top of page

Living in Harmony with the Earth: Exploring Olivia's Journey towards Shared Earth Living!

Welcome to a blog that celebrates the beauty of living in harmony with the Earth. In this post, we will explore the journey of Olivia, who has made it her life's mission to live in a way that honours and respects the natural world. From learning to reduce waste and embracing a minimalist lifestyle to growing her own food and supporting local businesses, Olivia has embraced the principles of shared Earth living. Join us as we delve deeper into Olivia's journey and discover how we too can take steps towards a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

1: Olivia, you talk about a more sustainable life, a beautiful earth-centred life. Tell us more about this concept and way of life? 

We live in a society that is completely disconnected from the Earth. For example, we have no idea where our food comes from, how it is grown, made or processed, nor what season it is grown in most of the time. We speak about Nature and the Earth as if it is some kind of concept out there somewhere, rather than in our direct living experience moment by moment. Yet, the Earth is not something separate from us, but something we are part of. Our bodies are made from its soils. The Earth feeds us and keeps us alive, along with the Sun and the Moon and the rest of the cosmos. We are not separate from the ecosystem but intricately connected. Having an earth-centred life means recognising our place within this web and living our lives accordingly.

2: Tell us about your blog - Shared Earth Living: Co-creating a More Beautiful World!

Shared Earth Living was born out of my desire to begin to experience this kind of earth-centred way of being. I dreamt of moving from the centre of Madrid to the countryside, of having land and starting a kind eco-project that others could learn from and experience. I started to write about this process as I set about making it a reality. I had a vision of bringing people with me on this journey and so 'Shared Earth Living' was born. During this time, many people have written to me to tell me they too have a similar dream. My readers have actually been a great catalyst for me on my path

by sharing information and resources. It was thanks to them that I found my permaculture course that I completed last year. I have even met some of them in person! It has been a real source of joy to connect with so many amazing people from around the world. Right now, I am working on the next stage of this project - an online book club. I feel that people - myself included- are in desperate need of a different vision for the world and a road map for how to get there. My vision is to start a YouTube

channel whereby I share the books that I am reading that are helping to feed my dream and help me inhabit more deeply the earth-centred way of being that is calling me. Currently, it is just in its pilot stage. I am experimenting with the video format and also have a few readers who are willing to be my guinea pigs! At the end of the summer I am hosting an online book club meet up where we will discuss our first book! But there is also more in the pipeline! I am also going to start interviewing people who are further on the path than me or people who I feel have wisdom that could

be of benefit to myself and my readers. This will be both on YouTube and in podcast form. In many ways, Shared Earth Living is just getting started! In the future I see a thriving community of people who are all supporting one another in becoming earth-centred humans, co-creating a more beautiful world for themselves and for the future generations. 

3: You are from the UK but now live in Madrid. Is that correct? Tell us about your journey and life as an expat. 

Yes, I currently live in Madrid but I am from a town in north-west England called Bolton (close to Manchester). I first lived abroad when I was 22 when I went to Hong Kong on a graduate scheme. I lived there for 10 months teaching English in a public school there, before spending two months on my first lone travel backpacking experience around SouthEast Asia. After that, I had a brief spell back at home before going to South Africa to continue travelling. However, my roots began to call me home and so I ended up returning to my home town. I spent the next two and half years doing the opposite of travelling the world: living at home with my mum and working just down the road at a nearby school. I had gone from international jet-setter to homegirl in the blink of an eye! But this was exactly what was needed. I had changed massively whilst I was away and this gave me the opportunity to really anchor in those changes. Yet I had the intuition that this was just a temporary stop and after two years, once again I felt the winds of change calling! That’s when I decided to try my luck as an English teacher in Madrid. That was 9 years ago. I have been here ever since. 

4: What challenges have you faced along the way in life and in your career? How did you overcome them? 

Most of my biggest challenges have come from living the majority of my adult life far from my family and oldest friends. Speaking a different language everyday and having a partner who is from a different culture is also a challenge, even though now I speak Spanish fluently. Navigating relationships within a different language and cultural perspective isn’t easy. I am still trying to figure it out but it is proving to be a very interesting and enriching experience! As for my career, I would say the biggest challenge has been believing in my dream and keeping it alive in the face of the mundane realities of having rent and bills to pay. I have found that it tends to work in cycles of connection and disconnection, as the here and now realities sometimes take priority for a time.

The challenge is being courageous enough to commit to your dream, even if it takes you your whole life to fulfil. Not to sell out because it’s difficult or you don’t know the way. The path appears as you walk it. Whilst you might see the vision, only the next step is revealed to you when you are ready for it. Patience and stamina are necessary virtues that I am trying to master! 

5: You talk about returning to a more natural, grounded, wholesome way of life! Talk us through this and how can every woman achieve this way of life. What sort of things do we need to change? 

