“We have to go back to doing more with neighbours, with family with friends. That’s one way of replacing big government. Yes, you can replace it with a Free Private City and a service model, but you can also replace it with actual communities, and the actual community is, I think more attainable. Particularly for left-leaning people.

Wire 2023 12 07 at 8 19 PM

Marnix van Suylekom: Buying an Abandoned Village in Spain

by | Dec 9, 2023 | Podcast

I know that many of you, myself included, have secretly dreamt of buying an abandoned village and turning it into the utopia of your dreams. Well, today’s guest on the podcast has embarked on one such project and I sat down with him recently in Prague.

Marnix Van Suylekom has a grand plan to apply Agorist principles to the rejuvenation of an abandoned hamlet in a picturesque valley in Galicia, Northern Spain.

In this conversation, we discuss the lessons Marnix has learned so far on his journey to source, buy, and now begin renovating his abandoned village called Panadexo.

There are lots of great insights and info here on his bottom-up approach to the project as well as some chat about life, raising kids, and generally finding freedom in your life.

Enjoy the conversation.

Automatically Generated Summary


The host introduces the podcast and welcomes listeners.

Podcast Introduction

  • Timothy Allen introduces himself as the host of the Free Cities Podcast.
  • This is episode number 55 of the podcast.
  • He mentions reading a book called “Same as Ever” by Morgan Housel, which explores timeless observations of human action.

00:49 The Power of Incremental Change

The host discusses the concept of incremental change and its significance in history and personal projects.

The Concept of Incremental Change

  • People often assume that big companies, nations, or innovations pose the biggest threats or create the biggest opportunities. However, history shows that most catastrophes and amazing things come from a series of tiny risks that compound over time.
  • A Yale study from 2010 revealed that one of the leading causes of obesity is not necessarily eating larger meals but consuming more small snacks throughout the day. This example demonstrates how small actions can lead to significant consequences.
  • Evolution is cited as an ultimate example of how something tiny and insignificant (a single-celled organism) can compound into something extraordinary (human beings).
  • The power of incremental change is often overlooked in our lives, but it plays a crucial role in personal projects and societal transformations.

03:11 Interview with Marnix van Suylekom

The host interviews Marnix van Suylekom, who has embarked on a project to rejuvenate an abandoned village using agorist principles.

Rejuvenating an Abandoned Village

  • Marnix van Suylekom shares his plan to apply agorist principles to revitalize an abandoned hamlet called Panadexo in Galicia, Northern Spain.
  • They discuss lessons learned so far on Marnix’s journey to source, buy, and renovate the abandoned village.
  • The conversation touches on topics such as bottom-up approaches, finding freedom in life, and raising kids.

05:21 Connection to Galicia

The host explores the connection between Marnix van Suylekom and Galicia.

Choosing Galicia

  • Marnix explains that he was looking for abandoned villages and found that Galicia had a lot of them.
  • He discovered that Galicia is not only abundant in abandoned villages but also offers beautiful scenery, friendly people, and affordability.
  • The decision to choose Galicia was based on these factors.

06:05 Finding Abandoned Villages

The host discusses how Marnix van Suylekom found abandoned villages for his project.

Searching for Abandoned Villages

  • Marnix used online resources like estate agent websites and Google Maps to find abandoned villages.
  • Many sites mentioned depopulated villages, but he specifically looked for fully abandoned ones by checking if the roofs were caved in or if the fields were overgrown.

07:30 Dreaming of Rejuvenating a Village

The host shares his own fascination with abandoned villages and dreams of rejuvenating one.

Personal Fascination with Abandoned Villages

  • The host shares his experience making a film about Bulgarian villages that were being depopulated after Bulgaria joined the EU.
  • He encountered villagers who refused to leave their homes and witnessed others returning to their homeland to revitalize abandoned places.
  • It has always been a dream of his to find an abandoned village and undertake a similar project.

Note: Timestamps are approximate.

08:35 Descriptive Title

The speaker discusses the process of acquiring and restoring abandoned properties in a village.

Acquiring Abandoned Villages

  • The speaker initially started as a one-man show, buying and restoring houses in the village.
  • People are now buying into the idea and helping restore their own houses.
  • Most abandoned villages have multiple heirs who own different properties, making it difficult to buy all at once.
  • Contacting all owners and convincing them to sell can be challenging, especially if they are located in different places or even abroad.
  • Some properties may never be known or developed due to ownership complexities.

