[Amish Lifestyle] 10 Things I Learned Living With Them

10 Things I learned after living with the Amish for one week – A World to Travel-11

You probably have heard before about the Amish people. For those of you that haven’t though, here is a bit of background on the Amish lifestyle to get us started.

The Amish are a traditionalist Christian based community with a common lifestyle: simple living, plain dress, and no technology.

I had the incredible opportunity to get to know a family and live with the Amish for one week. These are the things I learned by living with the Amish. Keep reading, you might be shocked!

1. Amish families matter

Let me introduce you to Zook’s family. Like most of the living Amish families, Naomi and Christian Zook have quite a big family, since their church doesn’t allow any form of birth control.

From an early age, children help their parents around their farms or other types of business they might have. They are much known for their cuisine, canned food, and carpentry work.

2. Amish can speak English but they’d rather speak their dialect

Although they know English, their most spoken language is Pennsylvania Dutch, a dialect introduced by German immigrants in the late 17th century.

Interestingly, and as opposed to the rest of the country, studying a second language (German) is mandatory for all of them and a sign of Amish living. Their bible and other religious books are mainly written in German, the reason why it is so important for them to learn this language.

3. Horse cars rule

Have you ever wonder how much time it would take you to travel from one city to another if we had no cars? Amish people know the answer; they are not allowed to use cars or any other type of locomotion that implies electricity. Their main way to move around on their everyday basis is a horse buggy. I was incredibly lucky because Naomi asked me if I would like to drive the horse buggy to her friend’s house. Of course, I said yes as I wanted to live like the Amish.

The little ones use a wooden skateboard since they are not allowed to use bicycles because they have pedals and if they want to travel long distances they will use trains or boats, never planes.

4. Home sweet home Amish style

Trying the Amish lifestyle while living with them for a week

Trying the Amish lifestyle while living with them for a week

Their houses are built like the typical traditional American house, with normal furniture and country-style decoration. However, they don’t have any lamps or light bulbs and the kitchen has a gas stove with a wooden oven. Most of them have a big open space in the basement so that every Sunday the Amish community can gather inside and take mass together. Other than that, Amish houses are pretty similar to ours; they even have trampolines in their backyard for kids to play!

5. You can be an Amish and still be trendy

Do you remember when someone opened up a closet in a cartoon TV show and all the clothes are the same (because cartoon characters wear always the same clothes)?

My friend Rachel was showing me her room when I noticed her closet was full of dresses that looked the same but had different colors.

They have to dress according to the Amish lifestyle: simple and with demure. However and to my surprise, my friend Rachel had a huge collection of Adidas tennis shoes that she wore with her dresses. To me it was shocking (this was before wearing tennis shoes with skirts and dresses became fashionable) so when I asked her – as I was trying to be Amish for a week – she responded: “What? Tennis shoes are cool and trendy!”

And she was right, four years later I started to see them all over the magazines and fashion blogs!

6. Amish have their schools

Amish kids don’t go to regular schools. Instead, they have their own. Too cool for school? Maybe.

Rachel was their new teacher (and yes, she was only 16!), so she allowed us to attend a few classes. We had to be very quiet and respectful because other Amish families don’t usually like it when “English” people enter their community.

The school is composed of one big room with a wood stove to keep everyone warm and lots of wildflowers that the little ones had brought to their teacher. Amish children of all ages share the space but they had individual assignments according to their capacities.

When we entered the room, they were situating each state on a gigantic map in front of the class and shortly after they finished they went outside to play baseball with us.

7. Rumspringa, a chance of going wild

Once they reach 8th grade at the age of 14 their education is considered completed. Then, rumspringa begins, which means “running around”. During the following 2 years, boys and girls are allowed to use electronic instruments such as cell phones or computers, driving other vehicles rather than a slow-motion buggy, and wear different clothes. Some of them even create Facebook profiles!

This period gives teenagers a chance to “go wild” before committing to their religion. That way they can go on crazy adventures before getting married and settling down. It is also a time for them to explore the world out there and to reconsider their religion.

Nearly 90% of them will stay as a member of the Amish community and get baptized at the end of Rumspringa.

8. What happens after Rumspringa?

Rumspringa is not only a time to discover technology and modern artifacts; it is also a time to come closer to other teenagers and discover love.

Once it is over and shortly after they get baptized the majority of them get married and begin their adult life as a new family, living under the Amish lifestyle. Rachel and I are still in contact by post mail after I left Pennsylvania (their home state), and it didn’t take too long until I received a letter from her telling me how happy she was about her upcoming wedding.

9. The Amish are world travelers

The Zook’s and I shared a passion: traveling the world.

Yes, I know, they can’t take planes or ride cars, which for us would be a deal-breaker; but it didn’t stop them from traveling the world. I was shocked when they described to me how one time they took a train from Philadelphia to California and then a cruise to Alaska.

I am telling you, I was jealous! That is the real dream!

10. What we all should learn from the Amish lifestyle

When I first arrived there I thought they would not welcome me because I was not part of their community. I was very wrong.

