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Benefits of Blogging While on Vacation (my experience from four weeks living in a tent without electricity)

I’ll be here, exactly where I am right now, for four weeks. And as I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a rock, on a mountain, viewing the ocean, and listening to seagulls. There’s not a single human being in sight, and the only sounds I am hearing are from nature and a few boats from far far away. I’m staring at the sun, and seeing reflections of my hand and the pen as I’m jotting down these words in a notepad.

I have been living in a tent on an island in Norway for the past week. I’m with my family, and we’re having a fantastic time. To me, and I can probably speak for my wife and kids as well, this is the perfect vacation.

We’re living in a tent, without electricity and without any access to the Internet, and I have to walk about 20 minutes to get fresh water. We’re just a few steps by the ocean, an amazing beach, and a few steps by a fairly large area covered chiefly with trees and undergrowth. We’re almost exclusively outside, staring at the sun and swimming in the ocean.

It’s the perfect vacation for me, and there are many reasons why. I’m not just talking about the family, and my kids being outside playing and becoming friends with nature. I’m talking about blogging, business and a switching the focus in life.

It’s no longer about time

It feels like the day never ends out here. It’s not like I am struggling to find the time to write, or find the time to do anything. 24 hours a day feels more than enough. I have the time to do anything I want and then some.

I never look at the time. I just enjoy whatever the day brings. When I feel like it, I walk to a new place, either by the ocean, or somewhere where I can find a magnificent view, I sit down and write whatever’s on my mind.

Sometimes it’s about marketing, and sometimes it’s about the novel I am writing.

To me, this is what a vacation is all about; when time has become obsolete, or look at it like something indefinite. It’s about stop focusing on time. Time is no longer an issue, and realize that it never should be an issue (no matter if I’m at home or living in a tent).

The importance of focus

I always try to work in batches, because that’s when I get most work done. I do this at home, at work, I do it wherever I am. Working in batches are even more important when on vacation.

I don’t work a lot, and I don’t write a lot during the four weeks I am living in a tent. But, I probably get just as much done as if I was at home and working many hours every single day.

There’s something about being away from the chores of everyday life, and understanding the value of what I’m actually doing. I never do the small things anymore, I always focus on the big chunks of what life has to offer and the most important parts of work.

I really enjoy focusing on new things while on vacation.

This summer, I have decided to focus on affiliate marketing, by buying a brand new course from the brilliant Steve Scott. It’s called Affiliate Marketing Without The BULLS**T. I have only been reading (and listening) to 1/3 of the course, but I’m really exciting and I have learned a lot already.

Understanding how passion works

I don’t have any electricity. And I don’t have access to the Internet from my computer. When I want something done, like published on my blog, or do research for my novel, I need to walk to the public library. It’s not that far away, it’s about a thirty minutes walk.

It’s interesting being without electricity and not be able to have access to the Internet. It’s not something I’m used to. This makes me understand what John Falchetto (The Expat Life Coach) are talking about when he was sitting outside people’s houses in order to get online.

Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion. And being where I am and in the state I am, it’s easy to understand what I am missing. I walk to the library once a week to be able to keep in touch with my friends, publish what I’ve written and see what’s happening in the world of marketing.

Writing tools

I have my Macbook Pro, I have my iPhone, but the writing tools I use the most is a pen and my notebook. I add all my thoughts to my notebook, and about once a week, I add the most important words to the computer.

I use my iPhone with the 3G mobile network to get access to the Internet. But, since I don’t have a charger, and it’s quite hard to get electricity, I only use it for Twitter and to moderate comments on my blog and reply to the comments on my blog. This way, the battery life on my iPhone will last more than just one day.

I have ordered a solar charger for my iPhone, but I ordered it too late and I haven’t received. So, maybe next summer will be different.

The important lesson of work

I have always had sort of a yearning desire to be able to work from everywhere, and wherever I am and whenever I feel like working (not just part of a 9 to 5 job and at an office). Now, living in a tent, I understand the importance of both being able to work from wherever and whenever I feel like working, and the importance of working in an office.

I enjoy both. And both are important to me.

I get a lot done in an office, and I get a lot done when I’m not. But what I do (and the quality of what I get done) is different. I am way more creative when I’m not at the office. Combining working at a coffee shop, inside the office, or outside with a magnificent view overlooking the ocean are all important parts of who I am.

Your Turn

I write everywhere, even when I am on vacation. When you are on vacation, do you write just as much and just as often as when you are not? And, what’s the perfect vacation for you?

