Luxury: a perspective from the rainforest


The word luxury usually conjures up images of decadence and comfort for most of us. That may be a bit extreme, but luxury is usually tied to ideas of power and wealth. Success dictates the level of luxury we have in our lives. The more successful you are, the greater level of luxury you can afford.  Of course, material wealth isn’t the only measurement of luxury, just probably the first and most common. Luxury can have nothing to do with wealth or any of the other thigs we equate it with, because luxury is a subjective matter. The appreciation of the primeval rainforest can be considered, having the luck of hearing a natural orchestra, while traveling a creek. Feeling the rain up your shoulders running down your face, will be as marvellous as watching a plain starry sky.

Napo Wildlife Center

Additionally, a escape to the nature, refresh the spirit, body and soul, away from gridlock traffic, sunless days working indoors, the relentless cacophony of the city and the hustle and bustle of city life. Something which can be considered of a great luxury.

Simple luxuries

We can all take pleasure in the simple things in life that we label luxury. Each of us have those things that we consider a luxury and none of them have any correlation with material possessions or wealth. Relaxing in a hot bath after a long hard day is a favourite for many. Soaking your feet in hot water after a day of standing or moving will run a close second. A hot drink on a cold day, is another example. What is considered luxury is really up to the individual, but not much compares to waking up to the dawn chorus of the Howler monkeys on an Amazon morning.

Napo Wildlife Center

The luxury of experience

Being able to experience many things in life can be considered a luxury. Most of us are limited in what we do, see or know, for various mundane reasons. Expanding your knowledge or experience of life can be seen as a luxury not everyone can attain. Of course, that depends on whether or not the experiences you encounter are of a voluntary nature. Some people are believed to have ‘rich lives’ because of what they have experienced, but unfortunately not all of those experiences have been wanted. One voluntary experience to consider is a trip to Amazonia.

Napo Wildlife Center

Spiritual richness

Apart from material things, luxury can also be interpreted as an intensity of feeling or sense of well-being. To reach a level of spirituality where one feels connected to the world can be described as a luxury, especially in today’s fast-moving, goal oriented and very impersonal world. Fortunately, this can be attained by the most simplest of means. A stroll in the park, a ramble in the countryside or drifting down an Amazon waterway in a canoe. The experience of living under canvas and cooking over an open fire can be very rewarding, but there’s no need to go that far to satisfy your desires. It is more to do with a shift in attitude. It is always breath taking if you take the time to look around and appreciate it, imagine that feeling in the middle of the nature! Take a break at the top of a tree, indulge your senses and feel a palpable rejuvenation of your spirit.

Napo Wildlife Center

Recognition

Recognising what is luxury is just a matter of perspective. A luxury holiday in a first class hotel or resort, will be very pleasing, but does it compare to the wonders of nature? To be able to surround yourself with nature is a luxury in itself and to observe all the exotic fauna and flora in the wild has rewards that cannot be bought. Just imagine, a trip to the Amazon is like plunging back into the past, where the rainforest a few feet in front of you hasn’t changed for time out of mind. From the ground up or the canopy down, a hidden viewing blind, or silently paddling up black-water creeks, the photo opportunity you have always dreamed. Capture the beauty of the moment so you can also reminisce about it later and share this experience with friends and family.

Visiting different places can also include learning practical skills depending on your areas of interest, such as how to start a fire or create jewellery from natural found objects such as seeds. Reproduce them later on at home, and share this knowledge with others.

You can buy the plane ticket, pay for your first class accommodation, but you can’t buy the feelings or sense of richness that personal experience of something so outside of your normal existence will bring.

Napo Wildlife Center

Miguel Andy is General Manager of Napo Wildlife Center. Napo Wildlife Center is an eco-lodge offering unforgettable experiences in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, inside Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which is managed by the Añangu kichwa aboriginal community.

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Comments (16)

  1. Sarah Lia says:

    Very rightly put! Luxury is all a matter of perceptions. Some might perceive dining in a 5-star as a luxury encounter while others might consider just eating out as a luxury experience. Similarly, where a rich couple regards an extravagant cruise get-away luxurious, a poor man would be more than happy with a simple boat ride. So, yes, to each their own!

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Sarah, it is very interesting what you mention. The Añangu Community in the Amazon Rainforest has been living there for generations, while they don´t have a fancy pool, they have rivers and creeks to swim; even if they don´t go to tumultous concerts, they have the jungle orchestra 24/7; even if they don´t have guns and police, they have peace. Therefore they are very happy to keep living there.

  2. Dave says:

    There is that old saying that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and the same is very true of luxury. We all have our own definitions of luxury and I never cease to be amazed at how different people’s ideas of luxury are. Recently, a friend was booked into what I consider to be one of the must luxurious hotels in the United Arab Emirates. She felt lost in her ridiculously spacious suite and felt oppressed by numerous staff on hand to care for her every whim. She checked out after the first night and moved to a property that was just 4* and much smaller. It ain’t easy to define luxury.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Dave, it is completely true. What is sometimes found as luxury may not be worth for many of us. Having the chance of appreciate simple things may lead us not to need much to have a luxury and happy life.