09:17 Descriptive Title

The speaker explains that advertising entire villages for sale is rare and often a hoax. They discuss the challenges of finding owners of abandoned properties and the need to create their own property registry.

Challenges of Buying Abandoned Properties

  • Advertising entire villages for sale is usually a hoax, so caution is needed when encountering such offers.
  • Abandoned villages often have multiple heirs with different groups owning various plots of land and ruins.
  • Buying all properties at once is almost always out of the question, requiring contacting each owner individually.
  • It can be difficult to locate owners who may have migrated or passed away, leaving behind descendants who may not know or care about their inherited property.
  • Creating their own property registry becomes necessary when ownership details are unknown.

11:09 Descriptive Title

The speaker discusses the challenges posed by migration patterns in Galicia and Spain as a whole. They also mention the difficulty in proving ownership for those living abroad.

Challenges with Migration Patterns

  • Many people who migrated before the 1950s, such as to Cuba, may have descendants who technically own property in Spain but are unaware or uninterested in it.
  • Proving ownership for those living abroad is challenging and would require formalizing the inheritance process.
  • While it is theoretically possible for someone to claim their inherited property in the future, it is unlikely due to practical difficulties.

12:12 Descriptive Title

The speaker explains the process of approaching heirs and securing the sale of properties in the village.

Approaching Heirs and Securing Sales

  • The speaker approached multiple heirs who owned different properties in the village.
  • It took a year to secure the sale of one house as some heirs were living abroad or in different parts of Spain.
  • All four signatures were required, and they needed to process their inheritance before finalizing the sale.
  • The elderly owners were not motivated by money but eventually agreed to sell.
  • Currently, two houses are owned by this group of heirs, with plans to divide one into three apartments and a workshop.

14:07 Descriptive Title

The speaker discusses the progress made in restoring the acquired properties, including fixing roofs, restoring electricity, dividing spaces into apartments, and addressing infrastructure issues.

Restoring Acquired Properties

  • The roof has been fixed, and electricity has been restored in one of the houses.
  • Plans include dividing one house into three apartments and a workshop.
  • Other tasks involve fixing floors, creating walls to separate apartments, installing double-glazed windows, insulating, and addressing plumbing issues.
  • Infrastructure improvements are needed for water supply as well.

15:15 Descriptive Title

The speaker provides an overview of the location of the village and its amenities. They also mention that there are no residents left in the village.

Location and Amenities

  • The village is located in a valley with flatlands surrounded by mountains.
  • There is a small town nearby with amenities such as bars, restaurants, supermarkets, a medical clinic, and more.
  • The speaker’s place is approximately 20 minutes away from this town.
  • The village itself does not have any residents remaining.

15:40 Descriptive Title

The speaker clarifies that their place is considered a hamlet and provides an explanation of what a hamlet is.

Understanding the Term “Hamlet”

  • The speaker refers to their place as a hamlet.
  • A hamlet typically refers to a small settlement with fewer than 1,000 residents.
  • It may have some amenities but is generally smaller in scale compared to a town.

16:25 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker discusses the process of building a new house without permits and the percentage of the area belonging to them.

Building Without Permits

  • The speaker mentions that they were able to build an entire new house without requiring any permits. 16:25
  • They mention that one group of heirs has sold their portion of the land, so approximately 20% of the area belongs to them. 16:25
  • The speaker also notes that since the area is abandoned, it could be considered 100% theirs. 16:51

17:10 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker discusses the condition of the houses in the area and their plans for regeneration.

Regenerating Abandoned Houses

  • The speaker mentions that before being abandoned, the houses had electricity and water. However, over time, they have crumbled due to neglect. 17:10
  • They explain how small leaks can lead to bigger issues with beams and floors if not addressed promptly. 17:32
  • Some heirs live nearby but have not visited their own properties in years. 17:53

18:14 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker talks about their approach to buying other properties and developing a community.

Buying Other Properties

  • The speaker explains that they are part of a free commune where anyone can buy a house and fix it up themselves or hire someone else to do it for them. 18:14
  • They prefer people who genuinely want to be part of the community rather than just property developers looking for profit. 18:41

19:03 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker discusses the availability of land for development and rejuvenation.

Land Availability

  • The speaker mentions that they have enough land to develop three or four more apartments for rent or sale. 19:03
  • They also state that if someone wants to use the land for agricultural purposes, they can utilize the entire village area. 19:28

19:50 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker talks about their efforts to attract like-minded individuals and facilitate the buying process.

