From rolling blackouts in Kathmandu, Nepal to power outages from storms in Laos. From islands powered by generators for only a few hours a day (like Perhentian Kecil in Malaysia and Port Barton in the Philippines) to villages with no power at all… traveling exposes you to all different kinds of infrastructure and will challenge you to have a good time in all of them.
Just because you have no electricity and no wifi doesn’t mean your day is doomed. In fact, maybe you’ll end up having an even more wonderful day! Some of our favorite things to do when the power goes out include:
1). Reading A Book
Nowadays with our Kindles, iPads, and other e-readers, it’s rare that we pick up a book, feel its cover in our hands, and flip its pages. What a wonderful experience it is to read, particularly with a physical book and to be transported to another land or partake in someone else’s journey. Even better if you need a headlamp to participate in the voyage!
2). Play A Game Of Cards
Almost everyone has played a game of cards at some point in their life, but over the years as technology has taken over, this classic community-building activity has fallen away. Traveling has rekindled our love for playing cards and we guarantee it will spark yours too. If you’re traveling solo, Solitaire is a good option. For two or more, we enjoy Speed, Kings Corner, and Tangalooma. Look up a fun card game for your group – there are plenty to choose from! Looking for some awesome card games to play on the road? Check these out (they’re even divided into types of games & numbers of players)!
3). Go For A Walk & Enjoy Your Surroundings
Maybe you’re in a remote beach town or village, maybe in hill country, or maybe you’re just sitting at home. Either way, there’s something magical about wandering around when the power is out. There are no flashing signs or blaring lights, there’s less jarring noise, and if it’s night time… the stars are magnificent! Get out and see what our wonderful world has to offer you!
4). Light A Candle & Enjoy Each Other’s Company
Taking a page out of Daria & Mika’s (a couple we met while on the last days of our Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal) book, light a candle and enjoy a lovely, relaxing, and welcoming night-in talking about life, travel, and anything else that strikes your fancy. Slow down a bit, get rid of modern distractions, and simply enjoy one another’s company.
For some, their spirits can be instantly dampened when a power-outage strikes… particularly if they’re on a short holiday and it hampers their ability to explore. That said, try taking the blackout as part of the adventure, welcome it, do something fun by yourself or with others, and we guarantee you’ll have stories to tell for a lifetime.
One of our favorite blackouts was when we were in Kathmandu, Nepal just before beginning our trek through the Himalayas. Rolling blackouts are common, and as we experienced our first one we headed out to explore our surroundings. It was absolutely beautiful to see no ambient light from buildings and instead see shopkeepers faces illuminated by a single candle in their road-side stores.
What have been some of your favorite experiences during power outages? Share them with us in the comments!
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