Digital Nomad Families Live Their Best Lives Taking Their Kids Into ‘Workers’ | Thames

After co-founding his first startup in 2012 — and sale for $300 million in 2017 – California entrepreneur Nick Taranto took no more than a week’s vacation at a time.

“I’ve always been in the middle of too many things to be totally unplugged. Getting something from zero to a real thing takes a tremendous amount of focus, discipline and hard work to fight the inertia of things falling apart,” Taranto, who currently runs two companies, told Sifted.

Family obligations make the holidays even more complicated – Taranto is also the father of three children aged one to eight.

But he recently found a solution that allowed him to continue to work, to be with his family and to relax (a little): a family job. He has just returned from a month of “transformation” in the historic hilltop town of Sintra, just 25 km from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, one of the best digital nomad villages in Europe. Work, of course, was a feature, but so were yoga, hiking, wine tasting, beach trips, castle tours and surf lessons.

Digital nomad families: an underserved market

Taranto’s work is indicative of one of Europe’s major work-related trends – digital nomadism – which is broadening its appeal. But despite the number of platforms connecting digital nomads with coliving and coworking spaces around the world, there hasn’t been much support for digital nomad families. This is despite 70% of “anywhere workershaving children, according to a recent report from Lonely Planet and Fiverr. Another one investigation out of 1,000 UK workers over the age of 30 according to UK business website found that 72% want to work abroad again. But 42% think it’s too much of a hassle to do so, with 21% citing family commitments as holding them back.

As a parent wanting to take advantage of remote work to travel the world, childcare options are slim. You can try to find local daycares or schools that will temporarily take in children, locate summer camps in places you want to go, or find coworking spaces that offer childcare. You can also hire a nanny or find one locally, or consider staying at an all-inclusive resort with a kids’ club. Reducing working hours between parents or committing one of you to childcare/schooling responsibilities could also be a possibility. But whatever you choose, there are plenty of balls to juggle.

Taranto’s experience was organized by a startup called Boundless Life, which combines accommodation, childcare/education and coworking spaces in places like Portugal, Greece and, from January, Italy.

Other similar businesses include Family Workation, which also offers accommodation, childcare and coworking space in Portugal – near the city of Tomar, about 140 km north of Lisbon. Flexible schooling models are also emerging, such as Brave Generation Academy, an academy for teenagers that allows them to attend different locations in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.

Nick Taranto and Nimmi Roche enjoying a bike ride during their family work in the town of Sintra, Portugal

In Sintra, Taranto accompanied his two daughters and son daily from their apartment to the education center, as well as the children of about twenty other families in the group, all staying nearby. They took weekly trips to local gardens, water parks and farms, and went out for ice cream in the afternoon.

He and his wife, Nimmi Roche, who works at Dyrdek Machine – the venture capital firm founded by former professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek – have continued their work at a coworking center, albeit with a significant change in schedule to account for the time difference between Portugal and the West Coast of the United States.

“I did my asynchronous work during the day, and I combined all my meetings in the evening, starting around 7 p.m., sometimes going until 1 a.m. It’s a long day, but you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want,” says Taranto. Other founders based in Europe praised the merits of working with teams based in the United States at European time.

Getting used to the new schedule was difficult, Taranto adds, but having more free time during the day was “liberating”.

“I don’t think my work was negatively affected by being away for a month, which was a concern,” he says. “Having a month to change your perspective on the world wasn’t a reality before, but having this different life experience, and continuing to work, has changed the way we think about travel, family, work and life. life.”

A work-life balance solution for entrepreneurs

Although Boundless Life attracts business nines and fives, it has built a sizable following among entrepreneurs, offering a solution to Taranto’s predicament of wanting to travel but feeling unable to quit his businesses, the company says co-founder Marcos Carvalho.

“Being with us helps entrepreneurs feel in the right place to have a better balance with their family while giving them more creativity to direct towards their work. That is why entrepreneurs are attracted to this way of life,” says Carvalho, himself a serial entrepreneur who successfully left two startups.

“And entrepreneurs care about building projects that will have a positive impact on the world. What can have a more positive impact than educating and preparing your children to be part of the world? »

An image of Marcos Carvalho, co-founder of Boundless Life, which welcomes families who want to work and play remotely.
Serial entrepreneur Marcos Carvalho founded Boundless Life to accommodate families who want to work and play remotely. Credit: Unlimited Life

Digital nomad families can raise globally minded children

The changes Taranto saw in his children during their time in Sintra were clear. “They had an incredible experience: learning a new language, discovering a new culture and meeting new people from all over the world. They have become more independent and prosperous,” he says.

Creating routine and community, and embracing cultural immersion without being overwhelming, are some of the biggest challenges. But building resilience is one of the biggest benefits for everyone, says Stacey Yates Sellar, who leads a mindful parenting workshop in Sintra for Boundless Life parents. She is currently participating in the program in Syros, Greece, with her husband and two sons. They had previously traveled for 18 months to 36 locations.

“People ask, ‘How are your children adjusting, and isn’t it difficult for them?’ Yes, it is difficult, and they must be adaptable. But the difference between whether something is scary or exciting is how we present it to them,” says Yates Sellar.

“Children who travel don’t see culture, language and place as a variant. They just see a whole bunch of new kids to play with.

As more families choose to live outside the norm and pursue the digital nomad lifestyle, Taranto predicts an increased need for a flexible, holistic education that connects the dots between school, accommodation and community from different places.

“As more and more people turn to full or part-time remote work, there is an opportunity to meet this demand and eliminate friction – we wouldn’t do it alone. because there is so much friction,” he observes.

“When you can remove friction for customers, they’re going to pay a premium.”

👉 Read: Which European countries offer digital nomad visas?

MaryLou Costa is a freelance journalist.

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