I experienced the vast difference between co-living and staying at a hostel when I spent a week in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for NomadCity2016. It was my very first trip as a digital nomad, and my main priorities were to stay at a place that was clean and affordable. I was quick to adjust these priorities by the way – what I learned is that, as a digital nomad, a great vibe and reliable internet should be top priority.

The hostel I stayed at the first 3 nights was affordable and had decent reviews. The first impression was OK – they’d put thought into the decor and the place was clean and tidy. But I got disappointed as the daylight faded and I started to work. Although the hostel’s website had advertised free WiFi, I had trouble bringing up the patience for the slow and unstable connection. But the worst was when everyone seemed to be in a party mood while I had a deadline to meet.

On the fourth day, I coincidentally received an invitation to come and share a house with 4 other digital nomads. The cost of this new accommodation wasn’t much higher than the hostel’s, and I was promised the internet would be fantastic. Desperate to get stuff done, I moved to the co-living space that very night.

I immediately felt relieved as I walked through the door. The other nomads were sitting at one big table, working diligently on their laptops. When I joined them my productivity skyrocketed – not just because of the stable internet connection, but because of the incredible energy that comes from a group of people with the same mindset. Oh, they weren’t shy of a good party, but their priority was the same as mine: to get work done and explore an incredible city in their leisure time.

All of this changed what I now look for when I book the accommodation for my next adventure. Staying at a place where I’ll sleep comfortably, have access to high-speed internet and meet others with the same mentality is just the perfect solution for me.

My name is Noëlle Steegs, and I have been working remotely for 4 years. After having lived several years in South Africa I am now travelling the EU indefinitely. My next stop is bedndesk in March, where I’ll be living for one month.

Come, join me, and experience co-living for yourself!