Co-living is something most people wouldn’t consider after they leave college. Sharing everything with others? Little privacy? If you make enough money to live on your own, why would you not? But as a solo travelling digital nomad, I’d choose co-living over a hotel anytime.
I enjoy travelling with others, but I’d have to admit that for me, the best way of travelling is solo. I get to do whatever I want whenever I feel like it and maybe I’m selfish, but I like that when I’m travelling. ‘Doesn’t that make you feel lonely?’ people often ask me. No, not if you go coworking & co-living, like I often do when I travel.
I arrived a couple of days ago at Sun And Co. Coliving in Jávea, at the Spanish Costa Blanca. It’s located in an old townhouse that has been renovated a couple of years ago by someone who clearly knew what he was doing. It’s light and modern, yet has some of the old details that make it a very charming place. At the moment, there are 5 others living here, 3 staff members who don’t live here but are often around, and a couple of other regulars who walk in and out, either to work or to join for dinner & drinks. It’s a very diverse group; men and women, from early 20s to late 40s, with all sorts of backgrounds, from a famous dj to a girl who worked for a professional baseball team as well as on Wallstreet (I still need to figure out how that is even possible), the owner of a creative agency who – as he claims – drives his staff mad if he stays at the office too long, so instead works from here… Yep, very diverse, and super interesting.
What a day around here looks like? I’m usually the first one downstairs, except for a French guy who does an insane amount of cycling each morning. Today is Sunday, so I had my breakfast and then people started to message the group chat. ‘What’s everyone doing today?’ In the end, it was Emily (the baseball/Wallstreet girl), Hayley (photographer and part of the crew) and me going to grab a coffee in the harbour. We walked down there, had our coffee, walked around a bit, and ‘somehow’ we ended up with a glass of wine in the sunshine at this cute little restaurant in the marina a few hours later. It was the perfect Sunday.
We walked back home for Duncan’s (the DJ) good-bye-lunch, which included a delicious home-made stew by Hayley. By now we were with 7. After the great meal, everyone sort of went back to doing their own thing, while Laura, a singer-songwriter from Canada, was playing some acoustic guitar music. And now it’s 8PM on a Sunday evening, and everyone is actually working. All you hear at the moment is the sound of typing on keyboards. We all have lots of fun, but none of us are on a traditional holiday – we’re all working very hard.
There’s no pressure whatsoever. There have been moments where I just didn’t feel like joining, or even interacting, and that’s ok as well. I’m loving it, it’s best of both worlds. I get to be alone when I want to and I get to hang out with people when I want to. I don’t have to explain it when I’d rather go hiking on a Monday morning, and like today, I don’t need to explain why in the world I would want to work on a Sunday evening. When you need to focus, you can, but when you want to go out, there’s always someone to join you.
Adult or not, enough money for a fancy hotel or not, I think that whenever I’m travelling solo, I will choose coliving over my own place every single time.
This article was first published in March 2017 on my previous website.