They opened up their hearts to me and asked me a lot of questions about how it was like to live in my home country, what type of food did we eat, how did people dress… Rachel dressed me up with one of her dresses so that I could blend in with them and she shared secrets with me.

At that time we were both 16, so she told me about a guy she liked and other teenager stories.

One day her brother got grounded for sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. When I asked him why he did it, he responded: “I just wanted to drink and party with my friends”. His answer tore apart all the stereotypes that reside deep in my mind without even being aware of them.

People are people, no matter where they are from, which God they preach to or how they dress.

We all love and we all cry when our hearts get broken, we are curious about other people’s lifestyles and we care about our loved ones.

It doesn’t matter if they are Amish, Americans, or any other community; little children will want to dress their baby dolls the way they see their parents dress and teenagers will always want to rise against their parents and do crazy fun stuff with their friends.

We are so afraid of our differences that we forget to embrace our similarities.

FAQs about the Amish lifestyle

What are Amish people like?

The Amish are a conservative rural Christian group known mostly for their traditional way of life and closeness to nature.

They are simple people who value family and hard work. They live in small family-centered farming communities and the group is known for its humble lifestyle and avoidance of modern living. Amish people are gentle and kind, with high respect for their religion, and a strong sense of community.

They are warm and hospitable, making visitors feel welcome in their homes, and are known for their strong work ethic and generosity.

How do Amish people live?

Have you ever wondered how the Amish live? The Amish are a sect of the Anabaptists who live a traditional lifestyle governed by rules and beliefs that may seem strange to those of us living in the modern world.

Let’s explore the fascinating ways the Amish live, from their technology and clothing choices to their social customs and language.

The Amish have many unique customs and beliefs that govern their daily lives. For example, the Amish do not attend large events such as dances or movie theaters, as they believe that these activities could cause them to lose their faith.

Furthermore, the Amish are not allowed to drive motorized vehicles, as they believe that it is morally wrong to utilize such technology.

Additionally, the Amish follow a strict dress code that includes traditional clothing made from natural fabrics and plain colors.

Finally, the Amish do not use any modern forms of technology, such as televisions, radios, or computers, as they believe that it leads to an untrustworthy and materialistic lifestyle.

The most well-known aspect of the Amish lifestyle is the avoidance of modern technology. This does not mean that Amish people live in a pre-industrial world, however. Instead, the Amish carefully select the technology they use and reject anything that does not fit into their lifestyle or beliefs.

For example, the Amish are likely to have electricity, but they will use a battery-powered phone or a party line telephone instead of a cell phone.

They may use horses and buggies for transportation and rely on manual labor for farming and other tasks.

Generally, technology that allows for communication outside of the community such as the internet, computers, and television is not used.

In addition to technology choices, clothing is also a way that the Amish express their beliefs.

Amish men and women wear plain, modest clothing such as collared shirts, plain trousers, and apron dresses.

Amish women also wear their hair parted in the middle and pulled back into a bun, while Amish men’s hair is typically kept short. The style is designed to attract attention away from the physical body and toward the inner self.

Their clothes are usually handmade, and they strive to avoid bright colors or patterns that could be seen as vain or ostentatious. These clothing choices reflect their religious beliefs of humility and piousness.

What language do the Amish speak?

The Amish use the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect to communicate with each other. This language is a combination of German, English, and other languages and dialects.

This language is still used by the Amish today to ensure that their culture and beliefs remain intact.


The Amish live a very traditional lifestyle, where technology and modern customs are kept to a minimum and their beliefs are kept intact.

From their technology and clothing choices to their social customs and language, the way in which the Amish live is truly fascinating.

What is it like to be Amish today?

Being Amish today is very different than in years past. The Amish still practice a traditional lifestyle, but technology has impacted many aspects of their lives.

Some Amish people use cell phones, computers, or have satellite dishes to access the internet. The Amish practice a spiritual lifestyle, and they still maintain a simple rural lifestyle with farming, small businesses, and an emphasis on their faith and their community.

They also have their own schools, churches, and shops. The Amish still keep strong values of simplicity, industry, and family.

What are some of the most widespread misconceptions about the Amish?

  1. All Amish communities are the same.
  2. The Amish use technology infrequently.
  3. The Amish are averse to change and progress.
  4. The Amish are isolationists.
  5. The Amish are poor.
  6. The Amish have large families.
  7. The Amish do not go to school.
  8. The Amish are fundamentalist Christians.
  9. The Amish do not go to doctors for medical care.
  10. The Amish are uneducated.

What do Amish people do?

The Amish practice a range of activities that focus on their traditional beliefs, values, and lifestyle. These include farming, homemaking, hospitality, and crafts.

They are also known for their strong religious commitment and participation in community gatherings and activities. And they also engage in community service, like helping others during floods and other disasters.

Is Amish a religion or a lifestyle?

Amish is both a religion and a lifestyle. The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships; their lifestyle reflects their beliefs and is shaped by traditional religious practices.

As we have seen, the Amish way of life includes simple living, plain dress, community, nonconformity, and separation from the world. Amish churches have their own authority and do not accept outside interference.