Let me know, and I promise you that I’ll answer all your comments via my iPhone somewhere close to a beach – LOL.



56 responses to “Benefits of Blogging While on Vacation (my experience from four weeks living in a tent without electricity)”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Wow, Jens, what an idyllic holiday! I imagine you get all kinds of inspiration from your beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings. Settings like yours can really help you focus and align your priorities.

    Thank you for taking the time on your vacation to share your experiences with us. I have had similar, rustic, away from modern conveniences (electricity, running water, etc.) vacations and they always resulted in my taking a different path in life soon afterwards.

    I hope you continue to have a marvelous time on your vacation. Once you get back to the land of electricity, perhaps you could post some pictures of the natural beauty you are savoring?

    • jens says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      I should probably take some pictures, right now I don’t have a camera with me (other than my iPhone). But I’ll see what I can get a hold of.

      The place is just fantastic, I love it πŸ™‚

      Are you at home during the summer or do you have any exciting plans?

      Talk to you later.

      Jens

  2. Robert Miras says:

    Hello Jen, I find myself on your story. Whenever I am on an outdoor vacation,many thoughts pops out on my mind. I used to write them in my pocket note or save them into my cellphone. I love to share them with my friends and classmates after vacation.Some of my close friends even ask some of my thoughts to be written on their notes with my signed name. The thing is, I have not yet try to share my thoughts on the internet blog site, but I do sometimes in my Facebook account.

    Thank you for the post Jen.

    • jens says:

      It took me awhile to understand how I should be taking notes, and how to share them online. When I’m on vacation without electricity, always use a pen and a notebook. But when I’m not (like most of the year), I use Evernote on my iPhone and on my computer. It works great.

      I’m not using Facebook that often, but I’ve recently started to use Google + (and I use Twitter all the time).

      Are you on Google +?

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Jens

      • Robert Miras says:

        Hey Thanks for that, I didn’t have to google+ yet but I would have to try it. Thanks again.

        • jens says:

          Google+ looks amazing, but I’ve only tried it for a few days. I bet a lot has happened already, and that I won’t even recognize it when I get back from my vacation πŸ™‚

  3. Bill Dorman says:

    Hey camping man, sounds like a fantastic location and vacation; I’m envious.

    I haven’t taken enough time to write but think I’m going to start devoting more time to it. It’s been an afterthought but since I post only once a week, it’s pretty easy to crank out.

    However, I always have these thoughts and ideas and I need to get them on paper or record them so I don’t lose them. I’m working on it.

    Good to see you and enjoy the time with your family. We’ll be here when you get back buddy.

    • jens says:

      Hi Bill,

      I’m having a fantastic time on vacation, and the weather has been awesome.

      I don’t think you should change much because you’re doing great. Your community is just amazing, and the conversations at your blog is very inspiring. And it helps me understand that I have a lot to learn from you.

      I’m also publishing about one post a week, sometimes two. I believe that this is enough for me, because then I have the time to visit other blogs and network as well.

      What are you up to this summer, any vacation?

      Have a great day.

      Jens

      • Bill Dorman says:

        Ok professor, if I’m your teacher we might be in a heap of trouble………:).

        Took a week off at the end of May and a week 1st of July. I’ll probably do one more in August, but nothing as cool as what you are doing.

        Other than that, just plugging away.

        See you soon.

        • jens says:

          Then we’re heading for trouble πŸ™‚

          My vacation is probably the cheapest vacation around. It’s almost all about the food and sun protection.

  4. Craig McBreen says:

    Jens, responding to everyone using your iPhone is gonna be hard on your thumbs, man πŸ™‚ This vacation spot sounds perfect and I bet the environment, combined with low stress leads to some very creative writing. I look forward to reading more. Hope you have a great time with your family.

    • jens says:

      Hi Craig,

      I’m taking long breaks between every reply from my iPhone, I don’t want an injury πŸ™‚

      The vacation spot is fantastic, and I’m so happy that we discovered it. The kids are having a great time and I’m relaxing, taking notes and just enjoying life.

      What are you up to this summer, any plans?

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Jens

      • Craig McBreen says:

        Jens,

        We’ll be flying from our home in Seattle to the eastern shore in Maryland to visit family. Then a day or so in D.C. Love to see more pictures of your vacation spot.

        • jens says:

          Sounds awesome. I have actually been to Seattle a few times. I lived in Blaine for a year as an exchange student. But that’s almost twenty years ago πŸ™‚

          I’ll see if I can borrow a camera. Right now all I have is my iPhone 3GS, and the camera is not of high quality πŸ™‚

          • Craig McBreen says:

            I’m sure you are aware of the strong connection with Norway here in Seattle, especially the Ballard neighborhood. They have a Nordic Heritage Museum, and the locals are always joking about the taste of Lutefisk :). And we have the familiar lack of sunlight in the Winter.

