Our 48 Hours Offline (Video)

48-hours-offlineEarlier this month, we went offline for 48 hours.

I know. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

But here’s the thing: it has changed how we do business.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • why we decided to disconnect
  • what we did instead, and
  • why we are going to keep disconnecting

Why We Decided To Go Offline

We were on a work trip in the Galapagos – creating content for Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges.

While there is internet in the lodges on the principal islands (Santa Cruz and Isabela) we knew we were going to be offline for a while when we returned to Floreana Island.

The last time we visited we were completely offline.

There was no cell or internet signal. And just a couple of tv channels, although we didn’t watch any.

During our brief (two day) stay on Floreana Island, we hiked and snorkeled. Floreana is the least populated of the populated islands – with just 120 inhabitants.

This time we stayed for parts of 3 days. After we arrived, we were told that there was now internet on the islands. But we decided to stay offline the whole time. We left Santa Cruz Island at 2pm on Friday and we didn’t connect again until we arrived on Isabela on Sunday afternoon around 2 pm. So we went a full 48 hours offline: no cell, internet, radio or television.

Why Go Offline?

Being online tends to consume more time than it should. And social media isn’t the only culprit.

There is always one-more-thing to do: a newsletter with a compelling article to read, comments to approve and respond to, or a report to send. Sometimes it feels like we never go offline.

What Did We Do During Our 48 Hours Offline?

We stayed really busy. Floreana is an amazing place.

As a family, we couldn’t have been happier. We just focused on each other. Not that we don’t usually, but working online (and from home) tends to be all-consuming. Disconnecting was so refreshing.

Here’s what we did during our 48 hours offline:

  • traveled from Santa Cruz Island to Floreana Island by speed boat (and saw dolphins)
  • hiked to the pirate caves (yes, the “Arr, matey, do ye need more treasure?” kind) and saw the giant tortoises in the highlands of Floreana
  • snorkeled with sea turtles, sea lions, and thousands of fish
  • walked with marine iguanas (and watched them eat underwater)
  • ate amazing pizza (a real surprise to find a pizza shop on a tiny isolated island)
  • interviewed members of the Cruz family – the orignal Ecuadorian settlers on the island
  • traveled from Floreana to Isabela Island

And while these things are amazing on their own – it was even more special to share as a family. (Subscribe to the Red Mangrove blog to see details of everything we did while on Floreana Island.)

Our 48 Hours Offline Video

Here is our video montage of what we did while we were offline.

How Did Our Business Do?

We actually didn’t publish anything during this time, although we easily could have with the post scheduling option in WordPress.

Our blogs had more than 20 comments waiting to be approved. We received some offers (reviews and paid writing assignments) for both GringosAbroad and CultureSponge.

Being in the Galapagos for a week and a half meant that we weren’t online much at all. On our last full day in the Islands we did the draw for the Baby Giants Contest that we produced for Red Mangrove. Filming, editing and sharing the video took almost 6 hours. Aside from this time, we didn’t spend more than 4 hours online over the 11 days – and no time over our 48 hours on Floreana.

My online business site (About.com) actually posted its highest numbers yet. We made hundreds of dollars online while we literally did nothing. It is one of the things we love about our online business.

Just What Do We Do Online?

We aren’t really typical internet users. We only use social media for work. In fact, we don’t even use a personal Facebook profile. Because of using it for so many sites and clients we sort of suffer from social media fatigue and prefer to communicate via email or Skype with family and friends. Of course, in person is even better.

Here is what we do online:

  • post blogs
  • approve / respond to comments
  • respond to offers and inquries
  • email (business and personal)
  • check business stats (traffic and affiliate earnings)
  • social media (limited, primarily for our blogs)

Takeaway

Even though we were working during this time, we realized how good it was for our family to go offline.

Because of running our own business, we feel that we need to always be available. Available to respond to comments, inquiries and to interact on social media.

But the fact is: it isn’t necessary!

We were hardly online during our trip and nothing fell apart. In fact, our businesses continued to produce just as good as ever.

As a result, I have decided to go offline for 48 hours every week. 

Since returning from our trip, I have set aside 48 hours every week to go offline. I find that my stress level has gone down and I enjoy my family and our work even more. Parkinson’s Law is powerful.

How Did We Shoot the Video? 

The Floreana Island video montage was shot completely with the GoPro Hero3 camera on the XShot 2.0 Camera Extender.

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Post Categories: Lifestyle Design, Living Abroad, Personal, Travel Abroad

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Renee - RambleCrunch October 22, 2013, 9:22 am

    I love the idea of scheduling regular offline time. It’s tricky for us, because in addition to blogging we run an ebook design/conversion business that does require a lot time behind screens. But I’m encouraged that with proper planning we could shut down at least one day a week and go out. Our daughter would certainly appreciate it. :-)

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines October 22, 2013, 11:26 am

      We find it hard to go offline as well – but it sure feels amazing to disconnect and enjoy the reason we are doing all of this.

      I would love to hear how it goes!

      Reply
  • Dr. Anwar Shah May 1, 2013, 4:42 am

    I think its a great idea to leave technology behind once in while to help overcome mental overload of fast paced life’s burdens. Benefits are amazing.

    Reply
  • Joanna April 30, 2013, 9:08 am

    Great post and nice video! My husband and I do one night per week with no technology, well more like no computer technology. It helps us to connect with each other and find other fun things to do. And as you said, it helps reduce stress – from information overload.

    Reply
  • Jason April 30, 2013, 8:49 am

    This is a very interesting experiment. I think our family might try the same thing some time.

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines April 30, 2013, 8:51 am

      We are into it just a month and it has been amazing. Hard at first – because it is kind of addicting – but at the end of the second day it is very liberating.

      Reply
      • Jason April 30, 2013, 8:53 am

        Previously we had set aside a 2 hour block around dinner time to take a break from electronic devices. That worked well, but we’ve not tried anything as ambitious as 2 days.

        Reply
        • Bryan Haines April 30, 2013, 8:57 am

          We found that our work (and email) was creeping into every available space. This way, we just sit and read without the distraction of what were “supposed to” be doing…

          Reply

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Who is Blogger Abroad?

I'm Bryan Haines, a Canadian living in Cuenca, Ecuador with my wife and daughter. I write about how to generate passive income with your online business while traveling or living abroad.

If this is your first visit, start here. If you are planning a trip or move abroad (but aren't filthy rich) you're in the right place. On Blogger Abroad, I provide the resources and motivation needed to start and grow a successful online business. - Bryan Haines

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