Spanish aventuras with Leanda
We always love hearing from South Africans enjoying adventures abroad – especially if it comes with a beautiful dose of couchsurfing! This month, we chatted to Leanda Trautman Pérez of luxury leather brand, Alex&Marla. This talented entrepreneur currently lives in an idyllic part of Valencia, Spain, with her husband and two daughters. Imagine waking up to that view every day! We find out what it’s like to live in this picture-perfect part of the world.
1. What is a day-in-the-life for you right now?
At the moment I’m the woman of the house, which includes taking care of our two beautiful daughters, Alex and Marla, my handsome Spanish husband, and our Italian greyhound named Claudio.
We recently bought an old Spanish house in the mountains of La Drova, Barx, in the region of Valencia. The house was one of the first houses to be built in our neighbourhood of 1220 residents. It is in need of a lot of love and TLC... Luckily that is one of the things I enjoy doing!
I spend my days fixing up the house, taming the wild garden and cooking lunch. Lunch is always one’s main meal here – the kids come back from school to have lunch and then we take them back to school. I also take Claudio for his twice daily walks.
2. How did you end up living in this area?
The neighbourhood we live in is La Drova and belongs to the town of Barx. In total we are 1220 residents, so the school the kids go to only has 60 kids in total. Everyone knows everyone’s names here. It’s really something special. We moved here after living on the island of Menorca for a year. That was our initial dream when we moved to Spain but we soon realised that the beauty of Menorca in the summer has its downfall during cold winter months in isolation.
The region where we live now, La Safor, has many pretty towns where my husband's family lives. Having them closeby to lend a helping hand with the kids is always a big plus!
3. What are some highlights of your region?
Our area is known for its cycling route, Port de Barx, which starts at the bottom of Gandia (the city we belong to) and works its way up the curvy mountain road. The mountain is called Montduver and is 800m above sea level, whereas our neighborhood’s altitude is at 400m.
There are also many ‘caminos’ (paths) to explore, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced walker. The paths are so well maintained and safe. I enjoy the freedom I have here to walk for hours on my own with Claudio and just being able to soak up all the beauty these surrounding mountains and forests have to offer.
4. What attracted you to the house you bought?
Our house is called La Selva (The Jungle), and the reason we bought her was that she ticked all our boxes. She is old and well built, with beautiful wooden finishes and a large enough garden to keep me busy each day. She has enough room to accommodate all of us and our needs, as my husband works from home he needed an office space and me being an artist needed a studio space to be creative.
Hopefully one day once we have settled in, I’ll be able to start breathing life back into my leather business, Alex & Marla.
5. Tell us more about how Turkish towels fit into your life.
We love our Turkish towels! We’ve had them for years and use them daily. They travel with us wherever we go, from the beach to the mountains. At home they are always close by in a basket, for a quick blanket or a towel when we have a splash outside in the garden – they are just so versatile. As winter is coming, I’ll be sure to put my Turkish throws out on our bed ends very soon!
6. If you can take one Turkish Towel on your travels, which one will it be?
Ohhhh, I always pack my two favourites which are the Süd Black and the Kelim Light Grey. That way, I’m ready for any occasion!
7. Think of you and your towel at a dream destination. Where are you?
Turkey! I’ll definitely love to explore Turkey, not only for its beauty and culture, but also for its traditions. That’s what I love about The Cotton Company Turkish towels – the fact that each one is handcrafted using an age-old weaving technique. There is so much storytelling, craftsmanship and passion that goes into each one – I can just imagine the joy I will feel witnessing this process firsthand.
To find your favourite Turkish towel, browse our handwoven collection and our classic range – available in a range of patterns and colours.