I am utterly in love with Madeira and its glorious nature. I have spent years living in towns and cities. I was also lucky to live close to nature and travel to more remote parts of the world where you can really enjoy the outdoors.
I felt like I’m touching the sky in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. I watched the waves high enough to make me realise how small and weak I am. But those were moments.
Yet, hardly any other country gave me that permanent feeling. Like I am truly a part of the ecosystem. And so is everyone around me, on a broader scale.
I didn’t put my finger on it just yet. But in Madeira, it feels more like we are here, by Nature’s permission. And this permission was granted. So, as grateful visitors, we furnish our tiny apartment but won’t be stepping with the muddy boots into the owner’s house.
And in return, we receive peace.
It reminded me of how we are supposed to live.
Maybe that’s why this small part of the world has been treated lightly in the last year, and people’s lives are not affected as much as elsewhere. It’s like Mother Nature is rewarding its most appreciative children.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a development in Madeira.
Hotels and apartment are being built, people use shopping galleries, and bathing complexes are built around the natural swimming pools. Yet, it feels very much non-invasive. And there is this feeling of utter respect and love for this island.
Houses blend into the mountain slopes with no skyscrapers but rather farms, vegetable gardens and sun patios. Homestays, guest houses and small hotels are the most popular way of tourist accommodation. Most beaches are natural, sometimes in the form of natural pools with few facilities around. And again, nothing too invasive.
Maybe it’s because of the time I’m travelling, with fewer tourists to be seen. But I doubt it’s very much different otherwise.
Local people hike, take morning walks, go fishing and walk the promenades. They really enjoy the outdoors. They speak proudly about their country and are incredibly friendly and respectful. I just love it here!
Thus, coming back to the title of this Weekly Bite.
The way we live.
Yes, these days often in lockdown, confinement, frustrated, anxious and tired. Yet, let’s see slightly beyond that. How often do we really cultivate our culture, appreciate what Mother Nature gifted us and look beyond our nose when trying to improve the comfort of our life.
We are so consumed by the everyday struggle of work, commute, social media, TV, creating success, showing the world how amazing our life is. We forget that we are just visitors here.
That’s why I like going to the mountains. Going up there, reminds me of how insignificant my life is in the grand perspective. And I am grateful for the chance I have been given. To see it, and to feel it.
I walk down the town and watch people here. Watering their plans, sitting on the patio with their friends or family, taking Poncha in the afternoon at the local bar. I’m sure they have their worries, family issues, financial struggles and many more. Yet, they seem to be more at peace with what’s around them. Maybe it’s easier when you live in a magnificent place like this.
Perhaps it’s our choice. The way we live.