Attracting Residents

  • The speaker is actively looking for freedom-minded people who share their vision and are interested in living in the community. 19:50
  • They mention having knowledge of potential buyers and being able to negotiate on behalf of heirs who don’t speak Spanish. 20:11
  • The speaker emphasizes their desire for residents rather than temporary visitors or digital nomads. They aim to create a vibrant living community. 21:01

21:46 Descriptive Title

In this section, the speaker discusses the affordability of property prices in comparison to Western Europe.

Property Prices

  • The speaker highlights that even though properties are ruins, they are still much cheaper compared to other parts of Western Europe. 21:46
  • An example is given where a collapsed ruin with approximately 25 acres of land could be purchased at a significantly lower price due to its condition and location. 22:09
  • Renovating an old house is considered more expensive than starting from scratch by building a new one.23:17

Note: Timestamp 1376 seconds does not have any relevant content related to property prices.

24:21 Living and Financial Sustainability

The conversation revolves around the speaker’s plans for living and financial sustainability in their chosen location. They discuss how digital nomadism has helped in this regard, as well as the speaker’s current means of sustaining themselves financially.

Plans for Living and Financial Sustainability

  • The speaker’s main occupation is working on their project.
  • They sustain themselves financially through savings.
  • Additionally, they assist people with construction projects to generate income.
  • In the past, the speaker developed land in Latin America, building roads, water systems, and managing construction projects.
  • Their plan in Galicia is similar but on a smaller scale with a maximum of 100 residents.

25:29 Approach to Free Cities and Autonomy

The discussion focuses on the speaker’s approach to free cities and autonomy. They explain the difference between top-down approaches used by governments and their own bottom-up approach. The speaker emphasizes building strong communities first before subverting existing systems.

Free Cities Spectrum and Approach

  • The free cities approach is typically a top-down approach where governments are convinced to establish free cities for economic benefits.
  • The speaker’s approach is bottom-up, starting with building a strong community before challenging or bending existing rules.
  • Initially, they aim to keep a low profile while gradually improving freedom within legal boundaries.
  • Building good relationships with local municipalities and neighbors is important for integration into society.

27:28 Agorism and Small-Scale Communities

The conversation delves into agorism and small-scale communities. The term “agorism” is explained as a small-scale economy where people can come together to collaborate. Decision-making within tribes or small groups is discussed.

Agorism and Decision-Making in Small-Scale Communities

  • Agorism refers to small-scale economies and communities where people can collaborate.
  • In a tribe or community of up to 150 people (Dunbar’s number), decision-making can be based on full agreement.
  • The speaker aims to limit collective decision-making to areas that make sense, such as the water system.
  • Decisions are made through voting, with options for in favor, against, or neutral.
  • Even with a smaller community, egos and differing opinions can still pose challenges in decision-making.

30:16 Population Cap and Decision-Making

The discussion explores the idea of a population cap for Panadexo and how decisions would be made within a community of 150 people. The speaker explains the importance of keeping decision-making limited to areas that benefit the whole community.

Population Cap and Decision-Making Process

  • The speaker would be happy if Panadexo reaches a population of 150 members.
  • Decision-making within this size of community is based on limited areas that make sense collectively.
  • For example, investments in the water system would require voting among community members.
  • If even one person votes against a proposal, it needs modification until they either vote in favor or remain neutral.
  • Egos can still impact decision-making even within smaller communities.

These notes provide an overview of the main topics discussed in the transcript.

32:37 The Role of Big Government and Atomized Lifestyles

In this section, the speaker discusses how atomized lifestyles are enabled by big government and suggests that replacing big government can be achieved through fostering actual communities.

Replacing Big Government with Communities

  • Atomized lifestyles are facilitated by big government.
  • To replace big government, one option is to create free private cities or service models.
  • Another option is to foster actual communities, which may be more attainable.
  • Socialism can work well on a small scale, such as within a family unit.
  • Libertarian families often do not follow a completely libertarian approach in raising children.

33:50 Challenges of Scaling Socialism and Making Agreements in Communities

This section explores the challenges of scaling socialism and making agreements within communities. It also discusses the importance of conflict resolution and the limitations of contracts.

Challenges of Scaling Socialism

  • Socialism scales poorly as more people are forced to comply with collective decisions.
  • The larger the collective, the worse socialism becomes.

Making Agreements in Communities

  • In small communities, there is a need for rules and agreements.
  • Initially, constitutions were considered but later questioned if they were necessary for such small communities.
  • Conflict resolution plays an important role in community dynamics.
  • Contracts can be made but may still be broken despite their existence.

