It’s safe to say that off-grid living has become super popular around the world. We speak to Black expats around the world choosing an off-grid life but rarely do we speak with nomadic expat families living off-grid.
Meet Asli, who, with her husband and children, is inspiring many to lead a similarly decentralized, self-sufficient life. With organic and sustainable life changes at the forefront of her ideals, Asli’s life looks different from her London chapter. In a word, Asli is brave, embracing the learning curves and offering the process for all to witness. In this Travel Noire exclusive, find out how and why Asli has chosen this lifestyle.
Tell us about yourself
I am Asli. A nomad, mother, daughter, wife and sister.
I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Horn of Africa. I left at the age of 5 when the civil war broke out.
I grew up in London and spent so much of my early adulthood traveling. I married my life/adventure partner in 2014 in a small traditional ceremony in Somalia.
Food, books and good company are my love languages. I am a child of the ocean and that is where I find my peace.
What prompted you to move from the UK and start your expat journey?
As a second-generation diaspora child, the concept of home has always been ever-evolving for me. This search for myself and what home means is what has led to my love for travel. The more I traveled the more I’ve come to realize how much each trip enriched me. The biggest change came however the year I was getting married. We ended up having a traditional Somali wedding. This meant heading back “home”. This trip back to my ancestral land has been such an immense experience and I decided that coming back to Europe and raising my family was not an option. One of the greatest blessings of that leg of my journey was how crucial my grandfather was in me making sense of my yearning for belonging and the role our expat journey would play in that.
My grandfather said to me “the world is a big place, you don’t need to be in one place to define you”.
This one sentence truly opened my eyes.
Talk to us about your self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyle. What inspired you to live this way?
I’m a city girl who’s dreamt of and admired people living a self-sufficient life for the longest. I never thought I’d be one to have animals, experiment with growing various types of food, and build environmentally-friendly sustainable buildings.
It all seemed too hard and unobtainable to be honest.
It is my husband who’s the more hands-on person, he’s really the big inspiration behind us taking the leap.
We started small, still building and growing. The complete change in mentality and lifestyle after our experience in East Africa enabled me to fully immerse myself in this new way of life. To truly live with the flow of life.
What a crucial revelation to discover together. What have been the main challenges?
The biggest challenge has been the learning curve. Farming and building isn’t something I’m familiar with so it’s been a lot of trial and error. We have been doing the Belize leg of our journey with our two young kids. I was breastfeeding when we began, potty trained along the way, and am homeschooling our older one. The genuine tiredness has been on another level!
Life is full of challenges and this journey is nothing short of incredible. I’ve learned to embrace challenges as building blocks of life.
How has it been moving with children?
It has been such a blessing. Children have a way of helping you see life in a new light. Their sense of wonder and adventure has been my anchor.
We did the bulk of our expat journeying with our firstborn. By the time he was one we’d covered three continents.
With our daughter, we’ve been focusing more on our decentralized life as opposed to just traveling and moving. By ‘decentralized’ I mean acquiring land and homes in different parts of the world. Diversifying our portfolio to ensure that we embrace and take advantage of our global citizenship.
Having more than one passport and having a diverse portfolio spread across the planet isn’t reserved just for the rich. We’ve been blessed enough to be educated in this, showing our children the way. Whilst building our generational wealth not just for them but for the generations to follow. We feel so immensely humbled to share our journey and help others along the way.