Knowing When To Go Offline and Recharge [EPIC TRIP AHEAD]

Knowing When To Go Offline and Recharge [EPIC TRIP AHEAD]

Regular recovery, on the micro-, mid-, and macro-levels, can often do the work of psychiatric medicine, only naturally.

~ Tal Ben-Shahar, The Pursuit of Perfect

It’s time to go MACRO!

For two weeks, I will explore the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.


View Nathan’s MACRO Break: The PacNW in a larger map.
(You can even “add” this to your maps in Google – click on “Save to My Places” once the map loads)

 If you’re reading this in email or otherwise can’t see the map, click here.


This may, in fact, be the first time I’ve ever done something of this nature, and certainly with the intention of doing this trip offline.

I will not be checking email, going on Facebook/Twitter/Google+ (gasp!), and will refrain from using the phone as much as possible.

I won’t even have a GPS – I’ll be relying on good ol’ fashioned paper maps, my intuition, and the kindness of park rangers and fellow travelers! :-)

Some of the planned stops (and I’ve never been to ANY of them):

  • Bend, Oregon
  • Hood River, Oregon
  • The Gorge, Oregon
  • Crater National Monument, Idaho
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Mt. Rainier, Washington
  • Mt. St. Helens, Washington

Total driving distance: just under 3000 miles – and I can’t wait!

I was recently told about Find a Spring, for places to get fresh water – so cool! Plus, I’m going to experiment with some different foods on this trip:

  • Chia seeds
  • Goji Berries
  • Sardines
  • Dried Seaweed

All in an effort to remain as healthy as possible during the two weeks!

It begins Wednesday, August 3rd. 

Why am I doing this?

See the quote at the top.

I first learned about this concept through Brian Johnson and his PhilosophersNote on the book:

“First, we’ve gotta realize that we’re not robots/machines. And, if we were, we’d be the kind of machines that needed a 15 minute break every hour or two (micro-level recovery), a seven to nine hour break every day + one day off per week (mid-level recovery) and a two to four week break every year (macro-level recovery)! “

I’d say I’m pretty plugged in and working just about every day. Now, I enjoy what I’m doing, so I don’t consider it all “work” (at least not the boring, mind-numbing kind). But I still need a break!

Man was not designed to create status updates all day long!

There’s a whole WORLD out there that I’m excited to discover – and then I’ll tweet about it… ;-)


So what if you’re on board with all this and yet aren’t currently taking the breaks you’d like to? Brian adds…

“Remember: No need to get upset with ourselves with where we’re falling short (that would be the perfectionist’s way of dealing with life!). Let’s be good optimalists, honor the constraints of our lives and build in the regular recovery that’ll best serve us! :)”



I currently use Time Out to schedule a one-minute break every 20 minutes, and a 10-minute break every 90 minutes – I’ve found a tremendous increase in my energy and productivity.

I modeled my schedule after learning how Tony Schwartz (The Power of Full Engagement, The Energy Project) wrote a book in three months (!) – he shared his daily routine in the “…Build Momentum” post.



Sleep is very important to me, and since I’m bouncing from place to place quite frequently, it requires even more attention to ensure I get a good night’s rest.

I aim for at least seven hours, and every now and then will just “sleep in” if I need to catch up. If I’m in bed for 9.5 hours, that’s fine by me.

Sometimes I forget to set my alarm – while the initial reaction is “OH NO,” I’ve been working on shifting that energy over to, “well, I guess my body needed the rest”; this was the Universe’s way of telling me so.

Fortunately, I usually don’t miss any appointments – my biggest reason for getting up early is to be productive: exercise, meditation, and creative work.


Macro-Level (this trip)

This is new ground for me.

I have a car, a tent, and a sleeping bag. (thanks Tabitha!)

I plan to enjoy the nature out there, while still being safe. I’m not exactly looking for the “Into the Wild” experience. ;-)


What do I hope to get from this trip?

Clarity. I’ll have my journal and my ideas – time to really dream, brainstorm, and crystallize with reckless abandon.