36:14 Property Rights and Community Cohesion

This section delves into property rights within communities and how conflicts related to property ownership can impact community cohesion.

Property Rights and Conflicts

  • Property rights play a significant role in community dynamics.
  • Conflicts may arise when someone falls on hard times and needs to sell their property.
  • The buyer of the property might not align with the community’s values or principles.
  • The influx of individuals from different sections of society can potentially disrupt community cohesion.

37:39 Ideology and Community Cohesion

This section explores the role of ideology in maintaining community cohesion and the challenges associated with enforcing ideological principles.

Ideology and Community Cohesion

  • Ideology, such as the non-aggression principle or libertarianism, often serves as a unifying factor within communities.
  • However, ideologies can change over time, making it challenging to enforce them as a requirement for community membership.
  • Enforcing strict ideological adherence may contradict libertarian principles.

39:09 Conflict Resolution in Communities

This section discusses conflict resolution within communities and highlights the importance of community involvement in resolving disputes.

Conflict Resolution in Communities

  • In cases of conflicts, communities rely on their internal mechanisms for resolution.
  • Traditional methods like tribal elders or mediators are used to facilitate dispute resolution.
  • Government intervention is avoided, emphasizing community autonomy and self-governance.

Note: The transcript provided does not cover the entire video.

40:46 The Challenges of Living in a Small Village

This section discusses the challenges of living in a small village and how it differs from modern times where people have more freedom to choose where they live.

Living in a Close-knit Community

  • In the past, living in a small village meant being part of a close-knit community.
  • Divorce was uncommon as people were expected to stay within the community for their entire lives.
  • Nowadays, people have more freedom to choose where they live and divorce is more common.

Lack of Community Support

  • In modern times, the sense of community support has diminished.
  • People now have the option to move anywhere on the globe and live there.
  • This raises questions about how communities can address long-term problems and maintain cohesion.

Creating an Appealing Community

  • To encourage people to stay, communities need to be attractive and offer opportunities that make people want to remain.
  • The challenge lies in creating an environment that meets the needs and desires of its residents.

41:46 Factors Influencing Migration from Small Communities

This section explores some factors that contribute to people leaving small communities and seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Government Policies

  • Government policies can negatively impact family dynamics by separating parents from their children due to work demands or education systems.
  • The lack of quality time spent with children can weaken family bonds and lead individuals to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Weakening Family Ties

  • Modern lifestyles often result in weakened family ties, with less emphasis on close relationships between siblings or extended family members.
  • When individuals do not have strong connections within their hometowns or families, they are more likely to venture out and explore other places.

Examples of Staying Together

  • Despite these challenges, some families manage to stay together in small villages or communities.
  • These families often have strong bonds and support systems that enable them to remain in their hometowns.

44:03 The Shift from Self-Sufficiency to Modern Living

This section discusses the shift from self-sufficient living in small communities to modern lifestyles, highlighting the difficulties of maintaining a self-sufficient lifestyle in the present day.

Historical Self-Sufficiency

  • In the past, many small communities were self-sufficient, relying on local resources for their needs.
  • People rarely left their villages except for occasional trips to nearby towns or fairs.

Challenges of Self-Sufficiency Today

  • Achieving self-sufficiency in the modern world is challenging due to various factors such as high land prices and limited resources.
  • Even in rural areas, it can be difficult to sustain a self-sufficient lifestyle economically.

Balancing Traditional and Modern Elements

  • While complete self-sufficiency may not be feasible, individuals can incorporate elements of traditional living into their modern lives.
  • This could include working online or following educational courses while still growing some food and embracing a more sustainable lifestyle.

46:34 Finding Alternative Ways of Living

This section explores alternative ways of living that allow individuals to reduce costs, work creatively, and prioritize family-oriented values over traditional career paths.

Creativity and Collaboration

  • By sticking together as a family or community, individuals can reduce costs and collaborate on creating products or services.
  • Examples include niche markets or unique handmade products sold online.

Rethinking Education and Careers

  • Public education often emphasizes preparing individuals for traditional careers rather than alternative paths.
  • Shifting focus towards family-oriented values and reevaluating the importance of money can lead to more fulfilling lifestyles outside conventional office jobs.

Overcoming Societal Expectations

  • Society often ingrains the idea that children should leave home and pursue distant opportunities.
  • Challenging this expectation and embracing a more localized lifestyle can lead to stronger community bonds and a different perspective on success.

