Unplug and disconnect on a houseboat
As a webmaster, it’s not easy disconnecting from the internet, from work or any other device.
For every new website or social media site that launches, we can justify using them for market research, to get in-tune with our future customers and just using these social media sites as communication channels.
Putting igaming news aside, looking at email, phone, skype, WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook and maybe even Twitter, they are all useful for communicating.
Facebook might be the site where people can get sidetracked the most, but it’s a site where I know I can reach people with higher accuracy and speed. I can get the fastest replies from a Facebook message than sending an email. Even for trying to communicate with another company, Facebook message I find is usually more effective than phone calls and emails.
We all need or want vacations so it can be tough for some people, including myself, to leave the laptop at home or refrain from working while away. As long as you have wifi, you are always working.
Being on a houseboat adds the right amount of difficulty in getting online and connected. Being at a cottage might make it too easy to open the laptop and work which defeats the purpose of being at a cottage which is to relax and disconnect.
Houseboating: An Alternative Vacation Idea
It was by mistake that I discovered houseboating which all came about from being frustrated from trying to find a cottage to rent.
The cottage rental websites years ago were terrible and all of them charged to be listed and with 10+ cottage websites, it’s tough to find what you want and the search filters were the worst.
In discovering houseboating, it was the best of many worlds: cottaging, camping and boating all in one!
The first trip I did was in 1000 Islands which is located between Toronto and Montreal. It’s a unique place that a lot of Canadians take for granted and assume they know the area by driving by the 401.
You’ll have to get off the 401 and on a boat to realize what exists close by.
Why a houseboat offers the right amount of disconnection
When you are on a houseboat, the only form of internet you have is through your phone. If you want to connect your laptop then you’ll have to tether it.
With houseboating, you have too many things to do in a day that really keeps you offline so even if you wanted to try to work a few hours, it’s really difficult.
Usually you are on a trip boating from one place to the next so you’ll not be online at this time. You’ll want to get out in the water assuming you have great weather and warm water to swim in. You can also do fishing if you are into it. After that, meal preparations will keep you busy.
If you are out with friends or family, then you’ll probably be having a drink in the afternoon where once that happens, you can kiss work goodbye for the day.
What I enjoy the most about these trips are the disconnect from not just city life but being connected and disconnecting. Even though I’ll share some pics through my phone and maybe do 30 mins of work a day, and sometimes none at all, it’s a real disconnect and I always look forward to the next trip.
Planning to be Offline
If you do any blogging, we all know you can produce content in advance of your trip and have it programmed to launch as if you never left work at all. When you know you’ll be offline for so long, you can let people know and you should get less work requests, in theory.
Houseboating in Canada
A hobby site I work on is canadahouseboating.ca which is a fun side hobby and it’s always neat to see a small site grow from a bit of side hustle. It can be a good way to apply your knowledge to another industry and it’s also a chance to learn something new.
If you are a webmaster thinking of making a trip to Canada, check out the website as there are nearly 40 rental companies across Canada from British Columbia to New Brunswick. My favourite location to date is in the Kawarthas on the Trent-Severn waterways and I highly recommended HappyDaysHouseboats.com (or see my Happy Days Houseboats review) if you are looking to rent.