We encourage you to take a moment, and remember what you were like at age 16. If you were like us, you probably spent most of your time thinking about hanging out with friends, finishing homework, playing sports, learning to drive, and earning a little more independence. These are all normal activities for a high-school-aged teen. That's why when we read an article from The Guardian about Zeki Basan, we recognized he's definitely not an ordinary teenager.

Zeki lives by himself on the Isle of Skye, a rural 639-square-mile Scottish island with a population of just over 10,000. You may be thinking that living alone on this small island at age 16 is impressive, and we'd agree—but it gets even better.

The Viking Canal at Rubha an Dùnain, on the Isle of Skye.

The Viking Canal at Rubha an Dùnain, on the Isle of Skye. Source: Wikipedia

Zeki sleeps in a tipi in the middle of the wilderness, with an old canvas camp bed, some army blankets, and animal skins for protection from the elements. He washes clothes in the river, bakes his own bannock bread, and keeps a campfire burning for warmth. When he's bored, he carves wood, tans animal hides, reads a book, or goes exploring.

Although he has a cell phone, Zeki only uses it every few weeks to catch up with his friends and family. He writes, “People ask if I miss the internet, but I never used to use it much, or watch television. I am sociable, but I have always enjoyed my own company.”


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Here's a video filmed and directed by Zeki about a trip he took to Yosemite, following the footsteps of the legendary outdoorsman John Muir.

However, Zeki isn't skipping his education while living this unique lifestyle. Each weekday, he walks 30 minutes to attend West Highland College's School of Adventure Studies. Along with his 12 classmates, he learns mountaineering, land navigation, kayaking, and other survival skills.

To learn more about Zeki Basan and his life alone in the wilderness, check out this article from The Guardian, or visit his profile on Cairngorms Nature.


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