The term "off the grid" has become more and more popular in recent years. Some might say that the idea of it entices many people because of the digital era we're living in, where it seems like we cannot go anywhere or do anything without reaching for a multitude of devices. While technology has undoubtedly come a long way and has helped us have much more comfortable lives, some people are not crazy about the idea of always relying on it. We guess that the modern "way of life" is not for everyone.
Living off the grid can be described as having a lifestyle that functions without the support of an electrical grid. Whether you're at home, at school, or work right now, take a moment and look around you. You will find endless devices or systems in place that an electric grid is supplying. Imagine if that was all gone. How would you make food? How would you have the power to charge your phone? What about hot water?
For the brave, who are interested in the idea of going off the grid, we've compiled a list of places around the world that are designed for the perfect off-the-grid life. If you're comfortable in your technology-consumed and modern way of life and are just curious about this lifestyle choice, you'll be surprised to find that some of these places are pretty cool. They might even convince you to give this a shot. Scroll down and see the perfect spots around the world designed for the "off the grid" lifestyle.
Updated by Gabriel Kirellos, December 17th, 2021: Many people enjoy living off the grid, which is possible to do in many places worldwide, including in various locations in the US and Canada. This list was updated to include other places where people can live off the grid, such as Azuero Sunset Coast in Panama and Finca Bellavista Treehouse Community in Costa Rica.
22 20. Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Missouri
If you're interested in the idea of living off the grid, then you've heard of or read about Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. This eco-town is nestled in Missouri and results from a vision from three students of the '90s whose goal was to grow to be a town of 500 to 1000 residents.
Each resident is committed to living a self-sustainable lifestyle that is eco-friendly. While other eco-communities might try to exclude themselves from mainstream life, Dancing Rabbit wants to function alongside it. "Although Dancing Rabbit strives for some level of self-sufficiency and economic independence, we do not sequester ourselves from mainstream America. Rather, outreach and education are integral to our goals".
21 19. Lord Howe Island, Australia
If you're considering going off the grid for just a short while, then perhaps a paradise island might be the perfect place for you. Many people take this route of going to a distant and secluded place where they can recharge and get away from the noise and bustle of busy towns and cities for just a little while. Lord Howe Island In Australia has several conservation products under its belt. The island has a community of around 350, which means that you'll be able to have that peace that is difficult to get anywhere else.
20 18. Vieques, Puerto Rico
We have another island on this list, and there is no wonder why. Visiting paradise islands that are secluded and give you that quiet time you seek is one of the many reasons why living off the grid there makes sense. Island life also tends to be much slower and more relaxed. This time around, though, we thought that we could recommend the Vieques Island of Puerto Rico. Vieques is uncrowded, lush, and has unmatched natural beauty. The beauty about it is that all you need to do is arrive, throw that phone away and enjoy the island bliss.
19 17. Freedom Cove, Canada
Artists Catherine and Wayne Adams are responsible for bringing the Freedom Cove to life. The idea of a floating world was theirs, and they worked tirelessly to achieve it. Of course, we know that you can't just head on out there and decide that you're interested in living on the Freedom Cove. We brought it to you on this list to give you a little bit of inspiration. There are even boat tours to the place where you can dock and tour the facilities to understand the extent to which they have gone to be "off the grid." Browning Pass highlights that you will get to "learn about their art and how they live on their own in this remote location."
18 16. Tinker's Bubble, England
This off-the-grid place was created in 1994 and proudly boasts of creating a community that uses environmentally sound methods to make it a point to stay clear of using fossil fuels when they work the land. Tinker's Bubble is possibly one of the most self-sufficient and environmentally friendly places out there. They have solar panels and a wind turbine for power, grow their food, and perhaps the most exciting aspect is that they process their timber, which they built their houses with. This is the community you can learn so much from regarding the eco-friendly lifestyle.
