Hopineo: Ela and David, you had left us in Reunion Island, looking for a place for your eco-friendly hostel. Where are you now ?
Poland, our El Dorado? ?
David: Surprise! We came back in Poland since mid 2019. We had to shorten our Reunion Island adventure with some regrets but a lot of lucidity. I was happy to come back home on a lasting basis, but the economic reality of the island brought us back to reality. Victim of its insularity and its popularity with the French (metropolitan) public, land has become a rare commodity. The cost of setting up an activity (purchase or rental) is very high, even prohibitive. We were ready for some compromises but not to change our whole project. We were either forced to modify our plan to follow European directives light years away from current issues, or to rethink a return to Poland. The choice was fairly quick and the second solution became obvious.
H : Have your projects changed in Poland? Are you considering still this eco-friendly guesthouse ?
Ela: Poland is certainly experiencing the massive rural exodus that France experienced a few years / decades ago. The economic dynamism of cities like Warsaw, Krakow, Gdańsk and Wrocław empties the countryside. Polish people go to study in these big cities and most of the time settle there. Few of them today are ready to take over family farms; especially in the conditions that their parents experienced: the difficulty of the work, the uncertainties, variable incomes, etc … The cost of the farms is therefore affordable and above all areas have different sizes (especially compared to Reunion).
Live your dream in nature
D.: On our return, we settled in the lakes region, near the town of Olsztyn. We continued to look for that perfect place to bring all our ideas together. After only a few weeks (coincidence or sign of fate? The future will tell us), we found a little corner of paradise, a beautiful house in the heart of the forest. We have been there since the summer of 2019 and we are ready to open our guest house – inauguration in May 2020.
H : What news ! Tell us a little bit about how this place is ? What are your ideas ?
D.: Our accommodation is called Siedlisko Letnia Kuchnia which we would translate into English by Summer Kitchen GuestHouse. We are fortunate to be on a 3.5 hectare property where there are two beautiful ponds. We are surrounded by forests and we offer 4 bedrooms and a small house. In Poland, our activity can be compared to agrotourism.
E.: The place we found was previously in the hands of a charming couple who already valued nature and its environment. Having retired, it was difficult for themto separate from the place that had seen their family grow. They were however convinced by us, by our profiles and our history already well started with respect for nature, and the values carried towards a more sustainable tourism… This place already has a very beautiful soul .. and we are happy to continue the job.
An idyllic place for developing sustainable tourism
D. : Depuis 2017 et notre voyage entre Asie et Amérique Centrale, nous nous intéressions beaucoup à la philosophie liée à la permaculture. Nous essayons d’ores et déjà d’organiser notre chambre d’hôtes selon ses principes clés. Nous savons que cela prendra du temps mais cela nous tient à cœur.
E . : Our offer includes breakfast and dinner. We serve these meals in our summer kitchen, around a large shared table. We are now carefully preparing our organic vegetable garden. There are almost 300 m2 of cultivated area. Our objective is about having most of our meals from our garden !
H : How will you set up your convictions for responsible tourism?
D. : In general, our activity will be driven by our heart and our values (our philosophy of Letnia Kuchnia to be discovered on our website). We hope to transmit this spirit of slow tourism, contemplative and respectful of its environment. The Letnia Kuchnia guesthouse is a new HopLab in Central Europe. We want to spread best practices around us.
Make our values alive and transmit them
D. : Since the summer 2019, we spend time observing our territory to enhance it in the very short term. We have already established contacts with the neighbors who will be able to supplement our production. We are also working on setting up a zero waste process. We are looking to reduce inputs on the property by rethinking the way we will consume within our family and the guest room. In Poland, we are lucky to still have few deposits on bottles which is already an asset. The use of plastic, on the other hand, is still omnipresent and it is a real challenge to reduce it to the strict minimum.
Without any doubt, we have started a new adventure. We have been waiting for it for a long time. We spent time getting inspired, reading, sharing … and today, it’s our turn to take action. We will make the values of responsible and sustainable tourism shine brightly so that we too can contribute to a better world.
We look forward to welcoming Hopineo members and all his community.
H: Very nice project! We are delighted! See you soon in this wonderful place.
You can find additional information on the Guesthouse :
- Siedlisko Letnia kuchnia : http://letniakuchnia.com
- Or on the blog Move Our World : http://www.moveourworld.com