I'm a recent college graduate, my major was outdoor recreation. I've been riding horses since I was 7 and rock climbing since I was 14. I've been in love with the outdoors my entire life (thanks to my parents) and have wanted to live in a tipi (or yurt, or hut, or cabin) in the woods since I can remember. I bought a horse when I was 12 (yes, I bought it, not my parents) and can't imagine a life that can't include horses.
I spent this summer as a sea kayaking guide on the NC coast. I lead groups of 10-16 adults and teenagers island hopping. we took everything we needed with us and paddled from island to island. I slept on a beach every night and paddled to a new destination every day. Now I'm back in "the real world" and poor, and really missing that lifestyle. For now, my boyfriend and I are stuck in the city I went to school in until our lease ends in December. we haven't figured out what we'll do after that.
on to the good stuff!
I wanted to share a link with anyone in the southeast looking for a wilderness/alternative living retreat. My parent's friend is Eustace Conway and he started Turtle Island Preserve. My first memories of him are from when I was probably 5 or 6, sitting with him in his tipi talking about the Native American way of life. He and my parents met back in the 70's. He was alternating between living in his tipi in his friend's backyards and eating roadkill/dumpster diving and living in the woods killing his own food and making his own clothes. People started noticing him and eventually he was interviewed on the radio and then wrote a book. I think the sales from the book allowed him to start Turtle Island. He has various workshops and things that connect us with our ancestral roots, and re-teach us the old ways of living off the land. I've been up there to visit and its quite beautiful, set deep in the mountains of North Carolina in the Boone/Blowing Rock area.
There is this awesome show on PBS (at least in North Carolina) called Folk Ways. During each episode, they interview someone in North Carolina who has a folk craft, trade or skill. They film a woman carding, spinning and dying wool, Eustace at Turtle Island, and one on a camp you can attend to learn primitive survival skills in a communal setting. I haven't seen every episode, just enough to know its a good series. I also have a couple of DVDs with 4 episodes on them my dad burned for me, if anyone wants copies.
Oh, here is a link to a list of episodes:
You can download the entire video, but you need a real player to watch it. My favorite so far is Earth Skills, and its one of the more relevant episodes for this community.