I've been thinking lately of where I would like to live for most of my late twenties and early thirties. I'm definitely a bit of a loner, but at the same time, I like living as part of a close-knit community. I wish I could find a little "tribe" of self-directed folks roughly my age in an old, creaky house somewhere in the mountains... or on a remote island... or in a forest, or something. Just people working on their projects, tending to their garden, raising some chickens (or maybe some kids), enjoying the fresh air, and mostly living away from the rest of society. An art commune for the 21st century, I guess.
Unfortunately, if such a place exists, I doubt it has a website, and I especially doubt they'd take in strays. Guess I'd have to organize it myself. It's too bad I don't know anyone else who'd want to live like this. (And even if I did, who knows if we'd get along?)
Maybe I'll just go and become a hermit.
We've already run a co-living, co-working trip in Costa Rica and are about to begin another one in SE Asia.
Very interested in applying - are you still accepting applications? I saw the first trip starts this month.
initial capital (does one person buy and rent to rest, or is it equal ownership?)
How to settle internal disputes (which would vary based on which of the above set ups you choose)
Ensuring everyone has enough remote work to pay for any (albeit probably small) expenses.
Wanting to be remote yet requiring Internet, electricity, groceries (unless you plan on growing nearly all of your food, which brings other challenges).
Note that these challenges aren't necessarily unique and have been faced by basically every commune/intentional community, so researching some of the strategies employed by others would be key.
It's still a lovely dream, though.
I can see how having to (eventually) evict those who can't afford to stay, or who do bad things (theft, sexual harassment), would be difficult. In the co-ops, we could always defer to our central office to resolve the really difficult conflicts (which were very very rare, but still happened on occasion). Not sure how it would work in a small community, especially if the local law enforcement isn't very good (or absent altogether).
Internet is a bit easier these days since you can get a cell signal pretty much anywhere. (Though something a bit faster would be nice, of course.)
I assume that houses/resorts/communities in remote places use generators for their electricity?
Great, now I'm thinking of all the best ways to redo civilization from scratch. How just like a programmer. :)
http://nomadforum.io/ has some pretty diverse people, i'd ask people there, maybe someone knows someone who knows the perfect website-less place.
I haven't found living life as a digital nomad too challenging. The biggest hurdle is just meeting cool people you want to spend time with, but that works out as long as you go out enough, or are in a city that has an active developer community (like Tokyo, my current haunt).
But I realize people doing it for the first time might seem intimidated, so they might be willing to pay extra for that 'peace of mind.'
I think that forum is also owned by someone on your team. Not that I mind, and it looks like it has value, but might want to gives the heads up for a product plug.
I guess the selection that will occur based on the price can be either positive or negative depending on your taste.
One of the reason to join one of these communities, I would think, is to socialize and network with interesting individual... and you might want to pay extra for that. Then again, if the prize de facto excludes the people you find interesting than not so much :)
I think I'd try to do a little prize segmentation with tiered costs, that way you could perhaps get more interesting people and maximize profit. Then again maybe it will book fully using these prizes
On a side note, something I've been looking for for many years is a simple, no frills, cheap room rental service across the world's largest cities. Of course, now there's Airbnb, but I'd prefer one company that administers the living locations + design/look of the rooms, if that makes sense, rather than a network of regular people using a site to rent out their places. Basically, I want to know exactly what I'm getting (ie, same price, size, amenities, ease) no matter which city I go to. Like a hotel chain but for short, middle, and/or long term rentals.
Caravanserai looks like a promising start, though I'm also aware of the effort + price points from living abroad (I'm currently in Lisbon), and it's about 50-60% less than the lofty $1,600 mentioned (however, a co-working space here is around $220/mo, and I didn't include this factor in my estimate).
All that said, I am quite the stickler but surely most people won't mind paying the currently-set price.
EDIT: I should add that rate is the absolute lowest I was able to find and not be in East Side San Jose (for those in the neighborhood who were likely about to say, "damn, only $1300?").
* beautiful and varied scenery, from jungles to snow mountains
* really good weather
* not as polluted as the rest of China
I had a friend who lived in Kunming once, which was the best he could do and still get a job. Some foreigners open cafes in Dali/Lijiang/Zhongdian.
I should really do another weekend trip to Lijiang or Zhongdian.
Come to Fuxian Lake and I'll take you sailing. 40 min from Kunming airport.
Edit: Oops, didn't see the income limitations before I posted.
It's a bit of a minefield, and I only know the warnings that legal/HR tell managers :-)
I doubt that for $1600 a month this includes all the legal paperwork in order to work in Portugal, Mexico and Indonesia.
It's another abuse of the visa-free status many Westerners are given by countries that wish to attract tourists.
This is the second one I've seen today. First is here - http://drrn.net/why-did-i-move-to-thailand-to-bootstrap-my-s...
Edit: I'm not aware of any new Thai visas being announced. It definitely would have been mentioned on ThaiVisa.com. Please post a link.