17 15. Tristan da Cunha, UK
If you're looking for isolation while on this off-the-grid journey, then perhaps Tristan da Cunha, also often referred to as just "Tristan," might be the place for you. Many people view going off the grid living from detaching yourself from modern technological devices, which often leave us with short attention spans and having a difficult time going more than an hour without it in our hands. Tristan will, therefore, be perfect as it is home to around 253 British Citizens. Yeah, you read right. Tristan is the ideal set of islands to recharge and be far away from the noise of busy towns and cities.
16 14. Three Rivers Recreation Area, Oregon
This is perhaps the first place on the list on the fancy side of off-the-grid living. Many people often assume that this lifestyle usually requires one to let go of their comfort and step a little back in time. Well, Three Rivers Recreation Area certainly proves that you don't have to give up on your comfortable way of life. It is a gated community in Oregon, and Sotheby's explains that it offers a "state of the alternative art lifestyle with the benefits of plenty of privacy, an abundance of wildlife, hiking, and abundance of water sports, and much more."
15 13. Easter Island, Polynesia
This is an exciting addition to our article. Easter Island is more for people interested in giving a self-sufficient and eco-friendly lifestyle a go, without really committing to physically building your own home. This is for the reader who wants to tread lightly, who wants to let go of their technological devices for a weekend and just recharge – nothing deeper.
You'll enjoy many moments on this volcanic island of Polynesia, and the sunsets are known to rival some of the best in the world. Another beautiful site to marvel over is the 900 statues built on the island between the 13th and 16th centuries. You'll do all this while staying clear of your phone and just taking it all in.
14 12. The Azores, Portugal
The Azores are in the middle of the Atlantic and are the perfect place to detach yourself from all the hustle and bustle of busy towns and cities, simply because the islands are not yet that well known by tourists. Just like the previously mentioned Easter Island, The Azores are perfect for the scenery and will give you a much-needed recharge. Avid travelers will know these Portuguese islands, and now you do too. Lonely Planet highlights, "it is hard to imagine a place better suited to nature lovers, fans of adventure sports, or anyone looking for a beacon of sustainability."
13 11. Macquarie Island, Australia
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is perhaps better suited for nature lovers. Antarctica explains that "the island's prolific plants and wildlife are a research paradise for botanists and biologists." The island, as well as its waters, have been declared as a Tasmanian Nature Reserve. The island is also home to a royal penguin population that nest on the island in season.
If the nature aspect hasn't convinced you yet, then perhaps the limited amount of humans on the island will do it for you. Macquarie Island has a human population of around 20 to 40 people at any given time. This, of course, means that this island is the perfect place for you to get off the grid in peace while surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature.
12 10. Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, Canada
We start the top 10 with yet another island, and this time, it is just around the corner. Lasqueti is just off the east coast of Vancouver Island and is perfect for those who are into working the land themselves. Lasqueti explains that the island offers its residents and visitors that ideal self-sufficient lifestyle that many can say is reminiscent of an earlier century. "Lasqueti is the place where the conversation is more likely about solar panels or composting toilets than about microwaves or toasters - foreign objects for most of the 400 residents". Canada also says that Lasqueti is the most educated British Columbia community, so besides the off-the-grid experience, you will learn more from the people around you.
11 9. Barrow, Alaska
Barrow is an Alaskan town where many internet forums openly complain about the affordability of simple everyday items that one would find from the grocery store. We are telling you this so that you are aware of the situation if you would consider an off-the-grid situation in the place. One beautiful aspect about it and perhaps why many of the residents in the area and surrounding towns can sustain themselves while living there is by doing some subsistence hunting and fishing, so hey, you'll learn to quite literally feed yourself while out there. That should be an exciting adventure.
