The question I am often asked when it is unearthed that I live in a yurt is “what is it like?”. There are many folks here in southwestern Colorado living differently either out of necessity, or for philosophical reasons or because there are just so many ways to create a home. In my town, yurt living isn’t unconventional so I don’t often explain my home in detail, which is why this question can be a challenge to answer succinctly.
My experience living in a yurt thus far has been great. Naturally it has been an adjustment as is any new space for the first few months. I think the most profound difference for me personally is a new sense of connectedness, not just in the space but of feeling more connected to more in life overall. I live simply and I can account for all of the waste that comes out of our home. Likewise, I know how much water we use. I know the weather outside because I am not insulated in a temperature controlled box. I know when it is hunting season because suddenly the area outside becomes a refuge for all of the local deer. I know when the moon rises and sets and can see the Milky Way through the bubble in my roof. It is peaceful and without a ton of distractions. I can take the time to just sit at the end of the day and watch the sun set or sit by the light of my oil lamp and color in my coloring book.
Living in a yurt does require a bit more planning. I grocery shop almost daily utilizing whatever is leftover so that nothing goes to waste. We have to haul in water and our 7 gallon jug lasts us between 2 to 3 days for cooking, dishes and drinking. We bring in our firewood nightly and take out our sink/compost bucket daily. All of our dishes are washed immediately and put away. Combined, none of these chores really take up much of our time, especially once established as a routine.
Because our yurt is a full-time residence, we have the setup almost exactly like a studio apartment. We built all of our kitchen furniture out of barn wood so everything is sized perfectly for our space and is purposeful. For cooking we use a 2 burner Coleman camp stove; I am still cranking out risottos and curries at the same rate as before. (Even with being a prolific cook, I can remember few times I actually utilized all burners.) We eat meals at my grandma’s table, same as before but now by the light of an oil lamp. Our yurt is decorated like a home and feels more like a home than our previous apartment.
As the weather transitions to winter, yurt living will be yet another experience. We have cords of wood stacked and ready for warmth. We have our sweaters, quilts and our tea stash ready too. We are in the final stages of winterizing the home before the weather changes. Living in a yurt connects you to nature while providing a comfortable and cozy home.