A hammock has always been my dream bed. It can fit anywhere and turn any place into a home. As long as I have a hot drink and a hammock, I have a home. It all started in Central America. I was studying Howler Monkeys in Belize and took a trip to explore Mayan ruins. I love the history and beauty of the area. Lodging was not always where we preferred to stay, so I bought my first hammock.
My favourite space was a small cabana campground outside of Tik’al. Tik’al was a major ceremonial centre with pyramids and temples smattered across the grounds. The temples might be familiar for many as the Star Wars IV, A New Hope. Up close, they were amazing. The air was heavy with humidity and the temples stood out high above us. The steps, you can see up the middle in the picture below, were steep and difficult to climb.
The Great Pyramid as seen in Star Wars and up close in Tik’al. I climbed Temple IV, and it had an amazing view. Fortunately, they had a nice staircase on the back of the temple so there was no need to climb the steep steps.
I travelled to Tik’al during the rainy season which turned out great. Midday, rain fell in buckets from the sky. Straight down and turned the ground from soft grass to mud. We took off our shoes and walked around until we found a temple to climb into where we sat and ate our lunch. As quickly as they rain came, it left. When we could walk around again, we were the only people left. It was beautiful and silent. I hope one day to take my family there. To show them the amazing place.
The cabana I stayed in behind Tik’al. It was beautiful and shockingly, there were no bugs!
That was the beginning. When I carried my bed with me wherever I travelled. It became an addiction. Whenever I saw a beautiful hammock, I had to buy it. It took me back to Guatemala while allowing me to create fresh memories in the current place. Most of my hammocks are from warm countries, which makes sense. But a few are from Canada. We have summer too!
My original set of hammocks, I think we now have over a dozen, all require trees or poles to hang them. Most are simple woven hammocks. Colourful, playful, and packable. But then Canada upped its game. Enter, the hanging hammock with a mosquito net and rain cover. In Canada in the spring, the mosquitoes try to pick me up and carry me away. The last time they tried was last spring when I quarantined at my Grandma’s homestead.
It was me, a car filled with clothes, kitchen goods, bedding, camping gear, and a hammock. The knives and the hammock turned out to be the most important items in the car. I love to cook so I always need a sharp knife. I also need a change of scenery. Usually, I could go to a cafe, a museum, for a bike ride, but this time I needed to stay on the farm for two weeks by myself. The hammock became my place to read and nap.
Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.Albert Einstein
After quarantine, I travelled to see my family with my daughter who was spending the summer with family. We lived outside of Canada for most of her life so it was a wonderful change for her to spend time with her cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. We became a part of their bubble. There was no need to put up my hammock there as we had bedrooms to spare.
We tried to take the hammock out while we were travelling through the Rocky Mountains, but the mosquitoes and rain kept it tucked safely in the car. The bug tent and tent were home while we explored the mountain trails and waterfalls. Once we were back to our own house, I tucked away the hammock for the winter. I would need a hammock sleeping bag to nap when it is below freezing. It will be on my Christmas list for next year!
This Christmas we ended up back with my husband for Christmas. We hadn’t been together as a family for seven months since his work kept him in Texas and we were hoping the pandemic mitigation would be in place. Sadly, the borders remain closed. So once again, we were in quarantine. This time we returned to Texas so we could be together as a family. And here we stay.
The hammcocks are self standing, but I can lay outside as the bug population is kept low by the birds. We do explore many parks or museums, there are no mountains to climb, but we have each other. I keep a hammock out at all times. A place to read, to dream, and to hope. I hope the vaccinations roll out well and we are able to travel again. There are so many places to explore and so many people to see. But for now, I will lay in a hammock and remember where I found them. Happy Reading, happy travelling through your memories. What helps you remember the places you have seen?