No one needs to tell Ian Somerhalder that the Hollywood grind is way overrated.
Lots of good clean dirt, however, is where it's at.
He and wife Nikki Reed are "farm people" these days, the Vampire Diaries alum told E! News last month, describing the back-to-the-land life they're leading with their 6-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son (plus horses, dogs, goats, etc.) miles away from Los Angeles.
"We produce most of our own food, I live in my cowboy boots," added Somerhalder, who's turning 45 Dec. 8 and has more irons in the fire than ever—from producing environmentally minded documentaries to the Brothers Bond Bourbon label he started with Paul Wesley—despite having put acting on the back burner several years ago.
None of which would be as rewarding without his bride of eight years by his side.
"I have never met a more resourceful human being," he said of Nikki in 2022. "I think together, with our combined skills, we could live forever on an island. You can drop us on an island, and we would be okay."
But two actors don't just walk away from their beachside home in Malibu if they're not on the same recycled-paper page about what they really want out of life.
"To be fully transparent about it, I really did not want to be in the public eye anymore," Nikki, who founded her sustainable jewelry line BaYou With Love in 2017, told Santa Barbara Magazine last year. So she was onboard with retreating up the coast a bit, noting, "California has the ability to offer seclusion, but you can also be in driving distance to these major cities at the drop of a hat."
And when she and her family hit the road, as they like to do in their tricked-out Fleetwood RV when wanderlust strikes, the destination hardly matters so long as it's off the grid.
"If I could like tell you my dream," Reed said, "it would be to achieve total food autonomy, to have zero connection to a supermarket, to city water, to anything like that—to be able to live without relying on any system. So, you know, we're not too far off from that."
Keep reading for scenes from the road Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder have been traveling together for almost a decade: