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My Year in a 450 Not-So-Square Feet Yurt

This 450 Not-So-Square Ft. Yurt is a guest post by Jen McGeehan – share yours!

Our little love yurt is nestled within an Ohia forest, one of the few remaining (they were almost completely wiped out when the sugar cane industry arrived!) on our island in Hawaii.

The God of our universe is still in the business of financial healing and restoration! Travel to paradise as one financially devastated couple take a flight-of-faith, leaving the economically-challenged mountains of Southern California for the unknown off-grid lifestyle of a rented yurt on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The country-wide real estate and banking collapse of 2008 sent millions of American families into financial ruin. Many hung on for dear life, believing the market would correct itself within a year or two. By 2010, no correction was in sight.

In my book, “My Year In A Yurt“, I tell the true story of how my hubby, Pat, and I filled a 40-foot Matson container, shipped our two vehicles, along with our twenty-nine year old equine and three-year old goat, and flew the friendly skies in search of a simpler way of life.

Our enormous debt of over $600,000 came as invisible baggage, as did the painful memory of handing our realtor the keys to our 3,000 square-foot home after three and a half years on the non-existent real estate market. As foreclosure and bankruptcy – additional unwanted travel companions – reared our heads, I sent yet another urgent prayer to heaven asking for God’s divine intervention.

Please enjoy, learn more and re-share below. Thank you!

My Year in a 450 Not-So-Square Ft. Yurt


Images © Jen McGeehan

My Year In A Yurt unearths valuable life-changing treasure through thirty eight stories revealing the humorous yet sometimes bittersweet experiences that unfolded as we set out on a once-in-a-lifetime journey that ultimately led to a place of complete financial healing and restoration. Our restoration can only be attributed to the super-natural hand of God, the same hand that is extended to every living soul who will reach out and take hold.


Images © Jen McGeehan

Our yurt  is 24′ diameter or 450 not-so-square feet. And our favorite thing about living in the yurt was the peace we felt as we worked to get out of debt, learn and adjust to the simpler life of off-grid living, appreciating all that surrounded us including the majestic Ohia trees, the startling blue ocean beyond, the calming breezes, and the animals that freely roamed them far hills!

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This is my 29-year old Palomino Appaloosa (now 33) who we flew over, and Gertrude and Heidi our goats (one came with the horse) and the other was immediately adopted when we arrived, along with a roaming calf, the chickens, and our peacock.

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Learn more: http://jenmcgeehan.tateauthor.com/ and/or buy the book here

A big thanks to Jen McGeehan for sharing with us!

You can share this story with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

If you enjoyed this story you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you!

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Deadrock
    August 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Would have liked some interior pictures…can’t even find those on their website. However, I’m sure the story is inspiring; thanks for sharing!

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 2, 2015, 12:24 pm

    You got guts, guys! God is good. Amazing story and hope it is not the last we hear from you. Please keep us posted on how things are working out for you both.

  • Dotti
    August 2, 2015, 6:11 pm

    God IS amazing! Reach out to Him and He will always be there for you!!

  • Varenikje
    August 3, 2015, 12:37 am

    Sounds like an interesting story! And I’m not in any way interested in building or living in a yurt!

  • Patty
    August 3, 2015, 1:28 am

    Good story and glad to hear you still have your sense of humor and your faith. Anything else is icing on the cake. God bless you.

  • Susanne
    August 3, 2015, 2:21 am

    Hey Varenikeje, if you research yurts sold here in the U.S. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Of course see them all and compare; that’s a must! 🙂 we have seen some here made of wood that were just amazing! But adds to cost of course. As I have stated before they are cheaper, much cheaper, by the square foot,built in less than a week, can be moved, withstands harsh weather, and floor plans do vary; amazing! Don’t write them off just yet!

  • Elsa
    August 21, 2015, 3:13 pm

    Question: What is the latticework on the walls in the yurt about? Is it structural or decorative and can you open the windows behind it?

    • Silver Gypsy
      August 1, 2016, 7:40 pm

      The lattice work is structural. As for the windows, it depends upon the build. Some gers are all felt and canvas, some are wooden structures. With a wooden structure, you can make adjustments to suit yourself. Otherwise, it is stock.

  • Alex Darian
    August 1, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Outstanding!!!! The pain and fear wiped away by God’s Grace, Mercy and this was your fulfillment from His goodness! Simpler life but who doesn’t want to live in Hawaii?!!? Your story and sharing of your plight and your ultimate not-so-square life is inspirational! You DO LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX! Thank you for sharing and thanks for His glory! Amen sister!

    August 2, 2016, 8:26 am

    God has a wonderful sense of humor…! Just look at all he has done to remind us all that he is the higher power here, and you have very little if none at all of control over our destiny…! But yet his lessons are for us to follow, and remind us who is in control, and awards us with what we need to survive…! Yurts have got to be
    one of the greatest long term migration tents built for man who migrates from one stretch of land to another, to tend to his herd of beasts, be it horses, camels, goats or sheep, He can pick up and move to new land for grazing…. The Mongols still do it today…!

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