top of page
  • Writer's pictureHan

Winter Is Coming

Just kidding, winter is here and it has hit us right in the red runny noses! Although, talking to the locals, apparently the weather has been pretty mild so far, with only a few days of below zero temperatures. For us northerners though, these temps are well below our average! Luckily for us, we moved into a yurt just in time for the cold season.

A perfect off-grid living set up

We upgraded from 7sqm to 39sqm + a beautiful dog. We are house sitting a fully insulated yurt with a tiny fireplace that keeps us warm and cosy in the evening. If you don’t know, a yurt is a round tent that is held up by wooden framework, traditionally used as a dwelling by several distinct nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. The space has been amazing for us to stretch out our legs as we cook, learn, draw and practice yoga inside, sheltered from New Zealand’s unpredictable weather.

While moving around as we pleased gave me a sense of freedom and lightness, it has been so nice to feel grounded for a little while. It just goes to show no matter what life you lead, it’s always about finding balance, so the ability to really dig my roots into the earth came at the perfect time. Yurt life is still very much the minimalist life, with off-grid living stepped up a notch. We poop in a composting toilet and get warmth from a fire, power comes from the sun and water from the rainwater tank, it’s a way of life that forces you to reconnect with what you consume - something I think we lack as a society in this modern world.

Overalls are optional

By no means am I saying the only way to reconnect is by knocking down your home and moving the family into a yurt – although, I would highly recommend it! Living simply can look a number of different ways, but it always comes back to decluttering your life. Living purposefully with things that bring value to you and your family. Being aware of what you use and where it comes from, the journey it took to reach you and just being a little more present.

Electricity is probably the biggest connection I have made since being off-grid. We bake bread on the days when the sun is beaming down on the solar panels and light candles at night on the days the skies were grey. At home it was so easy to move through the day without a single thought about where the electricity came from or the resources involved to make something so effortlessly wasted. Growing up I knew I had to turn my fan off to save money on electricity bills, but now I can see how it goes so much further than just a couple of dollars saved. Energy from the sun is equally satisfying as it is sustainable. Satisfying because producing your own power means you aren’t paying someone else for it. Sustainable because of the clean, renewable energy you’re creating that doesn’t cost the earth. Like everything, different factors will affect the productivity, but if solar power is an option for you, it is definitely a worthy investment.

This connection with electricity only increased once we moved into the yurt, but it started as soon as we moved into the van. Our van is run off solar on a much smaller scale, with just one 160w panel. As I explained here in my last life update, we had to install a relay system to charge the batteries whilst we drive, because our panel was struggling on its own with all of the grey winter days. The two energy sources complement each other perfectly, and have made power on the road easy. Reducing the size of your living space and everything you own also helps to minimise the amount of energy you need to live.

"What you own does not define who you are"

I’m all about this ‘live more with less’ movement. It’s like when you clean out your closet or deep clean your bedroom (after you’ve finished getting distracted by everything you find), and you feel a weight lift off your shoulders. So why stop there?! Imagine the feeling when you have cleaned out every corner of your home, your friends list and your playlist – asking yourself each time, ‘does this add value to my life?’. It’s amazing what happens once you start to peel back the layers, physically and emotionally. When you figure out that what you own does not define who you are. When you start appreciating what you have, rather than wishing for what you don’t and you begin to let go of the things/people/expectations that no longer make you smile - you create space for yourself to shine, like the morning light shining through your living room window once you pull back the curtains, allowing you to see, think and speak clearly, again.

That’s how living simply makes me feel anyway. Everyone is different, so see how it makes you feel. No matter who you are or what your life looks like right now, I’m positive that cutting out the clutter from any or all aspects of your life will help to clear your mind, peel back the conditioned layers and bring you back to your most authentic self.

Love Han, xx


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page