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#THEMATTERWAY | The Photographer’s Guide To Mashpi Cloud Forest

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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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