Every now and then we get the chance to experience living in the context of another's life… that is, a way or viewpoint that is unique from our own lives. Tasting the pearls and perils of another’s lifestyle help us either to be more grateful for what we have or give us ideas of how to better our lives. Yurt in a Californian Forest

Travelling to places far from what we know – culturally, geographically or otherwise is one of the best ways to do this (splashing out for a weekend at the Ritz or setting up bed beside a homeless man for the night is the closest we’d get to out-of-the-ordinary living in the city). Tonight, by divine luck or a set of linked ‘coincidences’ I find myself in a cushy little yurt in the middle of a Californian forest (near Boulder Creek, one hour south of San Francisco). I’m yurt-sitting, as the owner visits a friend afar this weekend. Just twenty four hours in this thing and I’m ready to unpack my bags for good.

This yurt has its own fresh water well which is used to supply the solar heated shower/hot tub, compost toilet, a closed in wood fire, a large couch, a double bed, a sectioned off bedroom, a dining table with four long backed rocking-chair-style (without the rock) wooden chairs, an oven, a sink, a fridge, tall bookcase, coffee grinder, and wood paneled floors.

It is as fully equipped in every sense as the conventional home with all its comforts, except for the T.V and flush toilet. There is only one circular room here with a fireplace and clear, adjustable sunroof. You have all the time in the world to collect firewood, listen to the crickets at night and blue birds at first light; all the time to read and bake or walk the surrounding ‘less beaten’ forest trails of the hilly landscape surrounding the yurt.

Living this way you can’t help but feel there’s nothing else you could possibly want or need – living in a yurt, a sense of abundance prevails. Nature has a way of helping you realize it. Who knows how long it may take until the temptations of the modern world and the call of far-away loved ones will compel me to leave the latticed walls of this place. Once the domain of the hippies and mountain hermits; yurt living need not be an uncomfortable lonely affair today. With many eco converts searching for a more sustainable way of living, the yurt is a perfect contender to create a home.