If you’re not au fait with the tiny houses movement then this may just be the call of the wild you need. Doing exactly what it says on the label, a tiny house is an easy and inexpensive way to break free from the shackles of the 9-5 and spend some time in the wild, without leaving a major footprint on the environment that’s gifting you the tranquillity you need.
While a fancy weekend away in a lush hotel with champagne-on-demand at the press of a button is always a good time, more and more people are opting for a disconnect from their technology and choosing to spend a few days with no WiFi, and no worries. Unyoked are one such company, who have noticed the demand, and started to launch tiny houses in remote locations for professionals who want the peace and quiet that goes with a few days away from it all, but with the convenience of a hotel.
“Tiny houses are about simplifying things. They invite you to minimise and take stock of what’s most important and reconnect with yourself and those around you. For us, they also help to bring the outside in – making you feel like you’re part of the landscape, not just on it” says Unyoked co-founder Cameron Grant. “People have seen the benefits of smaller, natural spaces to recharge, unwind and get new perspectives for much longer than we’ve been around – tiny houses are the latest answer to this – they allow the every day guy or gal to say ‘brb – gonna get my hermit on’”.
And while this attitude may instantly sound like an opportunity for a serious of lush Instagram posts to make your friends jealous, it’s also a great opportunity to give social media – all apps, in fact, a rest for a few days.
“Look, we don’t necessarily advocate locking your phone in a box or throwing it in a river, we’re realistic that many of our social interactions now rely on our phones. Don’t stalk the Facebook feed while you’re on a hike, don’t read your emails when sitting under the stars, but by all means take a photo of that epic sunrise if it’ll give you something to remember when you’re back at the desk. People seem to find this balance once they’re off-the-grid”, continues Grant.
It’s in this ‘getting off the grid’ that many people find an inner calm they didn’t realise was there all along.
“We think [that] too often we mistake making a living for having a life. And in today’s world where busyness has become a currency, you’re plugged-in 24/7 and everything has a label. People are starting to react to that. We’ve all got an innate desire to get out there, to be explorers and have an adventure, and we think that more and more people are starting to listen to that, to heed the call of the wild. You know with uni and work and all that we’re kind of given a book and told we can only colour between the lines. We think more people are starting to realise that’s all BS and want to live the way they want to.
“Its a bit cliche, but we notice they generally realise how all that stuff they’re worried about – deadlines, issues, etc – don’t matter. They put things in perspective, that’s the real benefit of the wilderness.”
One of the best elements of Unyoked is how goddamn easy it is to organise. For $199 a night, those with an adventurous streak can book a tiny house online. With simple directions to the site given by Unyoked, you drive as far as the car will take you, park, and walk the final leg (generally a couple-hundred metres away).
When you arrive, you’ll find your tiny house equipped with bedding, towels, a picnic table, fire pit (what’s an adventure in the wild without s’mores?) and a fan. There’s also a composting toilet (if you’ve never used one, it’s not nearly as gross as it sounds, and is ace for the environment) with poo-tickets already provided, a hot shower and solar power. You can cook on the gas stove, keep your tinnies chilled in the bar fridge, and travel light – utensils, plates and all that are also included.
With everything you need except for the food you want to eat and the book you want to read taken care of, it makes it an easily organised affair – a far more comfortable alternative to camping (you packed the poles – right?) and a no-brainer if a few days of fresh air is long overdue.
“It’s all about getting that perspective in your life. We let such trivial things get in the way of us having a good day in the city – over use of the snooze button in the morning, my inbox isn’t at 0, who did what on Instagram, or some other stupid crap.” Cameron passionately opines. “Being out in the wilderness and breaking free of your dependence on technology and the 9-5 cycle helps you realise what really matters. If you can do this at least every few months it will have a huge impact on your day-to-day.”
Perhaps the best bonus of all? By staying in an Unyoked property, you’re leaving almost no trace behind.
“Tiny house, tiny footprint. That’s one of the key reasons driving Unyoked’s choice of tiny houses as the vehicle to get more people outside. The houses are almost carbon neutral and because they’re so small and mobile we can get them into unique wilderness spots without any impact to the environment. This is very important to us because we’re trying to help people reconnect with the wilderness and discover/re-discover a respect for the natural environment.”
Unyoked have already done the heavy lifting – all you need to do is book.