Just a little throwback to when I was on a camelback roaming through mars-like landscapes ...
We’re deep into the saharan desert. After witnessing one of the most magical sunsets I’ve seen from the top of a majestic sand dune with a view, it’s time to call it a day.
I’m sitting under the clear star sky (no light pollution out there, that’s for sure), in deep conversation with one of the nomads that are guiding us through this foreign environment.
He had been living out there pretty much all his life. He had only been to a major city about twice in his life, and didn’t like it much.
It’s an extremely simple life they were living. But they played the drum like nothing I’ve ever heard, and seemed like some of the happiest people I’ve ever met.
And I remember one thing he said to me around the fire.
He felt that a lot of the modern population had lost their soul and their spark, and how he saw so much unhappiness in people’s eyes the few times he had been in the city.
He said that he believes modern people think they are unhappy because they don’t have enough, but that the real reason is because they have too much - without being grateful for any of it.
They become slaves to their belongings.
That hit me pretty hard.
The next day I went back to my high-tech life, while he remained in the desert with his close friends and drums.
I don’t think he’s missing out on one bit. ...
Downtime is as important as the hustle itself.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” ― Alan Cohen ...
Little picture of a little camp we set up on the hill by our farm. We didn’t really have the necessary equipment that day, but for some reason really wanted to sleep outside that night anyways.
The night was beautiful, but after the sun went down, and the fire died out - it got cold. Real cold. We were pretty much shivering in our sleep until 5am the next morning, when we started heading home.
There have been few times when such a small thing like having a warm bed has felt better. But little experiences like this help you stay grateful for the things you take for granted every day, and don’t think about much - which I think is really healthy. ...
THE FARM: Part 3.
It all came down to these two questions we asked ourselves: "Even if the worst case scenario happens, and we lose all the money put into it at some stage - would the experiences, lessons learned and the memories it brings be worth it?" and "Is the potential outcome of the best case scenario outweighing the risk of the worst case scenario?" The outcome of a pristine creative retreat in one of the most picture perfect locations our country has to offer, that our friends, family, colleagues, and other creatives can enjoy for the next 50+ years?
It was a clear, resounding YES.
Sometimes you just have to be bold, follow the gut instinct and ask yourself the above questions when bizarre or big opportunities like this present themselves.
There’s a 100 reasons why we could have backed out, and let our farm dream just be a funny «someday»-idea. But I’m darn happy we didn’t and went from thought to action.
What's something crazy and unplanned that you just jumped into, that turned out to be an amazing decision later down the road? ...
THE FARM: Part 2.
By some miracle, noone put in any offers on it that day - and we ended up getting it for BELOW asking price.
Literally in transit in Amsterdam, I was on the phone with banks settling the financial details, and a day or two later, and a few signatures - we were proud owners of a farm in one of the most stunning locations in Norway.
The only catch was, there was no hot water, no toilet, no sewage, no modern facilities whatsoever.
We didn't see it as a downside, just as a challenge.
2 years later after renovating it, it has hot water, shower, toilet, and is a totally different place than when we got it. And we have grown as people and learned invaluable skills along the way.
Last summer it was completely booked out on Airbnb with 5 star reviews, and we intend to turn it into a retreat for creatives to connect, recharge, create and explore.
We had no idea what we had waiting for us. Especially me, I hadn't even seen the place. But our gut feeling was clear, it needed to happen.
And being spread all across the globe, getting a farm is maybe not the best logistical choice. Especially not one from 1850 that has no modern amenities and needed lots of work.
But all of us, our friends, friends and friends and strangers as well, have had invaluable times there, beautiful experiences and memories we'll treasure for life. It's all been worth it, and honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made.
And we’re just getting started.
But I admit, it was quite a crazy decision to buy it that day. I mean, after all I hadn’t even seen it. But it was just one of those things when you know it’s right. And logic just goes out the window.
Stay tuned for part 3! ...
THE FARM: Part 1.
Life is a funny thing.
Some things you calculate to its finest detail, and visualize every step of the process. Others seem to just fall into your lap in the strangest ways.
When opportunities present themselves out of the blue, you have the power to accept them or let them go.
The week we found our farm online was one of those opportunities.
I still remember stumbling across it on a Norwegian real estate site one morning in Los Angeles two and a half years ago.
I sent it to my business partner Walid and my childhood friend Nils immediately.
We all lost our minds. It was beautiful. Too good to be true.
The consensus was "We need this".
We didn't care how, if it was the right time, if it even made remotely sense, we just needed that place in our life.
It was as if it spoke to us directly. One of those moments you can’t really logically explain. We just knew.
It was a beautiful old building from 1850, with an old stone farmhouse and a traditional red barn with a stable, nestled between the nearly 2000m tall mountains of Romsdalen.
We were sold.
There was an open house in a few days from that point.
The thing though, was that Nils lived 6 hours from it, Walid 10 hours from it. And me... well I was across the world over in California.
After a little phone conversation, Nils and Walid decided to call up the owner directly and arrange a private viewing before anyone else got to see it.
They drove all the way over, and it I kid you not - it was even better in person.
Me, on the other hand, was about to catch a flight home to Norway from LA for the summer. I wouldn't make the viewing, but I trusted the gut instinct of my good friends to make a judgement on this one.
If they approved, we buy.
I gave them the green light to give an offer on the spot for the asking price. We just wanted to take it off his hands. He refused, and wanted to wait for the open house to accept any offers.
Our hearts sunk, and we were terrified there would be an insane bidding round on this pearl of a property.
Part 2 coming very soon... ...
This little fella keeps coming by the farm to say “Hi” and spread good vibes pretty much daily during summertime.
Impossible to have a bad day when looking at this happy thing, so - here you go!
Goal for the year, be at least 50% as happy as this fox. ...