You can always learn new things, whenever and wherever you go, but in my own experience, joining a digital nomad and/or a location-independent community is a virtual generator of new ideas and lessons. The Codino workation was no different, from this point of view. For seven days, we shared a house, food, knowledge and skills, but also had a lot of fun together.
Before I tell you about my Codino workation experience, I’d like to talk about the power of connecting with like-minded people and being part of a community. Last fall, I joined the Nomad Cruise I, where we traveled from Europe to South America. I came back to Europe, but some of the people I met there remained in South or Central America and returned later on to Lisbon, with the Nomad Cruise II. I had so much fun with these digital nomads, that I simply had to see them again. So, when Codino announced a net-workation at the time of their arrival, my path was clear: I had to go along. And that is exactly what I did.
Knowing full-well how this type of interaction can help me, both professionally and personally, I wanted to make note of the new things I will accomplish and learn. And here is my list:
Share knowledge, food, a room, your failures and great moments alike! Sometimes we forget to share things with each other. We get lost in our own world and only what matters to us is the most important thing. We forget that it’s ok to help others and ask for help but also to allow people to “invade” our personal space, whether it is a room, a hug or just letting someone get to know the real you.
2. Inspiration, inspiration, inspiration
Whenever I spend an extended period of time in a certain community, I get quite a few new ideas. And the ones I had before become clearer somehow, put in perspective. It helps me decide easier which ideas are worth applying and which are not. So, whenever you’re stuck in a rut, look for a great community, join a workation and work on your ideas and solutions. The secret, however, is not to focus too much on that. Let the conversations flow naturally and your answer will surely come. Your subconscious mind already knows what to do; it just needs the right catalyst.
3. Collaborations, partnerships and jobs
If you are a freelancer and really good at what you do (graphic design, programming, copywriting, blogging etc.), but have no idea where to find your clients or you simply suck at selling your services, a workation could help you. You’ll find people who are involved in similar things or, even better, adjacent gigs. They can either help you understand how to get clients, ask you to work with them for some of their clients or even hire you to do some projects for them.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@officetotravel”]Remember: People do business with the people they know, like and trust.[/tweetthis]
4. Learn to relax
The people who got to know me a bit better, understand that I am a workaholic. Even though I love “Four Hour Work Week” and I would like to get to the point in my life where I work less (at least in theory), I get the most satisfaction when I work, learn and grow professionally. Hence, I work more than the average person.
People tend to get stuck in their own private bubbles. Even location-independent people have their own “cubicles”, be they physical or just states of mind. My cubicle is working like crazy and saying, “I don’t have time”.
I did, on the other hand, have a few “aha moments”. You know, the ones you have when you change your environment and are among great people. At Codino, I got a reminder that I should slow down and enjoy life. We all know that in theory, but do you offer yourself enough time to relax? Think about it for a moment. You might need a reminder too.
5. Prioritize and improve productivity
Any freelancer or entrepreneur knows how difficult it is to combine travel and work. That’s why it takes quite some time to learn how to prioritize, adapt your schedule to your lifestyle and make the best of it. There has to be a balance between your personal and professional life and sometimes new scenery, new friends, golden beaches or great parties can de-focus people. This is one of the reasons some people, especially the ones just starting out in the digital nomad lifestyle, decide to go back to their old ways. They end up losing clients, not meeting their deadlines and can’t support this lifestyle anymore.
On the other side, working too much and not enjoying the whole experience is also a problem. Prioritizing and improving productivity can help you find balance and manage to work and enjoy the beauties of each new place.
6. Stop being such a control freak
Yes, I am.
I have to admit that I like being on top of the situation and when things don’t go my way, I start freaking out, even though the lifestyle I chose helped me relax and understand that most of the times things can be unpredictable. I think many of us have these “disorder”, so if you are in the same boat, try to take a step back and see that everything will be just fine without you controlling it.
7. We all have problems
We all know that no one has the perfect life, but sometimes, looking from the outside in, other people’s lives and accomplishments look amazing. Just remember that what you see is just the tip of the iceberg and that we’re all struggling with something in our lives: a messed-up relationship, an awful client, bad finances, a failed business or simply not knowing what to do in life. Don’t let the appearance of other people’s Facebook profile get to you. We are all so much more than just that – we are all human.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@officetotravel”]Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.[/tweetthis]
8. Digital nomads’ relationships are difficult
You think relationships are complicated?
Add some distance (sometimes even half a globe), different goals and a lot of love. Now try to find a solution to the equation of digital nomads’ relationships. Can you?
Probably the most important thing in life is to be surrounded by like-minded people. I am an extrovert and working most of the time by myself can be exhausting, whereas among people that face similar struggles and have the same lifestyle can be so refreshing.
One of the best things a digital nomad lifestyle can provide is that a simple “hello” can soon turn into a long-term friendship. People are not defined by their nationality, religion and language. We are all part of the same group, regardless of other aspects.
10. Unique experience
You might think that once you’ve seen a workation, you’ve seen them all. Not really. Each workation and digital nomad event is different. Yes, some of them can be in the same city, maybe even have the same organizer, but in reality, the vibe is different every time. People are the ones that make the whole experience, whether it turns out to be good, better or even amazing. For me, the Codino net-workation was awesome and I would (and most probably will) repeat it.
Test workations for yourself and see what you love, what you don’t and get the benefits as they come.