How about this for a way to escape the relentless pace of the rat race and create your own paradise in the West of Ireland?
Georg and Bettina Peterseil appeared on the Channel Five series ‘New Lives in the Wild’, hosted by British adventurer Ben Fogle.
The couple, who are now in their 70s, arrived in Ireland in 1984 after Austrian Georg and German Bettina had fallen in love
Georg had endured an abusive childhood and a heartbreaking divorce, while Bettina had grown up ashamed of her German roots after the War. Both wanted a fresh start.
They bought a 25-acre property in Co Mayo with some money that Bettina had inherited. They specifically wanted somewhere in the wilderness as they were both feeling disconnected from other people.
Georg said: “We were on a healing journey. We wanted to find a place in the wilderness and heal that disconnection.”
There were no trees, infrastructure, or even a road to their land when they first arrived. What the couple were able to do with the bog land is incredible.
They spent decades working on the property and turned it into a dream home for the eco-friendly couple.
For several years, Georg and Bettina lived in a caravan without electricity, running water and a telephone connection.
The most modern technology they used were gas stoves and candles and they washed in the lake.
With plenty of love and care, they built a dream four-bedroom home that is designed in an organic shape to blend with the landscape and planted around 3,000 trees.
They now have electricity and three wood heating stoves, as well as an electric storage heater.
In the series, Fogle meets people who live ‘alternative lifestyles’ in remote spaces and says that Georg and Bettina’s home is one of his favourites that he has ever seen.
He said: “A bog is synonymous with a dark and oppressive place. Most people try to get away from bogs.
“That is why Georg and Bettina could secure that land. No one else wanted it. But the before-and-after pictures are astonishing. It shows the power of man — and woman — to turn an inhospitable place into a thriving and beautiful habitat of wildlife and colour.
“It is a place of great healing and happiness. Georg and Bettina are a very spiritual couple. They believe in serendipity and destiny. I stayed for a week and came away feeling uplifted.”
Brettina said of the couple’s early days on the land: “I loved having no electricity. Instead of smartphones and TV, we read a lot of books. We had to create our own life within.”
Take a look at this wonderful video that Georg and Bettina uploaded.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling