Good fortune or large fortune? It's all in how you look at it.
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EVO: It's June. Holy crap. That's almost five months of traveling the world. Doing exactly what we want to do every moment of every day, as we fully embrace our Opportunistic Travelers lifestyle.
SHE: Every moment? What about the "moments" spent at doctor visits? Or the "moments" we spent camped out in the bathroom waiting for, uh, tummy issues to take their course?
EVO: Well obviously not those parts.
SHE: And what about the days you spent whining non-stop about travel coordination, delayed flights, or sitting on an airplane for 9 hours straight?
EVO: OK, OK... I'm embellishing a bit. Still, you gotta admit, with those few exceptions, we're living a very fortunate life.
SHE: And that's the story we want to highlight on this show. Fortune and fortunate don't always go hand in hand, but sometimes they do, as we discovered at the Marimurtra Botanical Gardens in Blanes, Catalunya.
EVO: The garden itself is as stunning as it is expansive. But its beauty shines even brighter when you learn the story of how it came to be. In 1924, at the precocious age of 50 years young, German-born Carl Faust opted to turn his sea-side private garden into a legacy for the entire world. Using his own personal fortune to buy up the hillsides surrounding his estate in Blanes -- the place he'd made his home and wealth over the last 27 years -- he set out to do something audacious: To create, in his own words "an Epicurean republic of biologists where scholars and wise people —away from the noises of the big city and everyday life, in the middle of an interesting garden, with an ideal climate and a Hellenic landscape— can be devoted to the creation of ideal values and the search for an absolute truth".
SHE: That's a rather lofty goal for a garden. But once you see Marimurtra gardens, you'll know he achieved it.
EVO: And it wasn't just money that made it happen. After 12 years of land acquisition and near constant construction on the garden, the violent Spanish Civil war started. Unfortunately for Carl, he was visiting Germany at the time. For three years he found himself exiled from his home and his life's work. When he was finally able to return, he found the country struggling under a harsh dictatorship, with many of his friends, advisors and fellow botanists still in exile, imprisoned, or dead. But rather than give up on his dream of building an international foundation and legacy, he persevered, working with, around, and under adversity for another 13 years. He passed away at age 77, and in 1952 was able to transfer ownership of his expansive gardens to the town of Blanes so that all lovers of science could enjoy his creation for generations to come.. Carl Foust: A fortunate man who used his fortune to build a fortunate life. And my newest personal hero.
SHE: Of course, not all of us are fortunate enough to have the fortune necessary to leave that type of legacy behind.
EVO: You mean people like us? Amassing a fortune has never been high on our To Do list. But we we are pretty fortunate. I call this "increasing our luck surface area" and it consists of...
SHE: Hold on, hold on... you're getting philosophical enough with this show. No one wants you rambling on about your success mantras for another 15 minutes!
SHE: Shut it, Jayne.
EVO: Harsh critic. Anyhow... we recognize that it's our good fortune to be able to live this lifestyle we've chosen. Sure, we've made some sacrifices. But meeting others leading a similar lifestyle makes it all worthwhile. And if you're fortunate enough to blend your job in with your chosen lifestyle, things get pretty close to perfect. I'll let John Willetts from Simply Hops explain his "Top Gear" job concept.
SHE: Sorry for the punk rock soundtrack. That last clip was recorded at Birrasana, a craft beer festival we stumbled into -- and out of -- in Blanes after we left the botanical gardens.
EVO: And that's another crazy example of our fortune -- the good kind, not the money kind -- that keeps happening to us on this tour. We had no idea there was a beer festival in Blanes when we were there. But we took full advantage, as you could probably tell from that last clip.
EVO: After that, we flew down to the island of Mallorca to spend a few days relaxing with our friend Gillian Andrews. She'd graciously given us her flat in Santiago de Compostela as our home base in Spain these last several weeks We were keen to meet her in person and thank her for her hospitality.
SHE: Gillian and her daughter Lizzy met us at the Palma airport around noon. Before they took us to their house in Sant Elm, they thought we might want to make a quick stop at? You guessed it. The Palma Beer Festival.
EVO: Gillian and Lizzy knew we were craft beer fans. I mean, who doesn't? But what they didn't know is our secret super power of getting to know important people in the local beer scene really, really quickly.
EVO: Of course, walking around with a microphone in your hand as you order a beer is a bit of a conversation starter. I should do that more often.
SHE: Coming up, a clip from next week's show. But first:
EVO: Like many content creators, we use crowdfunding as our primary funding source. But unlike most crowdfunding campaigns, we're giving baking rewards at almost every level. $5 a month gets you a postcard. Over 10 bucks, and we personalize the postcard, just for you. And for $25 or more, you'll get what we call our "personalized plus" postcard, that includes a little something special from where we happen to be. So far we've done beer, chocolate, wine... who knows what's next now that we're in Thailand! If you're new to the show or just have held off on signing up to get your postcard each month today, sign up today at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/postcards. Thanks to all those who've already supported us, as it really helps us keep the show going.
SHE: Here's a little taste of next week's show:
EVO: Cheers from Mallorca! (Wait, we're in Thailand now... shouldn't I say Chohn gàaeo?
SHE (from the background): Stop over thinking it!
SHE: We travel the world as The Opportunistic Travelers largely because of our generous listeners.
EVO: People all over the world pledge as little as five bucks a month, and in return, they get a hand-written postcard from us sent from wherever opportunity has taken us, every single month. Sign up today at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/postcards.
SHE: We also stay for free most of our journey. No, we’re not super-stars or anything. We eliminate hotel costs and stay in some great cities by housesitting all over the world. Get our complete list of the actual housesitting sites we use every day at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/stayforfree, and stop spending money on hotels when you travel, too. Thanks for listening to this episode. I’m Sheila Dee.
EVO: And I am Evo Terra. Our theme music is "On the Ground" by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com. All other sounds, voices, and odd bits you hear were created by us. And this podcast is just the start of the audio, video, images, and written content we’re producing as we travel the world. Got an idea on how we could work together or a place you like for us to visit? Visit TheOpportunisticTravelers.com to get in touch. Now would be good.
New episodes of the The Opportunistic Travelers Podcast are available every Tuesday. Of course, Tuesday can be a very different thing depending on where we are in the world. Cheers!