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This is a really interesting idea, though maybe a bit too expensive and, ah, "hip" for my tastes. (Currently hopping from Airbnb to Airbnb flatshare, paying $1000 or less a month for housing with internet and utilities included. Would be even cheaper if I wasn't in Western Europe.)

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.

Hey archagon - you should check out our group: hackerparadise.org

We've already run a co-living, co-working trip in Costa Rica and are about to begin another one in SE Asia.

This seems interesting! Especially as I'm planning to be in Thailand at the same time as you guys. Hmmm!

Hey Caser,

Very interested in applying - are you still accepting applications? I saw the first trip starts this month.

Hey Jay - yes we're still accepting applications. You can join us part-way through.

Have you ever had anyone with a physical disability apply?

We haven't yet, but if you shoot us an email we're happy to talk more about your situation.

This is cool. Any write ups from the last retreat?

I've wanted this for a while.

Some challenges: 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. Legal challenges. 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.

Yeah. In terms of the politics, I lived in a student cooperative in college, which I think was a pretty good model. Money went into a central pool to pay for various things, and all decisions (including membership) were made democratically, in house meetings. Everybody was responsible for part of the chores (determined at the beginning of the year) and people could also run to be elected for managerial positions (workshift, social, kitchen, etc.) Of course, as with any organization, there were occasional conflicts, poor meeting attendance, etc. But our house didn't fall apart and it was a life-changing experience for many of us.

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. :)

Hey, thanks for the well thought out comment, the price point is for a certain group who wants total peace of mind not only in terms of internet speed etc.

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 think this might appeal to first time nomads.

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.

Hi, sorry for the non-disclosure: Pieter is part of the external advisory team, so mentioning him feels like mentioning other nomad* startups and it's definitely a good go to source.

Personally still not finding the price justifiable. I'm in the same boat as archagon. To make this worthwhile, at least to a wider audience - you may have luck at your current point, I'd suggest amentities such as: Laundry, buffet or chef (Either on a cheap meal plan, pay as you go, or included), transportation services to local hubs, and group activities as a few ideas.

Thanks for the link! I'll definitely look into that. $1600 is actually pretty good for the "whole package", especially if it's in a cheaper country. I'd definitely consider it as a place to rest my weary feet for a few months (or... a year, or whatever the minimum lease is), especially if the house is really nice and has a good gender balance.

Great concept!

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

This is something I may create w/in the next decade. If I ever get enough $$ (don't need much, actually) to build several/a dozen tiny houses in a village somewhere, I'd do it in order to create what you describe.

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.

As one who lives in Silicon Valley, almost everything seems reasonably affordable by comparison (currently paying $1300 for tiny one bedroom apartment built in the 70s).

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?").

1300 for your own place?!?!? ;-)

I am reasonably certain now I do not want to live in Silicon Valley.

lol you're paying at least 50% below market for a 1 br.

20s/30s: I'm 32. Of the last 15 years I've spent ~12 in Asia, one in London, one in LA, one Australia/NZ. I can highly recommend traveling around Asia on the slow, looking around for somewhere that suits you, and settling awhile. My choice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yunnan

Why Yunnan?

* Ethnically diverse

* 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.

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.

Kunming used to be much nicer, but is getting a lot of pollution these days. Dianxi lake used to be so nice...and now its just algae.

Agree. That's why I don't live there, just visit.

It is a shame really. Kunming could have been the SF of China.

I am actually writing a book to answer this question. It has become a life's work scale project in LyX. ;)

Bard House in Iowa City might be to your taste.

Love all the suggestions, please keep them coming!

I saw a documentary and just this sort of place in the scandinavian countries. I can't find the specific links, but some quick googling turned up the term co-housing and this interesting overview:


You could try the housing co-op options here in Boulder. I have had friends who enjoyed these, but never tried them myself:


Edit: Oops, didn't see the income limitations before I posted.

I think you're looking for Ruigoord, NL [0]

[0] http://ruigoord.nl/

Well, you're not alone, I dream about this all the time. I want to be surrounded by forest but not a total hermit.

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