With the great shift of the professional world to telecommuting and the widespread acceptance of the concept among initially sceptical businesses, the traditional idea of work-life balance is changing in new directions, including the concept of remote work-life travel.
Never imagined. Drew Sing, director of product at tech start-up Fully Remote Growth, has been living and working in Lisbon, Portugal since March morning after spending several months in London.
He planned to fly back to the United States in May and did book three round-trip departures, each with a 24-hour cancellation policy, but when he looked at the trends of Covid-19 in the United States compared to Europe, every day I spent I said: I think I will stay. I think it’s a safe place in these unknown times.’”
Sing is not new to the digital nomadic lifestyle. He left the Bay Area in 2018 to live a secluded life, buying a home outside of Seattle that he rents out but keeps a basement apartment for himself — and a sleeper van that he can use to travel around North America and work when he wants and when he is there.
“I realized I could work in co-working spaces and live a nomadic life,” said Sing, who recently published a book on how to telecommute anywhere called “Work from Abroad.”
There are a lot of books about travelling and exploring the world on a budget, but not about building a career and being productive living anywhere,” he said. Despite restrictions on international travel, Outsite, launched by Emmanuel Guisset, offers living and working spaces for professionals around the world in places like Hawaii, Mexico, Portugal, Bali and the United States.
West Coast claims that the life of the so-called “digital nomad” has been forced to end en masse in a post-Covid-19 world. “Before the epidemic, we were fighting a group of people, nomads, freelancers, and technical workers. Because they can work when they want, they choose to live a different life,” said Guisset, author and CEO of Outsite.
But now his company is finding new people who are looking for long-term housing. There are currently a limited number of places available worldwide. In the United States, metros and counties have banned short-stay vacation rentals, including in Tahoe and Hawaii, where Outsite operates.
In many European and other international destinations, the U.S. passport has moved from long-term to disability support. And in various parts of the world, there are many mandatory quarantines when travelers reach their destination.
Outsite’s Bali station is closed due to a lack of local tourism, and its Costa Rica station has many locals from the capital, San Jose, and the American ex parts. But the European areas, especially the coastal areas “are full of Europeans and some American ex-figures,” Guisset said.
Some countries, such as Barbados, Estonia, and Georgia, encourage foreigners, including Americans, to obtain special visas to take care of their local ranches. And in the past, people travelled within the epidemic if possible, Guisset said.
Isolation comes with a longer lifespan. “Travel is much more difficult now, so people want to stay longer for it to pay off,” he said. Outsite sees pros break records in the US. Places that increase the demand for extended outdoor stays – well-known and sandy places like Tahoe, Santa Cruz and San Diego. “They want to live in cheaper, lower metropolises, close to nature”, he said.