Why the Beach is the Worst Place for a Working Nomad

After a night of intense mosquito bites, I lazily open my eyes around 11. My breakfast, consisting of fruit from a street vendor, a muffin, and watered down coffee at a panaderia, happens at noon.

Montanita Ecuador beach dog

life's a beach for me and this dog

At this time, the clouds have dispersed and the beach beckons. While searching for my own stretch of sand, I plan to think about my next blog post, my to-do list, or a number of productive things that I could be doing. Instead, the intensity of the sun fries my brain and my skin. Thinking seems impossible, so I allow my mind to remain in a dormant state.

A few skin tones later, I wander back to my room to shower. The hot water is fickle, so bathing in the afternoon is the only time cold water seems bearable.

My stomach grumbles, and the clock on my cell phone tells me it’s 4 o’clock – yikes. Heading back into the pueblo, I look for a $1.50 lunch serving beans, rice, salad, and juice.

Montanita Ecuador

lunch menu

Next comes another leisurely stroll around the pueblo, where I chat with a few new friends I’ve made. The sky changes colors; I’ve got to get to the beach to watch the sun sink over the horizon.Witnessing this daily miracle never fails to put me in a fantastic mood.

Another walk around the pueblo and it’s dinner. My conscience battles between economy and indulgence as I spot mozzerella sticks on a menu. Montañita is full of expensive restaurants designed to seduce the barebone budget of the susceptible backpacker. Stinginess wins, and I settle for a $1 sandwich.

The pueblo is illuminated by street lamps, and I realize I haven’t even read my email yet. The Twitter friend requests, Facebook wall posts, and work assignments to reply to are backlogging quickly. I log onto my blog and cringe when I see the last post was written almost a week ago.

I squeeze 20 minutes in on the internet, but the night is calling. The residents of Montañita’s hippie street have planned a show consisting of fire twirling, drumming, and capoeira. I’ve seen it twice before, but I can’t resist its magnetic pull.

Another walk around the pueblo brings me to the beach again, where I watch the white waves crash on the shore drenched in obscurity. I am lulled by the sound, and sleepily head back to my room before crashing out until the next round of mosquito bites wakes me up.

And I’m supposed to work here?

  • Your routine sounds exactly like mine did when I was saying on the beach in Gokarna, India!

    The balance I discovered was to retreat to my room during the hottest time of the day (12pm – 3pm) and spend that time catching up with Email/Facebook/Twitter. Then I’d go back out, enjoy the sunset and long walks on the beach, a nice dinner when it got dark, and then return to my room around 8 or 9pm and spend the rest of the evening writing my next blog post or clearing my RSS reader. :)

    Ecuador sounds incredible!

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  • That’s a great idea. The only problem is I don’t have wifi in my room :( Using an alarm might be a good idea though… waking up at 12 really isn’t reasonable.

    I’ll have to add Gokarna to my bucket list :)