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The Modern-Day Thoreau – How to Work from Your Secluded Home

Maybe you’re the creative type and are looking for some inspiration outside the box. Maybe you’re in the corporate rat race and need some time to recharge. Or maybe you’re retiring and want to get away from all the hustle and bustle. Regardless of the reason, sometimes you just need time for yourself. For most, that means a vacation. But for the adventurous, there are other options.

Henry David Thoreau notoriously secluded himself in the woods for a couple of years in order to concentrate on his writing and truly experience living. While that was quite the drastic step, even for the time, it ultimately gave him what he needed to be a better person and a better writer.

Though jobs have become much more dependent on technology today, with all the innovation out there, there’s little reason why you too can’t maintain a lifestyle, and a job, in seclusion. The best part is, you don’t have to be completely disconnected from society.

Is it a drastic change? For some, yes. But for those willing to take the plunge, here are some things you’ll need to get you started with the modern-day Thoreau approach:

Satellite Internet

If you’re working in seclusion, chances are you still need to stay connected online for emails, remote network access, researching on the web… you name it. But if you’re remote enough, you may not have traditional cable or DSL Internet access, as those are often restricted to major metropolitan areas.

However, you can still get Internet from a satellite Internet provider, such as HughesNet. All you need is a clear view of the southern sky. If the military and disaster relief organizations can use satellite Internet in their remote locations, then you probably can, too.

TV & Antenna

Most TV shows today are for entertainment. But believe it or not, there’s still some useful information transmitted over the airwaves—particularly useful if you’re out on your own.

For instance, you may want to know what’s going on in the nearby town or you may want to catch the local weather forecast. And yes, you may want to take a break from your concentration to watch a game everyone once in a while.

TV signals have gotten stronger over the years, and most today actually transmit in high-definition so you don’t have to sacrifice picture quality. All you need is a TV, an inexpensive TV antenna, and a signal booster, and if your TV is older, you may need a digital converter as well. More expensive antennas can pick up signals more than 50 miles away. Regardless, you’ll have to find the right placement for optimal signal, particularly if you’re way out in the boonies.

Windmill/Solar Panels & Rechargeable Batteries

Live and work far enough away and you may not have normal electricity access either. If this is the case, you can run small home appliances and lights with green power generators, such as windmills and solar panels.

They don’t come cheap and definitely require so know-how to set up properly, but they can still provide plenty of power for your location. Attach them to some rechargeable home batteries, and you can even run your appliances for a limited time when you don’t have sun or wind to count on.


It’s also a good idea to have a surefire contingency plan should you not get the juice you need from your eco-power generators or battery supply—especially in emergencies. That’s where your standard portable gas generator comes in handy. Keep the generator outside far enough away from your house and you don’t have to worry about the noise interrupting your Monday morning conference call.

Satellite Phone

Live too far out there and you probably won’t get a reliable cellular phone signal either. That’s OK, because you have options to stay connected via phone.

Some satellite Internet providers offer Voice Over IP (VoIP) in addition to their Internet service. VoIP uses the Internet line as a dual phone line. And you can still use them both at the same time.

There are also plenty of standalone, portable satellite phones. But these often have much more expensive per-minute rates, and probably would cost an arm and a leg if you had to use them for regular work calls.

The Thoreau approach certainly isn’t for everyone. But if you want an adventurous way to work remotely, it’s more possible now than ever before with these innovations.