To Build a Home…
There are many things that have happened in the brief 24 year stint I’ve spent on this big blue rock hurtling through space. Many of them expected – education, work, waking up with a hangover worse than death, sharting oneself – these are all commonplace in the life of Modern man.
However, finding oneself suspended 200m in the middle of Nicaraguan jungle surrounded by your best mates wearing a polka-dot dress was most certainly not one of them.
You see; when I left the UK six months ago I wasn’t myself. Those, apparently, expected commonplace parts of modern-day life had gotten me down – the monotonous morning commute, the endless meetings in an unfulfilling job. Everything had started to take on colour not much dissimilar to Beige.
Simply put, I wasn’t what you’d call happy. I took this out on the people around me without even realising what I was doing and did a lot of damage to both myself and those closest.
Now, before you click the close tab page on your browser, please note this isn’t a sob-story akin to that of an X-factor contestant.
You see, as we got closer to heading off, I realised that our trip would lay perfect in tandem with visiting my old Pals, Jon and Oscar who had somehow managed to achieve the thing that people only dream of – owning a bloody hostel!
Not any hostel though. Through the tireless work of the staff and everyone involved in it’s restoration, Treehouse Nicaragua (or ‘Poste Rojo’ as it was formally known) has become something out of Neverland.
Situated slap bang in the middle of the Nicaraguan Jungle, aka – nowhere, seems quite strange. In-fact if you were none the wiser, you’d probably think you’d gotten lost along the way when you first climb out of shuttle into a sea of green.
But then you look up and everything changes.
We’d been bumming around for almost a month and a half in our crash course of Central before we arrived at the Treehouse. During that time, I’d done some amazing things, met some amazing people and had an all round unbelievable time in some fantastic places.
Yet the week I spent in the Nicaraguan jungle stands out and when I think back on it, the reason was so obvious:
The folks at Treehouse Nicaragua have done more than managing to build a hostel. They’ve built a home.
Whether it’s the delicious communal meals, the outrageous parties, the collective hangovers or the heavy inclination towards fancy-dress, there really is something special about that place.
Travel seems to hyper-intensify the relationships with those around you. Two people can go from being absolute strangers to knowing the intimate details of one and another’s bowel movements in a matter of minutes; it’s something to do with the lack of social barriers that we take for common-place in modern life. You sometimes forget that other people are just that: people with their own lives, issues, aspirations and expectations.
This feeling of companionship has never been more true than at the Tree-house. During my stay I met some truly remarkable people, formed new friendships and intensified old ones. By getting lost in the jungle I managed to find the one thing I’d been missing: Absolute, complete Happiness.
Even now, as I find myself back in the big-smog, sending out CV’s left right and centre and wondering what my next steps are I only need to put on our ‘Jungle Anthem’ to put a smile on my face and know that everything will work out in the end. Because I’m already planning my next trip back there.
Here’s a little tip: When life gives you lemons, climb a tree. Put on a silly costume and have a beer. I’m sure you’ll come down smiling.