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  • Writer's pictureNadine Almer

Day 201 - 216: Farewell Moville

25.7. - 10.8.2021

I spend nearly six weeks here in this small bubble, called Moville. Yet, as always, it still is hard to turn my back and leave this place behind. After the difficulties of adjusting in the beginning, I had the last one and a half weeks to think about what the stay here has given me. In essence three categories come to mind. First there is the part of my experiences, including my tasks of work and the adventures I had by and on Lough Foyle as well as on the landmass of the peninsula called Inishowen (which means Island of Owen). Secondly things I will miss, always more present in the face of the nearing departure ahead. Lastly, and probably the category that will shape me the most in the future, is what I gained during my time here, what I will take with me, be it in my heart or my soul or even as simple as a newfound passion, daily routines or habits.

As I have shown in my Video Log #6 (Part 1) and wrote about in my last blog article, the daily routine here consisted of a five day working week, with the weekends off. I would start at nine in the morning with feeding the animals and then would do whatever was requested of me. Mostly this meant helping cleaning in the Boutique Hostel and Apartments, planting hedges, weeding, raking and finely preparing the soil in the orchard, ready to be sown with seeds. On one occasion, Meghan, my co-WWOOFer for the past two weeks, and I organised a reception with a small buffet, drinks and decorations.

So, I did not really learn a lot from a farming point of view, nonetheless I came to enjoy the simplicity of the tasks and was able to focus my mind instead on Zen meditation or audiobooks while working. Which was in and of itself a very different experience to my previous WWOOFing experiences. I lived in a very different way of life here when compared to previous stays. Everyone has their own schedule and at first, having experienced nothing like it before, I felt a little lost and overlooked as most of the days I was totally isolated within my workspace and spare time. There were no meals prepared or eaten together, no after work time spend together, no real exchange or connection. As I grew more and more accustomed to how the clock is ticking here, I adjusted and by now really appreciate the quiet and space I am been given, both within my work and leisure time. Here and there I would bake bread, make a smoothie, cook a meal or prepare brownies, share them with the hostel staff and host family, and everyone was happy to be presented with it, so I was able to express my gratitude and appreciation without interfering in their routines. Seamus, my host, took Marjorie and me with him out onto the Lough in his boat on a few occasions, always with different people, from family members to work colleagues or other hostel guests. These occasions were always very special and fun. There always was some story waiting to be told by him about houses on the coastline, the people there, his own family and previous camping sites they approached with the boat. Marjorie and I walked to Greencastle on a number of occasions ourselves, met people on our way that offered to drive us there and we crossed Lough Foyle with the ferry a few times as well, exploring Magilligan Point with the endless beaches on either side. We were able to have two adventures with Seamus that brought us to a lovely coast hike from Pollan Strand to Tullan Strand, and the most important sights on the peninsula Inishowen, the Five Finger Point and Malin Head. Without Seamus, I probably would not have seen anything else than Moville, I am beyond the moon that he was so eager and kind to show us around.

Which brings me to the first thing that I will miss very much: Seamus’s stories and love for Inishowen, County Donegal and the history both of the land and his ancestors. It is simply amazing to spend hours with him and he does not run out of stories to tell. His knowledge about the people and places, accidents, tragedies, warfare situations and history of wars or the development of religions and churches, is so vast that I doubt I have even heard the tip of the Iceberg by now. Marjorie fell in love with him. She has such a special soul and develops a different relationship with every host we had so far, here it was Seamus she concentrated on. When the door to his living room is closed, she sits outside and actually howls until someone would open it for her. Ordinarily she does not come up to our room until very late and keeps Seamus company, I would have to go downstairs and ask her to come up in order for us to go to sleep. I guess, she too, will miss Seamus a lot.

