When I first ventured out to live the travel life, I went on a coworking and coliving retreat called Unsettled. I spent a month in Morocco and lived with 20 interesting people from all over the world. We formed a community and spent a month in Marrakech, Morocco, learning from each other and exploring together. This series on coworking retreats covers my experience, as well gives you an idea of whether coworking retreats are for you.
The Rise of Remote Working
As many companies shift to accommodate and needs and wants of today’s Millennials and Gen Zs, one of the top recurring requests they get asked for by their staff is the ability to be able to work remotely. When it comes to the traditional bourgeois lifestyle – going to school, graduating getting a 9-5 job, getting married, having kids, settling down, repeat – an increasing number of workers from today’s generation just aren’t having it.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you can relate to this. You might be asking yourself how you can get more freedom and whether life is all about just paying the bills. Or, you may already be working for yourself and trying to change up your routine a bit.
With the remote or nomad lifestyle on the rise, many outlets to make this kind of life a bit easier are becoming available to those who choose to follow through. Coworking retreats are becoming more and more popular with nomads and independent workers.
Wait…What on Earth are Coworking Retreats?
Being a digital nomad or a freelancer means you can work from anywhere you want. Because you don’t have to go to an office, you can cowork with other independent workers in coworking spaces, cafes, libraries or any place where you have access to strong Wi-Fi or anything you need.
Coworking itself has a number of benefits. Personally, I enjoy meeting up with other independent workers once in awhile, even if they don’t work in the same field. I share what I’m working on and have them share what they are working on. Then, we see if we can help each other with a certain skill. Working on your own means that you have to wear many hats and be your own IT department/marketing consultant/social media person and more.
The Work-Travel Balance
Because you’re location independent, you may choose to travel while working. You have the freedom to work from anywhere, so why limit yourself to just one place? But of course, traveling while working isn’t always easy. It often takes a lot of work to prepare for your travels – if you’re a digital nomad, you want to stay somewhere where there’s good Wi-fi access. You also want to stay in an area that is safe, and maybe an area that’s near a coworking space or cafes with Wi-Fi.
That being said, a coworking retreat allows you to have that experience without the hassle of doing too much research and planning. One of the downsides of nomading and working independently is that it can sometimes get lonely. Coworking retreats allow you to travel and have a supportive community while abroad. Often, accommodation and membership or passes to a coworking space are included and social activities are planned for you. All you have to do is plan to get there.
How Do I Find the Right Coworking Retreat?
Below is a list of coworking retreats you can join. They all offer different types of experiences, at different locations, lengths and rates. Read about a few of them and check out their websites and social media accounts to get an idea of what it’s like to join their retreat.
2. Think about how long you want to be on a retreat
Coworking retreats can last a week to a year. Knowing how much time you can or want to spend working abroad helps eliminate some options from the list.
3. Check your budget
On average, coworking retreats will cost at least $1000 USD, plus your flight, meals and leisure. Plan ahead and see how much you are willing to spend.
4. Think about your purpose
- Would you prefer to join a retreat that organizes a lot of activities outside of work?
- Would you prefer to have more time working alone?
- Do you need accommodation, or would you prefer to find your own?
- How often would you use a coworking space?
- If you would work from home, does the coliving space offer everything you need?
Some Coworking Retreats You Can Check Out
Here are some of the many coworking retreats I researched before choosing one. There are many more out there, and they each offer different types of experiences.
Unsettled: Offers one-week, two-week or one-month coworking retreats. Some of their most popular locations include Bali, Medellin and Barcelona. Includes accommodation, coworking space membership, organized activities and tours and workshops led by their leaders and participants. What makes it unique it has the experience is co-designed by all participants and their experiences focus on purpose – this is mostly why I chose this one. After, you become part of their worldwide community. Look out for some of my future blog posts for more.
Remote Year: Offers 12-month experiences in which you travel and live in a different city every month. There is also a 4-month program. Flights, accommodation, workspace and community activities and support are included.
WiFi Tribe: The WiFi tribe community moves to a different location every month and you can choose to join them for a whole year, or month-by-month, together, or spread across the year. You can choose your type of accommodation, private or shared, and community activities are offered.
CoBoat: A unique concept – spend a week working and living on a boat with Wi-Fi! CoBoat offers coworking/sailing experiences in the Caribbean, the Mediterranian, and South East Asia. Accommodation, food and (non-alcoholic) drinks are included. Each sailing experience is one-week long, and you can choose to do more than one.
Cocohub: Describes themselves as “the first decentralized coworking/coliving community for digital nomads.” They seem to only be established in Malta for now, but it looks like they plan on opening dozens of other locations worldwide. Once you join their community (for free!), you get access to their app, through which you can find Cocohub community events and activities near you. As they say, it’s a bit like Tinder for community events. You book your own accommodation, but they tell you which neighborhood the community will be coliving in. Then, just use their app to find events and meetups.
Have you been on any coworking retreats? I’d love to hear about your experience and possibly feature you. Send me a message!
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