47:52 The Desire for Independence and the Influence of Rural Living

This section discusses the desire for independence and how living in rural areas can shape one’s perspective on community, family, and personal fulfillment.

Desire for Independence

  • The desire for independence is deeply ingrained in modern society.
  • Living in rural areas, such as the countryside, can amplify this desire due to the sense of freedom and connection with nature.

Reevaluating Community Bonds

  • In rural areas, where communities are smaller and closer-knit, there is a greater appreciation for community bonds.
  • This can lead individuals to question the necessity of leaving home and seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Balancing Individual Needs with Community Life

  • Finding a balance between individual needs and community life is essential.
  • Embracing elements of self-sufficiency while still benefiting from modern conveniences allows individuals to create fulfilling lives within their communities.

48:33 The Tricky Part of Exploring the World

In this section, the speaker discusses the challenges of exploring the world and realizing the limitations of life. They emphasize that while it is important to explore, one should also be aware that not everyone will achieve great success or fulfill their dreams.

Realizing Limitations and Adjusting Expectations

  • It is difficult to look at the world and not want to explore it.
  • However, it is important to understand the limitations of life itself.
  • Pursuing dreams like becoming a big athlete may result in failure for most people.
  • After a couple of years, one should be open to trying something else if their initial pursuit does not work out.

Contentment and Mindset

  • The speaker asks if one would be content staying in their current location indefinitely.
  • They mention that they personally enjoy moving around and building things.
  • Having a purpose and designing/building things brings fulfillment.

Future Plans for Children

  • The speaker mentions having children who are currently three and one year old.
  • They discuss imagining what their lives will be like as teenagers.
  • While they expect their children to explore different places, they believe they will eventually come back home.

Multigenerational Living

  • The speaker shares an example of a friend who homeschooled his kids and allowed his son to move abroad at 15 years old.
  • They express that children should have the opportunity to live on their own and experience different cultures.
  • Multigenerational living is seen as beneficial, with many women returning close to their families later in life.

Raising Children in Big Families

  • In Latin America, there is a tradition of big families living together under one roof.
  • This provides support for raising children as there are always other family members present.
  • Nowadays, raising children has become harder due to relying more on government services and losing the natural support network.

Future Plans for Multigenerational Living

  • The speaker mentions their plan to buy a farm and have their children stay there.
  • They believe in the concept of multigenerational living, where children grow up and build houses nearby.
  • Property prices can make it challenging for young families to achieve this, but subdividing or building new structures can help facilitate multigenerational living.

Moving into the New Home

  • The speaker anticipates moving into their new home within six months.
  • They mention that the third baby is due in May, so they aim to have the house ready by April.
  • However, they may not actually move in until after the baby is born.

56:04 The Start of the Virtual Community

In this section, the speaker discusses how they started the virtual community and website, freecomm.org. They explain that they knew people who were interested in joining because they had been promoting it through writing articles.

Starting the Virtual Community

  • The speaker started the virtual community and website, freecomm.org, before having any idea of where they were going to do it.
  • They promoted the community by writing articles and expressing their interest in creating a shared space for like-minded individuals.

56:26 Overcoming Challenges

In this section, the speaker talks about overcoming challenges when starting the virtual community. They mention finding abandoned properties as a prerequisite for their project and discuss ways to bypass government regulations.

Finding Abandoned Properties

  • One of the prerequisites for starting the virtual community was finding abandoned properties where they could establish their project.

Bypassing Government Regulations

  • The speaker mentions that there are always ways to bypass government regulations, especially when it comes to taxation.
  • They highlight that rich people often find ways around these regulations.
  • However, in a community setting, people from different nationalities can come together and share knowledge on how to navigate these challenges.

57:09 Cryptocurrencies and Local Authorities

In this section, the speaker discusses cryptocurrencies and their potential role in bypassing government taxation. They also mention interactions with local authorities regarding their project.

Cryptocurrencies as a Solution

  • The speaker suggests that cryptocurrencies offer possibilities for bypassing government taxation.
  • They believe that using cryptocurrencies can help individuals and communities avoid excessive taxation.

Interactions with Local Authorities

  • The speaker mentions that only the local authorities, specifically the municipality with around 1,600 people, have shown interest in their project.
  • They explain that the mayor and other officials from the ruling party have been supportive because they also advocate for independence.

58:03 Progress and Challenges with Local Authorities

In this section, the speaker talks about their interactions with local authorities and how it took time to gain their support. They also discuss whether the authorities understood the ideology behind their project.

