Earth Lodge – Our first night in a Canopy Cabin

Earth Lodge  Antigua Guatemala

Our first night in a Canopy Cabin in an Avocado Plantation

A series of cracks, like fireworks going off, woke me this a.m.  Unable to see through the canopy of trees, I raced down the path for a better look.  Darn. Too many trees. I could see volcanoes but I was unable to work out which one was making the noise.

Explorason is still fast asleep.  He looks so peaceful and warm.

So I throw on some warm clothes (it is freezing and I slept with 4 blankets/quilts in our Triangle wood ‘home’.)  I make a French Press plunger coffee and sat out on the balcony of our Canopy Cabin at Earth Lodge.  And waited. In the silence, the noises were so clear.  A hummingbird moving between Canna flowers for its morning nectar. The scurry of a lizard. And again a boom from the volcano.

I looked out across avocado and coffee plantations, and down to Antigua.  I decide to sit outside in the peace and enjoy my morning coffee.

We had only arrived yesterday, and it seemed so long ago.
When we got to the top of the hill, we had to pass the local girls, not ladies, girls – washing and scrubbing clothes at the communal pool.

This is the area for the Mayan locals to do their laundry, and I ask if I can take a photo, and they are quite OK with that.

Life can get so rushed as a traveler, and now was our two days of serenity.
So now here we are in a Canopy Cabin – in the hills of Antigua.
I really cracked up when I arrived and found out the wi-fi was down and  I couldn’t ‘catch up’ on my work.  Work?  This was my dream life of traveling stress-free, Yet I was having such a great time, I had fallen behind on ‘work’.
So what is ‘work’ to a single traveling Mum?
For me, it is a myriad of things.
Firstly I have to blog.
Blogging is going to hopefully one day make me an income, so we can keep traveling, and exploring this wonderful world.
My blog has started out as Blogspot but needs to change over to its own website so I can look more professional, and get some higher traffic.
But to do that I need time.
Time to set up, sit down and pay for a few things.
Time for a new design.
This is ‘work’.
I also want to write.  I want to inspire others. Especially single Mums around the world that do not have to just exist and hate their life, but with commitment, they can pack up and start a new journey of life.  I know because I got down to my last $20 and my life was horrible, and I changed it!  So to sit and write is going to mean to stop for a while somewhere.
I have to book flights.
I have to book hotels and hostels.
I have to book shuttles as they fill up from Antigua to the lake on weekends, and that is where we are headed next.
We are also going to a resort as a treat soon, and I needed to book that while the special was on.
I am meeting my sister before Christmas and I need to arrange an itinerary for that. Another booking.  I have not seen the family in 1.5 years and we do miss them, that this is important to us, and we are not canceling it for anything.
On and on the list of what I have to do goes on between now and Christmas.
I need to get online and select a few DS games for my son for Christmas.  Santa still comes, so there are things to arrange for that. And I can have my sister bring gifts.  It is impossible to shop for surprises as a single traveling Mum.  I do NOT leave my son in a hostel/hotel and go shopping as some people do.  But again I need the internet to buy these gifts.  I need to be able to then access my banking to pay for them.
We have been offered to house-sit next year.  The lady has never had house-sitters before, and I can’t let her know I’m off the radar for 2 days. She wanted an answer and we might lose the chance.  She wanted a reply, and a Skype conversation set up.  More stress.  We need this house-sit to save money.
Talking of money, I need to look at the banking and transfer some cash to my Travel Money Card, so next time I go to an ATM Cash Teller, there is actually money I can withdraw. Another job to do.
I need to plan the route we take over the next 4 countries.
I need to sit down with a calendar and sort out what days we will be where. People naively think we travel with not care, and there is no stress or planning, and no timelines, but when it all has to work to be at certain places, then there are timelines.
These are just a few areas of my ‘work’.
It is also making sure I have one on one time with my son while he reads his space and nature books and I get time to help him with the words he doesn’t know.  And as sit and help him catch up on his journal.  He is so pleased after he finishes, but often it is a pained experience for most boys to sit and write.  But for me, as a world-schooling Mum, I feel this is an area we have to ‘work’ together on, as he struggles with it alone.
He also wants to go online so he can grab some animated characters to draw.

So to get here and find there is no wi-fi just stressed me out.  We had to pay for a special shuttle van as it is a distance out of town.  We then had to walk about ½ km carrying our bags (I am not looking forward to going back up), and yesterday on my arrival. Just feeling like I was stuck here, while my stress builds up, and I have so much work to do. Stuck, in the middle of an avocado plantation!

But I also believe that we are here to have time in nature and to relax.  I had visions of myself lying in a hammock with my laptop, and relaxing as I catch up on many of these things.
So what to do?  Well, you have to embrace the changes.  You have to let go of the expectations you have for yourself, and trust it will all work out. And as the morning breaks, we get up and go for a walk, after enjoying our breakfast on our little porch area.

Time for a shower. The en-suite is down the hill!  And it is not private. It is shared with a couple of other cabins, but the water is hot, and the shower is excellent!

So yesterday we ended up going through the 500 movies they have here and picking out a dozen new ones to put on the laptop for ‘family nights’.   My son discovered about 10 Simpson’s discs, so he happily sat and watched a couple of those.
Then we started a game of Monopoly.  Firstly I learn the American board is not the same as the Australian board, so it was fun buying up new properties. Explorason has been busting to play, so when he was asked by another couple, he was excited. We had enjoyed lunch outside, and the serenity of the gardens.
We had discovered the playground; the horse; and the Mayan wood-fire sauna house in the field below.
I decide it is time for a bit of fun, and try my avocado juggling skills. There are balancing roll boards and games outside. This is a bit like a campground, or a retreat.
Here at Earth Lodge, they also have a family-style dinner.  It is a pre-set menu, and there is a bar with a happy hour on cocktails.  There is a lovely fireplace and also a separate movie room.  Really they should make the place no wi-fi permanently. Then people could come and really relax knowing it is more of a retreat.
Here there is no vehicle access nearby. They have to bring their food and supplies down using a horse.  Therefore it is peaceful and quiet.  But the great thing is, it is peaceful and quiet. It is for those who don’t have an 8-year old that doesn’t give them a minute’s rest!
So for me, to get up at 6 a.m. and have time to myself is bliss.
When I am forced to actually take time and relax.
When life suddenly has me in a place where I can stop. Where I can be.  Where I can sit and listen to nature and just enjoy God’s creation around me.
Isn’t this what travel really is about?
Questions and Comments
  • Are you a family that permanently travels around the world?
  • What is your take on families that travel permanently?
  • Have you visited Mexico before?
  • Did you get to visit the earth lodge and sleep on a canopy tree?
  • How was the experience?
  • What did you make of their culture?
  • Do share your comments with us below.

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