Lady in Tech: Life as a Digital Nomad Coliving in Bali

Article originally published by Lady in Tech on June 20, 2017.

I am passionately curious and often anxious that I will not have enough time to accomplish everything I want to achieve in the short amount of time we are given on this incredible planet. I suffer from an incurable case of wanderlust and feel most inspired by new experiences and places. Travel broadens our vision, enlarges our soul, and allows us to constantly learn, feel alive, and discover the world.

Travel broadens our vision and enlarges our soul.

When highly skilled people stay for extended periods in different locations around the world, it not only promotes tourism to those destinations, but also attracts business and innovation. This week I was invited to experience life with Roam as a digital nomad co-living in Ubud, the artistic and cultural heart of the island of Bali. Roam is a company seeking to build a community of global citizens interested in exploration and experience. Roam aims to offer design-conscious living in communal settings across the globe.

Roam currently has a network of co-living spaces in Bali, Miami, London, and will have eight additional places by the end of this year. Each location has communal living areas, with meeting rooms, a co-working space and fast Wi-Fi, and offers social activities, often unique to the locale.

Roamer || A person filled with wanderlust, currently exploring the world and co-living for the first time.

What is Co-living?

While community housing and communal living have been around for awhile, co-living is still a fairly new concept. To further complicate things, there are a lot of related and often overlapping terms, many of which are not well defined or used somewhat loosely.
Co·liv·ing (noun):
1. Shared housing designed to support a purpose-driven life.
2. A modern, urban lifestyle that values openness, sharing, and collaboration.
Synonyms: intentional living, intentional community, cohousing, modern nomad.
Co-living is a modern form of housing where residents share living space and a set of interests, values, and/or intentions. It’s a new take on an old idea, imagined by a millennial generation that values things like openness and collaboration, social networking, and the sharing economy.

“Fundamentally, co-living is a cultural distinction, as it can encompass many structural forms, including rental and ownership, urban and rural. Still, in its current embodiment, co-living tends to be urban and integrated into a single building, house, or apartment. And the demographics tend towards 20 and 30 something professionals more than families, boomers, and retirees.” — Coliving.org

Life Co-living with Roam

My entire experience as a Roamer and guest at Roam’s location in Ubud, Bali was meticulously and beautifully designed. After my week-long stay with Roam was confirmed, I received an e-mail from Roam Bali’s Community Manager requesting a photo of myself and a short bio of who I was, why I was visiting Bali, and what I would be working on during my stay at Roam. I was then invited to join a private Roam Ubud Facebook group where the community manager introduced me to the community.

Roam is an experimental coliving and coworking community testing the boundaries between work, travel and life adventure.


Before my arrival, I was sent a “Roamer’s Guide to Co-living in Bali” and a neighborhood guide called “Rolling with The Locals.” These were incredibly designed guides that I found unbelievably useful for making the most of my stay. They provided information about the living and work spaces, eateries, and adventures in the area. “Rolling with The Locals” included a huge list of Roam’s Ubud community partners consisting of local restaurants and bars, spas, coffee shops, gyms, and yoga studios that offered Roamers’ special discounts and perks.

Roam’s location in Bali

I arrived at Roam in the pouring rain on a Monday afternoon. As I got out of my taxi, staff from Roam rushed over to me with umbrellas and offered to carry my bag to my room. After checking in, I was led through Roam’s new co-living space that was fully converted from a contemporary boutique hotel. Two dozen rooms encircle a pool, and a coworking space sits on the rooftop across from an open space for events like nightly talks, yoga and capoeira.
At Roam, I learned coliving means a shared, communal living space that is bigger than a house, and more like a homey hotel with a shared kitchen and a productive coworking space. Coliving at Roam is designed especially for people who want to live around the world and lead productive lives at the same time. When I entered my private bedroom, I was completely shocked by how luxurious it was. I had a massive king-sized bed, sitting area, mini-fridge, bathroom with a massive bathtub, shower, and a patio. I was presented with a jar of freshly squeezed local orange juice, a glass of coconut water, a notebook, book bag, and chocolate. My room and bathroom were decorated with beautifully fragrant plumeria flowers. I was also given bug spray, and locally-made soap.

Roam’s Co-working Space

The co-working space was available exclusively for Roam members — and we could use it anytime, day or night.
“We think that coliving, learning, and helping others are great ways to increase our connections and deepen our mutual understandings.” — Roam. Roam’s battle-tested, high speed Internet was the best internet I’d found so far in Indonesia. There was nothing I couldn’t accomplish online with Roam’s fast and reliable internet connection, Cisco Meraki gear, universal power outlets, and Eames aluminum office chairs. The internet even extended to my bedroom, so I could work privately whenever I pleased.

Expats and explorers from across the globe all come together under one, very aesthetically pleasing roof — each of the structures was built by award-winning artists and includes amenities such as outdoor terraces, swimming pools, rooftop cafés, yoga studios, and more. Most guests are digital nomads, authors and creatives, but employees from companies like Google or the Boston Consulting Group are on the rise according to Roam. I found that everyone has something special to share and something to teach.

Co-working experiences around the world offer a solution for creative people, entrepreneurs and other professionals seeking to combine work, travel and redefine themselves. Roam’s location in Ubud felt like a welcoming home with the perks of being able to work, rest, and meet like-minded, well-traveled and hard-working people. It also offered a much deeper sense of the local experience. Roam’s concept is such a clever and ideal concept for nomads who don’t want to sacrifice the comforts of a house for a traveling career. I especially liked the experience because it was not a constant vacation. It’s all people who want to work on something, whatever that is. They really want to live their life there, and they want to get up in the morning, they want to get their work done, and they want to have other people they can lead an interesting life with.
The opportunity to go live in a foreign city for a month and interact with the local people and experience their culture — that is priceless to me. Co-living and co-working experiences with companies like Roam are incredible means to achieve that.
All you have to do in order to be approved for one of Roam’s residences is fill out a comprehensive application form that ensures tenants are a carefully curated combination of culturally adept and considerate people.

As they say — go on, venture out, live a little, and make this life a wonderful adventure.

 

Thank you Lady in Tech!

Make this life a wonderful adventure.

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