Coliving is a lifestyle chosen by many digital nomads and remote workers around the world. It’s single-handedly the best living situation for anyone with a remote job - it allows you to see the world, be social, and achieve true work-life balance. Basically, coliving is a shared accomodation, often a house, with other remote workers. Key features of coliving communities include shared amenities, an emphasis on community (meaning you’ll usually be able to participate in events), and they are remote worker-centric. If you are eager to try coliving, here’s how you get started.
Figure out if coliving is right for you, logistically.
The first thing you should do is make sure coliving is realistic for your situation.
- Do you have a remote job or work for a company that would be cool with you working remotely for a little?
- Do you have any upcoming commitments that will require you to attend in-person events?
- Heck, even check in and make sure you’re not deathly afraid of airplanes!
This step takes about 5 seconds, you should for the most part either know if you can do it or not.
Figure out your budget.
Location and budget go hand in hand, so make sure that you fully understand this before committing to anything. Somewhere like France might be a lot more expensive than Mexico, but you should always do your research. Make sure that you can afford the places you’re looking to visit, but also don’t compromise if the timing isn’t right. Be patient and allow yourself time to save until you’re ready and able to go to the place you want to go.
Start exploring remote work communities.
When you’ve decided that coliving is something you’re serious trying, and you’ve figured out a ballpark budget and location to visit, you can start looking into communities. Using colivevalues.com is a great way to find location-based communities, while also giving you the option to filter communities based on your interests and preferences. Colive values also shows you reviews from past guests, so you can make sure you’re going to a reputable community.
Figure out dates.
So, let’s say that the remote work community of your dreams has presented itself before you and you’re ready to pull the trigger! It’s important that before you do, you get organized. Here are some things you should do before locking in your dates with a community:
- Circle back with your employer to make sure you have no in-person commitments or important meetings that travel may interfere with.
- Browse flight costs to make sure they also fit within the budget you created. Would it make more sense to push your trip back a few weeks?
- Research your destination to figure out what you can expect given the time of year you’ve booked. You may notice that the cost of flights are lower in the summer to places like Mexico because it’s not an ideal time to visit due to heavy rainfall. If you’re not picky about weather and truly just want a change of scenery, this may not be a critical step for you.
Finish organizing your trip details.
Once you’re locked and loaded, all that’s left to do is finalize some details and get organized. Here are a list of considerations I gathered during my time travelling as a digital nomad:
Luggage & bags.
You want to be comfortable travelling around. I recommend a large pack you can wear on your back over a wheely suitcase. Also - get packing cubes, HUGE game-changer.
Transportation to and from the airport.
Does the place you’re going have Uber or other rideshare services? Are taxi services generally pretty safe? How far is the nearest airport from your community? You may also be able to arrange a private airport shuttle with your coliving community.
Remote work must-haves.
I waltzed into the digital nomad life with just my laptop and its charger and boy oh boy was that a mistake. Thank goodness for Amazon because I wound up buying myself a keyboard, mouse, and laptop riser.
If you’re headed south and hmming and hawing over whether or not to pack that second sweatshirt, don’t. You’ll wear a sweatshirt maybe one time (emphasis on maybe) and you’ll also want to buy a lot of things wherever you are. Bring the essentials, the only thing I’d pack a lot of is underwear.
Familiarize yourself using Google Maps.
This is truthfully one of my favourite things to do in my free time. I love to find cute cafes and restaurants to check out whenever I’m about to travel somewhere, but this game is also a great way to get oriented with your new home. Make a list - grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, cafes, pharmacies, etc. around the community you’ll be staying at so you aren’t at a complete loss when you get there.
In a nutshell, diving into the coliving scene as a remote worker is like unlocking a combo of work, travel, and cool community vibes. But remember that although a huge part of the digital nomad/remote work lifestyle is flexibility and adaptability, being appropriately prepared is paramount, and could save you a ton of stress and even money down the line. But coliving is all about blending work and play, so embrace the adventure and get ready for a seriously good time.