This article was written in collaboration with one of my favorite co-working spots, The Flamingo House. A community of creative individuals from all over the globe flocking together.
Speaking for what I believe to be the majority of today's population, we imagine our perfect weeks built around traveling. Oh such a simple concept but also not so easy to actually make happen. Who doesn't love exploring a new city, trying new food, meeting people with different backgrounds and perspectives, and learning about the culture and history of another corner of the world?! Pretty silly question, I know.
We are in the emergence of a new era. The age of the remote working environment - which is nearly the first time in history that we have this power. Careers and income no longer need to be lead by our geographic location. Welcome to the 21st century and thanking technology for getting us this far. The 'digital nomad life' is a real thing nowadays and it provides a whole new sense of work-life balance along with self-discipline. A pretty interesting concept considering that majority of the population is striving for such a lifestyle.
Instead of the traditional PTO vacation schedule of booking a trip and coming back to my comfort zone, I chose a little bit different of a balance. I chose to challenge myself to work while also experiencing new places and new people. Let me tell you, it is not so easy of a road but most definitely possible. I gave myself permission to 'fail'. However, I did not let it drag me down. I did not consider it to be failure - who's to say that failure is bad when it is really just what allows us to gain strength? I let myself gain that strength and allowed myself to at least try. I learned to manage productivity while constantly exploring new places. I found that in the past I have seen a steep drop-off in productivity when I become overly comfortable in an every day routine. Lately, I have been collaborating with different thriving businesses from the United States to Eastern European countries, creating and optimizing growth in any way possible. Don't think that every day is the ability to go out and explore, some days I am in a foreign place and I don't even get to see it. I have a big list of things I want to explore, and a limited amount of time in which to do the exploring.
Now, I may be on the beach in Mykonos looking into the beautiful Mediterranean sea but you will not find me laying around for hours a day sipping on a pretty cocktail. I'll be here writing, optimizing, learning, and growing. I now travel to make a career and lifestyle change, not take an extended vacation - you can still find me hustling every damn day. I may splash in the water for a bit instead of going to a corporate happy hour every Friday but you will find me back on my laptop searching for creative opportunities and collaborating on different projects.
Twenty years ago we didn't have the tools like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Docs and accessing an e-mail via a cell phone was just a revolutionary idea. Many people were still using dial up technology and if you would have spoken about the idea of an iPhone it sounded like a comet to the dinosaurs. We are lucky to live in an age that is so easily accessible to endless forms of communication. Some companies are struggling to keep up considering how quickly technology is advancing. Sometimes, I think that I am even struggling to keep up.
Working remotely seemed like a far fetched goal for me. However, with a decent wifi connection and the right drive, I knew it was possible. After working in co-working spaces and collaborating with other entrepreneurs, I realized that success was not defined by being bigger and better than my neighbors but rather a constant hustle and grind. To me, success became a rhythm and a re-defining balance of myself. If there is one great treasure that I must share, it is to stop constantly searching for defining moments but rather realizing that our current moments are what actually define us without any given explanation.
Working in rugged locations, hunting for wifi and ways to work, meeting fellow digital nomads, getting rejected, allowing golden opportunities to simply happen, reaching out in all directions to collaborate with thriving brands - there are a myriad of every day expectations as a 'digital nomad'. Though, the one common theme in all the cities that I have visited is that co-working spaces are universally blooming from extreme remote locations to large cities.
Today, co-working spaces are the golden balance of putting yourself in an environment with other motivated and entrepreneurial characters. Allowing yourself to not only rotate your every-day social entourage but also be exposed to the continuous radiation of creativity. Unlike most other conventional office spaces, innovative ideas circulate easily and positive energy is constantly being expressed. From experience, collaborating with individuals who brought me new perspectives projected me to explore my untouched limitations.
Homeless on purpose or living and working remotely. It didn't really matter which way you looked at it. To be honest, the people I met in the co-working environments 6,000 miles from my friends and family, allowed me to feel at home no matter where I ended up.
If I could tell you about all the interesting individuals that I have crossed paths with in co-working locations across the globe, we would be here for days. At the root of it all, more or less, it is my interest in learning what I am made of — a rite of passage, so to speak, while exposing myself to other creative individuals of this world. Exploring out of your comfort zone does not necessarily mean giving up everything you have to travel across the world. You have co-working spaces in your community that allow you to creatively express your potential and create your very own family no matter the location. All it takes is a change of scenery and allowing yourself to be exposed to new opportunities, new faces, new perspectives, creative ideas, and to breath in the energy that motivates you. To keep it simple, your creative escape is in co-working.
Photography by Anthony J Rayburn