Gaining Support from Local Authorities

  • Initially, the second-in-command to the mayor helped the speaker find a place to rent for their project.
  • After some time, news spread that they were buying a village, even though they hadn’t made any purchases yet.
  • It took about a year to get all necessary paperwork and permissions from local authorities.

Understanding of Ideology

  • The speaker believes that there is some sympathy from local authorities because many of them are part of Galician National Party and advocate for independence.
  • Galicia is known for its unique history, identity, and language similar to Portuguese.

58:58 Galicia’s Unique Identity

In this section, the speaker discusses Galicia’s unique identity as a region within Spain. They mention its distinct history, language (similar to Portuguese), climate, and wine production.

Galicia’s Distinct Identity

  • Galicia is one of those regions in Spain with its own history, identity, and language similar to Portuguese.
  • It has a different climate compared to other parts of Spain; it is green like Southwest England on the coast.

Wine Production in Galicia

  • The speaker mentions that Galicia has a rich wine production heritage dating back 2,000 years.
  • They highlight the Albariño wine as one of the famous wines from the region.

59:47 Goose Barnacles and Galician Cuisine

In this section, the speaker discusses Galician cuisine, specifically goose barnacles (a delicacy) and local wines. They also mention how Galicia has gained popularity in recent years.

Goose Barnacles and Local Cuisine

  • The speaker talks about goose barnacles, a delicacy found on the coast of Galicia.
  • They describe how these barnacles are harvested in a dangerous process along the “Coast of Death.”
  • The speaker also mentions other local dishes and wines that contribute to Galician cuisine.

Popularity of Galicia

  • The speaker notes that Galicia has gained popularity in recent years, with its wines like Albariño being available in supermarkets outside of Spain.

01:00:59 Discovering Galicia and Buying the Village

In this section, the speaker discusses their discovery of Galicia and buying a village. They mention considering other countries but ultimately choosing Spain.

Discovering Galicia

  • The speaker had never been to Galicia before discovering it while searching for a place to establish their project.
  • They had previously visited Spain and Portugal but not this specific part of Spain.

Considering Other Countries

  • Bulgaria was on their list as a potential location due to many deserted villages; however, language barriers were a concern.

01:02:23 Revitalizing Deserted Villages

In this section, the speaker discusses revitalizing deserted villages as a growing trend. They mention that there are still more abandoned properties than people interested in buying them.

Revitalizing Deserted Villages

  • Revitalizing deserted villages has become a popular idea, especially on platforms like YouTube.
  • However, the supply of abandoned properties still exceeds the demand, as many old people live in these areas.

01:03:04 Challenges of Starting a Community Project

In this section, the speaker discusses the challenges of starting a community project. They mention that while it is an appealing idea, it requires a lot of work and dedication.

Challenges of Starting a Community Project

  • The speaker acknowledges that starting a community project is an appealing idea but emphasizes that it involves significant effort and hard work.
  • Many people are interested in the concept but may not fully understand the commitment required to make it successful.

01:03:45 Galicia Unzipped Show and Joining the Group

In this section, Marnix discusses his show called “Galicia Unzipped” and how people can join her group.

Show Progress and Channel

  • Marnix’s show is called “Galicia Unzipped” where he shows progress and shares information.
  • The channel is called “Galicia Unzipped.”

Joining the Group

  • To join the group, visit the website freecommune.org.
  • Marnix encourages people to read all the articles and watch all the videos on the website before visiting or joining.
  • It is important to have a good understanding of what the project entails before getting involved.

01:04:10 Room for More Residents

In this section, Marnix talks about having room for more residents in his community.

Getting More Residents

  • One of the main reasons Marnix is attending Liberty Lifetime conference is to attract more residents.
  • There is still room for more people in his community.
  • He encourages interested individuals to read all the articles and watch all the videos on their website before making a decision.

01:04:30 Main Pitfalls and Disappointments

In this section, Marnix discusses some common pitfalls and disappointments that people may encounter when considering this lifestyle.

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Some people have idealized expectations based on van life YouTube videos that make it look amazing.
  • They may not anticipate that houses require maintenance or that they might be in a state of disrepair.

Lack of Information

  • It’s important for individuals to do their homework by reading articles and watching videos to gather accurate information about what to expect.
  • Some people have been disappointed because the reality didn’t match their expectations.

01:04:48 Pitfalls of Idealization

In this section, Marnix talks about the pitfalls of idealizing this lifestyle and not being prepared for the challenges.

