Off the Grid Gals
Updated: Nov 15
While COVID and social distancing may be isolating to many, these five ladies have taken remote living to a new level, living "off the grid".
These women live life in the mountains, on the water, and in tiny homes while using the natural resources of their surroundings and their environment to sustain themselves and their families.
Would you choose to live “off the grid” and without internet, air conditioning, or electricity? This minimalist lifestyle seems extreme, but it is a cost-effective and sustainable way to live in the great outdoors and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For some, it means that life becomes a permanent vacation. These five women show us how off-the-grid living only requires some creativity, elbow grease, and the occasional trip to town to download the latest Netflix original.
Jonna Jinton is a Swedish artist specializing in jewelry, painting, photography, and a cinematic style of videography. Jonna is a beautiful writer, as well. She often has a voiceover of her written monologue over her videos.
One would assume she had a crew following her as it is the next level for her stills and cinematography, but she is solely responsible for capturing both. It is easy to get lost for hours in her world, and her content as both are otherworldly.
The backdrop doesn't hurt either as she lives in the small town of Grundtjärn, Sweden, with her husband Johan and dog Nanook. While life in Grundtjärn is not as bustling or glamorous as the city life she once lived, Jonna's life is all but boring.
Ten years ago, Jonna left her life in Gothenburg, Sweden, to move to her mother's hometown of Grundtjärn, where she was born. This quaint town is tucked away in the Northern woods of Sweden. Flower meadows, pine trees, and a lake surround their mountain home.
Her current home with her husband is her second home in the woods, The one prior; she was on her own. She also has a cow that lives with them in the summer months.
As remote as she is, her businesses are bustling, and her talents are widely and highly recognized. She was recently featured in Sweden singing for the opening of a sporting event.
Jonna says that she found real inspiration and creativity in Grundtjärn and that for the first time, she knew she was "in the right place." Her jewelry and painting businesses are booming. She now sells her artwork internationally via her website.
Anyone looking to move out of a city, learn about rural lifestyles, or shop for chic, handmade jewelry, and artwork needs to check out Jonna's website and blog. You can follow her on her website, YouTube, or Instagram.
Ariel of Fy Nyth:
Ariel is a photographer and blogger who lives in Northern Wyoming with her spunky English Shepherd dog, Burley. Ariel calls her homestead "Fy Nyth," Welsh for "My Nest," and the moniker couldn't be any more fitting.
Fy Nyth is a tiny house and allows Ariel to pursue her photography career full time, live a minimalist lifestyle, and immerse herself in the Wyoming wilderness.
Fy Nyth is a tiny home that is entirely "off the grid." Ariel lives without access to public utilities and instead uses solar power, a wood stove, and uses a local internet provider for internet access. While living in this remote, rural lifestyle may seem extreme, living off the grid is a cost-effective way of living in the mountains and is the perfect lifestyle for a minimalist like Ariel.
Living in an off-the-grid tiny home like Fy Nyth also allows for more flexibility in Ariel's schedule. She is already close to countless hiking paths, photo ops, and the vibrant flora and fauna of northern Wyoming.
On the Fy Nyth blog, Ariel shares resources and guides for just about any aspect of a tiny home and off-the-grid living. Her guides include "Laundry Day in a Tiny House," "Insurance for a Tiny House," and "How to Give Gifts to a Minimalist."
Whether you are looking to move off the grid full time, looking to move to a tiny house, or are interested in renting an off-the-grid AirBnB, Ariel's blog is a must-visit.
For stunning photos of the Wyoming wildlife, tips and tricks for living off the grid, and guides to minimalist living, be sure to visit Ariel's blog at FyNyth.Blogspot.com and her photography website at https://arielcelestephotography.zenfolio.com/.
Paola Merrill of The Cottage Fairy
Paola Merrill, or The Cottage Fairy, is a teacher and artist living in Okanogan County, Washington. She moved to the rural outskirts of Washington State to work as a teacher at an alternative preschool and now lives with her partner, a fuzzy rabbit named Mr. Darcy, and a black labrador dog named Aegir.
