How I grow my own food, off-grid and on the move

I’ve often been called an oxymoron (or abbreviations of the word), but that’s never bothered me. The contradictions in people are what makes them human and some conflicting interests, like gardening and travelling, are not as mutually exclusive as they may seem. Since I embarked on my off-grid adventures in…


Travel. Hiking. Portugal.

The wild winding lanes of rural Beira Baixa.

A trip to Beira Baixa is not always top of the itinerary for most tourists in Portugal. The remote farmland region lies in the central part of the country, on the border with Spain. It’s far away from the cosmopolitan bustle of Lisbon and the busy beaches of the Algarve.


Heresay and heresy on the fringes of Europe

Immigrants in Portugal can face xenophobic remarks when they raise their voices and make legitimate demands for change. “Go back to where you come from if you don’t like it here,” is a phrase I’ve often heard, especially when criticizing the way elections are run in small towns and villages…


Reflections of a solo traveller wandering in the dark

A cathedral dome illuminated on the dark skyline at sunset.

Travelling alone can be a joy, especially when you visit a city you already know. On this occasion, there was a purpose for my trip to Lisbon, which would keep me busy for a good few days. I was writing an article about the Parks of Sintra and was given…


How lifting water lowered my cholesterol

A man lowering a bucket into a water well.

“As a civilization, we have made so much progress,” she said.

Her argument was that technology and automation relieve us of mundane, time-consuming tasks. It frees us from primitive toil so we can apply our minds to more intellectually rewarding pursuits. …


TRAVEL. EUROPE. PORTUGAL. WILDLIFE.

What a day trip from Porto taught me about Portugal’s biodiversity

Two white storks standing under a tree.

Extending along the River Douro, just a stone’s throw from Porto’s city center is the Gaia Biological Park. Giving you a tour of Portugal’s native flora and fauna, the park is an environmental education center, wildlife sanctuary, and nature reserve rolled into one. …


A photographic journey of discovery

A black-and-white striped butterfly on a pink flower.

The sun was setting over my vegetable patch in rural Portugal and I needed to head home. There was still some light, so I couldn’t help hanging around to inspect my broad beans one last time. They were tall and sturdy and in full bloom — not a spot of…


I moved into a tent out of necessity, not choice

There’s something very irritating about the term, nauseating even: Digital Nomad. The sheer smugness of it.

Look at you, stuck in your nine-to-five with a frozen screen; I’m jetting off to a tropical island with a 200 Gbps download speed!

We all know the reality is not always the same…


How to integrate as a gardener abroad

Friend or foe? Pest or pollinator? Weed or wildflower? These were the ridiculous questions I asked myself as I pottered about on my small plot of land in the early stages of my horticultural adventures in Portugal. I referred back to the notes I’d taken in England while studying for…


The timekeeping lessons I learned off-the-grid

An off-grid shower made from a bucket and a country view.

When I first attempted to escape the rat race by moving off-the-grid in a remote corner of Portugal, the most important tool I took with me was a battery-charged alarm clock. My aim was to become more self-sufficient, but somehow I felt that a clock would be indispensable at the…

Andrew Theophilou

I’m a writer with previous experience in education, NGOs and advertising. I have an active interest in conservation and a passive interest in making money.

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