Meet Amy and Matt: The couple behind "This Fusion Home"
I (Amy) came to Costa Rica in 2014 to volunteer at Finca Bellavista Treehouse Community during my summer break as a public school teacher. I was 27 years old and I booked the solo trip in desperate need of some fresh air, a fresh perspective, and clarity. On the surface my life back in the U.S. looked pretty ideal -- college degree, good job, apartment, car, friends, relationship, social life, health care, savings account, 3 credits away from a Masters degree -- I had everything that we’re taught will make us happy, secure, and fulfilled. But on the inside I was completely lost, disconnected, and self-destructing, tearing myself apart at the seams for reasons I couldn’t put into words or explain to anyone. On the inside, I was losing my shit.
I came to Finca Bellavista and to my surprise, my energy settled almost instantly. Once I entered the jungle realm everything on the outside melted away, ceased to exist. I spent my days connecting with FBV guests and the local staff, washing dishes and cleaning houses, working in the gardens, sipping Costa Rican coffee, hiking around the jungle, swimming under waterfalls, birdwatching, reading, and not thinking much about anything from the comfort of my hammock. I was, at least temporarily, at peace.
“Hold the vision, trust the process” -- a simple, yet powerful concept that we have learned to embrace over the past five years, and one that we will continue to use to guide us as we set new goals and dream new dreams.
One other small detail: I met Matt, a 31-year old coffee-loving free spirit with a partly South-African/partly British accent, a rusty colored goatee, and a dimple on only the right side of his face. Shit. This was not part of my plan.
Matt had been at Finca Bellavista since 2012 when he, too, came to volunteer in order to escape the fast-paced life in England where he was living at the time. By the time I arrived to the jungle a year and a half later, Matt was the Property Manager at Finca Bellavista and had started to make a life for himself here in the jungle. I found comfort in listening to him share his story, which although very different to mine in its origin, echoed many of the same feelings I was experiencing. In particular, the pull of wanting to explore a different way of life away from the noise of “the real world” which just wasn’t as fulfilling as it was supposed to be.
Matt didn’t earn a cash salary for his work as Property Manager. Instead, he worked each month to pay off a small piece of land where he would build an off-grid jungle jungle home, he told me. The first time he showed me his piece of land I thought he may be a bit overly ambitious (read: crazy). Access to the land was via hiking up a steep “road” through the forest made of loose rock and gravel. The land itself was completely overgrown with jungle, making it almost impossible to trek through. By the time he was done showing me around his lot I was exhausted, sweaty, and covered in the itchiest bug bites of my life. I could not for the life of me envision this as the site for someone’s future dream home. But, I was intrigued by his vision and by the way he so passionately spoke of his plans and ideas.
Long story short - Small-town Girl meets Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy has plans to build off-grid home in jungle. Small-town Girl stays in jungle with Jungle Boy and becomes Jungle Girl.
Despite having no real clue what they’re doing and very limited resources, they (somehow!) manage to build the most epic off-grid house they could have ever imagined and now live there with their fluffy Jungle Pup, a border collie named MJ.
Matt. Had. A VISION. And he stuck with it. He didn’t know all of the details and he didn’t know exactly how the process would unfold, but he held his vision, he made it up as he went along, and he manifested his dream (with the love, support, and some key design input from his better half, if I do say so myself). Matt has shown me what it means to hold the vision and trust the process. He’s shown me the power of holding onto your dream, but loosely, allowing it to evolve and manifest as it will. He has taught me that turning dreams into reality isn’t just something for the movies, and he has made me a believer that we can do and create anything that we truly believe in and want.
Of course there are lots more details to the process - lots of laughter and tears and stresses and worries and logistics and decisions and budgeting and joys and triumphs and failures and try-agains and do-overs and some credit card debt and lots of learning and always love.
But those details are a story for another time.
The evolution of The Fusion Home has been so much more than the construction of our dream home. We’ve learned more from this experience than we ever thought possible. The Universe works in unexpected ways, but it always works in our favor if we are brave enough to accept what is, loosen our grip on life, and to learn to go with the flow. We’ve found that being too attached to specific outcomes or trying to force circumstances based on our expectations of how we think things should be only creates tension and resistance that ultimately does not serve us or our dreams.
Our advice to anyone who dreams of doing something bigger than they might think possible:
Have no expectations or attachments to specific outcomes. The more flexible and open-minded you can be, the better. Don’t get too rigidly attached to any particular path or process, and allow your vision to unfold, grow, evolve, and change.
Do something. You don’t have to have a clear roadmap of every step of the process, but you do have to take action. Take the first step, even if you’re unsure of where it will lead. If you don’t take action, your dream will remain just that.
Radiate gratitude like the sun radiates light, even when (especially when!) challenges arise. Send gratitude out into The Universe and it will come back to you.
Gratitude never fails.
Hold the vision, trust the process.
Some recent articles featuring Amy and Matt:
Ronda magazine is the inflight magazine of Iberia Airlines, distributed in all Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum flights.
The Costa Rican Star is the number 1 international news and media source for Costa Rica.