Modern-Day Hermits

An ongoing series about the people who’ve voluntarily left modern society and created secluded worlds of their own.


Hermits have existed since ancient times, choosing to live reclusive lives in remote locales separate from the rest of civilization. Translating to “desert dwellers” in Latin, hermits were historically deeply religious, spending their days enmeshed in prayers and meditations, while forgoing sensual and worldly pleasures. 

In our overpopulated world, it can be hard to imagine places where people can live in seclusion and not interact with any human beings, yet there are a handful of modern-day hermits still out there. Unlike their predecessors, they’re less motivated by religious pursuits, driven more by a desire to escape, save money, protect the planet, and live off-the-grid. 

In the last decade, a number of these modern-day hermits have been revealed, uncovered living quietly, and in secret, right under our noses in places like Europe, the U.S., and Asia. They live on tropical islands and deep in the woods, living in tents and handmade huts, and in some cases, sleeping on stolen mattresses. Some have WiFi and post photos of their secluded home to Instagram, while others listen to the radio or practice stretches in the nude on the beach.

Some of these hermits are still living their reclusive lives today, but others have been less fortunate. One hermit got sick and had to be taken to the hospital. Another was arrested. And, quite a few are still battling to preserve their hermetic lifestyles. 

“Modern-Day Hermits” is an ongoing series about these rare, fascinating people who’ve chosen solitude over everything else.

Jessie Schiewe