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Guy Gives Up Lucrative Career to Build Whimsical Treehouse in the Middle of Nature

Unhappy with his high flying career in fashion, New Yorker Foster Huntington gave it all up to live life on his own terms. He is now in the news for building ‘Bro-topia’, an outlandish dwelling made up of two treehouses connected by a swinging rope bridge, on a grassy hilltop in southwest Washington state. 

It all started in 2011, when Foster quit his job at Ralph Lauren, sold all his belongings, and lived in a mobile van for months. He was working as a men’s fashion designer and although he initially found the job exciting and challenging, Huntington realized he didn’t care that much about clothing. “I remember looking at photos of bush pilots in Alaska and their ruggedly stylish world and thinking: ‘I can take photos. I don’t want to live my life in the city. I want to go do something else,’” he told New York Times.

So he pursued photography for a while, making money creating photo books, but in 2014 he decided that he wanted to spend his time fulfilling his childhood dream of building an epic tree house. So he pooled his life savings, got a few friends on board, and started working on the project on his family’s property in Skamania, Washington.

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The Amazing Tree Houses of the Korowai Tribe

In our part of the world, grown-ups are known to build tree houses for their kids, but there exists a parallel culture on this very planet, where the grown-ups themselves live in tree houses. I’m talking about the Korowai tribe of Papua, Indonesia, that has engineered and survived in towering tree homes as high as 114 feet above the ground. The tribe inhabits an inaccessible jungle located 150 km inland from the Arafura Sea, and was completely isolated from the world, until 1974, when they were discovered by a Dutch missionary. The Korowai tribe consists of a small society of traditional family ties, hunter gatherers who have been quite popular with the press for their cannibalistic tendencies.

However, what’s most fascinating about the Korowai people is the way they have designed their homes. There are a few reasons why they live up in the trees – to protect themselves from swarming mosquitoes, evil spirits, and of course, troublesome neighbors. What better way to escape the pesky next-door-neighbor than to hide up in a tree? Ideally, a Korowai tree house is constructed in a clearing, with a large Banyan or Wambom tree serving as the main pole. Once a suitable tree has been located, its top is removed. The floor frame is laid down first, made from branches and covered with sago palm. Walls and a roof are added, bound together with raffia. Additional poles are added to the corners for extra support. The average tree home ranges between 8 to 12 meters above ground level, but some go as high as 35 meters. Each house is sturdy enough to accommodate up to a dozen people.

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