Traveling gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse into somebody else’s life.
I’m fascinated by homes around the world. You can tell a lot by a person’s home, and front yard for that matter.
Therefore, I’ve compiled ten photos of front yards from around the world. What can we glean from them?
This first house was the house Jim and I owned in Alaska. Alaska front yards contain a lot of snow, and usually the machines and tools that help you remove the snow or at least a couple of four wheel drives to get you up that hill. Really our front yard was our driveway. We needed all the space for our trucks that we could get, especially on that slope.
Even higher and colder than Alaska, the houses in Tibet don’t need much of a front yard either. Here we see that the family has collected wood and piled it up where they will have easy access to it when they need it. There is also not much color in Tibet, so the houses are very ornately painted adding a little color to their days.
Perched on a mountainside, there’s not much to add to the front yard of a Swiss house, but we did see a lot of cows in the front yard. Even though none were in the shot, you can see their traditional ornamental bells hanging from the rafters. These bells cost over 200 Euros each and weigh up to 20 kilos. The cows only wear them on special occasions like when they come home in the fall after summering up the mountainside.
Likewise the front yards in Moldova are there to make life easier. Here you see that there is an oven that sidles right up to the house. The oven is loaded with wood and managed either from inside or outside of the house. There are pipes that run into the rooms and benches are built right into the walls that allow the heat into all the rooms, making the benches the warmest places to sit in the winter. We sat near one in November, and although it was frigid outside, we were more than warm inside. It worked great.
In France, especially in the bigger manor houses like this, they really could use the space for anything they wanted. Here they have converted the front yard to a canola field…Why not bring in some more income? It takes a lot to heat a house like this.
In Xian, China there is plenty of space, but most of that space is used to grow crops. Instead of having roomy front yards, they have their rooftop terraces to either work, or maybe in their spare time relax and have a cup of tea.
On Tonle Sap in Cambodia, there are Vietnamese immigrants that have built a community so their front yards are water! Kids paddle around in big cooking pots, people have built decks that hold farm animals, and everyone moves, shops, and goes to school in boats.
In a small Bulgarian town, the front yards are both beautiful and purposeful. Here we see the field corn drying and stalked waiting to feed the farm animals year-round, and then the tulips add a splash of color to the otherwise bleak landscape.
I love this photo of a Nubian village in Egypt. The women, busy working, have figured out how to keep all the kids in one place. Again, the front yard is used for a place to work and a place to socialize.
Finally, outside of Melbourne, Australia there is so much space that the front yards can have decorative fountains and flowers hugging the porch. A few feet away, the vastness takes over.
What do front yards tell you about a place, a people?