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One of the coolest things about sharing our story through our blog has been meeting other people who are on the same kind of path as us. I wanted to share some other perspectives on homesteading, homebuilding, and what living a self-sufficient life really looks like. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be looking at the cool things that our readers are striving for in their homestead journeys.
After all, some of us take that journey in our own backyards. And others? Well, others find their way in the Alaskan bush. This week, we’re taking a look at how Hannah Blunk and her boyfriend Jared were inspired by their year in Alaska and what they’re going to do next.
2. Where are you at in your homesteading journey?
We are in the process of getting out of debt right now, and we should have it all cleared by spring! In the meantime, we live in a one bedroom apartment where we are able to still garden (and compost!) and do tons of research on homesteading.
3. Why do you feel it’s important to get out of debt as part of your homesteading journey?
I think the very essence of homesteading is being independent, and a huge part of that is also being financially independent. Furthermore, homesteading is about simplicity, and financial independence goes hand in hand with that concept as well. The less financial baggage, the better. 🙂
4. What are your ultimate homestead goals?
We would like to build a small cabin ourselves, on as many acres of land as possible while still remaining debt and mortgage free. We would like the entire cabin to be self-sustaining and eco-friendly.
Many years ago I met a couple who owns a Log Home Business nearby. I go there a couple times a year and chat with them and walk through their cabins to get ideas. While I’d definitely like to design the cabin myself, we go back and forth about buying a kit from them or attending a seminar to learn how to build a butt and pass style log cabin home. I think in the end it will come down to whichever route is more financially feasible at the time.
5. Why are you drawn to this particular homesteading lifestyle?
I have always been drawn to the idea of simple living and have loved log cabins. When I was growing up, I also LOVED touring other people’s homes and as a teenager, I would even go to model home tours for fun.
A few years ago, this all sort of came to a head. Jared and I moved from a suburb of Cleveland where we grew up to a small, rural Alaskan village where I taught Kindergarten and 1st Grade for the school year. We were completely off the road system. We flew into the village by Bush Plane, and the only forms of transportation in the village were Snow Mobile and Four Wheeler.
While we did have “running” water in our particular home, it consisted of a water tank that had to be filled each Tuesday. We had to watch it, because when the tank was empty, the tank was empty! We had no toilet. Instead, we were welcomed to the world of Honey Buckets. This was basically a five-gallon bucket built into a wooden box, with a toilet seat attached.
There were two very small grocery stores, but fresh produce was few and far between. We had most of our groceries shipped in through Walmart or Amazon Prime, but planning was key, because it could take weeks to get supplies.
6. What advice do you have for anyone else looking to get into homesteading?
Dave Ramsey, The Minimalist Guys, and Katie Wells from Wellness Mama have all given us infinite amounts of wisdom. We listen to their podcasts on a regular basis.
Dave Ramsey and all of the Debt-Free screams have gotten us pumped up to be financially free and smart with our finances. The Minimalist Guys have helped us pare down our belongings to the essentials so that we can not only live in a very small apartment while saving money, but realize we only need a small cabin long run. And Katie from Wellness Mama showed us how much healthier this lifestyle is anyway, and given many food, cleaning, and beauty recipes to help.
7. Any final words of wisdom?
Just a couple stolen quotes that inspire me when I think about homesteading… 🙂
- “The simpler I get, the healthier I get.” – Kris Carr
- “Small homes make wallets fatter, material possessions fewer, relationships stronger, conversations easier, laughter louder, cleaning time shorter, and fun times longer.” – Unknown
- “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” – Rumi
Many thanks, Hannah, for sharing your story with us! Other reader stories are coming soon. I’ll link those below once they go live.
If you’re new to our homesteading project, click here to learn exactly what went in to every part of building our cordwood home from scratch.
And if you’re thinking of starting your own homebuilding journey but don’t know how to start, download this free checklist to see how ready you really are.