Are you experiencing full wanderlust with a side order of burnout in the first week of the new year? Has the post-holiday gloom got you down? Are you starting a new decade in your office, wondering if you’ll make it to the next? Would you love to see a bit of the world before you’re too old to enjoy it?
Here’s the good (great) news: one of the best things about being a web professional is that we can pretty much work from anywhere — as long as there is solid Wi-Fi.
So, with this unmatched sense of utility, it begs the question: why not take advantage of that rare freedom?
A change of scenery can mean a lot, especially if you’re starting to feel worn-out in your current situation. Novelty has been highlighted as one of the key features needed to keep people motivated and engaged in their work. And, if novelty can’t easily be found in your career — it can definitely be found in your environment; that’s where travel gets its appeal.
Short-term vacations are often not enough to diminish pent up stress and tick that novelty box. It’s no secret that, upon return, the recuperative benefits of vacation quickly give way to the same level of work burnout experienced before the trip, regardless of whether you’re working for yourself or someone else. The better way to deal with this situation is to figure out how to integrate the short-term novelty and relaxation of going on vacation into an everyday practice. Meditation is the oft-cited means to achieve this end. However, if you haven’t quite yet reached the ability to meditatively separate yourself from all your worldly desires and anxieties like a zenmaster — a cowork/travel programme might be a more attainable solution.
There are a wide variety of ways to get you the environmental novelty you need (perhaps without leaving the friendly confines of your own country), and still allow you to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
From snazzy offices in Silicon Valley to cozy hideaways located mere steps away from the beaches of Phuket, the opportunities are indeed endless. Here are just a few good options available to you:
Work Abroad Programmes
Sometimes the idea of going abroad by yourself seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Navigating more complex items like long-term housing, tours to remote locations, extended visa arrangements, or cultivating a new support network, can feel quite daunting.
Over the years, numerous work abroad programmes have popped up to help you get all your arrangements in order. Similar to the structure of study abroad programmes for university students, these programmes help you minimise planning and organisational stress, and maximise your interaction with the local scene. Instead of being study-based, work abroad programmes typically consist of a mix of coworking and structured outings/itineraries to help you build a balance between work and travel.
From flights and accommodations to travel activities and professional events, Remote Year is a programme which does it all. Choose from 4, 6 or 12 month options which include extended stays in spectacular spots like Cape Town, Medellín, Split, Chiang Mai, and many other less conventional destinations.
If you’re looking for a more laid back type of programme, WiFi Tribe is exactly what it says on the tin, a tribe. Every 4 weeks, programme participants move to a new location where they will be provided with accommodations and guaranteed speedy wi-fi (with backups). Its low cost is due to the travel activities only being those that the tribe decides upon — and even those are entirely optional. There are also discounts for going to multiple “chapters” or locations. 2020 destinations include Florionapolis, Lima, Bocas Del Toro, Laz Pas, and many more.
Venture With Impact
Helping others can be a big boost to your system when you’re feeling low and burnt-out. Use your powers for good with Venture With Impact’s skills-based volunteering programme. Assist local non-profits using the expertise you’ve garnered from your career or elsewhere. They offer 30-day retreats to locations like Chiang Mai, Lisbon, Medellín, and San Miguel de Allende. Relax, enjoy the local life, and participate in some do-goodery, all without quitting your “day job”.
Be Unsettled was created to help liberate individuals from stagnation in their work/life habits. What better way to do that than by setting them up in a beautiful new environment like Playa Santana or Buenos Aires? Featuring goal sessions, workshops, and weekend adventures — all with the flexibility to do what you want, when you want to do it. Guests are also allowed for a period of up to 5 days — which is a huge perk if you have friends wanting to tag along for a bit.
Looking for a little more than just travel/work? There are programmes which offer professional development training in addition to the typical work abroad lifestyle. These mostly include the general “accommodation and planned tours” type setup, but also add in a healthy, yet relaxed dose of lectures, 1-on-1 mentoring, and hands-on experiences geared toward helping you further your career or business.
