What’s your favorite thing about the this city?
I think people, myself included, are attracted by its international environment, thriving events scene, an entrepreneurial spirit and fantastic climate amidst other reasons!
Is there a little known fact about the city people might find interesting?
Some people do not realize that Barcelona is a city that is very attractive to this new type of traveling professional, the ‘digital nomad’. It has become an international hotspot with an increasing number of people picking up their laptops and traveling to the city, staying for anywhere between a couple of weeks and a few months, before moving on to another destination
Where is your favorite place you’ve ever lived and why?
Bali…. Why? Because it draws an amazing array of startup founders, digital nomads, spiritual seekers and small business owners to a gorgeous tropical island buzzing with vibrancy.
What is your LEAST favorite place you’ve ever lived and why?
Thankfully I have never been in a place that I didn’t like for very long. If I was then I moved on quickly!
What was the EASIEST country you’ve ever visited (i.e. easiest immigration, easiest to open a local bank account, etc)?
Spain…. Spain is making it easy for location independent people as it offers a lot of the opportunities and the ability to work remotely and thrive despite the economic downturn they’ve experienced the last few years. Well, that, and the fact that the weather’s amazing, the food is phenomenal and the people are gorgeous.
Have you ever had any problems in a country? (i.e. immigration issues, getting robbed, etc.)
I had a bounty on my head in Portugal and was forced to flee!
Please, do elaborate on this one!
I went down to expand my business of surf and parties in Lagos. We started having a bit of success and a couple of the local businesses didn’t like the competition! So they offered a hitman $1500 dollars to, in his words, “do something about us”. He saw us at a beach party and told us that he had rejected the offer because “he didn’t need the money and thought we were good guys” but that he knew one of his mates would be happy to accept the offer. After chatting with some local businesses that we were collaborating with, and were clearly on our side. they told us that if this guy had said it, then we should believe it…and it was best for us to get out of there…so we fled!
Over my years of travel I have consciously selected poorer and developing countries as my destination of choice. Aside from the fact that I am attracted to their different cultures and way of life my motivation behind choosing to visit such countries was born out of desire to put the world and my world into perspective.
Is there anything that would make you settle down and stop traveling as much?
In a perfect world I would not need to travel to put things in perspective, but well, I am far from perfect…so I go travel! Nto planning to stop any time soon.
Who has been the most influential person on your travels (someone that encouraged you to start, or someone who has influenced you along the way)?
If you travel, you meet so many interesting people. I can not single out one person, as each and every individual you meet on your travels influences you in some way.
If you were coaching a new nomad, what would you recommend they do to get started?
Get our there! See the world! Be challenged, be scared, be inspired! You are not the person you think you are and you never know who you will become until you expose yourself and your preconceived notions about the world, to the world! Through travel you actually become part of this beautiful global community that is breaking down barriers and taking us into a world of increased understanding and collaboration across borders. It’s not always easy to get out there though, so my tip would be: come on a Coworkation and hang out with us, we’ll show you the ropes!
What country would you recommend a new nomad go to FIRST?
Indonesia and, more specifically, Bali. It’s a fascinating place…culture, food, natural sights etc. It’s relatively ‘easy travel’ so that you can get acclimatised to life on the road. And, importantly, you will meet some really interesting nomads in the community that you can learn from and be inspired by.
What is one country that you have not been to but is high on your list, and why?
Bhutan. Tibet is one of my favourite countries and Bhutan evokes a similar perception for me.
What was the biggest mistake you made that other nomads can learn from?
Moving too quickly, too frequently. At times, driven by my desire to explore, I would bounce from one place to another. Inevitably, this gets tiring. It’s important to listen to our body and mind on this and adjust the pace accordingly. It is natural to feel the need for stability and routine, yet there is also a tendency to feel like you are ‘cheating’ or ‘being lazy’ if you slow down or stop. Probably not the best attitude to have!
How do you meet new people while living the nomad lifestyle? Do you ever get lonely?
There was definitely times where I felt lonely on the road and this is one of the motivating factors behind Coworkation. We want to help facilitate meaningful connections between people who are leading similar lifestyles.
When I first started leading the digital nomad lifestyle 15 years ago then there were very few others that were doing the same. Other backpackers and holiday-makers would look at me as though I was a workaholic and believed it was a bad thing that I would be working whilst being in such a beautiful location. There were many mindset differences that hindered our ability to connect and, even when there was a deeper connection, then these people would inevitably be returning to their homes and normal environment.
Nowadays, thanks to the entrepreneurs in the location independent movement, the problem of loneliness is being reduced. Coworking spaces in traditionally holiday destinations, coliving accommodations, apps and websites connecting nomads and location independent professionals on the road and other companies similar to Coworkation, are all coming together to make life better and easier whilst you explore the world.
If you are interested in reading more about Stuart Jones, visit his website.