A REAL-LIFE Tarzan has revealed what life is like to live rent-free in a tree house in the middle of the Hawaiian jungle.
Alison Teal has lived with her parents all her life – and although it might be unusual, her home is very different from the image that springs to mind when you think of a tree house.
Alison Teal, HawaiiAlison Teal lives in a tree house in Hawaii built by her parents[/caption]
Alison Teal, HawaiiThe house has many different rooms and can sleep up to 20 people[/caption]
Sarah LeeAlison lives with her two parents who – like her- are also adventurers[/caption]
The explorer has had an unconventional upbringing and in her early years she lived in a tent pitched anywhere from Mount Everest to the Rajasthan desert.
And when her adventurer parents decided to settle down, they built a tree house in the middle of the jungle.
They live alongside the animals who they regard as their “friends” – with Alison’s best friend being a gecko named Guava.
Alison told The Sun: “We’ve built it over our lifetime together by hand from the ground up.
She said her mother worked with a “machete in one hand and a baby in the other”.
The house is a one-hour drive from civilisation – and located right on the beach where the sand meets the jungle.
It has no doors or windows and is entirely open to the jungle in all its glory.
All the furniture inside is made by hand – including the beds – and it only consists of sustainable materials such as bamboo and coconut.
It also cost next to nothing to build – as Alison’s parents would trade fruits like grapefruit, limes, lemons and papayas with local farmers in exchange for materials.
Alison said: “I always laugh when people are like, ‘oh, it’s so expensive to move to places like that’, because it depends on how you operate.
“If you share food with farmers, and you grow only what you need then It isn’t that expensive at all.”
Despite most people thinking a tree house is a tiny damp shack with no home comforts, Alison said this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Her home has solar powered electricity, a fully functioning kitchen – fitted with four refrigerators – and a huge bathtub that used to be a cow trough.
There is also no need for an alarm clock as the family use a bird song chorus to wake them from their slumber.
The forest fortress boasts many different rooms, each with a separate theme.
There is a mango room which sits in a mango tree, a lizard room and a large atrium for gatherings and yoga classes.
The sprawling woodland home can sleep up to 20 people who come from “all over the world” to do wellness retreats there.
The kitchen – that features in Alison and her mum’s YouTube cooking videos – is a sight to behold.
It has a “beautiful ironwood counter made of a beautiful monkey pod tree that was like a dead fall tree”.
Although the adventurer admits she does have the odd “creepy” mongoose, or “huge spider” wandering into her home, this doesn’t faze her.
She sees the creatures as her “animal friends” rather than something to fear.
“I have this gecko friend named Guava, and he loves to poop on all of my hard drives and my computers when I’m editing my films and trying to write books,” Alison said.
Growing up, the explorer explained that she did experience pangs of jealousy and said her “dream was to go to school and have a lunchbox and a school bus like a big yellow school bus and a slumber party”.
She also described longing to watch TV and made her own makeshift one using a lantern and lizards.
She said: “The geckos would come to the light, and because their shadows were so big it’d be like TV, so we’d have gecko TV, and it would make a shadow puppet thing, you know.
“So you get creative with creatures.”
Despite having to improvise to entertain herself as a child, Alison said she loves where she lives.
“I think it’s the best thing in the world to be able to walk out the front door and hop into the ocean and enter a whole new underwater world – where all of a sudden there’ll be turtles and dolphins and whales and fish and shells,” she said.
“It’s so magical to have the ocean right there.”
Although Alison has been on some epic adventures, she said one the “wildest” was “braving the jungle of Hollywood” to promote her film projects.
She described the experience to similar to the film Mean Girls where a home schooled child from Africa joins an American high school and struggles to fit in.
Other adventures Alison has recently completed include visiting the Jika Malakamp tribe in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and visiting the lost Island of the fire walkers in Fiji.
Alison Teal, HawaiiAll the furniture in the tree house is made by hand – including the beds[/caption]
Alison Teal, HawaiiThe house even has a huge room for yoga classes[/caption]
Sarah LeeAlison thinks it’s the best thing in the world to be able to swim with marine life every day[/caption]
David Blehert/Alison’s adventuresAlison’s mum worked on the house with her in one hand and a machete in the other[/caption]Leave a comment