Becoming a digital nomad and being location independent with the ability to work anywhere is a dream for most. It’s a dream I had years ago and made it happen. I’ve worked from around the world for years and loved it. Last week I was in Marrakech and for the first time ever, went into an overseas coworking space. Coworking in Marrakech with Flexpat changed my idea of what it’s like working around the world.
To say a coworking space is beneficial for a location independent digital nomad is an understatement. One of the biggest problems digital nomads have is staying focused, inspired and productive. Access to fast internet and a proper work environment is also a challenge most face. A coworking space satisfies all those needs as well introduces you to other productive people.
What is coworking?
Coworking is an office space that is shared by many people who work-from-home, are independent contractors or anything other type of work which is remote and usually in isolation. It has all the necessary equipment for people to get work done in a peaceful environment. They also usually have some beverages and snacks to purchase as well as areas to relax when not grinding it out at the desk. Coworking spaces are also a place for people to meet and let ideas collide, something that can take all participants to places not thought of before. When two good ideas combine the arithmetic is often 1+1=3.
Should you try coworking?
I think anyone who works online should try coworking. Whether the coworking space is overseas, down the street or across town there are always benefits to be had. If you’re working from home it’s a change of pace and motivates you to work smarter when surrounded by the positive energy of others. If you’re overseas it gives you all the tools you need to succeed and can possibly provide a much needed sense of community.
Coworking in Marrakech
Last week I was in Marrakech with the fine people from Flexpat. I was never someone who did coworking and if you’re reading this and haven’t either, you should. Flexpat contacted me to invite me to their month long coworking trip to Marrakech, Morocco. Naturally, I said yes and then there I was. We stayed in a part of town called Guilez which wasn’t far from Medina but far enough to get a real feel of what it was like living in Marrakech and not just in the tourist hub.
The coworking space we went to was called “The Spot” and I highly recommend it. At times I was downloading at 3.2mb per second and uploading not far off. This is huge when you’re a digital nomad who is location independent and working online. Imagine sitting in a hotel room with poor posture waiting for a page to load? The loss of productivity is beyond problematic for anyone looking to get ahead.
Of course near The Spot there were tons of restaurants and most of my days became based around work. This was welcome as work is part of life and if you have no online business you have no business traveling the world until you tire of it. Something a coworking space can also give you is a sense of community. I’ll touch more on that later and say it is possible but not a guarantee since everyone there is working most of the time so it’s not highly social.
My experience with Flexpat
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Flexpat above all else for the sense of community. Sure having all transfers and accommodation taken care of was nice but it was the community which made the difference. I’m an extrovert so meeting people has never been a problem. The problem has always been meeting the right people. For all of us on this planet, our time is fleeting and if you have ideas you’re passionate about it’s important to align yourself with the right people.
From the moment I arrived in Marrakech I was surrounded by interesting, successful and intelligent people. The fact most were passionate about what they did was only a bonus. The coworking space was beneficial for getting work done but it was outside exploring Marrakech where most of the learning took place. When you’re overseas you bond with people faster because you’re all in a similar situation. Everything is unfamiliar and shared experiences are what bonds people together.
Something I found particularly useful about my time coworking overseas in Marrakech was the conversations we had outside of work. Everyone who has made a life they dreamed of has a story to tell. People who have made their dreams come true and are living unconventional lifestyles also have interesting thoughts on the world. I’ve felt certain ways about certain things for a long time. That said, I’ve never met people who shared the same ideas, sometimes even more strongly than myself.
Meeting people who share similar ideas to yourself is something that I always liked about travel. I always said what’s interesting about travel friends is that they are people you met for yourself. Lots of friends from where you’re from are because well, you’re from the same area. Perhaps your parents lived in the same school district and so on… Not to say you won’t have deep connections with them but what’s the root of them really being in your lives?
When you meet lots of passionate people who share similar ideas it’s a positive thing to say the least. I also enjoyed the fact that like most successful people the mantra was work hard and play hard. On the weekends we went on road trips outside the city. One weekend we went on a day trip to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, the other a road trip from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert. Both were unique experiences which would be fine on their own but of course better with a curious community.
Work from home? Consider moving your “office” overseas sometime, you’ll be glad you did. In closing, I’d like to thank my new friends from Flexpat for inviting me to join them in Marrakech. Also, all opinions are my own as they always have been and always will be.