What I will miss as well is my room because it has such a very magical, special, calm energy to it with a lot of windows and therefore natural light. But the loveliest feature about it, for sure, is the position of the small reading chair right beside one of the windows that overlooks the front yard with the variety of different shades of green from all the different trees and bushes, as well as the nightly concert of crowing crows. I spent hours on end on this chair with this view, having read more than thirteen books, written articles, edited photographs or videos and ate my meals. The image of this chair by the window will definitely be something I will always carry as a very precious memory with me.

There are, of course, a lot of others things too, that I will come to miss once I am gone. The gorgeous women and girls from the hostel staff, always up for a chat, laugh and doing wonderful work. The coast walk along the shore of Lough Foyle, the wells and the 2nd hand open library (or small book-cupboard more like), the smell of sea and fish, the beaches, the Bredagh River Trail that we walked almost every day since we got here, the iced coffees and fresh, hot chips I would sometimes have after work, sharing chips with Marjorie while watching people pass by, going about their business or having the time of their lives at the Inishowen Waterpark, the hustle that was always tangible around the main house from the staff, family and guests, visitors to the main house and passers-by from the river trail.

It is a lot that I have come to appreciate living here for the last six weeks, most of all, probably the time offline. I found something I had forgotten, my joy for reading. I read so much, immersed myself in these stories, had a lot of epiphanies about my ways of thinking and gained general knowledge in a variety of fields, sometimes I even started to feel reluctant going online and craved a few hours of reading instead. I remember know how much I loved to read when I was younger, before “the internet”, the age of endless possibilities to consume content. Of course there is no guarantee that I will keep on reading the same amount of books once I have access to the internet again in my own room. Maybe due to old habits, maybe because Seamus’ library is vast and there is a book for every taste, who knows if the next place I go to will have this love for books as well. Still this experience here gave me the opportunity to fill my spare time with something else than consumption, showing me that I have forgotten about the world of imagination in my head.

Now, this is also something I will take with me, in whichever form, I do not know yet. But I will absolutely never forget the piece, calm and quiet when reading a good book, having a fine tea and listening to Marjorie’s snoring in the background. The astounding fact that I was able to complete thirteen books (list below this blog entry), among them two audiobooks, taught me how able I am to consume content in a very different way. It is a different kind of inspiration I drew from it, affecting me in different ways than a video online would do. I was presented with epiphanies about my life, felt sudden notions to write things down for later projects, found myself in a constant need for a notebook to write down all the quotes that touched my heart and soul. Sometimes a book would not be able to excite me from the start but it is way more difficult to get hold of another book and start again to get into a storyline, so I sometimes just kept going and found that mostly after the first one hundred pages, these books became the one’s that excited me most in the end. When it comes to movies or series or even videos on YouTube, I am faster on judging if it is of interest to me or not, I skip and dismiss faster as well. Therefore this newfound passion for books taught me something about my very own way of judging things too fast, having probably adapted to the short attention span we as a society came to establish within the last two decades, where information and content is a jungle of endless possibilities and availability


There is also something else about my behaviour and inner processes I was able to learn and take with me. Although I considered myself a person that loathes routines and craves variety and new experiences almost everyday, I found myself to be not so sure about that anymore. I know I am not born to be able to do the same tasks throughout my life, I would indeed go crazy, or more specific depressed. But because of the two weeks it took me to adjust to the way of life here, I came to recognise how much I enjoy the feeling of having settled in, knowing the people by name, having a routine morning and then in the afternoon exploring, then coming to a home and having something nice to eat, some time to relax with writing, watching or reading something, afterwards keeping to a bedtime routine with soft Yin Yoga practice and mediation. I am not quite sure how to incorporate this new revelation into a future life, or for that matter if I even need to do such a thing. I strongly plan on settling down somewhere at some point but this was only a concept for a far off future. Knowing now, however, that I am capable of feeling content, even happy, within a certain daily routine, gives me hope and pleasure that settling down somewhere is more or less in the cards for me. Beforehand I struggled with thoughts about a future where I would be in the same place for the rest of my place, doing the same tasks, albeit maybe in a different cycle, seeing the same things. Due to the experiences and situations I had here in Moville, my thoughts changed regarding this view of the matter, in the way that I can picture myself doing exactly that and even being satisfied with it. This train of thought was set into motion when I lay on the beach on the other side of Lough Foyle, near Magilligan Point, and knew that directly in front of me I could see the outline of mainland Scotland.

