In Style + Design

How To Master The Art Of Disconnecting, According To These Ex-City Slickers

When two twenty-something twin brothers from Sydney quit their “stressful corporate jobs” three years ago to set up a tiny cabin in the woods, little did Cam and Chris Grant know the change they were about to have on their lives – and the lives of many others.

“Outside of work we were nature buffs, we loved to hike and camp and just forget about the outside world,” say the affable fraternal twins.

“We’d save up all of our leave just to do one big trip each year where we could completely disconnect. By the time we got back, our inbox would be full and our stress was high. As time went on, work became increasingly busier and we were taking less and less time to do what we loved.

“There were far too many late nights at work, and we saw that most of the people around us were living the same way.”

Something had to give for the brothers, who yearned for a way to disconnect from the monotony of the daily grind.

Unyoked came from the idea that living that way sucked. We decided to create a way that everyone around us could live in the modern world but still have the chance to go and explore without commitments and the confines of concrete and sky rise buildings.”

And so their start-up business was born. Unyoked is about “minimum-footprint, maximum-chill” or essentially, mini cabins and retreats on remote, unused land allowing people the chance to unplug and get back to nature.

The Grant duo, now in their early 30s, have raised over $1.2million in capital to fund numerous of these ‘tiny houses’ across the bush in NSW and Victoria, with many more soon to pop up around the country. But the concept is more than just a commercial one for the brothers.

“The premise is simple – we want to help everyone disconnect from city-life and chill out in the woods,” says Cam. “We’re not far enough away from the city to feel like you can’t take a day or weekend to chill [but we are] far enough away that you can forget about the normal and everyday commitments that can make us feel tied down.

“Everyone loves the idea of leaving all their stress behind and Unyoked gives them a chance to do it.”

Now that they’re living their dream of getting away from it all and have seemingly mastered the art of disconnecting – what are their suggestions for stressed-out CBD workers who are at a similar stage to where the brothers were at?

“We can get so caught up in our everyday lives,” says Chris. “More often than not, we’re seeing Aussies working 12-14 hour days and burning out from the stress. It’s important to reset your mind and soul to feel rejuvenated and most importantly to just chill out.”

Here are some of their top tips on how to disconnect entirely:

Turn off your phone notifications

If you’re already a fan of disconnecting from tech, a way to make sure you’re not tempted is to let friends and family know when you’ll be going offline – set boundaries and make sure your circle knows them.

Boredom is one of the biggest reasons we reach for our phones. The way to combat this is to set a list of activities to do each day and stick to them. Have an alternative form of entertainment that doesn’t involve Netflix or your TV. If you planned to go on a hike but it’s raining, try reading a book or indoor rock climbing.

Get outside 

There have been studies that have shown the benefits of being out in nature can reduce stress levels and promote creativity. Initially, one of our inspirations was the Japanese shinrin-yoku, which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ or ‘forest bathing’.

Take time for yourself 

Whether that’s a leisurely stroll or trying a hiking trail. Come and say hi to one of our Unyoked cabins. We’ve actually partnered with guys over at Wild Turkey to bring some camping masterclasses to Sydney. It’s a great tester/introduction to what you can do to disconnect from the busy world.

The pair will be part of Wild Turkey’s Spirit of the Wild overnight camping masterclass, held on September 21 in Glenworth Valley, NSW. Tickets are still available.

(All images: Unyoked & Wild Turkey / supplied)

Published 17 September, 2019