Leaving everything behind and moving into the wilderness might not be for everybody but there is something fascinating about going off the grid. Here are our six favorite YouTubers who dropped out of the rat race to pursue their outback dreams and inspire others to live more simply.
An Artist in the Arctic Circle
Joanna Jinton was 20-years-old when she decided to quit university and move into her ancestral village in the far north of Sweden. She found herself in a harsh environment where not only did she have to deal with the six-month-long polar nights, but also with the cold and lack of income.
Fast forward a decade, Jinton is a successful artist making videos, photography and paintings inspired by her wild surroundings. She now runs a family business together with her husband and her mum, and continues to explore the wild forests, lakes and meadows of northern Sweden.
Self-Reliance in the Ontario Wilderness
In 2017, retired contractor and a father of two Shawn James purchased twenty acres of land just outside of Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada, and logged a hundred trees in order to build his dream cabin. He now lives there, together with his golden retriever Cali, where hunts, fishes and forages.
"Building your own home and acquiring food from the ground and land... it gives you the confidence needed to tackle anything in life," says James.
Off-Grid in the South American Jungle
Two decades spent in a buzzing metropolis left Australian Leanne Ratcliffe disillusioned and longing for a change. Concerned with the climate crisis and sick of the lack of connection with nature, she decided to move to the jungle in Ecuador.
According to Ratcliffe, off-grid living has its drawbacks such as the fickle tropical weather, insects, and constant humidity, but she would never go back to city life. Her controversial raw vegan diet has as many admirers as it has critics, but Ratcliffe and her YouTube channel continue to thrive.
A Family in a Wild Swedish Forest
It might seem that living far from shops, hospitals, and other amenities is not ideal for families, but people have been doing just that for millennia. Undeterred by the possible disadvantages, Tova and Matthias moved into an old shepherd’s cottage hidden deep in the Jämtland forests.
When Tova became pregnant amidst the pandemic, they decided that an off-grid home birth was the best option for them and their child. Together, the family continues to pursue its dream of self-reliance while creating inspiring videos and generating a modest income from their YouTube and Patreon.
The Cottage Fairy in Rural Washington
Paola Merill worked in an independent bookstore, but the hourly wage was so low that she couldn’t afford to plan for the future. Suffering from anxiety, she decided to turn to family to help her move into a small village in upstate Washington. There, she first supported herself as a preschool teacher, and slowly developed her new business selling homemade goods at farmers’ markets and art fairs.
When the pandemic shut down the kindergarten, Merill had no choice but to step up her game and promote her new business online by setting up a YouTube channel.