They are known for their avoidance of modern technology, such as automobiles, electricity, and mainstream media. On the other hand, they are also known for their strong family structures and close communities.

Is it possible to live a simple life like the Amish?

Yes, it is possible to live a simple life like the Amish. Although the Amish are a religious community, many people choose to leave modern society behind and pursue a simpler life that is inspired by the Amish way of life.

People who live a simpler life, sometimes called “off-grid living,” often make their own electricity, grow their own food, and make their own clothing.

The great news is that it is possible to live this lifestyle in many parts of the world!

Where do Amish people live?

Amish people live in a variety of places around the world, but the majority of them live in the United States and Canada. The largest populations of Amish can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Other large Amish populations are located in Iowa, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada.

What is the difference between the Amish and Mennonites?

The Amish and Mennonites are both descended from the Anabaptist movement of Christianity, but they differ in their beliefs and practices.

  • The Amish are known for their strict interpretation of the Bible and their traditional lifestyle and their avoidance of modern technology and conveniences.
  • In contrast, Mennonites embrace a more progressive approach to life, with a focus on service to others and a willingness to use modern technology and conveniences.

How do the Amish differ from Mormons?

The Amish and Mormons have many differences, the most significant being their religious beliefs.

  • The Amish are a traditional Christian group that has retained many of the practices and beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, while Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an offshoot of Christianity that has its own unique set of beliefs and practices.
  • Amish people follow a lifestyle focused on communal living, plain dress, and avoiding many of the technologies available to the rest of the world, while Mormons place a strong emphasis on spiritual growth, family values, and education.

Are the Amish apprehensive of technology?

Yes, many Amish people view technology and modern conveniences with suspicion. They tend to limit their use of technology to what is necessary for daily life, such as certain medical treatments, certain types of farm machinery, and items such as battery-powered lights.

Many Amish people also avoid chemical-based items such as laundry detergents, preferring to use natural alternatives.

Do the Amish ride bikes? And motorized vehicles?

No, the Amish do not usually ride bikes. They follow a way of life that rejects the use of modern conveniences. As part of their beliefs, the Amish only use horse and buggy for transportation.

They also believe that motorized vehicles contrast with the Bible’s teachings regarding moderation and humility. They do not own cars or use public transportation, as such forms of travel would allow them to move too quickly for the pace of their lifestyle. The Amish faith emphasizes a slower, more simple and reflective lifestyle, in which most forms of modern technology are seen as a barrier to the closeness of God.

How is a day in the life of an Amish person?

A day in the life of an Amish person typically starts with a shared family breakfast, followed by the morning prayer. Most Amish will attend a morning church service and then return home for lunch. Following lunch, the family may partake in some house chores or other activities.

In the afternoon, chores related to the farm and the livestock will take up the majority of the time. During the early evening, family members will often gather to share stories, eat dinner and have devotional time.

After dark, there is usually time for family and friends to get together and socialize.

What can we learn from the Amish?

  1. Simple Living: The Amish lifestyle is a commitment to living simply and avoiding worldly influences. This includes staying away from modern technologies such as televisions, computers, and smartphones. This can be a reminder to us to be mindful of our materialism and to appreciate the non-material aspects of life.
  2. Community and Family: The Amish place a strong emphasis on communal living and family relationships. They are known for their hospitality and a strong sense of community, which can be something to strive for in our own lives.
  3. Respect For Nature: The Amish have a deep respect for nature and the environment. They have an agricultural society, which means they rely heavily on the land to provide for their needs

Would you like to live with an Amish family for a while, explore an Amish village or visit an Amish community as part of a two-day tour?

If living with the Amish appeals to you too, get in touch. We can’t wait to read your messages!

There are 9 comments

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  1. Hannah Marino

    Hi! I am interested in living with the Amish for a few days to experience their culture. I’ve tried google searching but can’t seem to find anything… Can you help me out?

  2. Martina Vetter

    An interesting experience that I would like to share. Can you help me get in touch with an Amish family to live with?

    • Inma

      Hi Martina! This article was written by one of our contributors. However, there are a number of companies that offer these experiences. A quick google search should take you there 🙂

  3. nereacaponl

    Sí! Como bien dices no permiten que se les saque fotos porque para ellos el alma queda capturada en la fotografía y por tanto no pueden ir al cielo al morir. A mí sólo me han permitido sacar fotos de los hijos porque al no estar bautizados todavía no se les aplica esta norma. Lo cierto es que les encantó que les sacase fotos ya que muy raras veces ven una cámara. Hasta me pedían que les sacase fotos haciendo poses y caras!

    Un saludo para ti también y gracias por el comentario!

  4. El Guisante Verde Project

    Una experiencia realmente interesante. En nuestros viajes a Estados Unidos no hemos tenido mucho contacto con los amish, y aunque alguno si que ha habido, nada comparable a pasar una semana conviviendo con ellos. Es curioso, siempre nos han negado hacerles fotos. Supongo que esta familia es un poco más abierta que la media. 😀

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