If your work is fully wired and you're relatively responsibility-free, the advantages of a digital nomad lifestyle are obvious. You get to see the world and meet new people, all while actually earning money to cover your travels.
But, of course, the disadvantages are also pretty clear. Anyone who has endured moving house recently can tell you that uprooting yourself and your stuff and setting up shop again in a new city is a giant hassle. Now imagine doing it in a totally foreign place every few months. Only the chillest and most minimalist among us would relish the prospect.
But now a new startup called Roam is aiming to help wandering professionals keep all the good bits of a globe-trotting lifestyle while eliminating the worst of the logistical hassles. The company's idea is elegant -- sign up for a week ($500), month ($1800) or a longer stay and get access to its communal living spaces around the world.
Roam if you want to
By signing a lease each traveller gets her own private bedroom and bathroom, along with access to communal kitchen and coworking space. Roam currently has apartments in Madrid, Miami, and Ubud, Bali, but aims to open 8-10 locations by 2017, including planned spaces in London and Buenos Aires.
The idea stems from the personal experiences of founder Bruno Haid, who spent his twenties living as a digital nomad. "Just managing my stuff and going back and forth between Airbnbs and housesitting became more cumbersome over time. At the same time, I was involved in a couple of early co-living communities in San Francisco, and saw the cultural value of something like that," he told Fast Company.
Roam is designed not just to alleviate the hassles involved in finding suitable accommodation in a new place, but will also as a shortcut for travellers to meet people and plug into a new city. By being partially communal, Roam spaces offer both better facilities (forget cramped studio kitchenettes, at Roam apartments residents have a chef-quality kitchen), as well as a cure for newcomer loneliness.
Not just for 20-something wanderers
Intrigued, but think you might not fit in among a group of globe-trotting 20-somethings? Haid also insists that Roam is for a much broader demographic than you might imagine. "It's not just for the young single freelancer. It's for the couple in their late 30s who are going to have kids and want to downsize for a year or two. Or the empty-nesters who say the kids are in college, let's travel the world for two or three years," he explains.
Would you consider signing on to stay at a space like this?