On Sunday, my website was down for about 24 hours. I’m not 100% sure why but, according to my hosting company, there was an issue with the domain name and the servers it pointed to. I’m still confused about the reason and will soon be switching companies because of what occurred. There is no reason why my domain name should “expire” when I have paid for it for 10 years or when it comes up for renewal it stops pointing to the right place.
How did I find out about this awful incident? While sailing through the Whitsunday islands in Australia, I checked Twitter when I got reception and found myself bombarded with messages alerting me to the problem. I then had to spend all my phone credit calling my hosting company figuring out why they took my site down. After some excuses to cover themselves, my site was back up by the time I hit land again.
Yet this was no way to enjoy a holiday. How could I enjoy the last day of my sailing tour when all I can think about was how I needed to get to land to solve the problem or see when my site would be back up. It’s a buzzkill.
Which brings me back to the age old debate about balancing work and travel. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are many things you can do to try to balance the work load and ensure that neither work nor travel takes up all your time. However, lately, I’ve found that I am having trouble with the balancing act.
Running a travel blog is a lot of work. No matter what the purpose of your website is there are pictures to post, tweets to twitter, blogs to write, and RSS’s to read. Even those who blog as a hobby can spend hours per day maintaining their site.
I don’t blog as a hobby. Nomadic Matt pays my bills – it keeps me on the road, buys my plane tickets, and puts food on my table. Without my website, I have no income and I’d have to return to the cubicle. And frankly, I have no desire to do that. When your travel blog is your business there is a lot more work to do than what I mentioned above and, lately, that work has begun to dominate my life.
Over the next two months, I plan to launch two new ebooks, redesign my website, and create a travel guide section that covers backpacking in over 60 destinations around the world. These projects are quite time consuming and lately I’ve found that work or travel suffers when I need to do one or the other.
When my website was down, I learned the invaluable lesson that right now, I can’t do both. I can’t run off every day and socialize at night while attempting to build my website. I can’t build my website and travel like I want to. I’d love to be out on the beach in Magnetic Island right now but I have work to do. I would have loved to have gone hiking in Queenstown with my friends but I had work to do.
After 7 months of non-stop travel, I need to take a break and work. I need a solid month to bury my nose in my laptop in order to get these projects done. I had planned on going to Bali for a month to explore Indonesia. Now, Bali will be the perfect place for me to live cheap, eat great food, enjoy a few hours at the beach, and get lots of work done. I’ll take a few day trips here and there but I’m canceling most of my plans to do work.
In truth, blogging is a lot of work and if you plan to turn your blog into a life then you need to find a good work balance. I’ve managed to become good at increasing my productivity while working. I get a lot done and can get rid of my daily list quickly. That’s important. Wasting time on the internet wastes days. Moreover, I’ve managed to dedicate a few days here and there in order to get ahead, because eventually, you’ll get behind again. After 7 months, I’m behind again. Instead of taking a break, I have just let it pile up. When my website was down, I had my wake up call.
Bali here I come – to work!