About Us

Welcome to our blog!

We are Shirley & Ties and together with our kids Joshua and Eliana we have been living on a tiny, tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand called Koh Tao. Right at this moment we are at a huge crossroad in our lives as we are about to leave this island and set sail for a completely different and uncertain but exciting future.

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Our tribe

From mundane office workers to full time scuba instructors

Nearly a decade ago we decided to leave our mundane office jobs and made our passion into our job. We have been living our dream since then. Most days where spent driving to work on a motorbike wearing flipflops, boardshorts & bikini’s to teach scuba diving for a living.

We have been incredibly lucky and are grateful that we have been sharing our passion with all those people along the years. Helping people overcome their fears and introduce them to the silent and miraculous world of majestic coral reefs and extravagant marine inhabitants has been immensely satisfying. Some of our students have even become dive professionals them selves and are now teaching others around the world.

We have had many unforgettable years amongst the coconut palms immersed in the ever so generous Thai sun. Meeting the most awesome people, having encounters with the gentle giants of the sea, the whaleshark, and of course countless drinks on the beach with beautiful sunsets as a backdrop.


Time to move on

Although we still enjoy island life, the last few years we started to get itchy feet and felt an urge to somehow change our lives completely. Perhaps the 7 year itch you hear so many speak of isn’t some urban myth but actually exists.

This island of 21 square kilometers is a wonderful bubble to live in and many compare this island to Never land where the boys never grow up. In the mean time however not only have we grown and changed as individuals but we also have been blessed with 2 kids which made us think about our and their futures.

Time to move on and find a new purpose…. But where? And what and how? We have been procrastinating for a few years now and have been ignoring the urge to explore our ultimate destiny if there is such a thing. This ultimate plan and life destiny hasn’t yet fallen into our lap and we still don’t know what we want to be when we finally grow up. How does one leave a life created by following our passion, intuition and drive for adventure to find another passion driven existence when you have no clue where to start?

Seems that for us there is no instant solution for an awesome future and we figured the best way to work towards one is to find out what makes us happy and what we are passionate about and actually take concrete baby steps towards reaching new goals build around this new passion.


Be the change you want to see in the world

Living on such a small island with the environmental issues it is enduring, has really opened our eyes to the impact human presence has on this planet.

Experiencing these issues here is pretty much like looking at the worlds environmental problems in a nutshell. Our interest for conservation and preservation was always there and as ambassadors of the underwater world we did our best to plant a small seed of awareness in every dive student we had.

In our time on Koh Tao our interest in living healthy and sustainable lifestyles grew and I (Ties) spend many hours behind the computer amazed by documentaries about natural building methods, off the grid living, permaculture and backyard chicken keeping. It became like an unstoppable urge to ingest more and more of this inspiring information.

This resulted in building a chicken coop in our garden, growing massive amounts of wheatgras and several failed attempts to grow some veggies in our dry and immensely hot garden :/

You can’t change your world by just being an armchair warrior and I decided to take action. Online I found a permaculture community in the north of Thailand that was looking for volunteers to help build an adobe house for an expecting couple of the community.


The Panya crew


This seemed like the perfect opportunity to both learn about what I had been watching about online and to contribute to something good in the same time. I ended up staying there for 2 months of which the last 2 weeks with the whole family.

Community living, collective work sharing, inspiring people and a healthy lifestyle gave me an idea that would lead me further from the well trotted path of normality.

Going back to the matrix in the motherland just doesn’t feel like our cup of tea anymore and we feel like we really want to maximize our potential both for ourselves, our kids and our surroundings.

Being around so many like-minded and inspiring people on the farm was just a revelation and worked as a catalyst and made us realize there are so many people on the same frequency that actually care about this planet and it’s future. People that really make a difference and take action today instead of waiting for solutions to come by them selve.

It seems so clear to us that the only way to minimize our impact on this planet and our environment is not only to become more self-reliant and practice sustainable ways of living but also to combine forces and create a ripple effect that will become a tsunami of awesome eco-ness.


Time to chisel the barnacles of the rock

We came up with a crazy 4 step plan towards our Eco Empire:

Step 1: Leave our comfort zone and deroot ourselves from Koh Tao to take on an internship at the farm. Learn as much as we can in the area of organic farming, natural building but also other skills like cooking, soap making etc etc.

Step 2: Create ways to earn location independent income. (essential in order to realize step 3)

Step 3: Go back to Europe, buy a campervan and travel through Portugal & Spain to explore existing eco villages, communities and volunteer and intern at interesting and welcoming organic farms.

Step 4: Eco village? Eco Resort? Community? Cooperative? Educational center? No clue where we’ll end up but our road and minds are open and we are set to sail for adventure and awesomeness 🙂

On this blog and our youtube channel we will try to document our experiences both positive and negative along our journey. We hope to be informative and perhaps even inspiring somehow.

In this first youtube clip you can have a small peek in our life on this tropical island we call “The Rock” and see what we leave behind. Enjoy and if you like our idea, blog and channel please leave us a like, share with your friends and subscribe 🙂


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