The village looked breathtaking. Within moments of entering the village’s gate, nature’s beautiful colors and sounds enveloped me. Each house is covered with tall grass. The singing of birds echoes all around. I felt as though I reached a safe haven.
UMEPAY, Argentina — I live in an ecovillage called Umepay. I wake up at eight in the morning, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. At night, I fall asleep looking up at the stars while I listen to the calm rustling of trees. Ever since I made the decision to leave the city and detox from that life, I feel at peace with myself. I freed myself from the constraints of the clock and the city’s busy agenda. I escaped the constant advertising and media consumption, and I feel reborn. In this place, we prioritize human connection above all else.
I first learned about Umepay in a spiritual group led by my teacher Sri Prem Baba. In Umepay, I got to meet members of the village and hear their stories. In 2016, I spent a few days there, creating on-location videos at the request of Prem Baba. At the time, I resided in Buenos Aires, but most of my friends had moved away. I felt lonely and surrounded by distractions, craving a natural environment. As I began visiting Umepay more frequently, I exchanged my services for accommodation. Eventually, I approached one of the founders and asked them to show me available space. After careful consideration, I decided to purchase land.
The village looked breathtaking. Within moments of entering the village’s gate, nature’s beautiful colors and sounds enveloped me. Each house is covered with tall grass. The singing of birds echoes all around. I felt as though I reached a safe haven. Goosebumps formed on my skin as I breathed in the clean air, feeling transported to another place.
This was not my first time living outside the city. I spent six years on a mountain in Barcelona, and resided in Ingeniero Maschwitz, a province of Buenos Aires, for three years. However, even then, I lived close enough to a city to travel there anytime. Now, I wanted to be completely away. In the city, you feel like just another face in the crowd. Nobody has time for anything. In Umepay, I found a stronger sense of community, where everyone knows and greets one another.
There remains many challenges in Umepay. In the city, you face an endless pool of people to meet and talk to. The chance of meeting people you feel compatible abound. Here, in Umepay, you inevitably encounter everyone, whether you have a positive or negative relationship with them. While I do feel much more comfortable with myself now, I still long to form lifelong friendships. Perhaps it is just a matter of time.
Living here involves more effort. In the city, everything remains easily accessible. In Umepay, we travel to a nearby town for necessities. We rely on ourselves more, and the energy costs remain higher. However, when I look out my window and see the beautiful landscapes surrounding my house, it makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes, I take my son to the river. We encounter families hosting picnics, and we meet new people. My son seems so free and full of joy when he runs through the grass with the other children. Now, when we go back into the city, a few days drain my energy completely. It feels strange to think I used to live this way every day, surrounded with so much pollution and noise.
Ever since I moved here, I no longer feel the need to be productive all the time. The workload depends on my projects and personal needs. Before, I felt guilty if I went a full day without working on something. Now, I spend my time planting trees, working on the farm, and scattering seeds on the mountains. I take part in group gatherings, where neighbors discuss ways to help each other and build houses. While I remain close to my roots, I feel like I came into this world for something different. I seek happiness, a sense of peace with myself, and to live a full life with my son and wife in the mountains.
Success is merely a story, a narrative. People chase after it to become known. I had the opportunity to work on one of the highest-rated television programs in Argentina, but I chose not to. Now, more interesting things are happening to me. I believe that the deepest evolution of the soul occurs where it is destined to occur. It’s not that living in the mountains guarantees greater purification or transformation. Regardless of where you are, I believe we all experience challenges and growth that guides us to new versions of ourselves.
Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.
Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.