With overseas travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, Aussies are looking to their own backyard for adventure and a change of scenery. A concept growing in popularity is off-grid cabins, cleverly-designed pieces of architecture in the middle of nowhere that allow you to get back to nature (without roughing it too much). Unyoked offers up just that, and our MACROS social media guru Sherree spent one relaxing night soaking up all her Unyoked cabin had to offer. Sans mobile phone, of course.
Founded by Aussie twin brothers Cameron and Chris Grant, Unyoked has cabins dotted over NSW (including one designed by Matthew McConaughey), QLD and VIC, that offer ‘an ancient remedy for modern times’. If you’re worried you don’t have a knack for the wilderness, even Barbie would be down for this cabin adventure with its modern bathroom and equipped kitchenette. You can even bring some of your MACROS meals and heat them up over the stove! After her weekend of getting back to nature, here are five things Sherree learnt after staying in an off-grid cabin that surprised her.
Your mind is more creative than you realise
During the day, your mind is filled with the excitement of the experience and appreciation for the beauty surrounding you. You feel like you’re really living in the moment. If you’re new to spending time alone in the wilderness, the first night can be a bit of a scary experience. Any horror film fanatic like Sherree will start playing out scenes from Cabin in the Woods, Mama and The Strangers when the sun dips below the horizon. But don’t let that scare you – despite being out in nature the cabin area is actually private and secured. Your mind is a powerful tool and once you start relaxing with some marshmallows around the fire you’ll start to appreciate the beauty of it all again!
The moon is awesome
One thing Sherree was surprised about was how bright the moon actually is. When you don’t have any city lights to pollute the sky, the moon and stars can light up your surroundings like magic. If you stay in an off-grid cabin, turn the lights off, watch the moonlight hit the porch, and perhaps even give some meditation a go; there’s no better backdrop for getting your zen on.
Getting back to basics is grounding
When you’re living the busy nine to five life, your hobbies and passions tend to fall to the bottom of your priorities list and you can lose your sense of self. Staying in an off-grid cabin provides the perfect chance to fall back in love with old hobbies and even discover new ones. In Sherree’s Unyoked cabin, she found yoga mats, board games, a deck of cards, and books to read. She brought her own art supplies and a guitar to have a jam with her partner too.
A digital detox gives you all the time you thought you never had
As you try to leave your phone alone, you’ll search for things to do to keep busy. Exploring the area is an essential, especially when you’ll (probably) be surrounded by beautiful hikes and trails you can explore. Have a spontaneous yoga session on the porch, or settle back with a book or two you’ve been meaning to read for a while.
Starting and maintaining a fire is hard (but doable)
Curling up by a real fire with a book, a hot drink and toasting some marshmallows is an essential part of any cabin stay. For those who haven’t started a fire before (like Sherree), it can be a little tougher than first anticipated. Especially if there’s a cold wind blowing. One tip Sherree learnt was to have a pile of twigs, dry leaves and dead grass on hand to help start the fire (surround your fire starter with it to help get it burning) as well as maintain it. It’s also important to never leave your fire unsupervised, as it can go out pretty quickly, or even worse, grow rapidly. After you’ve spent a night starting and maintaining your own outdoor fire, you’ll definitely appreciate the everyday essentials we take for granted, like a kitchen stove (and a microwave to heat your MACROS meals).
A big takeaway Sherree got from her experience: you don’t need to be the ‘barefoot wandering around a forest’ type of person to enjoy a stay in an off-grid cabin. Listening to cassette classics, sipping on hot chocolate while curled up on the porch looking at the horizon is an experience she wants to make a point of recreating back home on the grid.
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