The way we live and work around the world is rapidly changing. With the rise of digital nomads, the lines between work and personal life continue to become blurred.
The resulting trend of co-living spaces is increasing around the entire world. These spaces continue to promote digital nomad careers and being location independent with remote working.
Many people are actually still unsure about exactly what a Digital Nomad is and what they do. Digital nomads are essentially remote workers that spend a lot of time traveling to different cities or even countries. There are two parts to the term which reflect the main pillars of being a digital nomad.
The first pillar is digital. As technology increases, the more feasible being a digital nomad becomes. All of your work will require a computer, tablet, phone, or other mobile device that gives you access to the internet. Wi-Fi connections are getting stronger and more abundant so there’s a good chance that almost anywhere you decide to work remotely, you’ll have access to your source of income.
The second pillar is being nomadic. Nomadic can be defined a number of ways depending on the person but in general, it’s when you don’t have a set home base while traveling and find yourself constantly moving to the next destination. You may find yourself in a place for a few days or a few months but there is always a sense of movement as a digital nomad.
With the flexibility to live and work anywhere in the world, the biggest question digital nomads often ask themselves is, “Where to next?”
If you haven’t had the experience of a nomad co-living space, then it’s definitely something to move to the top of your list. Co-living is dedicated space for digital nomads from around the world to live and work simultaneously. These places combine the features of an accommodations with office space, and often the best of both worlds when added together. Co-living spaces provide the convenience of being able to work in a new destination while supporting longer term stays, sometimes hosting nomads for a number of months.
Pros and Cons of Co-Living Spaces
Co-living spaces can be found all around the world and this trend is only increasing.
These places are often started by other digital nomads themselves so they have a good idea of the needs of someone who is traveling while working and are set up to benefit anyone who is location independent. This means that you’ll be able to stay for just a couple weeks or a couple months depending on your travel schedule.
Just as with anything, there are pros and cons to the concept of co-living. While this can differ for each person, these are a few of the commonalities to be mindful of before you reserve your spot in one of the co-living venues.
A major pro to taking advantage of a co-living space is the convenience. The main purpose of co-living spaces is to provide digital nomads a place where they can work while traveling in a new destination all while having a place to stay nearby, usually just feet away from the temporary office. The combination of these two important aspects of a digital nomad’s life saves a lot of time traveling between your work and living accommodation, and even time searching for two different locations.
Related to convenience is cost. Room accommodations usually aren’t familiar with your purpose to traveling to a new destination. Their main purpose is to provide a living space. The same is true for remote offices, such as co-working spaces. These are for general use and are priced accordingly. Only a co-living house will recognize that you are there for work and pleasure combined. Packaging these ideas together can be a cost-saving option as opposed to having two separate locations.
Community is a big advantage to staying in co-living houses. Most digital nomads are familiar with traveling alone or with a partner as they explore the world around them. Staying in hostels, for example, is a great way to meet other travelers to accompany on your journey, but co-living spaces are specifically designed to attract other nomads.
Most other travelers visit a country to take part in tourist activities while there for a short time. A digital nomad could be in a destination for a month or longer. Having a community of other nomads around means that there are like-minded people to share ideas, learn new skills, or just to go explore the city with, after a day’s work of course.
Privacy is a major concern for co-living spaces.
This, of course, may not be an issue for those who are major extroverts. Co-living houses puts you in a place surrounded by other digital nomads who are there to accomplish the same goal as you, to live and work. It may be hard to focus sometimes with other people around. Also, it’s natural for people to strike up conversations with you since it’s a great opportunity to meet people from around the world who may be doing similar work.
Some people may be more private and simply want to get their work done without always having to join in on the community aspect of the space.
Practicality could also be a factor that is considered a con to co-living spaces. One reason for leaving an office-type setting for a nomadic lifestyle is to avoid having to go to the same office and interacting with the same group of people every day. If you are in a co-living space, most of the time spent there will be surrounded with these same personalities. Although everyone may be doing different work, the fact of seeing the same people during the work day and your relaxation time may be a bit overwhelming for some.
Finding a Co-Living Space
As mentioned, digital nomads have an entire world to choose from to make their temporary office. There are a few factors that go into deciding what co-living space that can significantly alter your experience with them. If you have time enough, try a variety of venues to find what better suits your lifestyle. For those who want to narrow it down a bit, here are a few factors to consider:
Location. Since digital nomads can work anywhere, location is very broad. Wherever you’re able to get work done and still have a great life balance is where you should consider finding a co-living space. Some digital nomads may find themselves being more productive in a major, developed city. Others may enjoy working from the beach on a remote island. Whatever your preference, there are co-living spaces to be discovered in all corners of the world. And as the trend continues, you’ll have even more options of where you can work.
Perhaps the next factor to consider while deciding on a location is the cost of living of a particular destination. This largely depends on your income, savings, and overall budget as a digital nomad. Developed societies have a much higher cost of living, not only just for the co-living spaces but around the city or country as a whole. If you want to have the best experience and to be more flexible with your travels, this is a major deciding factor.
Co-living houses have different sizes in terms of how many people are allowed to live and work in them at one time. Some people may have preference for a smaller, more intimate co-living area. Other’s may enjoy being surrounding by much more people. It’s important to think about how many people could potentially be around you as you try to accomplish your daily tasks.