While Paola's primary job is teaching preschool, she paints, presses flowers, and dyes her clothes. She sells her artwork at local farmers' markets on weekends and in her Etsy Shop, TheCottageFairyArt. Paola's prints and greeting cards are dainty, whimsical pieces of art, and her subjects are often woodland creatures like rabbits, foxes, wildflowers, and fairies.
For Paola, living in rural Washington also means living without wifi. Although her house does not have internet reception, Paola says that she can walk toward the nearest town to get reception and often downloads audiobooks and tv shows to consume while at home. This aspect of cottage life doesn't bother Paola, though, and on her YouTube channel, she says that her lack of internet access only brings her closer to nature and her art.
Paola's YouTube channel, TheCottageFairy, features the most soothing and captivating videos. She tells stories from her cottage-core adventures while showing hiking footage through the Washington woods, brewing herbal tea, and pressing flowers. Her videos are educational and bring the serenity of her cottage to life for the viewer.
Elayna and Riley of Sailing La Vagabonde
Elayna and Riley are another couple living off the grid -- and on the water! The Australian couple has been living in their 43.4 foot Beneteau yacht "La Vagabonde" for nearly six years.
They are raising their toddler, Lenny, on the boat and are expecting another baby boy soon.
Sailing the seas may be the most extreme form of living off the grid, but Elayna and Riley have shown the world how much freedom, adventure, and excitement come with living on the water.
Riley and Elayna were not always sailors and had barely any sailing experience before living on La Vagabonde. Before they met, Riley worked on an offshore oil rig in Australia, and Elayna was working as a grain harvester and singer.
About seven years ago, Riley broke his neck in a freak accident while traveling in Brazil. After six months of physical therapy, he realized that he wanted something more out of life and started saving money to buy a boat!
Riley and Elayna met each other in Greece, where Elayna worked for a travel company as a musician. Riley had sailed to Greece on La Vagabonde, and the two spent about a month together before Riley asked Elayna to join him on the boat. Riley and Elayna's nomadic, adventurous personalities were compatible enough to embark on a journey together, and they have been together ever since!
The couple has now sailed over 70,000+ nautical miles across the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, and Mediterranian oceans and has gained nearly 1.5+ million YouTube subscribers. Their YouTube channel features immersive vlogs documenting their ocean travels, and they provide an authentic outlook on the highs and lows of living full time on a boat.
On their website, Riley and Elayna have developed a comprehensive guide to sailing. Their blog features helpful resources and tips for handling financials while traveling, living on the water, and sailing.
Art and Mary of Living Off-Grid
Art and Mary are a retired couple who have been living off the grid for the past eight years! They live in a cabin right outside Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, with their playful Golden Retriever pup, Penny.
Art and Mary set out to build an energy-efficient, allergy-free home in 2012 and live in their remote sanctuary ever since. They decided that they wanted to relocate to a place to help Mary eliminate allergens in her environment. After weighing their options, building a small, energy-efficient home seemed to be the most financially sound option -- being surrounded by nature was a plus!
This travel-loving pair use solar panels for their energy, grow most of their food, and chops their firewood. Their house is also energy efficient in its insulation. The triple-paned glass and insulated walls ensure that the home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter -- without any air conditioning or heat (other than their wood stove, of course).
In her spare time, Mary enjoys baking, sewing, and gardening. Art is an avid photographer and takes advantage of their woodland environment that surrounds their home. When Art and Mary aren't enjoying their house's amenities, they travel, camp, hike, and ski.
On their blog, Art and Mary document the goings-on of their remote cabin, including visits from woodland creatures, their children and grandchildren, and the changing seasons. They prove that it's never too late to move off the grid, travel the world, and seek out adventure in your life.
You can follow the adventures of Art and Mary on their blog at Living Off the Grid.
Written by Julia Bodolay