Hacker Paradise prides itself on giving you a taste of everything — but at your own pace, and in balance with your workload. HP’s workshop highlights include “How to not do crappy design” and “Marketing and advertising for dummies”. The programme also includes its fair share of travel and social opportunities as well. Locations rotate, and upcoming destinations in 2020 include Athens, Bali, and Montevideo.
Based in San Francisco, Startup Basecamp is a Silicon Valley focused coworking/coliving space that functions like a short-term startup incubator. With professional development offerings geared towards tech professionals, this could be a place to finally launch that great idea you’ve been mulling over in the back of your head.
Curious about moving to a full-time remote lifestyle? Wifly Nomad’s programme not only sets up prime accommodations in an excellent tropical location (Bali), but it also teaches you how to jumpstart and thrive as a remote worker. Through teachings and workshops on the digital nomad lifestyle, their programmes are set to help you navigate the transition to exclusively working remotely.
Cowork Paradise is an elite, 3-week entrepreneurial retreat programme set in Bali for individuals raking in $250k+ per annum. This programme is structured to get high-powered entrepreneurs out of their stagnated comfort zones, encouraging development and networking with other successful higher-ups.
For those of us who wish for more autonomy, or who have a bit more confidence in solo treking, there are coworking/coliving opportunities available in just about every type of destination imaginable. These offer a (sometimes) cheaper, less regimented alternative to the more structured work abroad programmes.
Cowork/colive spaces provide longer-term housing in an environment conducive to networking, often still being excellent resources for local travel related questions and supplying great Wi-Fi to boot. This gives you the perfect opportunity to work and socialise with other motivated and members of the remote workforce — only with a more freestyle approach to travel and daily itineraries. These types of spaces may also be better options if you happen to have a partner or significant other who is down for the adventure:
Selina is a hospitality network full of beautiful boutique accommodations that double as coworking/community centers across the world. Set up in fantastic locations in cities like Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Cartagena, Puerto Viejo, and Antigua, Selina is there to help you find a deeper connection with the world.
Boasting about its “strong and battle-tested internet connection” and sturdy Eames chairs, Roam is a collection of high-end and artistically designed cowork/colive spaces featured in top cities like Tokyo, London, and Miami. Roam’s offerings include private rooms with private bathrooms at a reasonable price, while still encouraging community and connection with its shared spaces and events.
A quaint and cozy space, Stash is located just minutes from the beach in Phuket, Thailand. With friendly staff ready to help you get into the groove of the Thai lifestyle, this accommodation also doubles as a stylish and peaceful work/coliving environment. Besides their extremely reasonable monthly stay prices of around €447 (approximately $478) for a private room and free scooter pickups, the benefits of Stash also include petting their resident cat free of charge. (Technically, it’s listed as priceless, which I assume means free.)
Sun and Co
Located in Javea, Spain, Sun and Co focuses on boosting your productivity and your connections with its high speed internet and curated shared spaces. The choice for team retreats of companies like Google and Shopify, this coliving facility offers a lovely living space in a gorgeous area. Just a walk from breathtaking Spanish beaches, Sun and Co features the peak of coastal coliving in Spain.
Playworking is a beautifully inspired coliving space in peaceful Montenegro, located quite close to restaurants, shops, and the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. With a variety of cozy and open-air shared work spaces, as well as their aesthetic, yet reasonable rooms, it could serve as the perfect backdrop to achieve both the relaxation you need to recharge — and the motivation you need to get work done.
A space to reconnect with people, land, and purpose — Hub Fuerteventura is a cozy, tropical, coliving haven in the Canary Islands. Offerings include bicycles for use during your stay, as well as weekly meetups and free surf lessons.
An oasis just off the coast of Spain, Mallorca and The Balearic Islands where BednDesk is situated, is the ideal environment for cycling, hiking, and so much more. Alternate between lounging at the beach and working in their inviting shared workspace. Enjoy the Meditteranean lifestyle from a new perspective.
With multiple locations across the USA, primarily in California, and in international cities like Bali, San Juan, Tulum, and Biarritz — Outsite offers modern, yet homey spaces that promote that beach-work, relax-play dichotomy. Their spaces are orchestrated to encourage social interaction, while also giving you the freedom and space to do your own thing.
Featured image via Unsplash.