Remote work is old news, but the ways to do it are expanding. While remote workers – also called digital nomads – usually arrange a trip to a destination with wi-fi individually, a number of other opportunities are opening up.
Instead of finding a lonely, lovely hammock to spend your next workation in, you can spend it surrounded with other people travelling the world with their laptops in tow. Digital nomads are arranging networking trips, work cruises, co-living work spaces and even combined kitesurfing + co-working retreats.
Here’s our guide to five of the most interesting ways to spend your next workation.
Digital Nomad Cruise
On 15 May 2017 a cruise ship carrying 150 digital nomads will depart Cartagena, the colonial city on Colombia’s coast. 15 days later it will arrive in Lisbon, after having crossed the Atlantic and made stops in the Caribbean and Madeira.
During the crossing there’ll be talks, master classes, workshops and meet ups, and plenty of time for working. The 150 remote workers will probably also find time to network (and get drunk).
One thing sets the cruise apart from other workations: There’s (almost) no wi-fi. You can purchase it for rates reminiscent of those at internet cafés in the 90s, but the connection is slow and the organizers encourage the digital nomads to go on a wifi detox while aboard. So if you’re looking for a trip where you can get offline work done and procrastinate by staring out at the Atlantic Ocean instead of on Facebook’s newsfeed, this might just be it.
Co-living, co-working, co-surfing
Co-working spaces have been around for a while, but co-living spaces are quite new. They’re the next step for people who like to spend their days and nights surrounded by other digital nomads; they combine a co-working space with sleeping accommodation, often hostel style, for remote workers.
SunDesk is one such place, located in the sleepy, sunny surfer town Taghazout on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Here you can spend your mornings surfing or doing yoga, your days at work and your nights surrounded with other likeminded people.
They charge 22€ for a shared or single room, including access to the co-working space, but if you’re looking to linger, they’ve got long-term deals for you.
Work and travel with other entrepreneurs
Refuga calls itself the world’s first travel agency focused exclusively on entrepreneurs, but judging by the rate the company has been growing at, it probably won’t be the last.
The agency, which was started by a digital nomad who still roams the world, organizes work trips and vacations for entrepreneurs. Some of them – such as the trip that focuses on climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro – bring together ambitious entrepreneurs for 10 days, and though networking and business talk is encouraged – and probably unavoidable – it isn’t part of the official program. Others – such as the women’s workation in Morocco – is mostly about work, though networking is bound to happen during the seven days the female remote workers will travel and work alongside one another.
Refuga also organizes bike trips across India, travels through North Korea and trips focused on investors, so check out their travel schedule and find one that suits you.
Kitesurfing and co-working camps on the beach
The people behind the digital nomad conference DNX have begun organizing co-working camps too. The camps are set in various places in the world – past camps have taken place in Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Thailand and Indonesia – that offer a combination of adventure and fast wi-fi.
When booking a spot at the camp you get ten days of co-working and co-living with 50 other digital nomads and access to talks, workshops, networking meet-ups and daily yoga sessions.
You can spend your days working or exploring the activities – often water sports, perhaps because the German DNX founders are avid kite surfers – with your fellow nomads. They also offer German-language editions of their camps.
If you can’t find a trip that works for you, the easiest might be to arrange a trip yourself.
Online resources such as Nomad List lets you choose your parameters – whether you care most about the speed of the wi-fi or the hours of internet, the cost or the level of safety – and proposes destinations that’ll suit your needs.
In many places, from Ubud to London, you can find co-living houses where you can connect with other remote workers, and these days you’ll find co-working spaces in most major cities worldwide. So grab your laptop and your passport and, as a remote worker, enjoy that you can combine work and vacation.