life in a tree house

Life in a Tree House

We have some unexpected visitors. A family with 4 kids. They were climbing down the mountain, struggling not to slip on their way back through the woods. The last thing they expected was to be greeted by two young people, standing in front of a little wooden house, in the middle of nowhere.

'Boomhuis' sitten in Ierland
‘Treehouse’ sitting in Ireland

 

a wooden house in the middle of the forest
The front door

 

 

“You live here?! Wow! How did you get your fridge up here?” one of the kids immediately wondered. I smile. “We don’t have a fridge”. The boy looks at me with big eyes. “And where is your tv?” “We don’t have one either, we live without electricity” Niko replies. “Then what do you do all day?” The little boy just can’t believe it.

 

 

Relaxing at night with candle light
Relaxing at night with candle light

 

Candles everywhere!
Candles everywhere!
Reading on the stairs
Reading on the stairs

I invite our visitors to have a look inside. They follow me eagerly through the door. With 2 adults, 4 kids and a dog, our little house is packed! They have to be careful not to step on each others toes while looking around. Not that there is much to see. A wooden desk near the window, that looks out over the tree tops and the sea. An old car seat that functions as a couch. Another couch and a big chair. A wood stove in the living space, our laundry drying above it.
A few shelves with lots of pots, plates and food. A bench underneath it with a little gas cooker. A sink. And candles. Lots of candles.

 

The living room and study
The living room and study

 

Our wood stove
Our wood stove

 

Our bathroom/kitchen
Our bathroom/kitchen

 

“Do you have running water?” the father asks. “Yes, we have a water tank outside” Niko explains. “It’s connected to the creek through a pipe line. Whenever it rains, the water from the creek flows through the pipe into the tank. Another line connects it to a tap inside the house. As long as it rains regularly, we have plenty of water. It only becomes a problem when it doesn’t rain for a while. If the tanks gets empty, we have to carry heavy water bottles all the way from the village to the house, which is a 40 minute walk. Luckily this is Ireland and it only happened once so far.”
“Oh good, so you can shower here”, the mother says. “Yes, we have a little shower, but it is very cold. We prefer to heat up water on the stove and wash ourselves in the sink or in that big bucket over there. With a bit of imagination, it’s like taking a bath.” The kids giggle at the sight of the white bucket.

 

Niko doing a wash

 

“I need to use the bathroom” The youngest boy looks around. I smile. “I’m afraid we don’t have one.” “Where do you go to the toilet?”. Niko and I wink at each other. “When we need to pee, we use a tree. There is also an outside toilet, but it can only flush the urine. We poo in a bucket and use ashes from the fire or sawdust to cover it up. When it’s full, we empty it in a compost bin further down the forest.” An expression of disgust on the kids’ faces. “I think I’ll wait”, says the little one.

 

the toilet

“Can we have a look upstairs?”, one of the girls asks, changing the subject. “Sure, but be careful on the ladder. It is quite steep.” One by one the children go up to our bedroom. It’s a beautiful mezzanine, with a small bed and books everywhere. Colorful drapes from around the world are covering the ceiling. “Cool! I want to have a room like this!” we hear the oldest boy shouting out.

 

The library
The library

 

The stairs to the bedroom
The stairs to the bedroom

 

The two floors of our house
The two floors of our house

 

“Well, thank you so much for inviting us in your home.” The father shakes our hand. “We don’t come across a house like this every day. Especially not one that is build on four tree trunks. It’s a real tree house!” It is indeed! A friend of us built this house years ago and now it’s known in the village as ‘the Tree House’.

 

Doing the dishes by candle light
Doing the dishes by candle light

The family leaves. It’s quiet again. Very quiet. So silent that we can hear our own heart beats. Far away from people and noises. Only surrounded by trees and carpets of green moss.
Niko and I look at each other and smile. It must have made quite an impression. You don’t often meet people who live in the forest without electricity. But we love it. A perfect temporary home to recharge before going on a big adventure around the world. A peaceful place with time to study and to enjoy the simple things of life. A cosy house to snuggle up and read by candlelight. A good preparation for not having electricity all the time and becoming aware of water usage when we’ll be in Africa.

 

Niko studying
Niko studying

 

View from the window
View from the window

 

Surrounded by trees and moss
Surrounded by trees and moss

Living in a tree house is amazing! Even if we have to poo in a bucket.

 

Life in a tree house - Journal of Nomads
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You want to know more about our life in the tree house? We made a video about it!

 

 

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Writer, photographer and co-founder at Journal of Nomads

I have Belgian roots but the world has been my home for the past 7 years. I'm an artist at heart and often get lost in my thoughts. I like to create some-thing out of no-thing and once I feel inspired, I'm unstoppable. I love telling stories and taking photos, showing the beauty and extraordinary of the world around me. Oh, and I love making the impossible elegantly probable. Once you realize that you're a creator and the world is your playfield, there's no limit to what can be done!

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ElainaRenne SimpsonaCajuninCaliMelody PittmanTravelure Recent comment authors
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Elaina

The outside hasn’t a patch on the character of the house, you really did make it a home! You must of had quite the adventure living there, this is something I would love to do. Cut right back to basics or a longer than comfortable period of time and enjoy the simple things! Can I ask where in Ireland is this? I’ll have to have a look out next time I’m back in my homeland! 🙂

Renne Simpson

WHOA! This was a really interesting post…idk if I could do it lol. At least not for a long time. Your treehouse looks super cool though.

aCajuninCali

WOW! I definitely could not do this for long! It looks super fun though. And that view is to die for! I’m headed to Ireland in a few weeks. Maybe I should try to find a tree house 🙂

Melody Pittman
Melody Pittman

Wow, you guys have it mastered. I can only stand to even camp for maybe a week at the longest. You must have real zeal to pull it off. 😉

Travelure

Wow! I have only heard of these or seen some make-believe ones in a few glamping resorts. But this one’s neat!

Taylor

Wow what an experience that would be. I think it’s something worth trying for everyone, including myself, even if for only a few days. To experience something like that, the simplicity, away from social media and electronics would be really beneficial to a lot of people!

Joe B

Have always wanted to stay overnight in a tree house. Never thought of living in one! I think the quiet would get to me, but definitely seems like something worth trying.

Rob Taylor

This is so cool. I could go rustic for a week or so, and maybe longer if I really found that I was able to release my western woes and needing more comforts.

FamilyTravelEscapades

You are one brave, tough girl! I can imagine how cold it would get; esp. in Ireland! I get cold in my house with heat. I am sure you have had an experience you will never, ever forget and you get to get away from all the electronic devices and craziness we all live with.

Matthew and Heather
Matthew and Heather

So fantastic. I would love to visit this tree house!

Marouan ben larbi
Marouan ben larbi

It’s amazing to live this adventure. And the house looks perfect for me to meditate every day ! !! Niko again these experiences are making form us real Humans ! !! Good luck guys.

Niko - Journal of Nomads

Living in a tree house was indeed amazing, it takes you back to the essentials in life. It was a perfect place to meditate, no distracting noises at all 🙂

Tom

Your Tree House looked like a lot of fun. Hard to beat living in the forest! You may not have had a shower or regular toilet, but you had a nice easy chair, good company and it looked very comfortable. I didn’t see what you were eating for your meals, but the mushrooms i’m sure were good. Good luck on your next journey in France. I’m traveling in Cambodia and Thailand and hope to go to Vietnam in time for the Chinese New Year.

Happy and Safe Travels….