Cape Trib Beach House. Cape Tribulation, Queensland. Australia.
As I waited for the ferry to take the bus just north of the Daintree River, I started to get excied as to what this new adventure will bring. Having spent most of my life living in cities, the thought of leaving this convenience would have once terrified me, yet here I was, on my way to live in the worlds oldest rainforest. I knew that it was best for me to keep my mind as open as possible and not to expect anything. Take it as it is and see how long you can last was the overall mentality that I had. We drove up and down steep hills and swerved left and right through the bends with the ocean peeking at us through the trees on our right. The aboriginal driver spoke with such insight on the land where his ancestors were from and informed me of all the trees and wildlife all around. Where to pick fruits such as mangos and coconuts, where he spotted casuwarries and tree kangaroos as well as horrific crocodile incidents to remind me to always swim in designated water holes located upstream and to never swim in the beach no matter how inviting it may look. I knew we were close once the reception on my phone disappeared. That’s when things started to get real. I was in that sweet spot between fear and excitement as I stepped into the unknown knowing that this experience could either make me or break me. Either way would not have mattered as long as I saw it for myself. Take it as it is and see how long you’ll last for the world is too big for you to die where you were born.
However once I arrived, it was made clear that The Beach House was not going to break me. The beauty of this place rivalled most places I’ve visited. A secluded paradise where the reef meets the rainforest. I was a city boy in the jungle and I relished in the fact that what I knew before didn’t matter here as much. Everything was new. Like a book full of untold stories I was dying to read.
I was inducted by an Australian woman, whom I later found out, was very close to the man that got me a job at this place. Without giving too much away, she gave me an introduction about my new home. How our only source of electricity were power generators and our water was collected via bores which pump water up from the streams deep underground. She further explained that due to the remote location, phone reception is next to non-existent and the wifi was pretty expensive to use thus not always readily available. Cape Trib Beach House was in a sense, its own little bubble sheltered from the outside world.
I had a feeling that she was actually trying to warn me of the possibilities of cabin fever as I would not be able to come and go when I please, especially without a car nor would I be able to contact my friends and loved ones so easily due to the lack of connection but by then, I was too busy thinking about the endless opportunities this jungle could offer me, to think about anything else. Access to the outside wetherphysically or digitally were the least of my worries.
Soon after meeting the colourful personalities that lived and worked at the beach house, I was immediately immersed in the little community within. People from different backgrounds all with their own personal quirks, created a vibrant vibe that can be felt throughout the atmosphere. The quiet headchef who started off as a backpacker and ended up getting sponsored and running his own kitchen. The girl working for her stay in search for her aboriginal roots. The knowledgable maintenance man with ideas on how to make The Beach House deisel free and fully self sustainable. Everybody had character and a story worth hearing.
It didn’t take time for me to get used to this territory, a few days in and I was already starting to make the most of what I had. It can be hard at times to be integrated into a group of people as a newcomer but with the welcoming arms of the residents in this community, the transition from newbie to fully fledged member was met with ease. Of course you have to give in order to be given something back in return but all my efforts were appreciated and was never shunned or over looked.
What I truly adore about this place was its lack of connection to the internet and what went on outside of the location. It made me want to make an effort to get know my surroundings as well as the people within. It made living in the moment far easier as there were no distractions. You didn’t need to think about anything else except for what you were to do for the day. Wether it was to do your part to keep The Beach House running or wether to go for an adventure or just relax on the beach on your free time. You lived by the day without the worry of tomorrow.
The Beach House had everything I needed. Food, water, shelter and a community to keep me company. Nothing else mattered to me. I wasn’t even phased when my phone and laptop broke as I hadn’t needed a use for them. I felt free from not having a device as a source of entertainment and pass time. I was able to pick up new hobbies as well as revisit old ones which I found hard to do with the distractions of citylife. Apart from going on hikes to various places to take advantage of the beautiful sceneries on my spare time, I have also kept myself busy with other activities such as spending my days collecting coconuts on the beach to later make coconut oil to tending a herb garden to use for my cooking. I’ve burnt myself a few times whilst spinning fire and have been given a wooden board as target practice for my throwing knives. I rekindled my love for writing songs on guitar and have sang my heart out on the occasional evening. I have been able to focus on not just my surroundings but importantly myself.
The Beach House had given me an opportunity to learn about myself and others which I may have not realised otherwise. It showed me the importance of building a deep connection with the people around you as oppose to the superficiality that living in the city might bring. All I had to do was do my part and do my part well to show my token of appreciation to The Beach House and the jungle.
I only look forward to what else The Beach House and the jungle can offer me as well as what I can give in return. It has given me a new perspective on how to live as well as the ability to live in a place alien to me prior my arrival. I can only hope that my stay here will further my desire to explore the world and experience different lifestyles first hand.
But for now, let’s embrace this jungle and all it has to offer.