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Some people have unrealistic expectations about what this lifestyle entails.
  • They may expect houses to be easy to build or maintain, but in reality, it requires effort and work.

Distance and Location

  • Another common pitfall is underestimating the distance or location of the community.
  • Some people may find it too far away from amenities or services they are used to.

01:05:30 Finding Information About the Community

In this section, Marnix explains how people typically find out about his community and join.

Discovering the Community

  • People can find out about Marnix’s community through various channels such as friends or Libertarian websites that link to their website.
  • It’s important for interested individuals to explore all available resources before making a decision.

Doing Homework

  • Marnix emphasizes that individuals need to do their homework by reading articles and watching videos on their website.
  • This ensures that they have a good understanding of what the community offers before joining.

01:05:55 Main Pitfall for Those Fantasizing About This Lifestyle

In this section, Marnix discusses the main pitfall for those who fantasize about living this lifestyle.

Lack of Realization

  • The main hurdle is realizing that this lifestyle requires commitment and effort.
  • Many people have romanticized ideas but fail to understand the amount of work involved in building and maintaining a sustainable life.

01:06:15 Failure Rate in Rural Panama

In this section, Marnix shares her observations about the failure rate of people attempting to live in rural Panama.

High Failure Rate

  • Marnix lived in rural Panama for 10 years and witnessed a higher failure rate among individuals attempting to build their own properties.
  • Many people underestimated the amount of work and challenges involved.

Language Barrier

  • One challenge is the language barrier, especially if individuals don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Learning the local language or hiring someone who can communicate becomes necessary.

01:06:58 Work and Thought Process

In this section, Marnix discusses the importance of work and adapting one’s thought process when living this lifestyle.

Work and Language

  • Living in a different country requires learning the language or hiring someone who can assist with communication.
  • Doing things oneself requires putting in a lot of work and effort.

Change in Thought Process

  • Transitioning from a 9-to-5 job to this lifestyle involves changing one’s thought process.
  • It’s important to become an entrepreneur and find ways to keep busy and engaged.

01:07:42 The Reality of Living Abroad

In this section, Marnix talks about the reality of living abroad and how it differs from romanticized ideas.

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Many people have unrealistic expectations about living abroad, envisioning only leisure time watching sunsets on the beach.
  • However, that can only be a small percentage of one’s time as daily life still needs attention.

Boredom and Distractions

  • Living abroad may become boring if there are no hobbies or interests to pursue.
  • Distractions exist everywhere, whether in a city or a remote location. It’s essential to have something meaningful going on for oneself.

01:09:00 Having Something to Do

In this section, Marnix emphasizes the importance of having something to do and staying engaged.

Need for Activities

  • Regardless of where one lives, it’s crucial to have hobbies, interests, or a job.
  • Living in a city may offer more entertainment options, but ultimately, it’s about finding personal fulfillment.

01:09:39 Future Plans and Self-Sufficiency

In this section, Marnix discusses his future plans and aspirations for self-sufficiency.

Building and Gardening

  • Marnix plans to continue building by constructing temples or fantasy buildings.
  • He also wants to focus on gardening and making everything aesthetically pleasing.


  • While full self-sufficiency is impossible, Marnix believes taking steps towards self-sufficiency is beneficial.
  • He intends to have a few chickens, a vegetable garden, and fruit trees as part of his sustainable lifestyle.

01:11:21 The Importance of Chestnut Trees

In this section, the speaker discusses the significance of chestnut trees and their historical consumption in Spain. They also mention the potential for farming opportunities related to chestnuts.

Chestnuts as a Traditional Food Source

  • Chestnuts were commonly consumed, especially in mountainous areas of Spain, before the introduction of potatoes.
  • Despite their popularity, chestnuts are rarely found in restaurants but still sell for a high price in Spain.
  • The speaker personally enjoys chestnuts during Christmas time, but they are not typically purchased at other times of the year.

Farming Opportunities with Chestnut Trees

  • There are many apple trees left on the farm, along with numerous inherited chestnut trees that can become centuries old.
  • These trees used to provide food for many people and can still be utilized for various purposes.
  • Individuals interested in serious farming can take advantage of the opportunity presented by these chestnut trees.
    • Options include harvesting them or feeding them to pigs initially (due to parasites), cleaning up the area underneath by grazing sheep or goats, and finding a niche market for chestnut-related products.

01:12:49 Finding Your Niche in Farming

This section focuses on finding a profitable niche within farming and highlights examples such as using free chestnuts or specializing in expensive mushrooms or honey production.

