We have been inside a yurt, we have researched and fallen in love with the idea of living in a yurt, we have talked to yurt dwellers and read their stories, and we have started our own yurt journey, but there is one more thing we thought would be important before truly moving forward in our decision: we have to sleep in a yurt.
I started looking at different options on Airbnb at local yurts to rent for the weekend. Since we live in Connecticut, I looked at all the surrounding areas, like Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Then I found one in Connecticut about 45 minutes from where we live, and jumped at it. While staying in the Vermont mountains in a yurt sounds like a great weekend retreat, we thought that for our first yurt stay, we might want to try one as local as possible. While this yurt will have a similar climate to our own, we will also be able to pick the owner’s brain about the entire yurt building process in Connecticut.
We’ll enter this yurt with open hearts and open minds. We want to look at how it’s built, arranged, heated, etc. We’ll be making mental notes of what we like and what we don’t like, gaining ideas for our own future yurt.
This weekend’s yurt is nestled in the woods on the owner’s property, not far from their stick built house. Their yurt is equipped with a/c, heat, a wood stove, WiFi, kitchen with a refrigerator, running water, and an induction stove. There is a composting toilet in the yurt (which is an option for us if we don’t have indoor plumbing for a period of time), and a full bathroom with a shower in the main house, a short walk away. There is a private fire pit outside for our use and a four-season hot tub.
We’ll be staying there this Saturday night, which is perfect timing. We have read about how well yurts hold up in the snow, and have heard how well they stay warm from yurt dwellers, but as always, there’s that small voice inside of us that wonders if it’s really as true as they say. We’d like to find out firsthand. Hopefully it will be very cold and snowy this weekend to give us the full experience!
We’ll also keep in mind that our own yurt will be different than what we’ll stay in. Ours will be for our permanent living space, so we will do all that is necessary to make it as comfortable in cold, snowy weather as possible. We are probably going to order our yurt from Shelter Designs. This small company was created by a group of people who have been living in yurts for years, and through trial and error have developed some great add-ons specifically for permanent yurt dwellers with potentially rough winters.
We are really looking forward to seeing what it’s like to sleep inside a yurt. A few years ago, Chris bought an old shuttle bus on a whim because it was the right time and the right price. It had been used as a makeshift RV from the previous owners and was virtually cleared out, except for a few seats in the front. We scrubbed it down, added a few chairs, a folding table, and a futon and we had a new portable living room. Ever since, we have used it on many camping trips.
The best part about our bus is how it feels to sleep inside it. It’s a large open space with lots of windows, which offers a beautiful view while protecting us from the elements. But when inside, sounds from nature are clearly audible, almost lulling us to sleep.
We have heard that sleeping in a yurt has a similar effect. The walls and structure offer a substantial shelter from the harsh environment, but still offer a connection to the surrounding nature. We imagine that it will be somewhat like sleeping in our bus, only ten times better. We will have the comforts of living in our own home, while still enjoying a connection to the outdoors. Staying in the yurt this weekend won’t be quite like sleeping in our own bed with our kitty curled at our feet, but it will be a great way to really see what it feels like to sleep with such a connection and separation from nature.
While we are both so excited for our weekend away in a yurt, a small part of us is slightly terrified. From all we have learned so far, we love yurts. We simply cannot wait until we have one of our own. But that small part of us still wonders if we will love it as much as we think we will. I can’t help but wonder whether we will leave this weekend even more excited, or ready to move on to new things.
Since deciding to build a yurt is quite unorthodox, it’s a big risk. A risk that will give us so much in return if it goes according to plan. Yet there is no surprise that we have some questions and concerns, if only in the back of our minds. We look forward to getting a few of them answered so we can fully move forward, whether it will be moving forward with our yurt journey, or choosing another path.
For now, we are going to enjoy a December weekend in a yurt with a delicious Connecticut pizza and some tasty craft brews, savoring one moment at time. Whatever happens, I know it will be a great weekend!