I cant quite believe it but I have now been living off grid in a yurt for 10 years, now in my 3rd yurt. I am on the hippy property ladder. I have gone from a small 16 ft yurt, to a 23 ft yurt with my ex, to a 24ft yurt with my son- with slightly higher walls- makes a lot of difference when negotiating space and storage and all the crap that comes with little children.
I intended to start this blog when my son was born, 3 years ago this week.
The irony being that as a working single mum , living off grid in a yurt, I have little time for writing a blog! So, finally, 3 years later.. here it goes. Blog post 1.
So the main question to respond to I guess is WHY?
Why do I do it?
Am I mad.? Yes. Probably a little bit bonkers.
Mixed in with determined, stubborn and living the dream.
The reality is hard bloody work but Im still doing it and I still love it – most of the time. Are there shit bits? Yes. Will I do it forever? I doubt it. But something similar.
In fact writing this may be because I want to get some of this down before I jump ship. Every year, I say one more year.
I find it hard to leave as the connection I feel to this land now is so strong. My roots are firmly in the ground.
So how did it all begin? I was living in the city- back in my young care free single childless days (!) working where I work now, commuting back and forth. Id had enough of city life, and the countryside was calling me. I was suffering from the debilitating illness that is M. E. which I had for about 10 years. I had a couple of friends living in yurts where I worked, and with a job change I had the opportunity to do the same. After travelling in South America I had been to various eco committees and projects , and felt a strong sense that this life was for me. SO i took the plunge, bought my first second hand 16ft yurt, paid for a new canvas for it. built the deck, and made it my first yurt home for a year.
It took a long time to make it homely and it was a steep learning curve. My Dad helped with my solar electricity systems, i bought a new woodburner, and my first winter was a shock to the system! However, I loved the starry nights, the cosy yurt when the woodburner was glowing, the sounds of the birds, and the sense of independence it gave me. My psyche changed. This made sense.
I lived next door to two other yurt dwelling families. Babies were born and I felt like part of a community I had always longed for. We had shared meals and i helped with the children who were in and out of my yurt daily.
Yurt mark 2. I met someone and we moved into a larger yurt when one family sadly moved on. They made their own yurt which was the one we inherited. Made lovingly from Ash poles , became my 23ft diameter round snug home for the next 8 years. Living with my partner in one room came with its challenges. But we spent many happy times with our neighbours. We built a wood heated bathtub outside for starry night bath times. Grew a few veggies and herbs. Sadly we split after 5 years together and i had a tough time readjusting to life in the yurt without him.
Then , 4 years ago I became, surprisingly and accidentally pregnant. Game changer.
I had the toughest decision to make to be a lone parent. And I now have the most wonderful son to show for it. His dad and I are friends, and he has him every other weekend.
The labour was long, I planned a home birth , with a birth pool. Which in reality was such a chore to heat up that quantity of water off grid! ( The bath came in to its own that day!) Day 3 I was transported to hospital. That evening I gave birth naturally- to a healthy , very large, baby boy.
3 years on. Just before Christmas we moved into yurt mark 3. Slightly larger space and higher walls. Im still in boxes and have no decent kitchen storage. its driving me slightly bonkers. My son is confused as to where our original home has gone(!) A new wooden yurt has been built in its place and hes convinced that its ours . He apparently doesn’t like our new home. Change is hard.
Even though we only moved a few meters it felt like a massive house moving effort and its slightly broken me; ive been poorly with one thing or another since.
It will be ok. Spring is here. ??
Hopefully by the Summer we”ll be settled and the garden will start to resemble something vaguely productive and it will be the season for evenings around the campfire and sing songs. We’ll do the annual ‘PLEASE LET US HAVE DECENT SUMMER ‘ jig, and then dred the onset of winter. Which actually is quite lovely as long as there’s enough dry firewood stocked up. Organisation is key. Something I unfortunately lack.
There are of course pros and cons to this lifestyle. The pros are still out weighing the cons. Watching my boy grow up with tonnes of space to play and the sounds of nature around us. Time together as I work part time. Zero commute to work. Like minded neighbours. And a round home.