Yes, I admit it, my life is filled with adventure no matter whether I’m looking for it or not. When I got hired to cater David Wolfe’s New Year’s retreat in Hawaii, I had no idea how it would affect my whole outlook on lifestyle and the true necessities in life.
“Oh, you are going to love your digs,” says Terra Ann, my friend and co-owner of the Hawaiian Sanctuary. “You’ll be in your own world once you leave the kitchen.” Now, I liked that sound of that. I absolutely love being in service and assisting those who are practicing a plant-based diet; however, I’ve learned from experience that alone time is needed on any trip. Away from the rest of the guest houses, lodge and yurts sounds good to me! So we don some rubber boots (mine are bright purple and pink) and start hiking up this little muddy trail you’d never know was there or led to anywhere. Through a batch of tall trees and there she is — pure heaven. My first impression was, it’s like a wooden spaceship. No, maybe it is an ark. I had heard it was the raining season.
This eco-pod was one of the first ones on the land. Owner Steve Lund spent many months creating this baby, only to realize there are much easier designs. The gorgeous Hawaiian Sanctuary has about five different versions of eco-pods, a couple cool cabins, a very stylish yurt and a lodge with six more rooms, a spa, a kitchen, lounge and a floating bed for mid-afternoon naps. This home is the basics, all you need to survive in the jungles of the Big Island’s southeast corner. A tin roof overhead, which provides a massive sound during heavy rainfall, a cute deck to ponder life out front, two benches, a desk, a closet and drawers, and a queen-size bed up in the loft. Home sweet home. It feels great to be stripped of all technology and back to nature. For me, there’s something to be said about sleeping in nature. I get the deepest forms of REM sleep ever. Could be the air, could be the rain, could be the frogs that croak a symphony each night.
It’s easy to get into a routine: Wake up at night, put rubber boots on, go outside to pee, boots off, climb ladder, back to bed. Repeat in morning. I have to admit that I was impressed how the screens, wood and roof hold up in some of the worst downpours I’ve ever been in! Built to last.
Although I did realize the downside to the thick, oxygenated moist air and living with now-real walls, mold: Yep, it’s prime conditions for the growth of spores. I learned very quickly to put all belongings into plastic sacks and to wipe down shoes and backpacks with hydrogen peroxide once a week. It’s worth it though, for now. The lesson in this style of living: You don’t need much to be comfortable, but certain perks like dry, waterproof drawers and bags would sure make life in the tropics a tad easier. Note to self: Next trip, bring bags!