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MATTER CITIES // MASHPI CLOUD FOREST, ECUADOR - When it’s okay to be wild

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I didn’t even know what a cloud forest was before I went to Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador. This lodge in the Andean cloud forest feels like you are nestled squarely in the clouds. As I ascended through the windy, muddy roads, the cloud coverage and misty air felt like I was heading towards the heart of the jungle.

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There is something about the jungle that always makes me feel uninhibited. Like I can unleash and let go. Let my hair down and run through the forest. Maybe it’s being surrounded by nature that makes me start to feel like I transform into my most wild self.

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Like a creature hiding in the clouds, or under waterfalls, the cloudforest felt like a refuge for my wild spirit. Through our hikes it was apparent that I wasn’t the only wild creature in the forest. We saw snakes, frogs, tarantulas, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, and a host of insects.

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Not only did I not know what cloud forest was, I did not know such a thing existed in Ecuador. It’s the beauty of discovery that I love most. This felt like a double discovery. A what? A cloud forest? Where? In Ecuador? We move and we travel because we must know, we must experience. We were made for discovery and we were made from the most wild of spirits. It’s good to sometimes embrace our insanity for the sake of our sanity.

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