Choosing Profitable Farming Ventures

  • Growing potatoes may lead to a poor quality of life as it is difficult to make money solely from potato farming.
  • However, there are opportunities for profitability by focusing on specific niches within agriculture.
    • Utilizing free resources like chestnuts can be a good opportunity if there is demand for them.
    • Specializing in high-value products like expensive mushrooms or honey can also lead to a sustainable income.

01:14:10 The 94-Year-Old Lady in the Nearby Hamlet

This section discusses an elderly lady living alone in a nearby hamlet and her perspective on the speaker’s farming activities.

The 94-Year-Old Lady

  • There is another hamlet half a mile away, where a 94-year-old lady lives alone.
  • Despite her age, she chooses to live there instead of using her house in the main village.
  • Locals refer to her as “the lady with the shotgun” because she is cautious about unexpected visitors and has been known to use her shotgun when feeling threatened.

Interaction with the Elderly Lady

  • Initially, the lady was shy but eventually became more comfortable with the speaker’s presence.
  • She continues to live in the hamlet even after her husband passed away several years ago.
  • A newspaper article was published about her, which gained attention across Europe.

01:15:39 Positive Feedback from Neighbors

This section highlights that most people are supportive of the speaker’s farming endeavors due to awareness of population decline and appreciation for young people returning to rural areas.

Population Decline Awareness

  • Galicia has experienced a significant decline in population over time due to factors such as migration and low birth rates.
  • The issue of population decline is well-known among locals, leading them to appreciate young people returning to rural areas.

Positive Feedback from Neighbors

  • The speaker exclusively receives positive feedback from neighbors regarding their farming activities.
  • The community recognizes the importance of younger generations engaging in agricultural practices and appreciates their presence.

01:17:59 Bulgarians Returning from Europe

This section draws parallels between Bulgaria and Spain regarding population decline and mentions Bulgarians returning from Europe to buy properties in their home country.

Population Decline in Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria also faces population decline, with many young people leaving rural areas for cities or other European countries.
  • The drain of youngsters from the countryside is a significant concern among Bulgarians.

Bulgarians Returning with Money

  • Some Bulgarians who have earned money in Europe are now returning and buying properties in Bulgaria.
  • Properties in Bulgaria are relatively cheap compared to other European countries, making it an attractive investment opportunity.

01:18:17 Polish People Doing the Same in the Netherlands

This section mentions Polish individuals working in the Netherlands and using their earnings to purchase properties back home.

Polish Workers in the Netherlands

  • Many Polish individuals work in construction jobs in the Netherlands.
  • They earn money there and then invest it by buying properties in Poland.

Benefits of Investing Locally

  • Buying properties in Poland allows them to make use of their earnings effectively.
  • Compared to purchasing property in expensive locations like London, investing locally provides better opportunities.

01:18:56 Advantages of Working Abroad

In this section, the speaker discusses the advantages of working in a different country and building a dream life there.

Advantages of Working Abroad

  • The speaker mentions that if their family was in the country they were working in, it would be advantageous for them. They believe that earning money in a foreign country and then returning home to build their dream life is an appealing prospect.
  • The speaker expresses admiration for individuals from countries like Poland, Bulgaria, or Portugal who can work in Germany for five years and then return to their home countries to create a better life.
  • The speaker acknowledges that all these countries mentioned are beautiful places to live.

01:19:14 Contact Information and Good Wishes

In this section, the speaker provides contact information and wishes good luck to the interviewee.

Contact Information and Good Wishes

  • The interviewer asks how people can get in touch with the interviewee if they are interested in learning more about their experiences. The interviewee suggests sending a message through the website freecom you.org.
  • The interviewer expresses appreciation for the interviewee’s insights and wishes them good luck.
  • The interviewer looks forward to attending the interviewee’s talk scheduled for tomorrow before lunch.

01:19:34 Talk Preview

In this section, the interviewer asks about the details of the interviewee’s upcoming talk.

Talk Preview

  • The interviewer asks about the name of the interviewee’s talk. The interviewee states that it will be called “How to Create a Recipe for Community.”
  • The talk aims to provide guidance on building communities effectively.

01:19:55 Conclusion and Farewell

In this section, the interviewer concludes the conversation and thanks the interviewee for their time.

Conclusion and Farewell

  • The interviewer wishes the interviewee good luck with their talk.
  • The interviewer expresses gratitude for the interviewee’s participation in the conversation