I am currently on my way home from Gran Canaria.
I have been in exile for the previous 5 weeks in an attempt to create the optimal atmosphere for philosophizing, reflecting and writing. I very consciously removed myself from the routines of everyday life, with the exception of occasional grocery-shopping and cooking my daily meals. Aside from those bare necessities, I have been sitting in my chair or lying in the hammock with my computer non-stop for 5 weeks.
A couple of years ago I found El Angosto in Agaete by coincidence. A then well hidden treasure on the north west side of the island - at the greatest possible distance from the tourist nightmare plastered all over the south and south-east of the island. Located high on the hillside, on the outskirts of Agaete, it is facing the ocean and the sunset to the right and a high rising unspoiled mountainside if you care enough to turn you head just slightly to the left. The place is quiet, relaxing and has a truly inspiring view.
It's about 5 degrees colder in Agaete, than in the touristic south. Ironically that is all it takes to keep tourists away. That also makes it just cold enough to concentrate and warm enough to wear shorts. What else can one ask for. El Angosto is situated in a charming rustic building from the 60s. The front patio is as rich in dense biodiversity as the accommodation is simple. It's very simple - and as this is not my first visit, I have come to know what to bring from home to: a juicer and a bucket to store my homemade tomato-salsa. This results in a very, very affordable refuge with every need covered. Hats off for simple living!
Yes, it is indeed a huge luxury to be able to seek refuge on Gran Canaria to reflect and write. I think everyone should grant themselves this luxury at least once in life. The goal is by no means luxury – it is peace and time for uninterrupted reflection. I have carefully and rationally made choices to provide the best value for my money, and in the end of the month, I have spent less money by staying here, than I would have if I had stayed back in Denmark.
Though Gran Canaria typically brings up associations of holidays and relaxation in the sun, that is pretty far from what I have endured during the past 5 weeks. It has been an intense and constantly challenging process. An emotional roller coaster ride. A cocktail with even and incompatible parts of helpless despair and unroofed grandeur. Just about as much as I can handle without losing my mind.
However challenging it was, I succeeded in reaching my goal. I finished my first novel and the first draft of my plan to save the world. Oh. In case you don't know me that well - yes, I am trying to save the world. From my point of view, the world needs saving if we are supposed to be allowed an extended stay on this planet. And I kinda like that idea.
But now it is time to rest for a while. Gather strength and wax my surfboard before the next wave arrives. I will spend a lot of time with my son, whom I haven't seen for the past 5 weeks. I will talk to some publishers about my novel and wait for the team to provide the first round of feedback on my plan. And stare into thin air. And sleep.
My exile has ended. For now. The next phase will start soon.