We are in the age of technology and we have seen the rise of capitalism, as many live their lives focused around consumerism. America is the leader in this consumerism lifestyle, as our people have never been more interested in the latest trends and products to purchase. Many live their lives so focused around earning money to buy new things that they never truly find the extent of what happiness can be.
For Tinja Myllykangas, happiness meant something more, something different. She decided to give up everything she has ever known in her city life, and move into the wilderness. It’s here where she lives a truly fulfilling life in the quiet and serene wilderness, taking care of her animals and becoming the definition of off the grid.
The only reason we are able to see Tinja and her beautiful sanctuary is because photographer Brice Portolano decided to do a piece on people who have decided to live off the grid. He beautifully captured her experience and it almost made us want to follow her lead.
Tinja previously lived in the city and was perusing higher education, when she decided to totally change course and move into the wilderness of Lapland, Finland. Searching for peace, she located a spot on the map that was 180 miles away from any other human. Now, normally that would terrify people, but it was just what she was looking for.
The life she now lives is simple, authentic, and it’s almost as if she’s gone back in time. Her house has no electricity and no running water. For some, the idea of choosing to live somewhere like this is plainly just insane. But for Tinja, it’s the essence of tranquility and peace. She’s not totally alone though, her boyfriend Alex has lived with her for the last two years.
Although it is peaceful, at times it can be challenging considering the lack of modern techonologies. Every morning, Tinja goes out to the river to break the ice so she can have fresh water. Like our ancestors, Tinja cooks her meals on an open fire and used candles to light her way in the dark.
Tinja never complains nor feels like her duties are chores, because she designer her life to be exactly how she wants it to be. Not only is she marching to her own beat, but she’s also extremely caring and takes care of 85 dogs and many horses.
She’s created a sanctuary for not just herself, but many of her furry friends too. She told Portolano that she even likes the dirty work of caring for animals because it brings her closer to them, allowing personal bonds and connections to form.
So many people are interested in Tinja’s story, that she was able to make a living out of it! Every year people come to stay with Tinja and her animals. She offers Arctic sledding tours which give people a chance to see how she lives her life in the wilderness.
She even takes her more adventurous visitors on Arctic safaris if you will–lasting between a day and a week depending on what the tourists want. She loves taking her dogs out on the sleds and says that every time she takes the tour it’s an unforgettable experience. Tinja gets to do what she loves every day while giving some lucky people a new lease on life.
Everyone that meets Tinja is impressed with her strength, independence, and kindness. She is the symbol of strength that many women carry within them and has proven to the world life is what you make of it.
Due to the location of her home, most of the time it’s cold and snowy, and sometimes there are months with no sun. These conditions don’t bother Tinja, she actually loves the cold. The colder it is outside for her, the more energized she says she feels.
Although she lives almost fully off the land, every few months she has to go into the nearest town for necessary supplies. While she’s there, she gets to take in some luxuries too, like a good ol’ hot and long shower. There are a few things about the modern world which are nice.
Although this life isn’t for everyone, Tinja says she’s more than happy to live this way. Even through times of complete darkness she says the stars and sky are enough to fulfill her. She believes her life is better than anything money can buy.
Tinja decided to live life away from consumerism and the hum drum of working for the sole purpose of money, and she couldn’t be happier. She is proof that you can live a life outside of the norm and be not only successful, but extremely happy.