After our time in Mindo, we spent several days in a secluded farm in the jungle learning about permaculture. The owner of this farm is a couple from the States, who decided to give up life in the city to live off the grid. They purchased a large piece of land deep in the Ecuadorian jungle and together with one of their sons, used permaculture to sustain their living. To share their farming techniques with the world, they built this amazing bungalow above the river to rent out on Airbnb, and that was where we stayed for 3 nights!
The drive to the farm from Mindo was a little over 2 hours. Our cell phone started losing signal about 30 minutes prior to arrival, so we were prepared to be off the grid by the time we arrived. The bungalow was absolutely astounding! With floor to ceiling windows offering a view of the Andes Mountains and the river, a large canopy bed, fully equipped kitchen, and an outdoor daybed and tub, we
Our host, Cheryl, is a wonderful cook, so she includes all meals when you book your stay. Honestly,,,her food was probably our FAVORITE part of our stay. We looked forward to her home cooked meals everyday, from freshly baked muffins left at our doorstep in the morning to yucca crusted pizza for lunch, to hearty pastas in the evening. She even invited us to dine with her and her son in their spacious outdoor kitchen one day, followed by an extensive tour of their farm where we learned so much about the merits of permaculture. It was amazing to see how this approach enables their farm to flourish abundantly from their own natural ecosystems.
So what is there to do when you are living completely off the grid on a remote farm? To be honest, it did feel VERY WEIRD in the beginning to not have any access on our phone. We felt completely cut off from the world without our WhatsApp and social media. Very shortly though, we began to appreciate the peacefulness of not being constantly distracted and interrupted by our phones. We could hear the many variations in nature’s astounding sounds. We could focus on reading a book for hours at a time. We could take a long bath while listening to the rushing river below us, without any hurry to get up. We could nap on the day bed whenever we felt like it. We even went out to try our hand in catching a fish with a bamboo pole, but sadly we went back to the bungalow empty handed.
Our electricity in the bungalow was solar powered, and we usually run out of power by around 7- 8pm. There were evenings when we ate solely by candlelight! After dinner, we would usually play a game, chat for a bit, and then retreat to bed before 10pm because we would awaken each morning by 6am to the sounds of the birds! It definitely felt like a much healthier lifestyle.
All in all, it was a very unique experience to live off the grid for several days. It definitely brought a lot of quiet time to reflect, and to be present with one another. When we left the farm and our phone received signal again, we were immediately bombarded with all the messages we missed from the last several days. What a vivid reminder on how easy it is to be swept away into the digital world if we do not set healthy boundaries for ourselves…