Sometimes we can’t be online, especially when traveling. Most often we think it’s possible to have internet access no matter where we are, but it’s not always a reality.  Take this past weekend for example. I made a last minute trip to see friend who were attending WDS in Portland, OR.

Photo credit: phaewilk from

While in transit the wifi on BoltBus wasn’t working. When I arrived at the conference centre they had some kind of unresolved trouble with the password, for the entire building. I found it surprising that no one was able to repair it, but it happened none the less. I snuck in an hour at a Starbucks and then spent the rest of the day offline.

A few days later I wanted to sit by the water and write, but I didn’t have wifi here either. I suppose that’s a good thing. Except I can’t quickly access for images I’d like to add to my posts.

And today I’m on a ferry traveling to the Sunshine Coast (also no wifi or plugins). And I can’t search for the best URL’s to create a post to share people and resources I’ve connected with this week. (yet!)

Here’s what I do to stay connected when I’m not online (not rocket science!):

  1. When I am online I send a quick note to the people who typically need to be in touch, letting them know I’ll have limited access for a few days, and set up an email autoresponder.
  2. Post in Facebook saying I’m out of town
  3. Write drafts on my computer (when I have time) and save them to edit & post later
  4. Write myself a BIG note of what I would do differently, if this happens again.
  5. Breath!

It’s not going to get better by stressing about it, forcing it, spending the entire day in a freezing cold Starbucks to make sure I’m online.  It’s not much different than what I experienced when packing my very first laptop into a massive, overpacked suitcase to spend 1 1/2 months in the UK in 2001. It often feels like the world will crumble if you step away from work, during your normal business week. The reality? It always works out in the end.


Do you stress out? Or have any tips for others who end up taking a digital sabbatical “by accident”?

5 Ways to Stay Connected When Working Offline

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