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 city life in favour of an isolated country existence they found more fulfilling.
Bruy began seeking out people who lived off-the-grid. After three years on the road, staying in makeshift houses and on community farms, he has released Scrublands, a documentation of the lifestyle. While each living situation is different, Bruy found that all the people he met shared a common desire to escape the rat race and achieve a quieter life in harmony with nature.
Bruy shared a number of photos from Scrublands here, but you can check out the rest on his website. Bruy is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to continue his project in the United States, which you can donate to here.
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 of Switzerland. Bruy began meeting such people after volunteering at farms through WWOOF, an organisation that places travelling 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. There are no electrical appliances, but the solar panel powers small lights in the house.
Although his family has left, the German continues to live here with four other people and a revolving door of 20 or so travellers.
This boy lives with his father on an adjacent property in the Pyrenees. They similarly live off the land without electricity.
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 travelling volunteers stay during the summer months.
This is another interior view of the house in the Pyrenees. Bruy ended up staying here for 3 months.
This man raises goats and sheep with his wife in the province of Ardèche in southern-central, France. Here he treats a sheep that got beaten by his dog.
This man is a nomadic shepherd from Germany, who travels from farm to farm in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland helping shepherd cows and sheep.
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.
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.
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.
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 didn't see any meaning in city life. Others said they couldn't handle it physically,' Bruy told Business Insider.
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