RYH Story: From Navy SEALs to Sustainable Island Living Off the Grid

make space for the life you want

So this blog post is a bit different than the rest. I wanted to take real people who have made in impact and share that with the world. Whether these individuals were working a 9-5 job or they wanted to make a change. RYH Stories are all about people who are Reinventing their Hustle. This blog post features an inspirational story of three ex-navy SEALs and their family creating a sustainable life off the grid.

The lesson in this RYH story, I'll give it to you up front:

Commit to commit.

In order to make your dreams become a reality you need to commit and make space for that reality to occur. That is exactly what these ex-pats did in order to make their dreams become a reality.

On to the good stuff, here is my experience and their story. 1,2,3 Go!

Navy SEALs Off the Grid: An Inspirational Story

Last week, my husband and I had the privilege of meeting some amazing people. Luke and I traveled to Vanua Levu, Fiji for our second time to stay at an amazing Airbnb, House of Bamboo @ the Pirates Paradise Estate in SavuSavu.

We met up with our dear friend Bruce that we had gotten to know on our last trip. Our plan was to work for a bit, however to also make sure that there was time to be completely offline.

Over the course of our two-week trip we sailed, dove, fished, paddle boarded, snorkeled, and visited some of the most beautiful remote islands on the Skabenga Charter (our friend Bruce's catamaran).

It was truly an unforgettable experience and a fantastic time.

On day of our arrival, we stopped at the SavuSavu meat market. It was here we saw our friend Bruce’s Skabenga Lures sign.

Excited, I said to Luke, “Look Skabenga, Bruce has his lures here.” At the time, there were also three other individuals in the store; Jason, Erik and Meagan.

They had overheard our conversation and said, “you know Bruce?”

We began to conversate and it turned out they were Bruce's good friends. They invited us to visit their farm during our trip, two hours outside of town.

Travelling to the Farm

On the last full day of our trip Bruce and his girlfriend Jen, my husband and I took the two-hour road trip through the mountains to Buca Bay (Southwest, Vanua Levu) to visit the farm.

Bruce and Jen told us about their friends and how they were all ex-navy SEALs.

Travelling to the off the grid farm 2 hours from SavuSavu

So, for a little context, I indicated that this farm was two hours away, but in all reality this farm is off the grid.

and when I say off the grid you are LITERALY in the middle of heaven's nowhere.

A.K.A. if you want something, plan on driving 2 hours into the nearest town for your groceries.

I think that is part of the reason it became such a rush when we arrived. We got to the turn off, got out the car, popped open a couple of beers, and waited for the truck to pick us up.

Why did we need to be picked up? Well, transportation is almost not possible without a 4x4 as the dirt roads are mangled with ruts and uneven path.

Erik and Meagan picked us up and we jumped in. With only room for four in the truck, we jumped in the back. Like a bunch of hillbillies, we were standing up and clenching for dear life, breathing in the dirt all along the way to the farm. It was a blast.

Arriving at the Farm

When we finally arrived, we approached the main house where it had a large deck, now considered a guest house and gathering space. We took a walk to check out the property and they told us their story.

Why They Decided to Make a Change

From my recollection, here is their story in summary as follows:

The three SEALs decided after the Navy that they wanted to get completely off the grid. They wanted to create a sustainable way of life that challenged them and also allowed them to use the skills they've acquired.

So, they created a communal environment. Jason, Erik, and his wife Meagan, as well as Anna (Jason's mom) and Bob (Jason's step-dad) all lived within one house for a period of time. This was just until they were able to build their own homes across the property.

The goal was to help one another to create their sustainable dream space while clearing for the farm and cultivating crops.

This took YEARS! While they are not complete with ALL of their plans, (comprised of ziplines, more room for guests, Jason's dream house and so much more) they are well on their way.

Erik and Meagan's House on a hill off the grid

We started our tour with Erik and Meagan’s place up on the hill. It was built complete with a loft, a breeze and a 360 view of the valley.

Jason's Industrial outdoor kitchen in fiji

We toured Jason’s bure facing just a little more South on the property.

With a view of his sailboat in the bay and an outdoor kitchen, this home was such a cool expression of tiny home industrial architecture.

We then finished our tour at Anna and Bob’s on the west side of the property.

Their home was just near a beautiful mango tree and a slew of smaller gardens for daily produce.

