In our daily life Smartphones, Social Media, and Internet are everywhere. Which would make you think that the perfect holiday would involve taking a break from the digital world, but a new phenomenon is changing this idea. More and more often, both professionals and digital nomads are joining a “co-working holiday”, or what is known as a “workation” (from the combination of work + vacation).
What is a Workation?
The concept is simple: single travelers can visit a new location, and at the same time work from a shared space, while meeting other people with similar needs and the same passion for travel and creativity.
This type of holiday attracts people from all works of life, who are able to work online, ie: bloggers, designers, programmers, freelancers, online entrepreneurs and translators. People who are lucky enough to have a job that does not require a physical presence in an office, are free to travel full time and work from anywhere (with the right internet connection). These people are the Digital Nomads.
Why take a Workation?
After meeting, sharing and travelling with other Digital Nomads it became clear that one of the most common needs is to be able to share the love for travelling with people seeking the same things out of life. This is what makes a difference between people going on a ‘normal’ holiday and those looking for a workation, it is the willingness to make new connections with like-minded people while travelling and possibly sharing the same living and working space.
Popular workation destinations for Digital Nomads
The most popular areas around the world for workations are obviously those which have a good infrastructure that can be combined with a low cost of living, making longer stays affordable. When looking for top locations for co-working space, we usually find places like Chiang Mai in Thailand, or Ubud in Bali, these two have become the main destinations for Digital Nomads over the years. Here you can live well on the cheap, working from shared offices and enjoying an international and interesting environment.
In Bali you can find operators like Hubud, a co-working space completely built of bamboo which annually attracts hundreds of digital nomads from all over the world, and others as Livit Spaces, which provides the participants with accommodation in a villa and a shared work space.
Europe is fast becoming the next popular destination for digital nomads looking for a new travel experience and co-working space outside of Asia. We see this especially in Spain which is starting to attract more and more digital nomads, through various initiatives that provide the necessary infrastructure for this particular type of holiday.
How would a Workation operate?
One of these operators is Wanderlust Lab, the project of Simona and Alessia, two Italian girls with a passion for the digital world and for travelling. They organize a week-long workation in Barcelona, providing the participants with accommodation in a villa and a shared workspace.
“We offer freelancers, online entrepreneurs and remote workers a space to focus on their work, to immerse themselves in an extremely productive atmosphere and meet people with similar interests. All of this in an interesting location, with plenty of entertainment opportunities, from cultural tourism to sport activities.”
“You must be willing to share experiences and skills, and be passionate about your projects and travelling.” Simona says.
“We select our participants according to their skills, but what mostly interests us is to create a collaborative environment, where everyone can discuss and learn from each other. It is not a standard holiday, but an experience that combines travel, work, sports and networking.”
Barcelona is becoming more and more an important hub for the digital nomad movement, lured by the excellent infrastructure, the great geographical position (five kilometers of beaches in the city, and the Pyrenees one hour by train), and for the international vibe.
Even the organizers of Tropical MBA chose the Catalan city for their annual convention, which will bring in town a few hundreds of digital nomads from all over the world.
Barcelona will become the next Chiang Mai? It’s quite likely, since the elements are all there: low cost of living, free wifi everywhere, and smart politics that encourage investments and entrepreneurship.
And after all, who wouldn’t like to work from one of the “Chiringuitos” on the beach?
- To find out more about Co-working and Co-living holidays in Barcelona this summer, please contact Simona at Wanderlust Lab for more information
Simona loves photography and enjoys cultural and food experiences while travelling. She’s a frequent member at the gym: somehow the expensive food taste needs to be rebalanced with healthy habits.
Feature Travel Writer
Originally from Italy expat since 8 years, she has been working in the marketing department of different multinational companies such as eBay, PayPal, Bitdefender. She’s supporting the project of Wanderlust Lab from Barcelona. Creator of iFitunes (www.ifitunes.com) app, she’s very interested in the iOS developement world as well as the marketing one and looking forward to the next Workation event to meet new Digital Nomads to share skills, experiences, etc.