As a travel writer who takes long journeys (one- to two-week jaunts at a time), and lives in the city for the other half of the month, it’s nice to get away from the congestion, pollution, and traffic—even for just a few days. Over the last four years, I have been able to find my ‘peace’ with easy two-hour road trips upstate to the Catskill Mountains. Solo retreats to the woods? Just my cup of tea. Literally—I actually bring my own loose leaf tea to brew in my rented cabin or tiny home while I curl up next to a space heater and enjoy the quiet stillness of nature. Here are a few of the destinations I like to escape to for peace of mind.
EASTWIND HOTEL & BAR
The Catskills region offers several options for tiny homes and cabins, most measuring 250 to 300 square feet on average. One of my favorite retreats to catch up on reading and unplug from technology is at the Eastwind Hotel & Bar in Windham, New York. There, inside a Slovenian-inspired “Lushna” cabin, is my perfect definition of minimalism: a 200-square foot A-frame with a bed, side table, lamp, and small space heater. Forget a TV, this is nature at its purest. I prefer to hunker down with a good book in this small space and tune out the outside world.
As a solo traveler on my trips upstate, I enjoy meeting the people who stay on the property. The Eastwind’s main building has a social area where you can chat with guests and order snacks—like grilled cheese, homemade soups, and vegetable chips—from a bar menu while sitting next to a woodburning fireplace. And if I want a day to myself? I utilize the mini-sauna that stands adjacent to the Lushna cabins—with room for just two or three people—and spend the rest of the afternoon decompressing.
A TINY HOUSE RESORT
A community of nine rentable tiny houses in the South Cairo area of the Catskills, A Tiny House Resort is another place where I escape to for a few days. Each home has a kitchen, full bathroom, heat and air conditioning, Wi-Fi, TV, and a private patio with a gas barbecue grill and fire pit. The tiny home I stayed in—“The Lodge”—measured 250 square feet. Here, I was able to find solace inside a home that had just enough room to cook a hearty meal using the complimentary eggs that came from the adjacent chicken coop. Small spaces can be great, but what makes them even better is being nestled in nature. I’ll never pass up a light hike and then a return back to cozy surroundings.
With the most efficient check-in process I’ve experienced, Getaway is one of the most convenient ways I’m able to retreat to a tiny home in the Catskills. After you book your cabin online, your cabin name is sent the day before arrival by e-mail and text along with a map and a code to use for check-in. This is perfect when you don’t want to encounter people at any point during a visit. I stayed in the “Kamala” tiny home, which came equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom, sizeable bed, and a s’more-making kit to go along with the outdoor fire pit. Even though I had never started a fire by myself, this escape offered the perfect little challenge to figure things out on my own in solitude.
One of the best parts about living in tiny spaces is that you find out how little you actually need not only to survive, but to thrive. I’ve learned over time that I don’t need much more than a riveting book, cozy blanket, and a bit of food to keep me happy.
Adrienne Jordan has been freelance travel & lifestyle writer since 2011. She currently contributes to USA Today, the Washington Times, Travel & Leisure, American Way, Ebony, MensJournal.com, and more. She has a passion for writing about adventure, LGBT travel, luxury, family, and cuisine. Some of the most standout experiences include gorilla trekking in Uganda, cruising the fjords of Norway, swimming in the devil’s pool in Zambia, and road tripping through South Africa. She enjoys trying the local cuisine and believes that sometimes the best food can be found on a roadside stand or in a matriarch’s kitchen.