We recently got to interview Alex from Unsettled, a startup that organises month-long workations around the world! Find out more about Alex and Unsettled!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hey! I’m Alex and I am 26, I am currently based from Oakland, CA but given my work with Unsettled and Summit Series I am regularly on the road, on the top of a mountain or working from a co-working space somewhere in the world!
You work for Unsettled, can you please tell us a bit about what Unsettled does?
Unsettled is a community for people who can work remotely, but don’t want to do it alone. We lead 1-month co-working retreats in incredible locations around the world where we provide everything you need to focus in on your personal/professional development, have a meaningfully immersive experience and be as productive as you need to be.
Unsettled was one of the first companies to organise this sort of workation. What do you think makes Unsettled stand out from the other nomad experiences out there?
All of us on the team are community experience designers and facilitators first. We really invest in the month long experience and the curation of events & the community. I think people are consistently surprised with how much content there is to engage with on a daily basis on our retreats: several workshops, hosted conversations + happy hours, dinner parties, etc each week, and sometimes each day!
Other than that, we really live the value of inclusion and diversity. We’re lucky that the type of people who are attracted to the language and values we promote on our website tend to be incredible global, down to earth, and open-minded people. It’s not unusual for an Unsettled retreat of 25 people to have 10-15 different nationalities represented. Beyond that, the age range of participants is quite large as well, as we accept anyone from their mid-twenties, all the way through to mid-sixties! What’s really cool is we just accepted our first 72-year old couple!
We think it’s an incredible opportunity to have someone who retired after a life-long dedication to their trade living alongside and connecting with a 20 or 30-something just starting out their career. We try to facilitate these opportunities for cross-pollination, for learning and ultimately, for growth. That’s why we put freelancers alongside people going through a professional transition and trying to figure out their first location independent steps, put full-time corporate workings next to entrepreneurs, and why we love the idea of millennials co-living with grandparents 🙂
It’s all in the name of growth, being Unsettled and using this month to try on what it’s like to be the best version of yourself.
What kind of people come on your trips? And why do people join?
As I mentioned, we have all types of people join us on our retreats. We have a healthy mix of entrepreneurs, freelancers, people in transition (after quitting a job, graduating, etc), those on a personal sabbatical and creatives!
People join Unsettled because they are looking to spend one intentional month investing in themselves, making new friends from around the world, trying out new routines, habits, etc and to break out of their day to day grind in order to find inspiration.
I know a lot of women join your trip, usually around 60%. Do you think there’s a bigger need for women to connect with others when travelling?
No I think more woman just want to feel supported as they travel. Maybe they were raised by old-school parents like mine that are sure I am only safe if travelling with a man.. we’re still working on that one
But also these women can sense through how we communicate on our website that we aren’t at all a bro-fest.
We are proud to be a company founded by two men which breeds such a diverse community (including 60% being fierce, bad ass women.)
Why do you think these type of experiences are so popular at the moment? Do you think it’s just a phase or is this a new form of travel that will stick around for a while?
I think (and what many researchers have expressed) is that we are witnessing a major global shift in how work is done. It’s not just a trend that more and more people we know are transitioning into remote, or flexible work. We’re living through the changing ‘future of work’.
Research tells us by 2020 40% of workers in the US will be remote or have flexible home/office options. That is happening globally and will only continue to do so as it becomes cheaper and easier technologically to have remote workers.
Given this reality more and more companies like Unsettled are popping up to offer a communal experience to these people working from home or cafes or wherever they can jump on a free wifi connection. However, those of us who have done it, know how lonely this type of work environment can be.
Unsettled was founded because our founders wanted to be able to work remotely, but with people, in inspiring places, and within a community. We know that this is the way that makes our work feel less like work and more like adventure, and growth.
What do you think digital nomads struggle with most when travelling and working?
Finding a damn connection! Sometimes the logistics of traveling can really get in the way of busting out what you need to bust out and being productive. Many of us have been there.. there’s nothing more infuriating..
Beyond that, I think what can be most time consuming on the road is actually finding your people. Who are they? Where are they? How do I connect with them? Etc. By the time you’ve found them you are already out the door to your next destination or back home.
At Unsettled we cover both of these common travel issues for our participants. Having that family to plug into right away when you land in a new, far-off country cannot be under-estimated.
What item should every Digital Nomad Girl pack?
A small notebook to records all the new ideas, jot down random inspirations like a song, quote or a new friends email…and also a diva cup haha.
And last: Do you have a favourite inspirational (or cheesy) quote you’d like to share?”
“Vive la liberté, surtout la mienne” 🙂
If you’d like to find out more about Unsettled you can find their website here and get in touch with Alex on Instagram here and on Facebook here. And if you’d like to join one of the Unsettled Workations you can get a discount with our code DNGUNSETTLED!