share good company and good food. Traditional Belgian waffles over the campfire were of course a must - what a delicious experience! Magda, who had previously spent a few days in Vienna and Budapest, joined our small travel group for the last few days of our stay. So in the end our caravan in Grandrupt-de-Bains included 2 campers, 3 people, 3 dogs and 1 cat. This did not last long, however, as Eric decided to make a detour to Sarajevo, so he left us at the train station in Macon while Magda and I drove on. For all travelers: I recommend the “Park4night” & “stayfree” apps, as we used them to find beautiful and mostly free parking spots to stay. So we ended up about 20 km from Lyon at a small vineyard. The further south I went, the warmer the weather became, which makes sense, considering that we were slowly reaching the Mediterranean coast. But we decided to take it slow and spend four days at the "Chateau Maucoil". We found this vineyard via the app as well - and iteven featured a swimming pool! Of course there was also a wine tasting, but unfortunately there were no sweet wines on offer (to everyone who has already shared a glass of wine with me: you know what I mean). During this time I focused on my project completely - and with very good results. In addition to starting giving online consultations (which are still going strong right now), I have also been contacted by several people in Spain and Portugal, which make me feel very optimistic about the future of my project. Unfortunately, nothing new has come up in the area of the “search for sponsors” - but I still feel much more optimistic and of course, the search is ongoing. After the quiet time at the vineyard it was almost the time to get close to the coast. A lovely new friend, Desi, has kindly offered me a place to park and has helped me with absolutely everything during the 3 days we stayed with him (Thanks so much Desi!). Desi is a social worker, working with the homeless and youth in the region of Aimargues. From Desi's place we have finally reached the coast, setting up at a camper park on the beach between Sete and Agde. The online consultations are becoming very popular, so I keep busy with the project and long walks with Baloo on the endless sandy beaches. Soon, we'll be on our way to Spain. Keep healthy and till the next time! See you,
Preparations completed - we are finally starting! 18.08.2021 Preparations completed - we are finally starting! 18.08.2021
Earlier this year I was looking for a parking space in Hannover, in a Facebook group to complete my project – and suddenly, it was June, and I was parked on the grounds of “Transition Town Hannover” in Burgweg. Transition Town is a hub hosting twelve social, cultural and sustainable projects (including “Sufi.ZEN” and “Enclave Hannover”) - and also “The TPA”.
I moved into my tiny house at the end of May but getting used to it didn’t take long for me and my Briard puppy, Baloo. Each day we felt more and more at home, until our everyday life settled into a comfortable routine. The months since moving to Transition Town flew by as I was tying up all the loose knots before leaving Germany and implementing the first phase of my project. My BA thesis had to be finished and handed in, I had to prepare a presentation about it for the oral part of the exam – and of course, deregistration from Germany had to be completed at the end of July. This deserves a very special mention, since it turned into a full-time project on its own: endless string of paperwork, organising official appointments and coordinating between different offices: that’s bureaucracy at its best. In addition to that, I kept working on my tiny house and making sure that my social project was off to a good start. My website and Instagram account went online, my truck was painted and wrapped in foil and signage (many, many thanks to great friends who gave it to me as a farewell gift). And so the first consulting requests started coming in. At the end of July, something completely unexpected happened. By total coincidence (thanks Sina!) I was suddenly sitting on a train to Berlin, on my way to meet Eric, the Director of Youth Leader (www.youth-leader.org). We exchanged ideas about our respective projects and plans, discussed vision for the future and suddenly I became a part of his organisation. The collaboration between “The TPA” and “Youth Leader” became official, and I turned also into a “magical coach” for people who want to change the world in a positive and sustainable way. All of it is hard even for me to believe – and life had more surprises in store! My project has drawn the attention of the local media: both the Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) and the TV station Sat1 Regional contacted me and prepared reports about my unusual plans and lifestyle. I’m very happy with the result of our brief collaboration - thanks so much to the teams for such positive feedback. The project is now in full swing, people reach out to me for consultations and the search for sponsors is ongoing. Since that last part is a little slow at the moment, a friend of mine (thanks Aimee) started a crowdfunding campaign to make sure the TPA keeps growing strong! At this point I would like to thank my family, friends and acquaintances and everyone else who tirelessly supported me during this exciting time and who always believed in me. Without your strength and faith in me, I would not have made it. Now I am very much looking forward to the future and hope that this project will stay alive for a long time and bring good things to many people. Read more about me in this article in Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung and check out the report from Sat1 Regional. And if you feel called to, support me at Gofundme and share it with your friends.