A benefit of being a digital nomad, freelancer, independent/remote worker, virtual CEO, whatever you want to call it, is that you don’t have to be tied down to a specific location if you feel like getting up and going on vacation somewhere. Lately I’ve been feeling less motivated and needing a change in scenery so I decided to hop on a plane and stay with a cousin in a different city for a week.
It also helped that I had some free flights from last year that I needed to use up before they expired.
Not being too busy this month, I decided to head out to Seattle for a week and then from there down to San Diego and stay with cousins who are working in both cities. It seemed like a great chance for me to shake up my surroundings, hang out with cousins, and not even miss a beat with work. Upon hearing about this, Angel, the owner of my home coworking space, mentioned I should drop by another coworking spot and connected me with the wonderful folks at Office Nomads which is in the heart of downtown Seattle on Capitol Hill. She said I could do so because of the….
The Coworking Visa Program
What?! Sounded to me like a new credit card — but it’s way better. Apparently if you’re a member of a coworking space in one city, you can drop in on select coworking spaces around the country (and the world!) while you’re traveling! As a coworker, I had no idea… although now that I think about it, it’s not something you consider: “how am I going to cowork while on vacation?”, because coworking is typically something you only do with others in your own community. But if you’re traveling, definitely check out the Coworking Visa Program to see if there’s a space that you can escape to for getting some work done and possibly connect with other independent professionals like yourself while in another city.
What to Expect
Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to expect when you’re arriving at a new space, so my approach is: expect the worst, but plan for the best. That way you are less likely to be disappointed. Remember that the coworkers you’ll be seeing are there by choice, not force like a corporate office, so they will be very approachable and likely share similar values as yourself of working independently. Just that simple commonality will help you connect with those you meet while coworking.
My Visit to Office Nomads
Immediately when I entered I was greeted by Charles. He introduced himself as a resident member who was helping out with tours, phones, and greeting drop-ins like myself. He gave a quick tour of the space and all the amenities including the kitchen, tea/coffee machine, restroom, all the desks to work at, the meeting rooms, and even showed the mid-day yoga class that was going on. (By the way, a yoga class in a coworking space is an amazing idea!).
Then Charles introduced me to both Susan and Jacob who run Office Nomads and because Wednesdays are the busiest day at the space, I took one of the only available spots on their desk.
The next few hours were filled with a burst of productivity on one of my projects, trying out a few teas in their vast collection, adding to their ingenious “What do you want to do before you die?” wall in the restroom, nerding out on the door that had at least 100 digits of e written out, admiring the collaborative collage wall that was updated live online, and conversing with a few coworkers about their work.
Overall an amazing day, and to top it off — Susan even graciously connected me to another App developer who was a resident member and I later caught up with him to discuss the App industry in which we’re both involved.
As Angel always says — or if she hasn’t said, she’s written — or if she hasn’t written, she’s thought — or if she hasn’t thought, she will at some point — that “Coworking is about spreading awesomeness”. And that’s exactly the vibe I got during my short visit to Office Nomads — a lot of awesomeness was being spread around.