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What It’s Like to Move From a Big City to a Rural Log Cabin

And what we didn't expect!

Written by Megan Schetzsle

 
Last year, my husband and I moved from Austin, TX to a rural log cabin outside of Jackson Hole, WY. Our lives were turned upside down in the process: we quit our jobs, sold almost everything we own, and left our family and friends behind. We dreamt of living in a log cabin, adopting a simpler pace of life, and raising our son in a new environment.
 
Before we moved, I had ideas of what "cabin life" meant. When you think of cabin life, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s beautiful wood beams, charming rustic decor, or a cozy wood stove. This is how I saw cabin life: a few rustic touches but basically like life in our big city apartment. How different could it be?
 
But I couldn’t have been more wrong! Cabin life had lots of surprises in store for us…here are the 3 biggest things that we didn’t expect about moving to a cabin:
 

 

1. Cabins have a life of their own.

Our cabin was hand-built from a kit 30 years ago. The man who built our cabin also added many custom features, giving it a lot of unique quirks. There's a particular way to tend the wood stove just so or to open the windows to get a cool draft. The plumbing has to be handled with care and we avoid certain floorboards because they have a deafening creak. But it’s the quirks that make the cabin come to life. Every inch of the 800-square-foot cabin has a story, and we’re just learning how we fit into it.
 

2. You learn new things about yourself.

Cabin life has taught me that I don’t need many of the things that were once habits in our big city life. Those very habits from our city life, which I thought I would miss, have been replaced by new habits I enjoy. In the cabin, I cook meals at home rather than going out to eat and repurpose what we have rather than going shopping.
 
For example, I frequently had to get inventive when our son was born. Instead of buying items that he would quickly outgrow, we used materials we already had to build toys, a play gym, and a mobile. I never would have learned how much I enjoy cooking, getting out in nature, finding creative solutions for our home, and so many other things if it wasn’t for moving to the cabin.
 

 

3. A little coziness goes a long way.

When we moved to the cabin, I knew it would be cozy. But I didn’t realize how big of a deal that would be! Cabins really are cozy in a life-changing way. Before we moved to the cabin, I was nervous about downsizing, the cold winters, and how we would handle a baby in a small space. But the coziness of the cabin has more than made up for these worries. Instead of feeling cramped or cold on winter days, our little family feels perfectly at home, all nestled in the cabin.
 
The cabin is giving us memories for a lifetime: evenings spent by the fire, afternoons playing outside, and mornings cooking a hot breakfast under a fresh snowfall. Because of the cozy environment of the cabin, our family has created many meaningful memories together. And we’ve become closer than I ever thought was possible. Moving from a big city to a cabin was not what we expected. It turned our lives upside down and has been full of surprises. But everyday I’m grateful for all the ways that it has proved my ideas of "cabin life" wrong, and changed our lives for the better in the process.
 
 
 

About Megan

Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. 

Megan runs her blog The Cabin Diary (www.thecabindiary.com), and can be found sharing day-to-day cabin life through social media (@thecabindiary).