Eg Thailands new 6 months Visa explicitly includes remote work.
As an accepting country, you're getting all of the benefits of me being there, spending money on services and goods, without having to provide me with employment or unpaid government services.
"I'm already working a remote project that took away no jobs from any of your citizens, and can do this from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Can I come into your country for a few months and spend some money there as a tourist while continuing my remote work?"
And the vast majority will throw their arms open. While not realizing their nation's laws are written such that work, any work whatsoever, is disallowed by their visas, as these laws were written back when even the notion of remote work as we know it didn't exist. And even then, there were grey, murky areas; a trader could conduct his offshore business over telex and saunter around the hotel otherwise, and not run afoul of visa rules enforcement despite not meeting compliance, because it wasn't very obvious.
Today there is much more transparency and outward manifestations of "work" like co-working spaces so many traveling coders can more easily run afoul of letter-of-the-law applications of the visa laws. If you are a traveling doctor/lawyer taking phone consultations and charging for them though, then technically you are also running afoul, even though it is extremely unlikely you would run into visa enforcement.
You are technically correct, but more progressive nations like Thailand with their visa laws that reflect an acknowledgement of the existence of nomadic workers with remote work will continue to attract that small demographic until the comparative advantage is erased by adoption of similar legislation nearly everywhere else. In the meantime, it is such a small demographic, and generally relatively frugal, it is arguable that positions like yours are really worth the effort to act out into actual enforcement, or to get worked up over.
That demographic's largest economic impact is likely the advertising and marketing benefits their glowing blog posts deliver to their host nations, and in aggregate they are not really adding all that much to the overall tourist industry nor taking jobs away from the local populace. And unless a significant fraction of the global population makes the highly unlikely shift to nomadic working, that demographic's immediate cash-value economic impact won't change all that much for the foreseeable future.
Where does the line get drawn? If a CEO goes on holiday and is on a tourist visa but has a few phone calls back to his company, is that breaking the law? Should he be kicked out of the country?
If a programmer goes to San Francisco to visit but happens to go to a few meetups, is that now "work"?
We'll split hairs then. My work takes place where I'm paid, and I'm paid as a resident of Florida, no matter where in the world I travel.
Take Thailand as an example. The "Alien Working Act" defines work as "Work is defined broadly to include any work involving physical strength or knowledge whether or not done for money or other remuneration."
That being said these individuals were deported:
The situation is different no doubt but there are similarities.
I was confused by your seemingly conflicting comments (the other was about the six month visa allowing remote work), so I Googled it:
Foreigners working for a Thai firm must hold a valid non-immigrant (Type B) visa, but so-called ‘digital nomads’ – who are often self-employed – can sidestep that requirement.
So, the 'raid' was because officials thought the foreigners were working for the co-working space.
Edit: to clarify/simplify
Just was stuck for a few days in the Alps with the overhead bin luggage for Bali on the way back to SF, so i feel your pain.
How would you prefer to have it handled?
Clothes are probably a good place to start. Having a simple cupboard draw that is automatically sent would be good (cost permitting).
- Most people shouldn't have a problem with you searching through this sort of thing for illicit goods
- I think it is mainly clothes that take up the bulk of space in peoples suitcases
- Clothes can be compressed for space/cost efficiency
Edit: added an extra thing!
Something as automatic as possible would be dang neat.
If (as is likely) something 'magic' isn't feasible, the second best way would probably be to adopt the method used by some managed partial-ownership properties - everything goes into a luggage trunk that smoothly vanishes into storage upon leaving and is there and available on arriving, possibly along with some basic packing/unpacking of clothes and so on.
A mostly-painless way of dealing with insurance and the related listing of contents would best a must, as would some kind of interfacing with customs.
Turkey is an amazing place to work and live, there's an incredibly vibrant hacker community, and the people are some of the most welcoming in the world (especially if you're a visitor). Istanbul rents on the European side can run pretty high, but on the Asian side (and with the way the exchange rate is going these days), I think you'd be remiss to leave it out.
If not Istanbul, Ankara has a bunch of universities and rents are considerably cheaper. Bodrum, too, has relatively low rents and absolutely amazing natural beauty. Ok, enough ranting...
Seriously cool concept, though. I look forward to seeing where you take it!
We looked at Istanbul, but it was prohibitively expensive, at least for our Beta batch where we reserve certain safety buffer for things that could go wrong and in the neighborhoods we looked at.
Coastal towns like Bodrum could be a nice choice, any areas in Istanbul we should reconsider?
I really love the concept but as presented it isn't appealing. The idea of not having to deal with all the hassle of finding and organising accommodation is great.. but they only have (and not even that yet) 3 locations. "hey you can travel the world (3 locations)" doesn't have so much appeal. Obviously they plan on expanding but the price is for now, not the future.
I suspect that if someone decides to stay for more than a couple of months they will often splinter off into cheaper accommodation. Having the fixed fee also makes it difficult to set up in the most sensible (cheapest) areas.. because the attraction of going it alone in those areas will be higher the better value the area is.
