Day 8: Paddle Boarding, Maintaining an Online Business without Electricity and Island BBQs

The troubles of maintaining an online business on a remote island without electricity.

I don't know if I've mentioned this but there is no electricity on this island.  I’ve been waking up naturally around 7-7:30 every morning, well rested after a night of hearing the waves crash 10 meters away.  Turns out though, no one else is awake until closer to 9.  As with all islands, people drink, and end up hung over most mornings.

The problem is, nothing opens until 9am, and the restaurants don’t turn on their generators until then either, leaving me with no electricity and no wifi.   I’m sitting here in an empty cafe on the beach writing this blog post in notepad.  I haven’t charged my laptop in three days, but thankfully the new macbook air still has 2.5 hours of battery remaining even at 16% charge.

Here are random puppies on the beach.

Maintaining the Business:

The good news is, after hiring my gal on oDesk to handle customer calls, sales are still coming in even while I’m without internet.  I've been logging on, fulfilling orders, checking email and sending out tracking numbers every morning between 9-10am and it seems to be enough to keep the business alive since it is now pretty much automated.

The business is currently in maintenance mode while I’m traveling but is still bringing in sales everyday.  I’m also not spending that much money while out here.  Dorms are only $5 a night, but I chose to be in a private room at only $12.  Food here has been fantastic and a BBQ Steak with Salad and Potatoes served beachside is $5. It’s also really convenient that everyone takes US Dollars, so even without an ATM on the island, it’s been a breeze.

I'm used to seeing my bank account and savings slowly dwindle down while traveling but having an online business means watching your account balance slowly go up even while you're traveling and spending money on hotels, eating out and scuba diving expeditions.  The best thing is, we just got another sale for the new eCommerce store that Adam and I built together even though we are not spending any money running ads at the moment.  

The Chicken Salad was $3 and the Stir fry on the right was $2.50

Paddle Boarding in Paradise.

I had tried stand up paddle boarding on Otres beach but was terrible at it.  The longest I managed to stay standing was 20 seconds at a time and a few paddles in.  But thankfully on Koh Rong, the boards are well buoyant and were super beginner friendly.  A friend and I ended up paddling from the beach to and around a small nearby island.  I fell a modest 5 times, she, at her first time ever on a SUP made it there and back without falling once.  

These are the true kodak moments that I wish one of has had a water proof camera with us.  We didn’t so you’ll just have to imagine how exquisite it was looking over and seeing nothing but miles of flat ocean, and backdrops of small islands.  And there we were, the only two living souls in the middle of no where, standing on what looked like surfboards with a kayak paddle in our hands.  

I’m surprised how far we went, but we found a great spot for snorkeling behind the small island as it was super shallow and teaming with coral and reef fish.  Maybe I’ll rent a kayak and head out there with a mask to check it out.  

We paddled from the beach to the small island on the right

The wrap up:

I spent the rest of the day laying around in a hammock and enjoying the sunset.  I’m glad I didn’t rush this trip and am staying in Koh Rong for a few more days.  I was starting to think I “did everything” on the island already, but in reality there’s always more to explore, even if that just means catching up on podcasts or books while laying in a hammock.

Peace out guys,


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  1. Sounds like you're enoying the fruits of your labor! I'm happy for you man! -Dex


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