            Been through Blaine, usually on the way to Vancouver.

  5. jens says:

    Thanks a lot for the feedback.

    I’m relaxing in the sun, hope you’re doing the same πŸ™‚

  6. jens says:

    Thanks a lot for your feedback.

    Are you enjoying your summer so far?

    I’m having a fantastic time πŸ™‚

  7. Melvin says:

    Very very nice reflection. I think I had the same experience minus the lack of electricity when I went to my province 3 months ago. I don’t have internet as well but I just kept writing and then saved it as a Word document. But I was just there for a week or so.

    I think its cool that you were able to do it in 4 weeks because I don’t think I could do it.lol

    • jens says:

      Hi Melvin,

      I’m having problems as well, since I keep walking to the public library to get electricity and access to the Internet πŸ™‚

      But I guess it just shows that I’m very passionate about what I do πŸ™‚

      Have a great summer.

  8. Clark Minn says:

    This is a great idea!!!Now I can still have advantages while on a travel…Thanks a lot!!!

    • jens says:

      Hi Clark,

      I really enjoy camping and it’s a great way to relax and stop being stressed out. And, while enjoying life to the fullest I am also at my most creative. It’s the perfect combination πŸ™‚

      Do you have any plans for this summer?

      Thanks a lot for your comment Clark.

      Jens

  9. Adrienne says:

    Still sharing with us while you are staying in the wilderness. Now that’s dedication my friend.

    Sounds like you are really enjoying your time away. I know I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us while you are off with your family.

    Whenever I’m on vacation, I’m on vacation. I hate to say it but I don’t answer my phone and I certainly don’t get online. But, I haven’t taken a long vacation since I started my online business or blog so that might change in the near future. Only time will tell. To me vacations are about getting away and just enjoying yourself.

    I do know that it’s hard for me to write things down on paper now. I’ve been typing for so many years I get a cramp in my hand in no time at all when I write. The keyboard is my best friend. πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful week and I guess we’ll hear from you soon. Take care Jens.

    Adrienne

    • jens says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I am really relaxing when I’m on vacation. I’m not doing much that can be considered work related. And since I’m hardly ever online or have electricity, it’s not a whole lot I can do other than write in my notepad. But I love to write, and I write a little every single day (mostly on my novel).

      The difference now is that I’m very focused. I don’t work much when it comes to time, but I get a lot done in a matter of minutes.

      To me, a vacation is time to relax, spend time with my family and do things I don’t normally do. So,being at this fairly remote spot is perfect. No TV, no radio, just nature (and a notepad) πŸ™‚

      Hope you’re having a wonderful summer.

      Jens

  10. Debra Saad says:

    That would be a great idea to continue blogging even though you are on a vacation…

    • jens says:

      Hi Debra,

      Yes, it sure is a great idea to keep blogging while on vacation. All you need is what I’m using, a pen and a notebook πŸ™‚

      And it’s a lot more fun to write in different settings, like when in a tent by the ocean.

      Do you have any plans for the summer?

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Jens

  11. Ana says:

    That’s the pleasure of being your own boss, I suppose, Jens. However, if I were in an as beautiful of a place as you are at, I am not sure I’d want to work. πŸ™‚

    Ana

    • jens says:

      Hi Ana,

      Absolutely. The thing is that i’m looking for the zero hour work week. So I’m just doing what I love doing.

      I hope you’re having a great summer.

      Thanks a lot for the comment.

      Jens

  12. jens says:

    Norway is awesome, but Hawaii, wow that sounds just fantastic. I have always wanted to go there, and one day I will for sure.

    Now, I’m relaxing with my family by the beach πŸ™‚

    How’s Hawaii right now, what’s the temperature like?

    Jens

  13. Richard says:

    Your post is quite inspiring and full of informative content. Glad that you survive 4 days in a tent with out electricity. Its totally awesome. The best part is you didn’t lost your passion and you done it with ease.
    Its my first time to visit your post and I can’t wait for more exciting and informative tips from you.
    Take Care

    • jens says:

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, it’s when I’m on vacation I understand what I’m really passionate about. I am only doing what I love, and 99% of the time I’m just relaxing and enjoying nature.

      What are you doing this summer, and are you writing during your vacation?