Different co-living places will have various allowable time-lengths for stays. Whether you decide on a bigger space or a smaller space, you’ll always be seeing new faces cycle through. The longer you decide to stay, the more potential people you could meet, even if it’s not that big of a place to have many people at once. You should have an idea of how long you’re planning to be in a destination before reserving a place in a co-living space to avoid having to leave and relocate.
Resources for Co-Living
You’re not alone when figuring out if co-living will be the most effective for you along your digital nomad journey. The very nature of co-living is community-oriented and while the digital nomad community isn’t strictly reserved for the actual co-living spaces, there are plenty of resources online that can help you with making a decision on where to go, best practices, and if co-living is even right for you.
Digital Nomad forums can be found all around the internet. These provide lots of valuable information for learning about the overall digital nomad lifestyle. It’s always good to participate in forums because you usually get unfiltered advice and recommendations from people currently living out the nomadic lifestyle. Not only can you flip through these forums for information but the forum structure allows you to interact and personal message through most platforms. You can even find people to travel with in the future. Co-living is a buzz term on several forums that can be searched. It will help you to gain insight about the overall concept of co-living.
Being a digital nomad isn’t all just about working. There are many ways that you can have fun. Surrounding yourself with other nomads helps you grow in the career. Whether it’s for tips, business partners, or just company to hang with after a long day of work. There are special experiences that have been created for digital nomads typically by digital nomads throughout the years. These are called digital nomad retreats.
When you want to be fully immersed with nomads from around the world, these are great experiences to look into. Digital nomad retreats can be both short term or long term. Short term retreats can last just a couple weeks and host you together with other nomads to work on a similar project or just to bring together a traveling community in one or more locations. For an even bigger experience, other digital nomad retreats last upward of one year where you will have the opportunity to travel with your same group of nomads to various locations. These unique co-living experiences are definitely life changing and a great way to see the world while working remotely.
Best Co-Living Spaces
Now that you have a pretty good idea of exactly what co-living is for digital nomads, it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular digital nomad co-living spaces around the world. These are a combination of various co-living experiences, whether a permanent co-living venue or a seasonal/temporary co-living activity.
Throughout the Americas you can find great opportunities for co-living. There is usually a huge blend of people that you’ll see traveling this region and taking part in the co-living experience. It’s a great way to network with new friends and associates while growing your digital nomad career.
Nomad House NYC is an example of a destination-based co-living experience. This Nomad House hosts various co-living retreats throughout the year, taking place all around the world. Digital nomads can apply for the program and if accepted, you’ll have a chance to join a group of other nomads to live and work together.
Co-living in Costa Rica has also been a major attraction for digital nomads. A popular place to stay in this country is Outsite Costa Rica. Outsite is a company which has various co-living spaces around the world, including Costa Rica. They offer unique memberships to receive discounts and special offerings at any of their properties. Also nearby Outsite Costa Rica is Nomad Life in San Juan del Sur. This is a co-living space dedicated to serving digital nomads from around the world. They offer plans to stay for just a couple weeks or for a couple months. It’s a great option since they provide many amenities that you’ll need for a comfortable stay and to be productive.
Europe is another major destination for digital nomads. What makes Europe so attractive is the close proximity to many countries and the ease of travel. If you are constantly on the move, going from country to country in Europe can be a quick bus trip away and you’re in another major city with an entirely new culture and their own tourist attractions. Coliving in Europe will give you a great opportunity to explore many of these countries in your free time.
One country with lots of options for co-living is Italy. It’s been the site of many co-living retreats and has various apartment-style buildings dedicated to co-living for digital nomads. Spain also has some unique places for co-living. Co-living in Spain could take you to some of the islands right off the coast of the country. These will let you experience beautiful nature while being surrounded by digital nomads from all over. For example, Sun and Co. is a premier place for co-living and was the first of its kind along the Mediterranean coast. Lisbon is a mention-able popular digital nomad hub because of the low cost of living. There are lots of places for co-living in Lisbon. In fact, Nomad House Lisbon was held just as it was in New York City.
Southeast Asia is one of the major digital nomad hubs around the entire world. The low cost of living, yet modern lifestyle is why many people find them selves flocking to this region. Two of the top countries here are Thailand and Indonesia.
Just off the coast of Thailand you’ll find the beautiful island of Koh Phangan. This island is perhaps most known for it’s world renowned Full Moon Party but it’s quickly becoming a destination for co-living. Nomad House Koh Phangan was one of the top events to help kick-off the attraction to the island for living and working. Nomad House Bali was also held in Bali, Indonesia.
As you can see, companies like Nomad House have a global appeal and set up locations or retreats for digital nomads to connect with each other. Becoming a part of communities like it will give you access to all of their international resources.
In all, do your research before diving into a co-living space, just as with anything. These spaces and events can be great for beginners looking to kick-start their digital nomad careers or seasoned travelers looking to connect with more like-minded individuals along their travels. Anyone can surely benefit from a co-living experience and it will be different every time. No matter what part of the world you are traveling to, there is sure to be co-living space available and ready for you.