Amazing Places

Free Spirit Spheres Are Secluded Adult Treehouses, and You Can Stay in One

Who didn't want a treehouse as a kid? It's an instant adventure, a way to live like the Swiss Family Robinson. But if you never got that opportunity—because in all fairness, it's a lot of work, and a pretty enormous safety concern—you're in luck. You can make your past self jealous by taking a trip to the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada to stay in a Free Spirit Sphere: basically a luxury treehouse for grownups.

Sleep With the Finches

These large wooden balls are designed and built by Tom Chudleigh, who spends up to three years crafting each one from wood sourced locally, such as yellow cedar and sitka spruce. There are currently three in total, and each hang from a height of 3.1–4.6 meters (10–14 feet). Inside, you get the feeling of total outdoor immersion thanks to the spheres' large, bulbous windows. The beds pull out of the wall, a spiral staircase wraps around the tree you're sleeping in, and there's a fully functioning composting toilet in the unit, though you do have to hit the nearby sauna for a shower.

But forget sleeping far above the forest floor—most of us aren't even accustomed to stepping into a sphere-shaped structure, so these wooden orbs are extra exciting just for their novel construction. When you stay, you become part of a long line of travelers from around the world who came before, each writing a small personal story in the guest books resting on the tables of each individual bulb.

Surrounded by the Adventures of Vancouver Island

Why spherical treehouses? Chudleigh says it's a way to get people more connected to nature. "I want to live harmoniously within nature and not destroy it. To enable people to move into and inhabit the forest without taking it down first. To live in and among the trees and to use them for a foundation. In this way the foundation depends on maintaining a healthy ecosystem." What better way to live harmoniously in nature than invite yourself in for a sleepover?

Free Spirit Spheres

Written by Mike Epifani May 9, 2017

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