Our story

Only 3 years ago Timo told me that he would love to live in a tipi for a while. I was surprised. At that moment we lived together for over 17 years and he never mentioned it before. I couldn’t imagine it, living in a tipi in the Netherlands, but wanted to have an open mind. So the days after, I was thinking about it. Dreaming a little. And suddenly there were images shown in my head. I saw us travelling through different countries, at some places staying for a longer period, put up the tipi and be part of the local community for a while. A simple basic way of living, but very fulfilling. I shared these images with Timo and it resonated from within. We never felt the wish of a travelling life before, but for this lifestyle, we both felt a big YES! 

In that time we went through a relationship crisis. Timo had a secret affair that influenced our relation. And a few days after we felt the big YES of a travelling life, I found out about it. Well to be short, we worked it out (more details in our first articles on or blog at www.tipifamily.com) and something beautiful came out of it. Not only our relationship became more honest and stronger, we also found a mission. The mission of the open heart. We experienced during the relationship crisis that an open heart can make a difference. Being overwhelmed by emotions creates a closing movement. You want to protect yourself from pain. It is then very difficult to see what is really there in the moment. The emotions take over, along with the stories of how it should be, together with the pain and experiences we have had in a previous situations. While if you open up, keep your heart open, you see more of what’s really in the now. You have more options to choose from, simply because you can see more options in your openness, your view is wider. You’re not closed off for yourself or another.

Well… without an open heart, Timo and I wouldn’t be together anymore. Without an open heart, we wouldn’t have gone to a relationship weekend, where Timo received images in his head of a festival. Without an open heart, we shouldn’t have organized our first Open heart festival and wouldn’t experience the magic of it. And without an open heart, we never felt the movement to bring the magic of an open heart into the world. A mission was born. Combining this mission and our idea of a traveling life was made very easy. And from that point, everything fell into place. We really wanted to give it a GO.

Very soon we found the perfect truck for us. Made plans to sell our house. And magically when Timo told a neighbour from across the street of our plans, she told him that she had dreamed that night that she was living in our house. And guess what? We sold our house to them, without the need of putting our house on the market. And by selling our house, we’ve got the money to make our new direction in life possible.

We learned very quickly that the feedback we’ve got from life shows us if it is working for us or not. We experienced many times that we wanted something in our head (to be honest; most of the time because of an inside feeling of fear or unsafety), but the feedback of life was totally different. We had to step out of our comfort zone. Face our fears. And learn from every step and mistake we made. We did and suddenly there was more flow in our lives.

We went looking for a tipi to live in and found out that a traditional tipi didn’t make us happy. It is a nice place to be in, but living in it is something else. We felt closed up. We missed a view. And after a quick search on the internet for a tipi with a window, we found one. The perfect one. 

After all, we lived in our tipi in the Netherlands. During the conversion of our truck and trailer, we lived in it for almost a year. It was a really nice experience. The first nights were really chilly, the temperature was around freezing point! But very sudden the weather started to change and the best summer ever started. Living closely with nature was a real blessing. And we enjoyed spending our time there. Up to November, it was really nice to live in the tipi. But from that point, it became a challenge. The winter kicked in. And warming up a giant tipi is a never-ending story. So we made a secluded area in our tipi with curtains and lived on the few square meters around the woodstove these months. We never thought we would still be in the Netherland in wintertime, but the conversion took al lot more time then we thought. So, by surrendering ourselves into the situation, we had a unique time. We survived freezing temperatures, storms and snow. And yes, it was a challenge and it was really cold, but we are looking back on a nice experience.

In April 2019 we were ready for our travelling life. We didn’t plan our journey and wanted to follow our hearts. We only knew that at one point we will be in Portugal and stay there with like-minded people for a while. They shared the same Open heart mission and have a retreat centre there. But till then there was nothing planned, the road was totally open. We took our time and started in Germany, then Belgium & France and landed for a few months in a beautiful place in the north of Spain. There we experienced for the first time being part of the local community for a while. We met so many beautiful people. Slow travelling is more intense and fulfilling than we ever expected. We really liked this life. 

We also discovered that we were on an inner journey as well. When you are on the move, your inner world is moving also. A lot happened. Inner fears became visible, our belief system showed conflicts with real life, many things became clearer.

 The retreat place in Portugal turned out not to be the place where we needed to be. After this realization, a new challenge arose. Not having a place where we could organize events, meant no income. And due to different unforeseen expenses, we were really short on money. We had no prospects of anything else to hold on to. No securities to fall back on. It frightened us. And then it became even worse. We’ve got fined by the police. A huge one. We had to pay € 1.350,- At that point we fell very deep for a moment. We were not able to pay for it. And at first, we didn’t know what to do. But we survived it. With the help of others, when we literally asked for it, but also by being very creative. We started to see the abundance in every moment. We had everything that we needed in the now. A place to sleep, food, beautiful surroundings and being together as a family. Only when we were imagining ourselves into the future with no income we felt the fear of lack. And that paralyzed us. We decided to do it differently and trust ourselves more and more, being open to all what life presents. Following our inner impulses and intuition (they do not make sense most of the time, but ignoring the voices in our head and trusting this is working for us, showed us time after time it is the best way to live). And that led us, through various wanderings, where we are now. At a beautiful place in the south of Portugal.

After a call for a place to stay for a longer period on Facebook, we came to this terrain, near Faro, in the middle of nature. The challenges didn’t stop. After building up the tipi and finally being able to organize various events that would generate income, Corona kicked in. We had to cancel all our activities and had no prospect of when that would be again. We sold some stuff, which gave us the money for buying food. We start building a wooden sanitary building on the terrain, where we’ve got some money for. And later on, they offered us the opportunity to rent out our tipi and a tent during the summertime. Looking back at these months, we didn’t have a lot of money, but always enough to live from. According to normal standards, we are very poor. But in our experience, we are very rich and feel very fulfilled.

July brought the first tourists into our place. For weeks we put a lot of effort and love into preparing the tipi and the tent into beautiful spaces. And we found out that we really love that. Using al our creativity to make something beautiful out of nothing (stuff we found next to the trash). And when the guests came, being a host felt really nice. We like to interact with our guests, make them feel welcome and at home. Cleaning the place and washing all the laundry is part of it. It was never something we liked, but to see the white bedding drying between the lime-trees in the wind, and prepare the space for the next guests, made these chores even fulfilling. 

At the middle of August, we were out of the red numbers, no debts anymore. What a relief. But more important… what a joy we found in running a Glamping! Unexpectedly we found a new passion. We like to do this more, at different places all over the world: The Tipifamily POP-UP Glamping!

Since our journey started 3 years ago, our lives feel like one roller-coaster of experiences. And through all those experiences we found out that this is what life is all about. To experience. Everything. Whether we like it or not.

Our discovery of an open heart was only an invitation to bring back the attention to ourselves. To see the possibility of figuring out how we work as a person and the reality we live in. That is the purpose in life, the true adventure. It brings expansion in ourselves. And also fulfilment & understanding. From the moment we began to trust ourselves more and more and started to act on our inner impulses and intuition, instead of our heads, we came to new discoveries and opportunities we never could have thought. And our new way of life, stepping out of the rat-race, gave us the opportunity and time we need to discover that.

 So, there is no open heart mission for us anymore. Only a daily discovery of ourselves and the reality we live in. This will bring us to new experiences in life. And we started to love all of that, including the things we normally define as a problem, or not likeable. 

We love to experience en explore life and we will continue sharing this with you!  💚

Timo & Tamara

Faro, Portugal. September 1st, 2020.

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