Rejuvenation. I get an amazing amount of energy from being outside, feeling the sun, walking among trees, breathing fresh air – it always makes me feel relaxed and alert.

Appreciation. This is such a beautiful world and I have so much to be grateful for – I am excited to renew my gratitude for all the gifts and people who are in my life.


What does this mean for the site? 

There will be NO posts during this time. My rough plan is to resume on Thursday, August 18th.

Also, I had this idea the other night: what if this trip is just for me? I imagine I’ll journal about it, take some pictures, maybe even shoot some video – and then I thought, what if I don’t share it? What if I make this a wholly personal experience?

If I’m talking with family or friends and I want to share a specific moment with them, of course I can do that. What if I just don’t make this whole event a thing, where I’m intent on making it something, and instead, I just let it happen.

I think it’s healthy to keep a few things for ourselves.

And somehow, even when we do, the world will continue spinning. :-)


I’m excited to reconnect in mid-August. Until then, may you have a wonderful, healthy, and exciting time. I know I will.


What are YOUR micro-, mid-, and macro-level breaks? What would you use a Macro-level break to do? And what do you think of the whole concept – agree/disagree?


I’d love to hear your answer along with any other comments you have below.

Until next time,


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Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.

8 comments on “Knowing When To Go Offline and Recharge [EPIC TRIP AHEAD]
  1. Brandon says:

    Nathan, this is incredible! Nice job, man. This is something that I’ve literally been dreaming of doing for a long time. I’ve done short bursts, but you’re taking it to another level with this. I hope you have the best time ever, and definitely take time to ‘just be.’ The digital world will be here when you get back.

    Go forth and kick ass! :)

    • Nathan says:

      Thanks Brandon! This is so out of my comfort zone, and at the same time, really excited about it – it’s going to be a blast! Thanks for your support, and glad to know the digital world will keep spinning. :-)

  2. Love it. Have fun and thanks for the shout out, sir!! :)


  3. Shannyn says:

    Nathan! This is so exciting! I’m actually placing an order for some dried fruits/nuts online today and I’m experimenting with the Goji berries, I’m not quite brave enough to try the Chia seeds (since they only offer large bags.)

    I cannot wait to hear your reflections on this later this month!

    As for the breaks, I need to give this some thought ;)

    • Nathan says:

      goji berries are awesome! i’ve been adding those and chia seeds to my Klean Kanteen water; they sometimes jam the spout, so it’s worth it to untwist the cap!

      check out the bulk bins at local grocery stores or co-ops – these bins are becoming more common even beyond Whole Foods – you can often find chia seeds there.

      the seaweed snacks were pretty good. i ended up not eating the sardines, as i couldn’t figure out a way to keep them contained (wasn’t traveling with any resealable containers or ice).

      and good luck with the breaks – this macro one was AMAZING – totally recommend others to find a way to incorporate this! :-)

      thanks for the updates shannyn – awesome stuff going on!

  4. Nathan! I guess you’re probably gone by now but DUDE THIS IS AWESOME!

    I have to admit though, before I started reading this I thought you were going to literally hike all the way. Oh and (hahaha), the first thing that came to my mind was “Oh no, Into the Wild, I hope he read the book!”. Looks like you;re way ahead of me on this one.

    Anyway, super exciting man! Glad you;re doing this. I hope you take lots of pictures and post them when you get back and read this! ESPECIALLY those from Glacier National Park! Ahh mann! I’ve always wanted to go there. I will go there soon! Its definitely on the to do list!

    Safe travels my friend!

    • Nathan says:

      thanks so much hector!

      it WAS awesome, no doubt. i’m sure i’ll post a few photos – again, thinking i might keep more of this a personal experience, and at the same time, you’re right – there are some amazing places out there. Glacier lived up to the hype. it’s unreal. and with the $80 annual pass for ALL the national parks, that cost quickly covers itself if you visit a few – i hit about 7 places this trip where i could use this pass – it’s such an amazing deal.

      and i hiked about 30+ miles – i can’t imagine how long it would have taken to hike 3200!!! :-)

      thanks for the support and excited to continue the journey with ya!

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