  3. Sheila says:

    To be absolutely honest, although I love travelling, the Amazon was nowhere near getting on to my list of places to go. When you live in the north-east of England it is one hell of a journey to South America.

    Over the last couple of months I’ve read some interesting pieces on the Amazon on A Luxury Travel Blog. The fact that you can do the Amazon in comfort, maybe even luxury, is beginning to appeal to me. I’m far too old to be roughing it but not too old for another big adventure. I’m not saying that I’ll be booking my flights anytime soon. I thought that you and your fellow bloggers ought to know that you are just beginning to persuade me. Even if I never make that journey I still enjoy reading your pieces.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Sheila, thank you very much for your words. Indigenous communities strive to excel guests expectations every day, as we bet for Community Tourism instead of petroleum or other industries destroying our forest. That´s why we make sure there is comfort, safety and good ambiance for the visitors to our home. There are a couple of good options to directly flight to South America, and witness the magie of the lungs of the world.

  4. Diana Presley says:

    It’s not often that I take the bait and click through but I did and took a look at the Napo Wildlife Center. The Authentic Amazon Experiences excites me, particularly as it can be tailored to individual needs. I’m not the fittest human being on two legs! Love the logo too.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Diana, thank you very much for visiting our web site, the idea of the Community is to offer activities for all ages. Experience in tourism makes the rest. That´s how we know luxury and comfort can be meet even deep in the jungle.

  5. Jane says:

    What an amazing bathroom that picture shows, dual aspect views of the Amazon rainforest. Though the Howler monkeys worry me.

    I’m just back from staying with friends in Singapore who live right on the edge of the jungle. Unfortunately, their local monkeys can sniff the sweet smell of the toothpaste and are obsessed with trying to sneak in through the bathroom window.

    If Amazonian monkeys are like that then bath time might not be quite as peacefully serene as I had hoped!

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Jane, actually Amazon Rain forest works different. As Communities have managed to live in harmony with nature, animals have their very own space and not near humans. That´s how Añangu animals can be spotted easily on a completely safe manner.

  6. Anna Munez says:

    I totally agree with luxury being subjective and it’s great you’ve pointed out that it doesn’t always necessarily have to correlate with success, wealth and costs. Actually, when you’re on more of a budget I think you can end up appreciating those simple luxuries all the more. I know when I go anywhere, it’s the small touches that really bring a smile to my face and make the trip more memorable.

    Going into the rainforest, surrounded by nature and away from the ‘luxuries’ of 21st century living along with the stress day to day life can bring with it, I think you’d be keenly aware of how the basics are so vital and welcome. Experiences like this are worth far more than something you can buy to wear on your wrist or that’ll gather dust on your living room shelf. It’s also a far richer experience than going on a touristy beach holiday (though I still love those too!) It’s not surprising so many people go somewhere like this to ‘find themselves’ or to do some soul searching and come back far richer in spirit, with renewed appreciation for what they have and the beauty of life.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello Anna,that´s correct, simple things are what make life easier and more interesting. Once you visit an Amazon Community, you realize they don´t need the ultimate mobile or laptop to live, they appreciate having family and friends nearby, and they can enjoy having a natural life with simple nature around. As you said, basics are vital and not everyone know it!!

  7. Jankel Chaim says:

    This article reminds me of my father’s narratives where his favorite retreat was to spend some lone-time in the Daintree Rainforest in Australia. This was one of the oldest rainforests and listed as a world heritage site. Despite of being a son of a wealthy business tycoon where he could easily afford all the luxuries, it was his favorite past time to indulge in some bird-watching. And according to him, no theme park, theatre, 5-star hotel or the like thereof, can compare with the peace, solace and the rich experience of a quite rainforest.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello, thank you very much for sharing this lovely story!! It is true, when mother nature reaches your heart, your soul will be fulfilled with an infinite peace and love, with no comparison.

  8. Harris says:

    Can relate to what you have said! Currently, me and my family is settled in Malaysia. So, every once in a while, I and my husband make sure to escape to the Kina balu Rainforest- leaving our three hyper-active kids . Balancing your work life with home and kids is a pretty daunting task. Its crazy. Its tough, Its a roller-coaster ride. So, couple time not only helps keep our sanity intact (LOL) but also keeps the spark of the relationship alive. .Ofcourse, we have our date nights at a fancy restaurant or a movie theatre but amongst all, I believe, spending a day in rainforest is a best couple activity.

    • Miguel Andy says:

      Hello, thank you very much for your comment. Totally agree with you, sometimes you just need to switch off. Having special own time for you both will build memories and enhance your relationship. Adding nature to this moments, will make them unforgetable.

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