For many of us, it sounds like the ultimate dream. Pack up your laptop and work online from a beach or tropical island. Increase your online income from the comfort of your own poolside lounge chair. Surf the waves, and then surf the net. Or travel the world and make money on your ‘niche blogs’. International living, now that’s the life!
Sharon Hurley Hall wrote a guest post on Anywired called Trouble in Paradise : Freelancing from a Tropical Island pt. 1. I found it pretty interesting. There’s a few drawbacks to paradise after all.
And that is what got me to thinking about my home locale. I know everyone thinks of Horseguard Valley as some sort of Redneck Paradise. Fishing, hunting, camping, drinking, blowing stuff up, you name it. If rednecks like to do it, we pretty much have it goin’ on. You might picture yourself moving out of the city and living the redneck high life while making a living online with your laptop. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Pull a trout out of the mighty Horseguard River for supper, then whip off a couple posts and visit some of your favorite online sites. I know it works for Grizzly Brears, and he is much farther North and out in ‘the sticks’ than we are. So far out there he recently referred to it as ‘the twigs’.
However, this lifestyle isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Read on, and I’ll fill you in on a few of the drawbacks.
1. Inclement weather. This is another way of saying, you’re either gonna freeze, or your gonna fry. Our temperatures range from -45 Celsius, to +35 Celsius. Sometimes in the same season. Snow, rain, sunshine, fog, mud, sleet, more sunshine, strong winds. This could be a description of Alberta in any given June. As long as you have a warm base location, you can wait out the weather. You would be welcome to grab a stool at the Redneck Bar and Grill on a rainy day. Update: Dec 4 /08: -22dgrees Celsius. Dec 5/08: +4 DegreesCelsius. Almost a cruel weather change!
2. Crappy internet connections. You might be able to get wireless internet installed, depending on your exact location. The closer to a big town you are, the more likely this is. Turns out I am equally distant from all wireless internet providers, and therefore they are all equally useless to me. Dial-up internet is an option if you have a phone line and unlimited patience. We chose to go with satellite internet, which requires us to pay a fortune for lousy service and mediocre speeds. It also doesn’t work if it’s raining or snowing too hard, or many other times for no apparent reason. Other than that it’s great! The final option would be a wireless card which works off the cell phone towers. This is cost prohibitive for most people, and there are a lot of places that cell phones don’t work around here. Update: Fall of ’08, wireless cards went down in monthly charges from $100 to $60. Much more affordable.
3. Distractions. It’s hard to get any work done when there is so much Blue Beaver Beer to drink. All those fish are just waiting to get caught. Anyone want to go skiing? How about a nice nature hike, maybe some quading or 4×4 ing down some trails?
Okay, so that last one there was more like redneck paradise, not a problem at all. I do have to admit, living out of town has some huge benefits. If Aron and I want to cause some highly flammable substance to ignite in a tightly sealed container using a long fuse, we just go do it. If we want to listen to loud music in our front yard, we do. Person freedom and open spaces are something us rural Alberta rednecks take for granted. You just have to weigh the pros and cons. Can you put up with snow in July? Then maybe our redneck paradise is right for you. Of course, if you are looking for private jet rentals, you will never find that sort of luxury item here. On the other hand, a couple of our bush pilots will work for beer!
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