Guest article by Judy Sheard.
I am 65 years old, an introvert, and have recently discovered the gem that is coliving.
I have spent time at Roam Miami, a community occupying a former boarding house that is now a completely renovated coliving establishment.
It has 4 buildings, each with 8–10 rooms, and all with their own bathroom.
The rooms are beautiful; some quaint, others roomy, all very comfortable. There is a fully-stocked communal kitchen (the center of the Roam universe), a swimming pool, a large work space, small conference rooms, a library, yoga room and area for community meals.
There is rarely a time when the kitchen is empty.
Residents are preparing their meals or just hanging out. As is the case when entertaining at home, some of the best conversations take place in the kitchen.
“Community is at the heart of coliving”
I was able to be very productive during work hours and then had absorbing opportunities for conversation, interaction and merriment.
While I was not interested in Salsa dancing at 9:00 pm or a late dinner, I was keen for stand-up paddleboard yoga, watching the sunrise at the beach followed by a run, Happy Hour at a nearby pub, and Wednesday community dinners, all with my co-living colleagues.
The other residents were all younger than me and most of them were digital nomads meaning they could work from anywhere in the world.
There were software engineers, writers, app developers, and website designers.
There were also residents who were in transition from a previous life to a new one and used the coliving community as a way station.
The energy that surrounded these “kids” (most around the age of my own daughter and older) was inspiring and uplifting.
I never felt on the outs because of my age, but also chose my community time to fit my personality.
I have a happy and busy life which includes a position at a foundation that I absolutely love, lots of great friends, activities and volunteer work on the weekends.
My daughter lived at home while she was in graduate school and when she completed her studies, moved in with her boyfriend. The house is now very quiet.
Since I work from home, the transition into the evening at home has proven to contain a bit too much of my own company.
I am not lonely, but unless I take deliberate action, my life will narrow into a daily, predictable sameness.
I have spent considerable time researching alternative living arrangements (co-housing, tiny home communities) and now I am an enthusiastic proponent of coliving.
The coliving experience provides me with a built-in community of wonderful, interesting people, while at the same time, gives me the option of concentrated work time and solitude at a moment’s notice.
A couple of months after my daughter moved out, I got a housemate, and just by his mere presence, the house has more energy. His rent now functions as my “coliving fund” for the adventures to come.
Judy Sheard is the Senior Clinical Manager at The Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation.