It's been 1 year since I took the leap and joined the digital nomad world and I can definitely say it's been an adventure!
We stayed in the Alps until mid March then we headed back to the UK for a friends wedding and birthday celebrations. It was nice to head home for a short while to catch up with friends and family as well as swap our clothes over ready for the summer! We don't have a house of our own at the moment so when we head back we usually stay with family. This time came and went and finally it was time to move to Spain!
After much research, we decided to live in Tarifa. One of the biggest pulls of Tarifa was that there seemed to be a very active digital nomad community. We found a Facebook group for digital nomads that had close to 4,000 members. That's pretty impressive for a relatively small town. However, we soon found out why it was so popular - Kite Surfing! Tarifa is the wind capital of Europe with people traveling from all over the world to kite surf there. We found the apartment we stayed in through Airbnb. It took alot of research to find an apartment for short-term rental to suit our needs (good WiFi, separate bedroom to living space) within our budget, but after much deliberation, we got it all sorted.
We arrived in Tarifa on a Sunday at midday with a huge amount of luggage. It was a levante day, which is a powerful wind that comes from the Mediterranean sea. Wearing a beach hat wasn't the best decision that day but I made it to the apartment still in possession of the hat! The apartment was on the outskirts of the old town, the historical part of the city, enclosed by a 13th century wall. This is also where most bars are so we made a good choice!
It took about a week to settle into Spanish life, but once we'd met some fellow nomads and got our bearings, we felt very happy in Tarifa. The temperatures were around 28 degrees Celsius most days, however the wind made it feel cooler, which was a welcome relief. Our weekdays consisted of working 4 or 5 hours in the morning, then heading to the beach for a few hours for some sun or kite surfing. Then we headed back to the apartment to do the rest of our work. This fitted well with going out for dinner too as the Spanish like to eat dinner very late into the evening meaning many restaurants were still open when we had finished work. Whilst going out for dinner every night sounds great, we had to tell ourselves that we weren't on holiday so we did cook in the apartment occasionally to save some money.
Every Friday night we met with fellow digital nomads in a beach bar called Waikiki. Each Friday bought new people, as well as existing, so the conversations and drinks were always flowing. It was really interesting to learn about what others do and where they had traveled too whilst working. We also headed to Tomatito surf bar every Thursday evening to meet friends and listen to the live open mic music - I even gave it a go myself one night! It's important to make the effort to meet people whilst living the nomadic lifestyle as it gives you things to look forward to and opens you up to parts of an area you may not have found otherwise. We met some amazing people in Tarifa and are still in touch with them today.
The end of June soon arrived and it was time to head back home for two months. Whilst we'd love to have stayed in Tarifa during this time, the rental prices rocket up and the beaches become extremely busy. We didn't mind though as we'd already booked to return to Tarifa for one more month in September. The final month in Tarifa again was amazing and we caught up with old friends as well as made new friends. During September I'd also gone full-time with my job. Although this meant a shorter weekend for me, my employers were happy to be flexible with hours so I didn't miss out on too much sun. We spent many days at the beach, ensuring we'd come back to the UK with a tan for Christmas. We have very fond memories of Tarifa and will certainly go back in years to come.
Since arriving back in the UK in October, lots has been going on including my partner and I moving into an apartment in Gloucestershire and launching some exciting new features to our products. The Sensible Code Company team have also gone 100% remote, but we still have offices in London, north-west England and, more recently, Belfast. Some more exciting news is that we're looking for a software engineer to join our fab team. If you're interested, take a look here for more information.
That's all from me for now. Look out for more blog posts from our team around remote working!