Routinely on the Beach

Routines are good. Or at least they are good for us right now. It might first sound a bit strange coming from people who enjoy change and variety and who live nomadic lives, but we have found ourselves stick to routines more than ever before. One might think that now that we are free to decide our daily rhythm we would stay up late and get up at noon more often. In fact it has been just the opposite. We pretty much go to sleep quite early around the same time every night and get up the same time in the morning. Even though there is nothing in our lives at the moment that would stop us from doing otherwise. Why is that?

Routines help us to get things done and not to spend too much time and brain capacity on where that isn’t really needed. It's amazing how much time you can use for the most basic things if you loose the routine. Probably everyone has noticed during their vacations that you can quite literally spend the whole day just getting up, having breakfast, lunch and dinner. For a holiday it might be alright but for earning one's living that would of course be disastrous. In addition to efficiency, our routines also provide our lives with some stability, something that is in many ways missing from our current nomadic life.
Our two weeks on Otres Beach were our most routineful (is that a word?) so far. It was surprisingly effective to work, because there wasn’t much else to do, since we are not really that much into sunbathing. “Oh, it's you two. I didn't recognize you at first without your laptops!”, our neighbor commented on us when were doing our morning walk on the beach one day. Apparently we spent quite a while before our computer screens during our stay...
So how did our daily routine look like at Otres?
6-7 Wake up slowly (no alarm!), read a bit, check some emails etc.
7-9 Take a long walk along the beach. We figured out we need to do this early in the morning, when the air is still fresh and somewhat cool. Gave a great start for the day and for us a chance to talk with each other and do some planning together. We finished the walk with a swim in the sea.
9-10 Breakfast time! And get-to-know-what-is-going-in-the-world time, meaning we were clued to our tablets, checking the latest in blogs, facebook, twitter etc. Tablet with wifi really is a great substitute for a morning newspaper.
10-13 Work, work, work! Quite self-explanatory, right? Work for our customers, and when having less of that then spending time on finding more of them…
13-14 Lunch break and another time to plunge into the world of social media.
14-17:30 More work. As above.
17:30-20 Sunset marked the time for another swim, a cold beer and relaxing. Although relaxing for us often meant reading a work-related book or watching some videos on Coursera.
20-> Dinnertime! And if possible, a non-electric one, meaning real-life interaction.  Then it was off to bed, since we were waking up quite early in the mornings. Maybe reading a bit more before falling asleep.
It worked well for us, giving structure to our days. But the end of the two weeks we were ready to escape the silence of the beach, hit the road again and have some less routine days. At the end it’s all about having some variety.
And yes, we really enjoyed Otres Beach! It was more relaxed and peaceful than the main beaches, so if you’re heading to Sihanoukville and are not into parties, we recommend Otres. Our home, Papa Pippo, was situated perfectly at the end of first part of the beach, so it was not that crowded. It had a big common area with comfy chairs and hammocks. The otherwise exhaustingly hot weather (and no air-con anywhere!) became enjoyable in the steady cool breeze coming from the sea.
Antti and Mirje

We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »