My Daily Routine in Rishikesh: Writing, Internet, Yoga

facts about Bhutan
Why I’m going to Bhutan (and interesting facts about Bhutan)
August 2, 2013
Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya
Sitting under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya
August 10, 2013

My Daily Routine in Rishikesh: Writing, Internet, Yoga

Rishikesh is well suited for the long-stay traveler, the yoga or meditation student, or anyone needing rest in their life. Rishikesh proper is actually a large, bustling city. Anyone who comes for any of the aforementioned activities will find themselves based in a quieter area a few kilometers upstream along the Ganges.

 

rishikesh digital nomad

 

Juno and I have chosen to base ourselves in an area called High Bank. There’s no kidding yourself, High Bank is positively a traveler’s enclave. There are about 10 guesthouses here, clustered high on the hillside, far above the river. Many of the rooms here have extended views of the surrounding mountains.

 

Room prices are cheap. Ours is simple and goes for $5 per night, slightly more during high season. There are a few cafes situated nearby and a couple of yoga studios. One important thing about High Bank: it’s quiet. Quiet is a very rare commodity in India. So I am savoring it.

 

Writing in the Morning

I generally write when I first wake up. At this time I’m more focused because I have less distracting thoughts in my head. My day starts at about 7 or 8 am. I bring my laptop out on the balcony and write for an hour or two before getting online. By the afternoon my mind is so polluted with random thoughts, that I’m glad to have written in the morning.

 

Breakfast and a Coffee

At about 9am it’s about time to move to a café and get breakfast. No complaints with the tea and coffee situation here. I’m able to stay well-caffeinated.

 

Internet in the Afternoon

Internet is a double-edged sword. It allows me to earn a living online, but is also the cause of much distraction. Ideally, I’d like to waste as little time as possible on online, but social media channels are a good way of connecting with readers. I enjoy posting snippets of my current travels and cultural observations on Facebook and more recently on Instagram. Most of the time online, however, is spent on the necessities of creating blog posts and writing and responding to emails.

 

Yoga at 4pm

Yoga classes are generally offered in the morning around 8am and in the afternoon at 4 or 5pm. Yoga on the roof of the guesthouse would be nice in the morning, but I should be spending that time writing. So, it’s usually in the afternoon. There is a yoga hall very close by, or I can walk down 20 minutes to an ashram for a more substantial lesson. Yoga gives me a much needed mental break and a physical workout.

 

Dinner in the Evening

There are a few cafes in High Bank, the best of which is called Swiss Cottage, and that’s where we usually take our meals. They prepare good Indian food and adequate international food.

 

More Work after Dinner

On one hand, I hate being constantly connected online. It drains me and this attachment is the source of a lot of stress. On the other hand, I understand and appreciate the fact that working online has allowed me to travel to more than 35 countries in the past two years without spending any of my savings. It has allowed me to live my dream. For this I am grateful. However, becoming a digital nomad wasn’t easy in the beginning.

 

Complaints and Difficulties

The only real challenge here has been the power cuts. Our guesthouse owners say it’s not normal, but most afternoons the power has been out. This makes it difficult to work after my laptop’s battery dies. Other than that, it’s pretty comfortable here. Down in the town, closer to the river, it is dusty and noisy due to the traffic. But up here in High Bank, surrounding by forested hills, the air is cleaner and fresher.

 

Movie Time

Being a self-employed nomad over the past few years has taught me a few things. I’ve constantly had to tweak my routine and habits. One of those things is recognizing that it’s not good to work right up until bedtime. Therefore I force myself to quite working at least one hour before I want to fall asleep. Watching a movie is a good way to end the day and take my mind off work.

 

Accomplishing two of my Goals here

In 2013, one of my goals was to practice yoga more, preferably during a one or two week course. Another goal was to spend a longer time in each destination seeking out potential homes for location independent individuals.

 

View more of my posts about living as a location independent digital nomad.

 

Is anyone currently living as a digital nomad? Is anyone interested in transitioning into the location independent lifestyle? Leave a note in the comments.

 

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 15 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Google +, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

8 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    The yoga sounds amazing! Sign me up at 4pm!

  2. Noel says:

    Great post, Stephen! I’ll be sure to use it as my guide when I visit Rishikesh

  3. I’ve been loving your instagram feed so keep it up!!!

  4. Juno says:

    Rishikesh was great. It was the first (and maybe only) place I felt comfortable. Yoga was good too 🙂

  5. Maddy says:

    Hello! Great post on Rishikesh, thank you for sharing! I recognise the guesthouse in the shot above, we stayed not so far from there back in April. It’s a truly beautiful area of India! I love to read a post about India that doesn’t focus on the negative side, but then I guess I am biased as it is my favourite country to visit.

    Highly recommend white water rafting for about $6 a person, it’s great fun and totally safe. Ask at one of the many shops in town near Laxman Jhula bridge.

    Ramana’s garden in the Tapovan area (near High Bank) is an orphanage and organic cafe. It’s lush and the children are adorable.

    P.S. The power cuts are very common in that part of the world, it’s just part and parcel of living there!

  6. Ailsa says:

    Hi! I also work online, and would love to go to Rishikesh but (aside from power cuts) I was wondering how strong the internet connection is? Does it cut out a lot? Is it super slow?

  7. Hi Ailsa,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment. The internet connection in Rishikesh isn’t too bad. I wouldn’t have high expectations, but I remember it being reliable enough for basic interneting. I have been places with worse internet, but also better. I wouldn’t plan on doing anything too important there, but basic blog updates, photo uploads, and social media updates were manageable.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Stephen

  8. Boris says:

    I’m here in Rishikesh now, only a few days so far so good. The only issue is that decent internet isn’t everywhere (that I’ve been so far)
    We could really use some kind of app for nomads looking for decent wifi to do work….

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