10 8. Lammas Ecovillage, Wales
The Guardian in 2014 voted for Lammas EcoVillage as being in the top 10 of the best eco-homes in the UK. This is perhaps the best option on the list for you if you are interested in going off the grid with a community. This is because, at Lammas, everything centers around the neighborhood and people helping each other or turning to each other for this self-sufficient life. Lammas explains that "the concept for the Lammas ecovillage is that of a collective of eco-smallholdings working together to create and sustain a culture of land-based self-reliance." We know that going off the grid may be daunting, so in this setup, at least you'll have a whole community you can lean on for support.
9 7. Konohana Family, Japan
Just like the previously mentioned Lammas ecovillage, Konohana Family is very much centered on a community of people working together towards achieving the off-the-grid and self-sustainable lifestyle you are looking for. Well, we suppose the name pretty much gave it away. Any place with the word "family" in it pretty much lets us know that they are all about the community. With Konohana, though, it is much more than just the self-sufficient nature of their lives; the village is very spiritual, as explained in Numundo. "They aimed to establish a community where people can live together by following the law of the universe and fully activate one's talents for making the world a more harmonious and peaceful place."
8 6. False Kiva, Utah
The Canyonlands of the US has long been a much-loved destination in North America for people from all walks of life. If you've ever been there, you are aware of the spectacular scenery offered in this Utah destination, and if you have not been there and are still deciding, we hope that this article convinces you to take that plunge. False Kiva is interesting because it is a man-made stone circle in one of the caves, and one can only actually reach it by hiking. While hiking to your particular cave, you can certainly take the opportunity to unplug from your mobile and be present.
7 5. Earthships, USA
With a name like Earthships, you know to expect something fun and exciting from the destination, and luckily for us, this location does not disappoint. Don't get confused by that introduction though, Earthships is fun, but the organization and the community take themselves very seriously. The best part is that they strive to impart as much knowledge as possible to the people they house. Earthships Global explains that "we teach people to build autonomous houses…we allow people to learn about sustainability". A place that preaches about sustainability and gives you the skills to be able to achieve it? Earthships are a definite place we need to see.
6 4. Fernando De Noronha, Brazil
At number 4, we have many people's favorite vacation spots. Brazil is loved by people from all walks of life, and there is really no wonder why. We do, however, want to add that there's way more to it than the fun and colorful carnivals and stunning beaches that we already know and love it for. Fernando De Noronha will have you looking at this South American country from a whole different perspective. The best part of it is that it has an ecological sanctuary, and one can also spot dolphins, rays, sea turtles, and reef sharks from the beautiful clear waters. That sounds like the perfect place to unplug and enjoy Mother Nature's beauty.
5 3. Raoul Island, New Zealand
You've made it to number 3 on this very long list, and this certainly lets us know that you are definitely serious about this off-the-grid lifestyle. What other option have we got to offer for an off-the-grid living? Well, how about all the way down to New Zealand? In New Zealand, we find yet another island that could be the perfect spot for you to fully commit to this lifestyle. We already know that New Zealand is beautifully picturesque and gives some of the best mountainous backdrops on earth, so you know that Raoul Island will offer you just that and, of course, so much more.
4 2. Khula Dhamma, South Africa
We couldn't possibly complete a list of off-the-grid lifestyles and locations without mentioning a place in Africa. We specifically refer to Khulu Dhamma in South Africa at number two on this list. This destination is an ecovillage of natural homes designed in African hut designs. Natural Homes highlight how the people in Khula Dhamma manage to sustain themselves. "With the help of volunteers…we have managed to secure a water supply with a solar pump, a small garden, set up two beehives, built an outdoor compost toilet…." A flight to South Africa may be a bit of a distance, but it certainly looks like it would be worth it.
3 1. Torri Superiore, Italy
Torri Superiore has often been described as "a little jewel of architecture." She has perhaps the perfect balance of a community working together to achieve their lifestyle and the space you need once you get out there to recharge (via solar panels, of course).
Going off the grid cannot be easy, especially in today's times, but if you're really serious about this way of life, then you'll be happy that you're spoilt for choice about the perfect location.