Nikki Reed on Farm Life, Road Trips and Embracing the Chaos

As Nikki Reed’s life and priorities have evolved, so have her travel preferences. While she was once drawn to the architecture of major cities, she now finds herself increasingly intrigued by the allure of rural life.

These days, Nikki Reed is all about farm life. AFP via Getty Images

While Nikki Reed was once best known for her role as a vampire in one of the biggest film franchises of the late aughts, her life looks a bit different these days. She and her husband, actor Ian Somerhalder, live on a farm north of Los Angeles that houses 17 animals, including chickens, cows, dogs, cats, and goats, and produces over 40 fruits and vegetables. Reed is deeply committed to sustainability, and founded the eco-friendly jewelry company, Bayou With Love, in 2017. More recently, she and Somerhalder co-launched the Absorption Company, a line of powdered supplements specifically formulated to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients, in 2024.

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Reed, who has two young children with Somerhalder, is also trying to enjoy and learn the ins and outs of farm life. “In my next chapter of life, when I’m not working so full-time, I will just literally be a farmer. For now, I’m an aspiring hobby farmer. I’m a student of the farm, is how I like to look at it,” she tells Observer. 

Reed begins her days by checking her email and putting out any work fires and then making sure all animals and humans are fed. Despite her best efforts, Reed knows that sometimes, you have to accept that it is going to be a chaotic day. “You know those days where you’re backed up against the clock, and minute by minute you’re just trying to make it work, and one little thing makes the day turn upside down? You just have to embrace what that means—that’s struggling with work and life and kids,” she says.

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder are raising their two children on a farm outside of Los Angeles. NINA/

Despite her hectic schedule, Reed is also trying to prioritize travel this summer, both locally and globally. The actress, who lived in Greece in her early 20s, would love to return to the country. “Those things live in your body forever, so I would like to see if I can get back there,” she says, She has also spent time in the farmlands of Australia, and wouldn’t mind revisiting. As for places she hasn’t been before, she would love to eventually take her children to Iceland, and a horseback riding camping trip in Argentina is the plan once they are a little older. 

As Reed’s life and priorities have evolved, so have her travel preferences. While she was once drawn to the architecture of major cities, she now finds herself increasingly intrigued by the allure of rural life. “I want to see how people live and connect with the land in other places. I am so into my land. I want to talk about soil and I want to learn about farming in New Zealand. That sounds incredible to me.” 

In 2023, she went to Ranchlands’ Zapata Ranch, a bison conservation ranch in Colorado, to learn about the soil and the animals’ impact on it to further her knowledge of the basics of regenerative agriculture. She would like to visit another conservation ranch in the next few months. “There are a few throughout the country that I know I’ll drive to. That’s where my heart lives, so I’ll find myself there.”

She recently partnered with Babyganics on a new campaign.

Until she can get there, though, Reed is thrilled to explore local destinations with her family, all from the comfort of a car. “There are so many things to see within five hours from wherever you are, and a road trip is a nice way to connect because you’re not so focused on the packing and the plane. You’re just spending time together and being present. There isn’t much you can do in a vehicle besides have conversations or read,” she notes. 

When Reed does need to travel via plane, however, she is an admitted over-packer and finds it has gotten worse now that she is a mom of two. Though she once was able to travel with a single carry-on for three weeks, those days are long gone. Now, she always brings a Cleobella weekender bag, which she has dubbed “Mary Poppins bag,” as it can fit everything. “That is going everywhere with me this summer,” she says. She also still counts her 15-year-old Frye backpack as a travel necessity, repairing it year after year.

The Cleobella weekender bag. Cleobella

For carry-on suitcases, Calpak and Paravel are her brands of choice. Reed is also all about packing with compression cubes these days, especially with children. And since sun safety is a non-negotiable, Babyganics Sheer Blend Mineral Sunscreen Lotion and Baby Mosquito Repellent Lotion are two travel must-haves for her family—she recently partnered with the baby care products brand on their “Oops! I Forgot it Again” campaign, to help make it a little easier on parents when it comes to getting outside with the kids. “I love the messaging behind this, not just the importance of getting kids outside, but also just celebrating perfectly imperfect parenting,” she explains.

Reed knows that traveling with young kids isn’t always the easiest—it can be quite stressful, especially plane travel. She eagerly awaits a plane ride solo and notes that taking a nap on an airplane will be a luxury someday. Until then, she’s sticking with road trips and spending time on the farm. “Right now, I’m in a season of life where everything is really about catching up. Honestly, if I’m not momming, I’m working and human-ing. A lot is going on.”

Nikki Reed on Farm Life, Road Trips and Embracing the Chaos