We are two artists from the UK who in July last year left the busy London life behind us to live in and to explore Europe and beyond. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts with degrees in Fine Art in 2013, we moved out of our flat in London and traded the flat keys for a set of van keys, which we converted into our new home.
Our aim is to volunteer with projects around Europe, in order to gain experience in natural building and ecological living. We’re trying to discover ways of living that aren’t dominated by money and capitalism, where value is put upon gift and exchange to deepen inter-personal connection and equality. We spend 90% of our time doing work-exchange projects, having fabulously rich experiences in different cultures, communities, natural building and self-sufficient living, exchanging our help for food and living space. We create objects from recycled materials and waste plastic from the beach that we sell on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis. Holly is also a qualified yoga teacher, teaching classes where she can (also pay-what-you-can-afford). We try to live simply, to explore, experience and to gain a greater connection with communities and the natural world.
Using the inspiration and knowledge we’ve gained from our journeys, we hope to build a hand-built space, using natural and recycled materials, for yoga and creativity, with particular emphasis on providing for those with learning difficulties or disabilities and/or past trauma.
We collate photography and short stories/descriptive writing online on our website: www.makingitupaswegoalong.com
Right now we’re getting together our documentation of some of the methods of living a more sustainable life adopted by the families/eco-communities we’ve worked with throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
We’re eager to share our journey, in the hope that it might inspire others to consider alternative ways of living, and to get connected with others interested in doing similar … So we’re wondering whether you would consider featuring us on your (very inspiring) Shelter blog?
Best wishes and hope to hear from you :)
–Holly & Angus
Excerpt from a post on their travels in Bulgaria:
Sunset arrival in Varna on the Black Sea Coast. Really not negotiating the Cyrillic alphabet via our way into town, we somehow found our campsite, set up a tent for the night and explained our plans to hitch-hike down the coast. We were headed in search of the few remaining beaches that had escaped tourist development, “wild” beaches where we’d heard people travel from around Bulgaria to camp for the summer, protesting against potential hotel concrete. We shared tattered maps marked with biro dots and a few scribbled names along remote sections of the coastline, deciding that our first stop would be Karadere, two hours South.…
…One naked week extended into three, living in sand under pine trees, surrounded by people inherently putting everybody else before themselves. There was no sense of competition or “mine,” not a towel-guarded sun bed in sight. We were the only English on a beach of Bulgarians — families, young students from Sofia, dogs, cats — and found ourselves surrounded by kindness. Each evening a family invited us to eat with them, we returned to our tent to find bags of cheese, onions, tomatoes hanging in the tree we were camped under. And a whopping great watermelon by the door. On the final morning I clambered down to the sand to watch the sunrise and eat some watermelon. I looked up and there, finally, swimming across the calm bay, the two dolphins that we had spent the weeks waiting to see. On the final evening of our trip we sat above the beach as the sun set, wondering what we could scrape together to eat with the little food we had left. We got a tap on our shoulders and turned to see someone we’d not met before, handing us a plate of two vegetable kebabs.