OUR STORY

What does living a wilder life even mean? Does it mean you live in a tent and only live off of the natural resources of the land? Does it mean you compost every day and forage for mushrooms? Noooo. Well…maybe. If that’s what sets your heart afire then we say…have at it! For us, living a wilder life means daring to follow the call of your wild heart. For every single person on the planet, it’s going to look different…and it should. The notion that there’s one path to a fulfilling life is narrow-minded and pretty depressing. Living a wilder life means courageously shedding the collective fog that tells you “this is how you are supposed to live your life.”  

You know the formula, right?

  • Go to college knowing exactly what you want to do with the REST OF YOUR LIFE.
  • Go after your career and excel at it at an above average rate.
  • Find your soul mate
  • Get married to soul mate
  • Buy a “starter” home
  • Have two kids that are spread apart by 2.5 to 3 years and ideally one should be a boy and the other a girl
  • Become super wealthy
  • Upgrade to a bigger home
  • Retire with 2.5 million in the bank
  • Live happily ever after
  • Die

If that is the life you want and are currently living this life, we mean this from the bottom of our hearts that we think that’s wonderful. There is nothing “wrong” with this formula. There’s no need to feel shame if that’s what you truly desire. But, what if it’s not what you want? Or rather, what if the journey it takes to get there doesn’t feel worth what it’s costing you on the inside?

While chasing the so called American dream, my husband would work 80 hour weeks so we could just barely cover our mortgage and living expenses. To be completely honest, many times we didn’t make it and for the first time in our lives we began to collect major credit card debt. Sure we lived in a beautiful home and enjoyed the amenities of a life in Los Angeles, but our lives were not our own.  We were shackled to our mortgage payments and stuck in jobs we gleaned no pleasure from. We were tense and brittle with each other, consumed with how we could make enough money to survive another month. Our lives were not a reflection of the values we knew to be true to us. We valued a life of adventure, curiosity, kindness, community and creativity. On the inside we knew that to be true, but on the outside we were solely valuing the acquisition of money. Our breaking point was when we had our first child and we took a cold hard look at the life we were leading.  What we knew to be true was that children don’t learn from what you say, they learn from what you do. We knew we didn’t want him to emulate the values we were modeling. If we wanted to rise up to the sacred role of parent we were going to have to start making some major changes.  We would have to do the work of having our outer life reflect our inner values. We would have to become the people we knew we truly were, but had shoved down in order to fit into an image of what we thought we were supposed to be doing.

We spent a lot of time talking and envisioning what our next steps were.  Could we leave everything we had spent 15 years building? We had a large community of friends, decent paying jobs, a beautiful home with sunshine 365 days of the year.  Could we leave it all? The idea was daunting and we wrestled with it for a long time before we did the math and realized that if we stayed on the path we were on, we would be adding $2000 a month to our quickly accruing pile of debt. Feelings can be hard to decipher, but numbers…they don’t lie. It was a swift kick to the gut. The clincher for us was when we asked ourselves – even if we had all the money we needed and then some, would we still want the life we had?  We both knew we wouldn’t. Money was not the issue.  The issue was we were no longer living a life that gave us any sense of creative fire. The truth was, we were deadened to life. It’s not to say we didn’t enjoy life or have moments of great joy, but on a deep level we were merely existing and following the formula, rather than being an active and excited participant in the unfolding of our own life.

When we sat down with ourselves and really listened to what was calling us, we knew we needed to leave Los Angeles and let ourselves roam.  We needed to journey and discover where our next chapter of life would occur. We have always been travelers. Inscribed onto our wedding rings are the words,  “There’s still so much to see.” It is the foundation of our relationship to never stop exploring each other and the world. It was clear, it was time for us to get back to our explorer roots.

So we are hitting the road and committing ourselves to seeing 50 cities to find out where we want to live next. This next chapter of our life will be about slow travel, returning to our creative roots, and exploring parts of the US and the world that we had never considered an option before. We’re even open to trying out van life for a while. Who knows?! The path is completely open and all we know is that we are in search of a life where the values we cherish are outwardly expressed in the way we live. We strive to live a life where we are listening to the call of our wild heart so our son can learn to listen to his own wild call.

We are on the journey to live a wilder life.

MEET CHRISTINA

I’ve been moving around my whole life. So much so that I never know what to say to the question, “Where are you from?”  Technically, I was born in Atlanta, Georgia but quickly moved on to Alabama, Texas, Maryland, Boston, and finally landing in Los Angeles. I am an explorer by nature and am always looking to learn and create something new. I first moved to LA to pursue a life in acting, but took a detour when I discovered S Factor, a feminine movement practice dedicated to helping women eradicate body shame and reclaim their erotic body. Inspired and revitalized by the classes I became a Master Teacher of the movement and took on the role of a leader to women worldwide. In 2016, I jumped headfirst in to the world of entrepreneurship and opened my own successful lingerie company, Serpent Lane. 

After having my first baby and getting my ass handed to me by motherhood (no joke-this parenting thing is hard you guys) I realized my life was calling me into a new journey. Simultaneously exhausted and inspired by motherhood, I wanted to model for my son a mom who was fulfilled and ignited by life rather than exhausted by it. I knew in my heart that a return to writing and nature was calling my name.

I am introspective and introverted by nature. I’m the girl at the party who wants to talk to one person and hear their entire life story.  Rest assured, once we get to know each other I’m happy to cut loose and do Britney Spears impressions with you. But not until you’ve bared your soul. Fun times!

Favorite Quote

MEET BRAD

About Bradford Photo

I grew up in Northern California in Santa Rosa. The wine country. A beautiful place to grow up, among the redwood trees and rolling vineyards. But, as I always say, you don’t realize how nice it is until you leave. 

I was always an outdoorsy kind of kid. I loved the trees, water, animals, all of it. I spent much of my youth in nature and moving my body. I also loved travel from a very young age. With family in Northern Idaho, I spent many summers on the lake and winters on the ski slopes.

I got the acting bug as a kid and eventually went to college for theater, at UC Santa Cruz. This led my move to Los Angeles where I would pursue my dream as an actor. Booking work here and there, I working a bunch of odd jobs to get by: I’ve been a Starbucks barista, a delivery driver, an A&R rep for a record label, a market researcher, a mover, a PA for film and TV, a real estate assistant, a camera man, and finally a special effects technician for the last 13 years.. Guys, there were a ton of weird jobs.

When on location for 2 weeks on a film shoot in 2008, I met Christina who was an actress in the film. Even when we were scrimping for every last penny, we always made travel a priority. To our very first trip together in Honduras, to Croatia where we got engaged, to our honeymoon in Bali where Christina got pregnant with our son Wilder, travel has always been a fundamental piece of our story together. 

MEET WILDER

WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM US?

Monthly newsletter roll call

Want to receive our emails? Fingers crossed that you do. Otherwise…this is awkward.

If so, you can sign up for our newsletter here. We send them about once a month with new blog posts and travel inspiration we think you’ll love. We promise not to be annoying. Or awkward. 

Sign Me Up!



We’re loyal to the gram    

You can also follow us on our main social media platform, Instagram.  We are visual artists and we love sharing photos, so that’s where you’ll find us the most. Here’s a handy link where you can follow us on Instagram. We think you’ll like it because we post photos like this. Who doesn’t love monkeys?  

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Christina Grance | Brad Benoit (@liveawilderlife) on