Anna & Bob's place was a bit larger than the rest and that is where they entertained us for the afternoon.

Anna And Bob's Sustainable home in Fiji off the grid

To top it all off, they had puppies!

As we walked up to Anna and Bob’s place, Erik indicated that they had Australian Shepherds.

We soon found out that had a litter of 10-week-old puppies all heaven broke loose.

With variations of tan and grey Aussies, everyone fell in love with these little cuties.

They planned to sell most of them, however their primary use is to help on the farm and keep predators out.

Kristine Schwartz with the puppies in Fiji

Me with the puppies, I was in heaven.
Kristine Schwartz with the puppies in Fiji

And one more because everyone loves puppies!

Although each of the homes was small, they contained everything they needed. My take is that given they are living in paradise, the climate is naturally warm, there is no need to be inside.

Way of Life

Leveraging solar power, water purifiers, mosquito netting, small spaces and creative ways to store their items, they have created a world that takes the tiny house to the limits of sustainability, freedom and living a simpler life.

Their living spaces that combine minimalism and luxury to support their adventurous lifestyle.

Their pool


Farming Kava and Sandalwood off the grid
Kava is growing under the tree; Sandalwood is just beyond the Kava.

While touring the grounds I was astounded by all that they were growing: Sandalwood trees, coffee, kava, mango, pineapple, papaya, and coconuts all in mass quantities in addition to their gardens, providing them with the fresh produce that they need to live on a daily basis.

As of right now they are growing for themselves and for the community.

They are sustainably providing for themselves while minding organic farming measures with their crops.

The crops that they are producing for export will most likely provide them with financial stability for the rest of their lives as well.

They have installed irrigation and found creative ways to water their crop.

Additionally, they have also have installed fencing to border their property, in addition to sewer systems for each of the units.

They continue to work with the surrounding community to build ongoing, fruitful relationships.

They maintain their workout regimens to stay fit and agile as the farm requires this type of health and ongoing physical demand.

The Ocean

By living right on Buca Bay, they have direct access to the ocean.

They have multiple boats that they use to for fishing and for fun. They have become avid free divers and spear fishermen.

Wait what.... Spear Fishing???? Yea, it's a thing and yes, it floored me too.

Diving is one thing; freediving is another. Freediving is essentially diving without equipment, leveraging long fins and holding your breath for an extended amount of time.

Navy SEALs Off the Grid

Before I left the farm, someone mentioned that I should take a look at the video on YouTube named, "Navy SEALs Off the Grid ."

When we got home and two days post-travel depression, I looked up the website and found their amazing video.

I know that they were approached by a company to create a TV series, hence the making of this trailer.

My friends later declined the series due to differing views.

Even more of a reason to commend their authenticity and commitment to integrity.


What is their Mission?

The huge takeaway here is that they are looking to help other ex-Navy SEALs post deployment. They have been there, they have been through sacrifices, the trauma, and the pain.

Their mission was not only to create a sustainable lifestyle, but to help others in the process who have been through similar scenarios.

The off-the-grid experiences that they are and will be offering will make a profound impact on both Ex-SEALs and Civilians alike.

Their Impact

We spent only 4 hours there and I cannot stop thinking about their beautiful story.

It has taken a lot of learning by doing and on the fly, but these amazing individuals have figured out how to make a life for themselves off the grid and reinvent themselves.

I couldn’t help but share their story as it is a whole new way to Reinvent your Hustle with great purpose and passion.

They are an inspiration to myself and I am sure many others.

A big thank you to Anna, Bob, Erik, Meagan, and Jason for letting me share their story through my experience in an effort to inspire others.

So, What Does This Mean for You?

My goal is to provide you with inspirational stories that are true and authentic so that YOU are inspired.

This story inspired me and I cannot wait for the day I can buy my plot of land and live off the grid with them, but in the mean time I need to make space for that dream to become a reality.

Whatever your inspirational story, your dream, your goal; you need to make space for it to evolve in your life.

You need to learn how to manifest these things to come true. The only way for you to get to a place of achieving your goals is to make room, get out of your own way, and pay attention to them.

It may not be realistic for us all to move to an island, start a farm off the grid and begin growing organic crops, but it is possible to start working toward and create achievable goals.

Write them down and make them a priority. For more information on creating goals and how to truly achieve them click here.

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