6 things to do and to not to do if you want to be productive while staying on a tropical island

Hey people! My regular readers know me and my girlfriend try to travel a lot. We’ve spent last month on a tropical island Koh Chang in Thailand. I was still doing art there and today I want to tell you what you should do and what you should’t while living in such a relaxing place to stay productive.

Don’t live on the shore line

Siam Hut, Lonely beach, Koh Chang Thailand, 2012

The biggest mistake we did – we decided to stay in a very small “village” called Lonely Beach. We’ve been living in a small bungalow with sea in front of our windows. It was so cosy, peaceful and relaxing we could literally don’t do anything all day long. Fortunately we were sane enough to force ourselves into some actions other than swimming, laying on a beach and going to various parties. Anyway it was a daily struggle.

Don’t live in a bungalow

Andrei Verner standing inside the bungalow

Ever felt enlightened while visiting a Buddhist temple? Or maybe excited in a circus even when there was no particular reason? The same thing will happen to you if you live in a bungalow: so many people did only 2 things there – having a sleep and sex. I suggest you better rent a house or an apartment so it would be easier for you to focus on creative process.

Don’t drink alcohol

Young couple drinking beer in the sea, Lonely beach, Koh Chang Thailand, 2012

It’s so cool to have a cold beer on a hot day while sitting in the warm sea. But this usually means you are going to have another can after you finish this one. Thinking logically this leads us to going to sleep when it’s 2 or 3 pm, then you’ll wake up and probably have dinner… hold on, where were we? doing art? oh… definitely not today. Maybe tomorrow? or the day after tomorrow, ’cause today we are going to party all night!

Do sports

Kayaks and paddles on the sand, Lonely beach, Koh Chang Thailand, 2012

Swimming is absolutely free if you live on an island. Do it every day for 1-2 hours. You don’t have to do anything about cooking, cleaning the house, washing clothes, etc, so there is no such excuse as “I don’t have time for this”. The other thing you can do is jogging, but this might be too hard and boring on a hot sunny day. I liked the best kayaking. You can rent a kayak for only $10 for 4 hours. Speaking of Koh Chang you can paddle along it or reach some of the other islands that are relatively close. Don’t forget to use sunblock ’cause you are going to be open to the sun and UV reflected from water.

Wake up early

Tropical sunrise

The most quiet and peaceful time on an island is 6-10 AM. Nothing can disturb you during this time. Most of people sleep and the temperature is not that high. After doing stuff for 3-4 hours you can take a break and relax on a beach, have lunch, go somewhere and continue your business later when it is dark.

Take energy drinks

M-150 energy drink

If you are somewhere in South East Asia, you can try Thai energy drinks. Red Bull was invented there and you can find tones of other brands. Small 200ml bottle costs only $0.3 and it will keep you stimulated for several hours. Still the stimulation is not rough – just enough to be in a good shape and a productive mood.


Andrei Verner, Lonely beach, Koh Chang Thailand, 2012

I really doubt anyone should go to a tropical island to do art. It’s more challenging rather than inspiring experience.

All photos above

Except the one with sunrise and energy drink were taken by my girlfriend Marina Nozyer. Check out her Flickr for more of her art!

Marina Nozyer, Lonely beach, Koh Chang Thailand, 2012

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