A Saker Community Member made me aware of this trend in Russia, to drop out and find a simple life outside of cities and outside of a commercial model. I researched it and found these interesting examples of the trend.
In 1997, Oksana Yushko moved from her home in eastern Ukraine to Moscow for an accountant’s job at a large herbal medicine company. It was a lucrative position, but soul-crushing. Every day was exactly like the next, she said, like a Russian version of the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” Seven years later, she left the security of her job to become a photographer, transforming her humdrum life into one of travel, adventure and no regrets.
Then we have those who choose a whole different country to simplify and drop out in, but generally return to the motherland.
The economic crisis from 2014 to 2015 – and subsequent devaluation of the ruble – made life for Russian downshifters harder. Some decided to return home after their funds dried up. For instance, one family (link in Russian) came back to Russia from Thailand after ruble fell in 2014 – they returned to the flat they leased out only to find it had been practically destroyed by the tenants. They had to start their life all over again.
And we find a wonderful love story in Siberia:
This family adventure began three years ago in Siberia, starting in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, about 1,900 miles from Moscow. The next stop was Russia’s Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia. The family lived with reindeer in the tundra, traveled to the famous UNESCO-protected Lena Pillars rock formation on the Lena River, celebrated New Year in summer, and even stayed beside the ‘miniature Himalayas’. Planes took over where trains stopped, and thousands of miles were also crossed by water and mud-covered roads by aerocraft.
RT followed some of the downshifters in a great video documentary: