It may seem like a silly thing to go all the way to Costa Rica to pull out your computer and work, but after my first experience with Nomad House, I’m hooked. I’ve spent a lot of time working on the road, from Chiang Mai to the south of France. Friends and relatives assume I’m ruining a perfectly good vacation by working from these locations, but the reality is that without work I get bored. Maybe it’s just me, but I can only sip so many pina coladas on the beach before I get antsy and start looking for problems to solve.
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When I work from the road, I’m intensely focused. I tend to stay in a place for at least a week or two, and after I figure out where the grocery store is and how to get around, there’s a lot of down time. It’s easy to carve out five or six hours of time each day with almost no distractions. In fact, when traveling alone, I often wished for more distraction. My main complaint on solo trips was that it was hard to meet interesting people.

This is why my most recent trip was so great! Nomad House set up a trip to Costa Rica, where thirteen people came together to work and hang out in paradise. From day one we were riffing on startup ideas, and it was clear that this was not your normal group of tourists. It was completely normal for people to go for a run or do some yoga in the morning, then work for a few hours in the air-conditioned co-working space, before surfing or grabbing a few beers to watch the sun set over the ocean.

Think about the best conference you’ve ever been to–the kind where you left with a pocket full of business cards, inspired to take on new challenges. Did you actually follow up with all those people? Have you ever talked to them again? Now think about what it would have been like to spend a couple weeks with those people, talking shop over dinner, taking time to get to know each other. It’s a totally different and far more meaningful experience.

Back on my farm in Portland, it’s hard not to eye the pasture and wonder how many yurts I could fit out there, as I scheme about the best ways to blanket the property with fast wifi.