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Building Our Eco Retreat in Portugal

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

In 2007, two life changing things happened. I met the man who would eventually become my husband and I became pregnant with our first child.

I had co-founded Hypnotherapy Associates in 2000, a London and Ipswich based Hypnotherapy practice. I loved my work, never for a moment was I bored, people are endlessly fascinating and complex.

To be paid to listen to people's stories and try to get to grips with each client's problem (and help them as fast and permanently as possible) felt like the best job in the world, and it still does.

However as my pregnancy bloomed and my morning sickness continued into day and night too, I began to wonder if I could live less frantically and more naturally, away from massive rents and car fumes.

I cannot claim the idea to move to Portugal as my own, it had been my husbands dream for years. He wanted to own a piece of land somewhere warm, grow his own food and self-build a house. This dream was not achievable for us in the UK as land was too expensive, but in 2007 (and still now) Portugal was affordable to people at the beginning of the property ladder.

As I write this in January 202,1 I realise that so much has changed since 2007. It’s been a long journey that included a legal fight with a national energy company who announced plans to install high tension power lines directly overhead of the small ruin we planned to renovate in the Algarve mountains.

After several years of campaigning, they did eventually dog-leg around our ruin, but by that time it was too late for us. Believing that we wouldn’t win the battle, we had already decided with heavy hearts to move. After weeks searching online we discovered Quinta da Lontra (Otter Farm) in central Portugal.

Now, after years of work, we’ve renovated the main house and the guesthouse and created an off-grid eco retreat - somewhere for guests to reconnect with nature, sleep in yurts and domes, swim and kayak in the river and simply relax on the sandy beaches under the shade of the trees.

We have offered the space for various retreats and workshops including art therapy, yoga, bushcraft and wilderness skills, amongst many others. Now that I have come full-circle, back to hypnotherapy, it is also an intrinsic part of what I can offer clients, both online and here onsite in Portugal.

For more information about our project in Portugal see:

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