Right now, I feel that the most important changes that we can make in pursuit of this kind of lifestyle happen on the inside. Of course, the typical actions that we may take when thinking about sustainability, such as recycling, shopping second-hand, supporting local farmers and taking care where our food comes from are important. But the most important thing is connecting with the Earth in our day to day life and giving thanks for the sustenance she brings us. This is where the real

transformation happens. An earth-centred way of life is birthed from inside of us. Our actions will then be aligned with that which we already are. In my day to day life, I make sure I spend time in nature everyday, even if it is just caring and giving thanks for my house plants. I take time to time to cook home-made food and feel gratitude for its origins in the soil. I inwardly greet the trees and the birds on my street as I pass by and praise the river that is near my house for its beauty and for the spiritual nourishment it gives me. These actions may be small but over time they accumulate in a deeper sense of connection and wellbeing. From small seeds, tall trees grow. 

6: What is life like from living in the city to relocating to the country? What would you say are the pros and cons? 

The thing I love about city life is the melting pot of cultures. There is so much stimulation for the mind and soul, so much available to try. I love being in a place where there are things happening, people doing and creating. The easy access to art, theatre, music and dance is also so enjoyable and important to me. This is not so readily available in the countryside. But on the other hand, in the

countryside you have access to the wild nature, not just domesticated parks; something that I long for. The pace of life is slower, the cost of living is lower and you might even have access to land to grow your own food. It is much easier to connect to Earth and recognise yourself as part of the living ecosystem. In the city on the other hand, from our concrete flats and office blocks, the natural world

feels like a long way away. The downside though could be the feeling of isolation, depending on the size of the population where you live. There is also less work in rural places, compared to the city. Maybe the key is to form artistic and creative communities in the countryside, so we can have the best of both worlds…Who’s in? ;)

7: What advice would you give fellow women looking for a change? Maybe they are tired and disconnected in their life? How to become more calm, centred and connected to the earth? 

As a woman, the greatest and most powerful way that I found to connect with the Earth is through discovering the mysteries of my menstrual cycle and connecting my womb. I can’t highlight enough how much of a catalyst this has been for me. I know from first hand experience that this can be difficult in modern life and that most of us are not given the education necessary to understand why it is important- I certainly wasn’t. But being connected to our bodies is vital if we are to feel grounded in the world and connected to the Earth. (I recommend the 'Womben Wellness' programs for those who are curious to walk this path). As for making changes, I would advise fellow women to look to the riches within themselves and connect with their innate femininity before trying to change their

world outside. I have learnt through my own life that when you want to make a change in your life, you need to make it from within first. This is my own journey now: I need to become more of an earth-centred human if I am going to see my dream manifested on the outside. As within, so without! 

8: What advice would you give to other women looking to start living the expat life or even may have never traveled but looking to start? 

I would say one thing: don’t let the fact that you don’t have friends to come with you stop you. So many people wait around to have those once in a lifetime adventures because they don’t have anyone to go with. What they don’t realise is that this is the ideal situation in which to travel! 

We have a very short life. You may as well give it a go- the worst that could happen is that you regret it and decide to go back to where you started. But even that is an experience in itself. Real life happens on the edges of your comfort zone; it is the magical space where anything can happen, where nothing is predictable but everything is possible. You are the lead character in the film of your life. Make sure that it is a film that you will be happy to rewatch again and again. Travelling abroad or relocating would make a great plot twist ;) 

9: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? 

I love going for bike rides and trips to the mountains! I usually end up getting off

the beaten track and having an adventure away from the crowd, often involving

getting insect bites and scratched legs but it is always worth it :) I also love

dancing! I use it as a way of connecting to my femininity and also a motivator to

energise me when I am feeling stuck.

10: Lately, where have you traveled/lived/worked that really inspired you? 

Recently I have been fortunate enough to travel to Catalonia in Eastern Spain, where I attended the women festival Tierra de Lunas (Land of Moons). Over 200 women came together, it was the biggest gathering of women in all of Southern Europe! Everyday there were a multitude of inspiring workshops to choose from, as well as ceremonies, therapies and a traditional sweat lodge. We sang, danced, cried, and laughed together and shared many intense and transformative experiences.

This experience showed me that there is another way to be a woman in the world, a far cry from the competition and objectification that we have known until now. For me, this too is an important part of an earth-centred life. It is time for women to step into their power as portals of creation and support one another in sisterhood and friendship. There is another way to be a woman in the world and I

am just beginning to discover it.

I wish this to be a reality for all the readers of Her Expat Life and beyond!

Connect with Olivia:

Olivia Grundy: Writer, Permaculture Designer, Educator and Earth-centred human in progress

12 views0 comments


bottom of page