The youth energy, amazing stories and inspiring places are the focus of the Nomazine – a magazine about digital nomads in the countryside. The colourful and youth-friendly magazine brings 11 stories of digital nomads with an insight into their world and places. Prepared by the international European Team from Slovenia, Spain, Germany and Croatia and as a part of the Nomadland Erasmus+ project, the magazine is a journey into a modern countryside, combining the best approaches from rural and urban areas!
Rural areas in Europe face both challenges of the outmigration of young people and the increase in the ageing of the population. Day by day, there are fewer job opportunities, and challenges are growing. Although the trend started already before, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us that a countryside is a place for creativity. Due to the digitalisation of jobs and the emergence of new industries, a new trend has begun – an increase in remote work. Many employees began to understand that they could be as successful working from their home garden as in the office.
11 authentic stories of digital nomads
We asked 11 digital nomads about their first steps into stepping out of their comfort zone and searching for their new home in the countryside. The journey was not easy; many obstacles and challenges were on the way, but benefits prevailed. Nature and rural life make way for an inspirational new start, as Gokulnath, interviewed digital nomad, acknowledged: »Walking in nature daily is a great inspiration and makes me more productive. I even noticed that I achieve better results at work now«. Each story is unique, revealing a part of the modern digital nomads’ world.
Soil, Sea, Ice and fire
Digital nomads have their stories, but the same applies to places that connect them to the local community and other digital nomads. Many new colivings, retreats and other projects have recently developed around Europe. A former farm has become a centre for makers, and a castle again has become an ideal place for remote work. In Nomazine, 20 unique places in the countryside are presented for the first time – each a hotbed for creative and innovative projects. Exploring interesting places has never been easier – complemented with attracting images, information about its funding and impact, and founders’ quotes. To quickly navigate the sites and their stories, we have sorted them into four groups: Soil, Sea, Ice and Fire.
Coliving life, especially rural coliving, is like umami in cooking - many ingredients, colour, sensations, tastes, aftertastes, emotions, passion, laughter, tears, work, fun, relaxation... and all this - in perfect balance.
The new trend of digital nomadism is about new sustainable approaches for the countryside. Many digital nomads in Europe have found a new home in former or abandoned mansions, farms or houses. Instead of building new houses and creating an unnecessary carbon footprint, the precious cultural heritage is revitalised and ready for new settlers. Many ambitious and inspiring founders understand what technology and digitalisation can bring to the countryside. As co-founder of Project Bay, Toni Gurski said: “A supposedly structurally weak rural region can become a technology hotspot through the shift to digitalisation and thus lose its image as a purely agricultural and touristic region.” By settling in the countryside, digital nomads bring life, new skills and knowledge and support the local community by buying local food, developing new local projects and making new connections.
Some coliving places, such as Anceu Coliving or Coconat, support working with the local community by organising unique festivals (Rural Makers, Coconauts programme).
Coliving – when young people return to their roots
Recently, many European rural areas have experienced the ageing of the population. Many young people have moved to the bigger urban areas. Established good practices and stories of digital nomads show us that new and innovative solutions already exist. Colivings are spreading into the rural areas from overcrowded cities.
Based on our survey, also published in the Nomazine, the cost of living is the most important aspect for digital nomads when choosing a place to live, followed by a reliable internet connection and a strong community.
The Nomazine serves as a first step towards the guide for attracting digital nomads in the countryside, which will be published in autumn 2023. It will be aimed at tourism workers, youth workers and other decision-makers interested in bringing the philosophy of digital nomadism to their areas. In May 2023, a training activity will be implemented in Iž, Croatia, which will help us to develop a strategy for attracting young digital nomads to the countryside and improving rural youth work. As recognised in the survey, 90 % of digital nomads would prefer to have a local facilitator to help them settle down in the area. Within the project, we will explore how youth organisations, including youth centres, can make a change by attracting digital nomads to rural areas.
IMMERSE INTO THE STORIES OF DIGITAL NOMADS
Are you interested, how digital nomads feel about the countryside? Explore 11 stories of digital nomads who found their new home in the countryside!
LEARN ABOUT NEW APPROACHES FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE
Would you like to find inspiration for your place? Then our magazine Nomazine is a great starting point with 20 selected good practices from all over Europe!