What Does the Gridless Life Mean to Me?



  • Lacking a grid

  • An adventure brand for those that believe everyone deserves to live a life without boundaries.

Land’s End, Forillon National Park, Quebec

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Crystal and I’m a creator. I create stories, I create products, but most importantly, I create adventures.

I'm also a a PR consultant with clients all over the world, I’m the blogger behind East Coast Mermaid, and most recently - I incorporated my own online beach apparel shop selling gifts for beach bums, mermaids and pirates. Big reveal and name coming soon! 

When I'm not running two successful businesses, I'm a loving girlfriend, I manage my cat's Instagram account, and make as much time for friends and family that I can. 

They say Beyonce has the same 24 hours in the day that we do, but I’m calling her bluff. To balance all of the above alone, I’m relying on lattes and dry shampoo, and I’m still not getting everything done.

Life should be an adventure. Adulting should be fun. After all, we worked hard to get here, but now that we’re all able to afford to get outdoors, travel, and do some extreme sports without our parent’s permission - we’re all chained to our desks and glued to our phones.

Here’s the thing I’ve come to realize. Routine is incredibly BAD for the soul.

I love my phone. I love my companies. I love my blog. But I know the key to kicking ass in this life (and hitting those goals I set for myself) is to escape the realities we’ve created for ourselves.

Escape the grid. 

I navigate a grid in my life daily. My coordinates take me to Starbucks, back home to my office, the post office to ship orders, and during the summer, to my deck or to the cottage to sit down and write blog content, answer emails, process orders and check-in on clients. I'm lucky, because my routine allows for a lot of flexibility, but it wasn't always like that. And for many of us, escaping the grid may seem impossible. 

Living a gridless life to me is simple. It’s going off course. It’s getting off the grid. It’s going where the wifi signal is weak. It’s telling Siri to shut up when she tries to steer you to the office. 

Since launching both my companies, I’ve made it my mission to go off the grid as much as possible on the weekends. It’s not always easy, but I know the benefits of the gridless life by far outweigh the benefits of routine.

If you’re finding it harder to break out of the grid, here’s how I do it:

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

1. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Find your tribe, your squad, your bros. I don’t care what you call them, but you’ve got to find them. When you have others like yourself ready to go on adventures on the weekend or at the drop of a dime, it holds you accountable.

Many people think my boyfriend is the one that’s out hiking with me every weekend, when in reality he’s often crunching numbers at the office and my equally adventurous mother is my adventure pal. It runs in the family.


Grand Manan, New Brunswick

2. Create an adventure fund. Want to relax in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Maybe hike the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii? These adventures are a little trickier than heading to your local national park for the day, but they’re totally do-able. Just budget accordingly.

When you create a savings account, mason jar, shoebox, whatever, to save up for adventures, they’re far more likely to happen. Just start with $40 a paycheck and watch it multiply. And for those day trips? Don’t think twice about packing a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Savings on one trip mean more for another. Oh and if you go to the Blue Lagoon, resist the free Wifi. Just say no and enjoy the moment. You can Instagram later.

3. Don’t play it by ear. Do you know how many times I’ve planned road trips or day trips around the weather, freaked out when I saw rain in the forecast, calmed myself down and went anyway? And guess what - still had a stellar trip! And often ended up having totally fine weather. Saying “We’ll play it by ear” is being open to excuses.

Think of going off the grid as your very own therapy session with the universe. Would you skip your doctor ordered therapy session? I didn’t think so. 

4. Good vibes only. Stuff will come up. Trails will be closed for washouts or bears. You may get a flat tire or run out of gas. Your flight will get delayed, trust me. You will accidentally brush up again poison ivy or require a last minute tetanus shot because you scaled an old barbwire fence for the perfect photo. Believe me, this happened to me last September. #gridless

Whatever happens, focus on the good vibes and brush off the bad ones. It’s all part of the adventure and you’re learning from each and every experience. Take the lesson out of it and move on. Adventure awaits.

So, I leave you with this. What’s stopping you from escaping the grid?

Crystal Richard is the Blogger + Founder behind East Coast Mermaid, a travel + lifestyle blog dedicated to seaside tales, adventures and life on the East Coast. She’s also the maker and tail shaker behind the East Coast Mermaid Shop. You can follow her gridless life on Instagram @crystal_catherine for all things East Coast and plenty of saltwater adventures.

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Dave G