About Me

Hi, I’m Kirsty! I was born and raised in Canada, but I’ve been wandering around since 2001, living and working in a bunch of places. Kigali, Rwanda is where I called home from 2010 to 2017 but I’m on the move again and I’ve decided that Portugal is the place for me.

I’ve managed to set up a business that sort of looks after itself for most of the year and my plan now is to buy a ruin in Portugal and see if I can figure out how to turn a pile of rocks into a home. I’ve been interested in natural building and permaculture since around 2010 and now I’m finally getting things rolling.

While I do have a bit of building experience, I certainly have no idea how to turn a ruin into anything livable. I don’t even really have much of an idea of how to buy a ruin, to be honest! But that’s the idea of this blog… to write about the process (with all of its ups and downs) as a bit of a diary for me and in the hopes that the information, mistakes, little victories, and all of that fun stuff are helpful to someone else.

I seem to be a serial web designer with a bunch of blogs and website for various parts of my life. If you’d like to delve a bit deeper into who I am and how I found myself here in Portugal, there are my other websites and blogs…

  • Nerdy Nomad – This is my super neglected blog from 2007 when I quite my job in London, UK and started backpacking around the world. The design was messed up and the comments were all lost when I switched servers, but if you’re interested in early digital nomad stuff, disaster volunteering, and solo backpacking it might still be interesting.
  • Living in Kigali – When I arrived in Kigali, Rwanda in 2010 I noticed that there was no decent site to help new arrivals, so I made one! This website grew and now it’s the most popular expat-oriented site for Kigali and it even earns a bit each month from advertisers. Related – I love Kigali and always look forward to going back there. If you’re looking for an easy country to start your African travels in – Rwanda is it!
  • Africa Guide Maps – My main business now seems to be making paper tourist maps of East African capital cities. It’s funny the paths life takes you on! Africa Guide Maps is a one person operation and I travel back to the region regularly to make reprints. I have no idea how long people will be using paper maps but, so far, it’s a great little business and I love everything about the work.

But all of those are on the back burner for now as I spend 2020 taking a few building courses and working on some interesting natural building projects in Portugal. I hope you enjoy following along!