      Jens

  14. Theresa Torres says:

    Hi Jens,
    What a great place to be, with peace and beauty all around you! For many of us, it would be difficult to be thinking of other things like writing in such a setting but on the other hand, without the usual distractions of everyday life, it’s also the best time to get a new perspective on things.
    Nature can be such a source of inspiration and help us be more creative.
    Thanks for sharing, hope you continue to have a fantastic time!

    • jens says:

      Hi Theresa,

      I’m having a fantastic time, and it’s been sunny almost every single day so far. And I’m actually in Norway (although it’s raining a lot as I’m writing this) πŸ™‚

      I love the solitude, and although I’m on vacation and probably should just enjoy the silence, the beautiful nature, and spending time with my family, I just love to write as well. I don’t write that much, but a few hours a day.. but that’s just part of who I am (I guess).

      Thanks a lot for your comment, and I hope you’re having a fantastic summer as well.

      Jens

  15. 4 Ps Marketing Mix says:

    What you talk bout is mostly passion. But many people who have that commitment to post at least 2 times weekly often are forced to blog even while on vacation. I schedule my posts if I’m away so that every week, my blog has some new posts.. but yes.. its a tough commitment

    • jens says:

      Absolutely, it’s about passion. I wouldn’t be writing at all during my vacation if I didn’t love what I’m currently doing. To me, writing and making a conversation to you is exactly what I love doing… and making this part of my vacation is just fantastic.

      I don’t schedule my posts, but it’s a great way to keep them coming. I just write when I have the time, and then, I publish whenever I feel like it πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for the comment, and I hope you’re having a fantastic summer.

      Jens

  16. Amy says:

    Wow, I’m envious! I’ve always believed that when you are not a slave to the minutes in the day, you become less stressed, less anxious, and obviously enjoy life more. That’s something we should all strive for.

    • jens says:

      Hi Amy,

      I’m having a fantastic time. I never think about the time. It’s so relaxing, and I just swim, walk, and read books, play, and be with my family. Fantastic πŸ™‚

      Jens

  17. Ted says:

    Hi Jens!

    You sure know how to plan an amazing vacation. Not only freeing yourself from stress… You also came up with a lot of realizations. Now that’s a really meaningful vacation. I want to try that really soon. I hope it can really help me decide on things I plan for the future. I really enjoyed your blog post. I want to hear more from you.

    • jens says:

      Hi Ted,

      Thanks a lot. It’s actually the fourth year with this type of vacation. It’s perfect for our kids, and it’s so amazing to have this kind of solitude. The people we meet are relaxed, and just enjoying to be close to nature. And our kids are not thinking about watching TV or using a computer. Although, they keep playing their Nintendo DS until the power is empty πŸ™‚
      Thanks a lot for the comment.

      Jens

  18. Ron says:

    We can do blog anywhere and anytime if we have the interest to do blogging. Most probably, we can have nice blogs while we are having vacations because we can think clearly and be relax.

  19. Robin says:

    For me, blogging can be done anywhere as long as you are willing to spend time and you are ready to write a nice blog…If you are inspired, then that can be used for a nice post…

    • jens says:

      Hi Robin,

      I agree with you. I have written most of my blog post at home, either in my office or in the kitchen. But, now I’ve started to write them close to everywhere, and it’s a great feeling. Because now, it doesn’t feel like work at all πŸ™‚

      Jens

  20. Laura says:

    There are still benefits when traveling in terms of blogging…I experienced that too…

    • jens says:

      Hi Laura,

      Yes, there is. And I’m hopefully going to experience more of the benefits now as I’m about to leave for another vacation, this time in Italy πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Jens

  21. Reign says:

    Wow! Maybe you have a great fun with that vacation… Yeah I agree with you, travelling can be of advantage in blogging. You’ll find different views, see other people, have a fresher mind and most of the the enjoyment that you experienced during your trip. This is great!

    • jens says:

      Hi Reign,

      It’s so much fun to travel and get inspiration. I’m about to leave for another vacation, this time in Italy, and I’m hoping that it will be as interesting as my five weeks living in a tent πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Jens

  22. jens says:

    Hi Cher,

    Thanks a lot for the feedback πŸ™‚

    Jens

  23. ioana moise says:

    yes i total agree,in vacation the mind become fresh,and no worrys. in these we can perfect work,specialy bloging work.great article jens….

  24. ioana moise says:

    Thanks for giving me a great idea.i will take advantage with your article.keep it up

  25. θ»Šθ²·ε– says:

    Thank you for sharing this information, I will visit your web site again in future.

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