I never thought of myself as much of a ‘city girl’ until we moved to a log cabin just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But after a month of cabin life, I had to admit to myself — yes, I am definitely more city than country.
But this hasn’t stopped me from trying to learn the ways of the country! I can now make a fire in our wood burning stove, take the dog for a walk without fear of running into a moose, and dress appropriately for the Wyoming weather.
And so far, I like what I’m learning about cabin life better than city life.
I still have A LOT to learn about living in Jackson Hole and in a log cabin, but so far I’ve made a few discoveries that are worth sharing:
5 Lessons Learned from Our First Month of Cabin Life
1. Don’t Take Your Surroundings for Granted
When we first moved into the cabin I was so excited to wake up with a beautiful view of nature everyday: a sprawling neighboring ranch with the peaks of the Tetons in the background. But after a couple weeks I stopped looking outside first thing in the morning — instead I would hastily grab my coffee or jump straight into my to-do list for the day.
I realized that this signaled a bigger change than just being more rushed in the mornings. It meant that I had started taking our surroundings for granted. So started making an effort to acknowledge our surroundings — the nature, the mountains, the cabin — each morning.
This little moment of gratitude goes a long way. It helps set the tone for the day, and reminds me why we moved across the country in the first place. I wouldn’t have thought that I would take something that I wanted so badly for granted, but it started happening after just a couple weeks! Sometimes we have to make a habit out of things that seem straightforward, like gratitude.
2. Routines Are a Good Thing
Routines are boring… Doing the same thing every day is dull, right? Well, I discovered that when you are living in an open-concept log cabin with a husband and dog (and baby on the way!), routines are a lifesaver.
It actually helps knowing when everyone in the cabin wakes up, goes to bed, when the coffee pot is set for, around what time we’ll eat our meals, and so on. Part of the benefit of this is that we don’t have a lot of extra space. Knowing roughly the schedule for the day means that we aren’t stepping over one another.
The other benefit is that when the husband and I do have time to spend together, it feels more special. Our routine these days has ebbs and flows, but when we have regular or random times together they seem extra special due to everything else that’s going on.
3. Home Is What You Make It
We got lucky with our log cabin. When we moved in it was fully furnished, which meant that we didn’t have to bring any of our furniture from Texas. In fact, we sold almost everything we owned before moving.
This was incredibly convenient; however, after a couple weeks I realized that it felt a little funny not having any of our own furniture and instead living with all different things. We had to find a way to make the cabin feel like home, despite the fact that we had only been there a short while and brought only a few of our belongings.
The easiest way to make the cabin feel like home was to start caring for the things that were there. I rearranged, cleaned, and put my own touch on everything I could. By putting in this effort I started to feel attached to the furniture and spaces of the cabin. It started to feel like home — our own home.
4. Sometimes One Big Change Is Easier Than Many Small Ones
Many people asked how we were adjusting after our move. The truth is that we did a lot of adjusting, but it never felt like we were doing so consciously. I think this this is because we changed so much at once: we moved across the country, changed our job situations, and are expecting a baby shortly. If you’re going to make some life changes, why not change everything at once…
What felt like one big change — moving to a new place — was easier to adapt to than many small ones. I’ve had smaller life changes that I found much more difficult to process and adapt to than this big one. Since everything feels new at once, it’s been easier to process and settle in to a new place and lifestyle.
5. Cabins Are Cozy
I can’t describe what I’ve learned about living in a cabin without mentioning the cabin itself! And I cannot state this enough: cabins are cozy. By that I mean that they are naturally welcoming, homey, and warm. Evenings or early in the mornings are the best, when the sun is just right and it glows on the wood walls and floors.
This is important because it makes the cabin feel more like home — and while the cabin is much more rugged than the apartment we moved from in Austin — the coziness makes up for it and then some.
I still have a long way to go before I’d stop calling myself a ‘city girl,’ but this first month in the cabin has been eye opening. And ironically most of the lessons I’ve learned have been more about myself than practical day to day life here. Hopefully I’ll be learning some of those next!
For more of our story, check out: Why We Gave Up Our Jobs & Things to Move to a Cabin Year Round.