This Guy Lives Completely Off The Grid On A Small Canarian Island

When you love yourself, you´ll watch the sunset like never before

When you love yourself, you´ll feel love and want to give more and more

When you love yourself, you´ll hear the birds singing sweetly for you

When you love yourself, you´ll appreciate what your body can do

When you love yourself, the love for yourself will carry you through

This beautiful lines are the lyrics of the song my friend Riyaz wrote. This song perfectly describes what is going on in his mind and what he learned in the past year since living completely off the grid on the smallest Canary island called El Hierro.

Going there and living a life off the grid showed me again what life really is about – not only a way of living but also a way of thinking.

Riyaz is originally from England, now living for one year on the smallest of the Canary islands: El Hierro. For the majority of his working life he was taking care and helping other people. He started questioning the existence of so many problems and the wars. He finally came to the conclusion that the problems were deliberately engineered and that his lifestyle and thought process added fuel to the system fire. He knew he had to be the change he wanted to see and that the journey has led him where he is now.

We only have on body so we should respect and love the one we have! This is one of the many lessons Riyaz learned on his journey after he decided to leave England and to make a change on his mindset and life.

This little house was built by himself only by reused (upcycled) materials. It has a huge amazing garden with lots of vegetables, fruits and trees. The piece of land he lives on was a gift from a local farmer who met him and was impressed by his vision of living a life like this.  How lucky!

What’s growing in the garden

A list from the greens he is growing in his huge garden:

It’s simply amazing how good the veggies and fruits thrive in this garden and the passion Riyaz is taking care of them with. One day Riyaz brought me a strawberry from the garden and I swear I tasted heavenly! It reminded me of the days I was a child eating strawberries from the garden of my grand parents in Romania. It was such a strong  flashback.

At the same time I got sad because the strawberries (not only, also other fruits and veggies) we eat now don’t taste like they did some years before at all. They completely lost their taste and they are genetically modified and sprayed with all kind of pesticides. Oh boy, how sad isn’t it? I want to go back to the roots, where they had a taste and were really healthy.

A normal day here 

By sun rise Riyaz usually wakes up (I was sleeping until around 8 or 9 a.m.) and goes to bed at sun set around 21:30 to 22:00 p.m

As there is no electricity there is not much to do after the sunlight is gone. Well, starry nights are still the best cinema if you want to stay up longer. We also slept on the beach because for me it was a little bit to cold in the house at night (the house is located in the mountains) and I love sleeping on the beach. We took enough food and water and took the bus direction beach. From the bus we were lucky and hitchhiked in a van directly to the beach. (40 minutes walk but with the car only 15 minutes)

There Riyaz had left some blankets because he is spending a lot of nights on this beach.

I loved watching the waves all day, taking pictures and having a swim in the natural pools. And the best part: stargazing while laying in my sleeping bag on the beach, priceless!

After two days on the beach we had to return home to water the plants.

Cooking delicious meals with fresh veggies from the garden, having a walk with the dogs on the beautiful hills, playing guitar and singing were some of our activities. Simple and beautiful, just enjoying where we are and what is around us.

Life like 100 years ago

Staying with Riyaz in his simple home was one kind of experience for me – I felt teleported like 100 years back in time. Living without running water, a normal toilet or electricity. Sleeping on dry pine needles with one mice (eventually) and loads of other insects in a room.

I have to admit the last part freaked me out because INSECTS.

The night can get really cold here because the place is up in the mountains. But I got up with the most beautiful view: the green veggie garden, sun sparkling on the ocean with view to La Gomera island. How amazing! Oh, and the fresh air I can tell you …

Compost place

Love yourself first

One can hear it in his songs, one can see it in his self care and connection to his body, one can feel it by talking to him. He really is respecting and loving his body and for me this is such a beautiful thing to do. Everyone of us should love themselves at maximum. Because how do you want to love somebody else if you don’t know how to love yourself? You have to start with yourself first.

Treat yourself right

It is so important to do that. Healthy mind = healthy spirit = healthy body.

Take best care of the body you’re in – don’t miss treat yourself and accept yourself as you are. Life is so much better when you accept yourself.

 Simple as that

„I love being able to watch the bees in my garden, flying from one flower to another, to swim with the fish, to play guitar on the beach, to listen to the waves, to watch the stars all night and falling asleep where ever I feel comfortable.“

Wonderful isn’t it? My friend is living it, living his dream and he enjoys every precious second of his time here on planet earth, because one can never know if tomorrow he will still be here … So let’s make the most out of it!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

The change in the world starts with you

So break down the walls and hold the world tight

Once again everything will feel alright

Love yourself and the universe will take your hand

You will realize that we are one…all of us the sun the sun and the sand.

I want to end this post with the last sentences of his song – take a moment and think about it.

Riyaz, my friend, I know you are reading this, you are a wonderful human being.  May you be blessed and happy forever.





Wearing: Shirt by GREEN SHIRTS (100% recycled)


Portrait, Beauty, Festival & Travel Photographer, based in Vienna.