We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

into the wild

Here's what life looks like when you abandon civilisation

Off grid, on camera.

BACK IN 2010, French photographer Antoine Bruy began hitchhiking around Europe without any fixed route.

Along his travels, he met people who had entirely abandoned civilisation and gone off-grid, in favor of an isolated country existence, living off the land.

These stunning images, from his “Scrublands” project, show what he found:

over-the-last-30-years-numerous-europeans-have-begun-to-move-out-of-the-cities-and-head-for-sparsely-populated-areas-like-the-sierra-de-cazorla-mountains-in-spain-shown-here-the-french-pyrenees-mountains-and-parts Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

Over the last 30 years, numerous Europeans have begun to move out of the cities and head for sparsely populated areas like the Sierra de Cazorla mountains in Spain (shown above), the French Pyrenees mountains, and parts of Switzerland.

Bruy began meeting such people after volunteering at farms through WWOOF, an organization that places traveling volunteers at organic farms throughout the world.

This property in the French Pyrenees is owned by a German man, who moved with his family here 25 years ago. He has since renovated the shack to be a completely self-sufficient house.

this-property-in-the-french-pyrenees-is-owned-by-a-german-man-who-moved-with-his-family-here-25-years-ago-he-has-since-renovated-the-shack-to-be-a-completely-self-sufficient-house-there-are-no-electrical-appliance Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

Although his family has left, the German continues to live here with four other people and a revolving door of 20 or so travelers.

antoinebruy08jpg Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This boy lives with his father on an adjacent property in the Pyrenees. They similarly live off the land without electricity.

this-boy-lives-with-his-father-on-an-adjacent-property-in-the-pyrenees-they-similarly-live-off-the-land-without-electricity Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This is a secondary living structure at the property in the Pyrenees. Though it looks small in the photo, the teepee is actually almost 30 feet tall.

This is where traveling volunteers stay during the summer months.

this-is-a-secondary-living-structure-at-the-property-in-the-pyrenees-though-it-looks-small-in-the-photo-the-teepee-is-actually-almost-30-feet-tall-this-is-where-traveling-volunteers-stay-during-the-summer-months Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This man has been living at the house for the last two years.

this-man-has-been-living-at-the-house-for-the-last-two-years Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This man raises goats and sheep with his wife in the province of Ardèche in southern-central, France.

this-man-raises-goats-and-sheep-with-his-wife-in-the-province-of-ardche-in-southern-central-france-here-he-treats-a-sheep-that-got-beaten-by-his-dog Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This man is a nomadic shepherd from Germany, who travels from farm to farm in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland helping shepherd cows and sheep.

this-man-is-a-nomadic-shepherd-from-germany-who-travels-from-farm-to-farm-in-germany-austria-and-switzerland-helping-shepherd-cows-and-sheep Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

The English woman who owns this property got hit by a car while she was bicycling 20 years ago.

With the money from her settlement, she bought property in Spain and began building DIY living structures like this composting toilet.

the-english-woman-who-owns-this-property-got-hit-by-a-car-while-she-was-bicycling-20-years-ago-with-the-money-from-her-settlement-she-bought-property-in-spain-and-began-building-diy-living-structures-like-this-com Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

Three families live in the Spanish dome and work together, maintaining a community garden of fruits and vegetables.

The land is owned by a web developer who spends half his day making websites and the other half maintaining the property.

three-families-live-in-the-spanish-dome-and-work-together-maintaining-a-community-garden-of-fruits-and-vegetables-the-land-is-owned-by-a-web-developer-who-spends-half-his-day-making-websites-and-the-other-half-mai Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

This woman from Germany moved with her husband to Switzerland 20 years ago to escape a city lifestyle.

They are now completely self-sufficient, farming their own food. She was a literature and philosophy professor prior to moving to Switzerland.

this-woman-from-germany-moved-with-her-husband-to-switzerland-20-years-ago-to-escape-a-city-lifestyle-they-are-now-completely-self-sufficient-farming-their-own-food-she-was-a-literature-and-philosophy-professor-pr Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

Her husband was an engineer before leaving the city lifestyle.

her-husband-was-an-engineer-before-leaving-the-city-lifestyle-most-of-the-people-bruy-met-told-him-that-they-left-the-city-because-they-both-wanted-to-and-needed-to-many-told-me-that-they-didnt-see-any-meaning-in- Antoine Bruy Antoine Bruy

 Read: You can now get an underwater train from Europe to Asia>

Column: Feeling like an exile in your own country? It’s normal after travelling…>

Published with permission from
Business Insider
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.