Coboat – the digital nomads sailing experience

Photo Credit: Eric Van Den Broek from Copass.org

Photo Credit: Eric Van Den Broek from Copass.org

To coboat or not to coboat?

Lately I’ve been writing a lot about workations and other digital nomad events, because I find their potential and outcome to be amazing. In just a few days, you manage to connect with people, create new friendships, get feedback on your projects and learn new skills.

This time, the workation was Coboat: a unique experience, considering we were on a catamaran sailing through the Greek islands.

It took me a while to decide what would be more interesting for you to find out from this article. Moreover, how can I capture everything that happened? But I wanted to focus on what would be useful for you. Well, here it is.

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Refuga – the place where entrepreneurial minds meet

Office to travel - refuga 8

 

Our interview series with founders of great digital nomad events continues with one of the veterans in the field. I am happy that I had the chance to find many great insights about Refuga workations and will share with you how these events can help digital nomads and entrepreneurs grow both personally and professionally.

Nikolaj Astrup Madsen, the Refuga founder, started organizing trips for location independent professionals a few years ago as a personal experiment and ended up having one of the most well-known companies that organize niched events.

 

1. Tell us a few things about your background and how Refuga came to life

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 10 years, doing a lot of different projects. Some years ago I moved to China and suddenly I felt very alone in my work life and I wanted to expand my own personal network of like-minded adventurous professionals, so I just wrote on my personal blog if anyone wanted to go to Spain for a week of work, good food and adventure. I just expected a few people and then we could rent a nice apartment or something, but it went a bit viral and within one week I had 20 participants who all had paid $1000 each to join and from there it just became a concept (this was all in Danish).

Office to travel - refuga 4

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Surf Office – the (co-working) place to be

Office to travel - Surf Office 1

Once you spend time in Lisbon or Las Palms, the chances are that you will go to Surf Office to work and met other location independent professionals. Peter Fabor is the mastermind behind the concept and does a great job providing an environment where like-minded people can meet and work. He shared some of his insights and future plans with us.

 

1. Tell us a few things about your background and how was Surf Office born

Back in 2013 I wanted to work from Canary Islands and I needed a stable place to work so I created one. After some time, other people liked the idea so much that they joined me in the office while working on their own things. Eventually I started to work on making this idea better and grow it to the point where we are now.

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Digital nomads events in 2016

Digital nomads events in 2016

 

UPDATE: Check out the OFFice To Travel list of digital nomad & digital entrepreneur events in 2017 

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A new year has recently started and I am celebrating it by making exciting business and travel plans. They can always change and I could end up in a place where I’ve never thought of, but I love having the big picture. Will it be Asia, Europe, Africa or South America again? Maybe all of them. 😀

In 2015 I realized more than before that being in a community of digital nomads is one of the things I like most when traveling. It makes me more productive, creative, open to ideas and helps making new friends or even business partners.

Thus, while I am thinking what should be my next destination, I am also taking into consideration where I can meet new or old friends and spend time with some other like-minded people. So, I made a 2016 digital nomads agenda.

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How to become a digital nomad

OFFice to travel - How to become a digital nomad

 

Becoming a digital nomad may be a dream for many and unfortunately, for some will remain just that. But if you are reading this article, you probably already have an idea about what this means and would like to know where to start. I have to tell it won’t be easy, but it might be much easier than you expect. Let’s see where you should start, what you should do to earn money while traveling and even build a location independent business. 

Before you commit to this road, read as much as you can about the nomad lifestyle, ask people who are already doing it, understand what are the advantages and disadvantages and think if this style of living is for you. Join communities of digital nomads, discover their stories and learn directly from them – Digital Nomads Academy is one I definitely recommend. If you want to travel the world, you can do that in extended holidays or in a sabbatical year. Or you could pick a place you love and look for a steady job there – you can enjoy the beach from Costa Rica when you work in a resort too. And then just move around and find a similar job in Thailand or Bali, for example. You need to figure out what will make you happy in the end. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with working and traveling, dealing with difficult situations, facing the lack of WI-FI and love to slow travel, you are in for the ride.

The problem most people have is related to the insufficient budget while traveling and search places with low cost of living. I believe there is no right answer in earning money and I think that each and every one of us has at least a set of skills that will help becoming a digital nomad. Before we go any further, you also need to know that this will take time. You need to research, choose your path, make plans and then go pursue them.

 

Choose your path

I filtered and set for you 4 different situations that will hopefully make this decision easier for you. These are presented in the order of their difficulty range.

  1. I am leaving but I am taking you with me – the remote employee

Are you still employed and like your job, but would love to travel the world at the same time? If you are sure the sabbatical is not for you, try negotiating with your employer to work remotely (at least for a while). I highly recommend (re)reading The 4-Hour Workweekthe chapters where Tim Ferriss explains step by step what you should do to convince your boss that you can do an amazing job by working remotely.

 

  1. Freelancer or consultant with the skills you already possess

If the ship above has sailed and even though you love your job they won’t let you do this (or maybe you love what your work involves, but the employee or the schedule was awful), it’s clearly you have to stick to what you are really good at and find a way to turn it into a profitable business. Think in what way could your skills translate into location independence.

Maybe you work in finances and could become a consultant for small businesses, or you are a yoga teacher and could hold yoga classes on the beach or in association with a beach hotel. The solutions are endless, you just have to be open-minded and explore your options. This is probably the most common situation for digital nomads, at least in the beginning – they rely on the skills they already have and emphasize their knowledge. This is also my situation. And if you don’t know where to start from, here are some methods to find clients as a freelancer that helped worked for me. You can also try finding gigs on Up Work (formerly Odesk), Freelancer or any other niche platforms.

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OFFice to Travel at DNX – the first global digital nomads conference

Berlin. Saturday morning. 6 AM. My alarm clock rings and even though I am not a morning person (actually I hate waking up in the morning), this time I am quite excited. It’s DNX conference day and I came to Berlin (like I needed another excuse to spend time in the city I love) to meet like-minded digital nomads.

And I have a good reason to be excited about this. In the past 3 days I’ve already met some of the attendees and they exceeded my expectations. People from USA, Czech Republic, France, Croatia, Germany and many more countries joined DNX. Actually their origins are not even that important because in the end we are all citizens of the world. We are only defined by what we want. And these days Berlin was our home.

Stefano_Borghi & Office to travel 1

Formal and informal meetups

Even before the conference had started, we had a 4-Hours Workweek event at Betahaus, then Natalie Sisson gathered some of us to meet and get to know each other and we also got together for a BBQ on Tempelhof, which is an old airport that ceased to function in 2008 and now it is open to public. It’s a great place to spend some time at a picnic, riding a bike or flying a kite. But since Germans know how to party, the evening ended in a pub where more networking was at its best.

On Friday the event actually started and some of us already knew each other. Workshops, networking and more ideas came to life.

Looks like we were all eager to meet some location independent fellows, because it might be a great way of living your life, but sometimes it gets lonely. Marcus and Feli created the perfect environment for us to meet and discover other ideas, businesses and, of course, people or even future friends.

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