Our Full Monte Life…

Fresh, green new year

A fresh new year. And a fresh green focus.

Here in Montenegro, the Orthodox New Year was only 3 days ago and the feasting & celebrating (such as it was, considerably muted of course) has only just ended. And now it’s time to set new goals and launch ourselves into 2021 with positivity and hope.

As things get more crazy and out of control, our determination to carve a meaningful path through the chaos gets stronger.

The fresh, green possibilities

Green shoots of growth – hope & renewal for a fresh, green new year

This article gives hope that Camp Full Monte could benefit from young people’s renewed desire to travel, especially to more unusual destinations. And our off-grid eco-campsite may appeal to increasing numbers of eco-conscious travellers. Community immersion and regenerative travel are on the up and these could be particularly interesting for us because the former builds on our experiences with volunteers over the years, and the latter extends our efforts on sustainability. Because the travel industry, and people’s pockets have been hit hard, we are unlikely to attract the numbers of campers we need to be financially viable. So we may need to re-focus to offer more meaningful experiences to smaller numbers of visitors.

One of the lessons from the pandemic seems to be: “Don’t put your eggs in one basket”. Having ‘One Big Idea’ is a dangerous approach in such volatile times. So, a ‘mosaic’ of small ideas that combine to give enough income to at least live cost neutral for a season could be the answer. Educational workshops; organic veg boxes; sales of homemade preserves; short term dog-fostering; an eco festival… the possibilities are numerous.

But, there are ‘buts’…

But…Montenegrin bureaucracy is still as bonkers as it ever was and in COVID times, things are taking twice as long. And it is unclear if/ when we are able to obtain the necessary bits of paper we need to operate as a campsite. Jumping through hoops and wrestling (metaphorically!) with officials can be achieved with patience, time & money. But we have to ask: ‘is it worth it?’ because our hope is still to travel in the not-too-distant future and the campsite licence is a long-term project. We will look for creative ways around the challenges – which may include moving to a donation-based approach.

Fresh, green Denise

Meanwhile, I (Denise) have embarked on an exciting new career. A few years ago I was introduced to an Austrian company, driven by a philosophy that pushed all my buttons. In a good way. A really, really good way.

RINGANA make personal care products for a green bathroom; skincare cosmetics; food supplements; drinks and a product range for sportspeople. Their USP is freshness. They use only natural, active ingredients – nothing is added that isn’t needed. No fillers, no preservatives, no colours, no perfumes.

Fresh, active ingredients + sustainable, ethical approach = exceptional health & beauty

RINGANA source ingredients from around the globe to provide their customers the most effectivebioavailable solutions to their needs, naturally. And it’s all done with a focus on sustainability and in a consistently ethical way. So, what’s not to love, right?!

Check out this cool video about Re*think, their approach to reduce, reuse & recycle:

The past few weeks have been transformative. I won’t bore you with the details here but I have revamped my social media profile, opened my own shop, connected with some awesome people and yesterday welcomed the first new member of my team. My new mission is:

“Saving the planet one order at a time”

Healthy connections

So… my connection with RINGANA & its health & wellbeing agenda has helped me focus on my own wellness. These days I practice yoga daily & intermittent fast on a regular basis. And on the subject of yoga, I’d like to give a shout out to the awesome yogis, David & Ana at The Intimacy Project with whom I practice every Saturday. Check out their website for a truly wonderful yoga immersion programme.

Since yoga was THE lockdown distraction for so many people, you might be wearing out your leggings by now or need a new mat. If so, head over to Blossom Yoga Wear and support a fabulous female entrepreneur who does so much cool stuff and is such an inspiration. She was kind enough to feature me in a blog post recently too.

So, what’s next?

Who knows exactly!? Because these are unpredictable times indeed. We’ll certainly keep you updated with our fresh plans and ideas as they develop. And of course we’d love to hear from you. What is your focus for 2021? What healthy practices have you adopted? Any bright ideas for turning your life a little bit greener?

If you’re one of our wonderful, unofficial Camp Full Monte ‘fanclub’ members and you hope to make it out to us this summer, comment below or email us. We would LOVE to welcome friends to visit us in the Montenegro sun this summer.

And if you are interested in knowing more about RINGANA, or know people who’d love the fresh products or appreciate a business opportunity that’s fun, flexible and free – get in touch. Leave a message here or connect with me directly on IG @freshgreendenise.

9 Comments

  1. Jen

    Hi Thanks for the fresh ideas and great links ! Enjoying the posts!

    Reply
    1. Denise (Post author)

      Hey Jen. Sorry for the late response!! Thanks for reading & commenting! Glad you’re enjoying the posts… More soon.

      Reply
  2. Jarek

    Hi,
    Never have been at your place but heard a lot of it from others in social media.
    Hope you still be operating the camp in 2021 (despite some challenges related to the license you have mantioned on the blog).

    Good luck and hope see you in summer.

    Jarek & Sanja

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Hi Jarek (& Sanja), thanks for the kind words. The Montenegro economy is very reliant on tourism so we’re remaining positive about obtaining the necessary paperwork to open this summer or at least being eligible for some kind of exception. So please do keep us in mind as a possible destination this summer. If you are able to visit – we’ll work out a way for you to stay with us if you want to.

      Reply
  3. Berni

    I am one of the lucky ones in that I am located close to your amazing space! Eagerly waiting updates with regards to your workshops!

    Reply
    1. Steve

      How do you fancy leading one to showcase your tetra pack weaving skills 🙂

      Reply
      1. Berni

        My Tetra Pak weaving skills have still not been perfected!!….Our dearest Cess is still the queen of Tetra Pak weaving…surely she is due a visit?

        Reply
  4. Roy Chapman

    I have visited Full Monte six times over the past 11 years and seen it develop, each visit there is another small change that adds to the experience. I have met some wonderful people who have passed through, all seem to fall in love with the wonderful garden of Eden that Den and Steve (and the numerous volunteers) have created.

    Through visiting I have also managed to visit a country about which I knew very little, a hidden gem.

    I wish you both well on your travels, but a word of warning – you are unlikely to find anywhere as nice as Full Monte. Good luck trying 🙂

    If you are planning to have a final season before the you mothball Monte, we would love to come and say goodbye.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Thanks Roy. It’s so hard to make any firm plans at the moment but we’re staying positive about beginning our travels in September. What happens from that point on is anyone’s guess – which is actually quite exciting. So we’d love to see you this summer.

      Reply

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