Once we had a dream to live a life in two different countries. Let’s stay the summers in Amsterdam and the winters in a warm country. Let’s live a life where we have the best of both worlds. I always had trouble picturing this, how do we manage such a life when we have a family? How can we run a yoga retreat center and be in the Netherlands for half of the year? Once again, it shows that the universe gives you what you need. With a twin on the way we realize we can not do this on our own, we need the support and help of our family. So this year we give it a go, living a life in two different worlds.
What is home?
As I am writing this it is cold, rainy and cloudy outside, the typical Dutch weather. I am in my old room where I grew up, the attic of my parents house in The Netherlands. The house I left 15 years ago to live my own life and live and my own adventures. The place where I had a happy childhood, a place where I felt safe and secure and it still feels like that. I still feel that little girl that is taken care of. Things do have changed. I’m living here with my husband, son and 2 girls in my belly. I feel gigantic, I feel like a stranded walrus that has trouble moving back to the ocean. A confused one, what is home for me? At land where I feel safe, comfortable and where there is always enough air to breath or the ocean where I can move freely, adventurous, not knowing if I will be on time to catch my breath. 2 worlds, 2 lifes, both their beauty and their struggles. Can we have the best of both worlds or do we always feel like we are missing something in one or the other? Let’s take a peak in both of these worlds.
A typical day at Eden
Around 5 o’clock I wake up at Eden as it is already starting to get light outside. Our son Jay is waking up as well, Remy is playing with him and I go for my morning swim. As I walk to the pool our two dogs Milo and Jacko and our two cats come and greet me with cuddles. The garden smells so fresh as it has rained the night before. The typical rainy season is rainy in the night, sunny during the day. After my swim Remy tells me commercial flights got postponed again and that our retreat guests need to postpone their arrival. This is a familiar story since the start of the pandemic. Nicaragua is going to a difficult crisis again. After the political crisis in 2018, the time when we started Eden, Nicaragua was just starting to get back on his feet again. There was a waiting list for people to join our yoga retreats. For a few months we got to experience Eden how we imagined it would be. Since Covid-19, tourism got a massive hit again.
Dealing with the pandemic
Since Covid-19 started we decided to use this time to develop a new yoga retreat where people get a chance to grow as a person. Most people know how to relax on a yoga retreat, most people go home with new motivation and new intentions to get into new habits, but when they go home they fall into their old patterns. What if we could help people get conscious of their own unconscious patterns and help people act on their own vision of life. To develop this personal growth retreat, Remy and I do a lot of self work ourselves. We do multiple courses on personal growth. I really enjoy this process of getting to know myself better and working on our life vision. This is how I continue my day. After my yoga session, I get into one of the cabanas, open my doors so I can still see the ocean and start to study and write. On other days I continue to train our staff as Eden needs to know how to stand on her own legs.
The bubble of Eden
We have been living at Eden in our own bubble. We were struggling businesswise, having hardly any guests, but other than that Covid-19 didn’t affect us as much. We mostly live outdoors, breathing fresh air, restaurants are still open and the government doesn’t give any restrictions. People do take their own initiative by wearing masks when entering an indoor public space, but we still have the freedom to go wherever we want.
Life in The Netherlands
Arriving in the Netherlands we immediately feel the warmth and support of our family. Jay is crazy about his grandma and grandpa. It makes me realize how much overflow of love we feel here and how much it is worth we are not alone anymore. This is the reason why we visit home regularly to see our friends and family and stay connected with them. So here we are, back at my parents house. I am enjoying the comfort. I can admit to my weirdest cravings, I can go to the supermarket where literally everything is available in what I feel like. I can go on the internet, buy my pregnancy clothing and the next day it arrives at my house. I suddenly feel the urge to wear makeup and make sure I look nice. I don’t have to be alert that Jay is playing with a scorpion and on every corner of the street there is a playground for him. As much as I enjoy all this, I am very aware that it is harder to live healthy, harder to live in harmony with nature and harder to stay true to myself. There is always a feeling of needing to do things to be happy. As there is more, you want more! And especially when so many things are starting to close and there are more and more restrictions, Covid-19 affects us a lot in our daily life.
Seeing the best in both worlds
Are we frustrated? Yes, I meditate, do yoga every day, but yes I struggle to acknowledge and be friends with this frustration. We have so many cool ideas for Eden, we have a clear vision on how we see Eden to be the best yoga retreat center in Nicaragua. We are even working on planning our first yoga teacher training next year! The universe is giving us hard lessons in accepting and patience. On the other hand I am also proud of ourselves that we are making the best out of this situation. Eden has never been so beautiful. For the first time Eden stands on her own legs, this gives us the freedom to spend even more time with our family. I am curious how we will look back on this period in 3 years. We can not tell at this moment if this is the best or worst thing that happened to Eden, so there is no use to label this as good or bad. Now we have time to develop ourselves and our yoga retreats. We can give all our attention to expanding our family in the best way possible, with the love and support of our family back home. Although the frustration is still there, maybe we are already experiencing the best of both worlds. The universe is giving us exactly what we need.
*Blog written by Kelly de Beer*