Zen On Dirt

Limited Bandwidth


Over the past few years, I’ve always said that I’ve lived the best version of myself while on the road. I attribute this to:

A) A constantly changing landscape and lack of routine keeps me mentally active, thinking, learning, and exploring during most waking hours.

B) Lots of outside time.

C) Fairly minimal time on the Internet. Any time that we spend at a local library or coffee shop is spent working, not dorking around on The Facebook or watching YouTube. Camp time is generally spent reading or talking, not looking at phones.


Sometimes camp time is spent working. The view isn’t so bad. 

When we do go inside to a place of steady residence and unlimited bandwidth, I feel like my best self flies out the window. Sure, I could say that while I have access to Internet and shelter, I’m still going to read in the evenings instead of clicking on stupid links or that I’m going to spend the majority of the day outside, but I don’t. Call it lack of self-control, will power, or taking the easy way out, but four walls and an Internet connection leads to a lot of time doing things that afterwards, I don’t find terribly fulfilling.

For this winter in Tucson, we’ve rented a small little house (I’m talking ~400 square feet) from an old landlord of Scott’s (he lived in the house next door when he was last homeless-ish several years ago) that shares a compound with some pretty cool people.

And knowing that we only wanted to be here until we bought/outfitted a trailer, we didn’t sign up for Internet. This means that any browsing or working we do from here, we do by tethering off of our phones, with limited data.

And it’s been a pretty cool experiment.

We go to Seis 10 minutes down the road for coffee and burritos and wi-fi a couple of times a week to work, but home time, our Internet hours are restricted.

When I work here, I don’t keep Facebook open in a tab in the background (A terrible habit, I know), and as a result, I finish my shit in half the time and then get to go out to play sooner.

Every time I go for my phone to open up Instagram or check email, I force myself to have the thought, ‘How critical is this button push? Do I really care?’ Turns out, most of the time, I just put the phone down.


My brother in Moab earlier this fall. Look up! He learned quickly and is moving to New Zealand for a while and planning on buying a camper van. He’s started a blog here. 

It’s brought a pretty high level of awareness to Internet usage on a day-to-day basis.

Which is good, because any exercise that brings awareness to day-to-day life is a positive thing in my book.  And I like to think that the less time I spend staring at a screen, the better.


5 thoughts on “Limited Bandwidth

  1. You’re so right! The Internet at our place sucks so bad we often use our cell phones as hot spots. So, our Internet time is limited too, and perhaps a good thing! But, I still keep that FB tab open. Just a shortcut for when I _have_ to go there 🙂

  2. A brown tan is better than a ‘blue tan’, for sure!! Well said…

  3. Fucking dead on Eszter. thank you.

  4. Wow, I really needed to read this. I’m stuck at home with my left arm in a sling after breaking my left humeral head just over a week ago in my last cyclocross race of the year. I want to spend my time wisely reading about adventure and maybe writing about them too! So glad to run across your blog. I’m having a blast reading it! Keep writing!

  5. Sorry, man, but it really looks like you have problems with self control… maybe you should stop blogging .. then you will have even more time offline. Briliant idea, ah?

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