The experience begins long before you set foot at the property. Your friend talked about this magical place that feels outside of the normal world. A place of friendship and harmony with nature. The kind of place you always thought was impossible.
So finally a few days ago you decided it was time. You went to Oasa.co and started an application process. You went through a lot of questions and then you felt even more excited to meet this intentional community. Two days later, you received a beautifully crafted email welcoming you to the family and showing you the Oasa manifesto. After a phone call with the founder, you decided to give it a try and join for a month in Portugal.
Today, you just stepped out of the airport ready to embrace a new way of life. A team member picks you up at the airport and greets you. On the way to the castle you already make friends with your new co-citizen.
30min later, you arrive at the castle. The property is perched in a beautiful landscape, and you can feel the excitement building up as the electric vehicle enters the driveway. This isn't just any location - you are entering the realm of epic medieval tales. The castle you are about to set foot in has centuries of history to tell, and you are about to share this dream with a new chosen family of likeminded nomad entrepreneurs.
The driveway is sided by beautiful trees, and as you drive further into the property you already get a sense that something is different. The amount and variety of plants is just staggering, and though they aren't perfectly shaped and groomed like you could expect some renaissance chateaux in France, there is a sense of natural order and chaotic beauty. You notice there are also lots of fruits hanging on the the trees - cherries, apples, pears etc.
You step out of the car and you are welcomed with a fresh breeze. You can sense the marine air coming from the nearby sea and you can smell the scent of the nearby flowers. There's also a soft buzz of bees and birds singing, in an otherwise quiet place. You could already hear it in the car since its electrical engine barely emitted any noice, but now you are stepping into this new reality.
Your host steps down the wooden path through a patch of green, purple and orange vegetation. As you approach the castle, there's a natural pool coming into view. The pool isn't a square box, but rather shaped following natural forms that includes the local rock formation. The water is crystal clear and you can see a couple of fish swimming at the bottom. The water overflows at the other end into the reeds.
The entrance of the castle is enclosed in a giant veranda packed with auto-irrigated plants. Here again you notice how diverse the species are. There are some exotic plants - you even spot a banana tree - as well as more local plants like kiwis. There are also all sorts of beautiful cactuses and flowers.
You step through the main gate of the castle and as you walk in a couple of people welcome you. You know one of them from a previous nomad retreat. After catching up with your old and new friend, your host shows you to your room.
On the way, you observe how present nature feels around the building. One old wall was kept in ruin and extended with a massive window supported by metal beams. The window is just above a little pond outside that's covered in water lilies. The decor in the corridor is pretty minimal - the colors of the wall are neutral, and the architecture is left to speak for itself with exposed beams and untreated walls and floors.
There are a few strong art pieces along the way though - one abstract piece with vivid colors stand out on a bare stone wall. A little further an abstract wooden sculpture echoes the shapes of the trees outside. After climbing some stairs, you see what appears to be a miniature tropical forest that seems to be growing out of the castle and into a small balcony in the veranda.
Finally, you enter your room and your host leaves you with directions for the welcome drinks later on. You step in onto the solid wood floors. A large window in the center of the room plunges you into the tree tops below. A luxurious king sized bed with perfect beddings and towels await you. There are some minimal shelves with some books and sculptures along with a minimal desk with a reading lamp.
Above the desk is a single large artwork depicting a desert vegetation landscape that instills even more peace into the room. There's also a large plant by the window. You step into the ensuite bathroom which is stripped and minimal. The floors are made of polished concrete, and there is a full height glass wall separating the Italian shower. The sink is carved out of a large stone and rests on a single massive wooden countertop, extended by a large mirror on the wall.
You unpack your bag and admire how simple the wardrobe is. Some raw wood shelves and minimal elegant hangers hanging from a rack. Finally you wind down with a shower - and notice how a note says that the water for the shower is purified rainwater and that the hot water is provided by sunlight.
In the room, the bed is perfectly suited to your liking (firm mattress). You remember now that the membership questionnaire asked you about how firm you like your bed. You test the lights, and you watch as the glow of warm led lights adds to the cosy atmosphere of the room by highlighting its details rather than flattening it by having a central source. Next to the light switch there's a whiteboard along with pens, paper and post-its so you can write out your ideas.
You check your emails and you see one from Oasa welcoming you to your new home. It contains a program for the month - looks like there's a mastermind session coming up tomorrow and some cool outdoor activities this weekend.