I felt my heart beating faster, something in my soul literally stretching out to be closer to that landmass ahead, it was a desire I had experienced the last time when I was planning my departure from Switzerland, almost a year earlier. It might be difficult to get a visa for permanent residency due to Brexit, but with this feeling in my body I knew there was a no chance I am going settle for something else. I felt a calling, deep within me, and I knew I would love to have a routine, a life in Scotland, envisioning, building and living in an intentional, self-sufficient community on a Scottish Island, presumably the Isle of Lewis since I simply fell in love with it from the first day.

If you are serious about changing your life - you will find a way,
If you are not - you will find an excuse.
//Jen Sincero//

And now Marjorie and I, we are off to a new adventure. Our last here in Ireland. Though it is always strange to say goodbye and leave something behind that grew so familiar, I know that I was able to once again get to know myself better, take memories with me that I will keep dear to my heart forever and found people with kind hearts and souls. Eight months have passed, eight months already. Still I think I know where I want to grow roots, and since this journey is all about finding a home for my heart, I feel blessed that it took me less than eight months to find, what I know in my heart, will be my home.

I am grateful.

Thank you Cressida, the inspiration of a mother and businesswoman, thank you Seamus for your kind heart and exciting stories, thank you for opening your home to a stranger. And thank you for the adventures you shared with us, if it was not for you, Seamus, I would have had no material for the Vlog #6 - Part 2 - Farewell Moville video.

I will miss you and I hope that I will come back to visit you one day to see the insanely beautiful Moville Boutique Hostel and Apartments again!

To all of you out there, thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my videos, your support and your interest in my stories warm my heart. Love and light, beloved souls



Book recommendations:

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, told from the perspective of his first betrothed, Desiree.

An absolutely hilarious, informative and surprising insight into something we take for granted and do not spend thinking about at all, our bodies.

An excursus into the fine art of reconciliation with stories that touch your heart and inspire you to rethink your life's experience with relationships of all forms.

The book is truly so much more intense than the three films, I could hardly believe it.

I was intrigued at first by the summary on the book's back, then a little put off by the harsh language and rudeness of the main character and in the end in love with this story because I could not set it aside, it truly is a story that includes everything one would wish for in a book.

A story about the life of beautiful child, raised in the outskirts of Dublin, facing the harsh realities of civil war and struggles of the poorest of the poor.

Fascinating history within the development of neuroscience as well as an introduction into the philosophical question of when body ends and soul begins.

Heart-warming story about a mother, dying of cancer, leaving her four daughters between the ages of fifteen to thirty.

Marie Antoinette's perspective on her life choices and how history created an image of her character that was far from the truth.

A remarkable biography about a woman that knew right from wrong, would not give up despite all that life threw at her from a young age, and grew to become a true role model for strength, self-respect and authenticity.

Facts and figures, summarised studies and an all in all remarkable book about new ideas, visions and what it takes to make a better world for all of us.

For the first one hundred pages there are so many names that I could not keep track of who was who, but then the political thriller kept me so excited that it was absolutely no option to set this book aside.

From start to finish this story is captivating as you get to know six main characters over the time of four decades, revolving around building a cathedral but more-so about their struggles and aspirations. The most important thing for me though, was how even the smallest actions can become your destiny. Be your most authentic, best self and through all hardships, life will be a rewarding journey with a happy end.

Self empowering, self loving and self development in its rawest and most authentic way.

There is no chance anyone could foresee the end to this thrilling, captivating story about four kids growing up on the private island of their grandfather. I did not, and I am still in awe about this plot twist and the power of an author to paint a picture only to rip it to pieces afterwards.

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