It strikes me they would have been better off setting up a handful of these locations first as individual nomad/co-habitation accommodation, ironing out all the issues, and then introducing the go-anywhere subscription idea. They've left themselves an awful lot to deal with in one go.
It's a completely different target group, what you describe is being done nicely by people like nomadhouse.io and a lot of single location providers.
The assumption is that there's a reason why WeWork wasn't the first Coworking space, but won the market with a great product.
Happy to make answer more specific questions about the differences.
And we hope there are many more in cities like NY, SF or London.
BUT WHY OH WHY THE SCROLL HIJACKING?
I hate this trend towards elimination of affordances.
Hijacking is specifically altering the speed and or movement of the scroll.
What should they do to make me really happy? Be able to invest some sum of money (or an existing property?) and enjoy a lifetime of co-living (they need much more destinations, of course). This can be a nice mode of rapid growth, property in exchange to co-living promise.
The inclusion of a moped or shared vehicle in each location would seal the deal for me.
One of the perks of cheap locations is that hiring a cab is cheap. Also you can ride a bike. Also driving is the least relaxing way to experience any of these places.
Standardized rooms all over the world, run as a network of independent providers adhering to the international code of practice, advertised and paid for on AirBNB (because we already have hassle free hotel check in experience, why build another one).
... and stuffed with IKEA furniture we all know and love :)
I can't speak for NY, but in London, you could get a nice room in a shared flat for 890 GBP (=1356 USD) on the edge of first zone, so the commute (monthly Underground ticket for zones 1&2) would be a much more reasonable 130 GBP (=200 USD), far from 698 USD as listed on the site.
3g Internet in Portugal is a little bit expensive. Not too bad -- about 2 euro a Gig. 500 euros a month will get you a nice place. Not sure about how long a lease you'd need to sign.
Mexico City. Why on earth would you want to go to Mexico City?
Because the most beautiful and exciting city on Earth is full of artists, programmers, scholars, great street food, great fancy restaurants, museums, history, good looking and outgoing young locals, sports clubs, perfect weather, rugged mountain wilderness, organic ripe produce year round, religious pilgrimage sites, great universities, live music and theatre, pretty architecture, peaceful parks, lively squares and plazas, fast easy transit and bikeshare programs, and a constant parade of special events.
Plus, if you're earning in euros or dollars, it's cheap.
Why wouldn't you want to go to Mexico City? It's said to feel very European, and there's a lot of interesting history and architecture. I'd go there just as soon as I'd go to Bangkok.
As an aside I can't understand why, as a first step, co-working spaces in different locations haven't partnered up to offer this to people looking to move around and sort out their own accommodation. Having the availability of, say, Regus offices, with the entrepreneurship and tech focus found in current co-working spaces would be a huge plus.
Co-working is extremely interesting for us, as there are many lessons why some worked and scaled, and why most of it didn't. A lot to learn.
- Are there more locations that are considered?
- Is this meant to grow with demand, or be limited to a few first-come/first-served offering?
- It's not clear to me (maybe I misread) what happens when I move to another country. Am I holding a lock on the rooms everywhere, or am I allocated a room on request?
I work remote, and currently in school but once done, I totally want to start moving around the world for periods of times. Q1 2016 is about when that should start happening.
The rooms are allocated on request, month-wise, we hopefully figure out a good & fair system for everyone and you're more than welcome to switch informally with others.
$1,600 is more than a little pricey....
I hope so. Polanco is too snooty. The Historic Center has gotten viable for living with residential redevelopment and revolutionary traffic calming but still has a touristy vibe. I like family-oriented Del Valle but it's probably better for a 40 year old than a 20 year old.
Coyoacán's ayuntamiento discourages short term residents and has driven almost all hotels out of the area, but would make a good location close to the National University and lively streets and parks.
I think Startup Weekend was in the Condesa.
- Further north (albeit slightly) than Mexico City, and thus even closer to New York and San Francisco (if those proximities are in indeed your criteria)
- Major (relative to Mexico, at least) tech hub, making the perfect setting for programmers, remote sysadmins, and other folks who would appreciate living in a place populated by like-minded folks
- Birthplace of mariachi music (!)
I also found Coconat  on HN, and got in touch with them over email. Hopefully my wife and I will be visiting them when they open in July.
Not sure where Artur is heading with nomadhouse.io , but that might be an option.
Why did you choose Ubud instead of other places in Bali?
I do get the slightly bad esoteric rep Ubud has, but it also got a very vibrant "getiing shit done" community.
Are your doubt more about location or other issues?
On the global map, Mexico City is linked to SF, NY, and Bogotá, while the text description says: "SF, NY or Caribbean for a day".
Any ideas how that will play out?
But again: It's manageable, literally millions of people do it.
Now, joking aside, that is awesome!
I guess I'm just spoiled by the relative safety of the US.