Co-Living, my Miami experience

Why trying something new?

My lease in NYC ended sooner than expected and I still had to stay 3 additional months in the USA. Our company have relocated to Durham, NC and with that I had no longer a real obligation to stay in the city. Even though I explored some short term rental apartments in Manhattan, that was a crazy process, very expensive and I was 100% sure that I didn’t wanted to pay additional fees.

So now, having the option to choose almost any place in USA I really wanted to try the co-living experience (more than the actual location).

What is co-living?

We are all familiar with the idea of co-working. Well this basically takes it to the next level, is not only about sharing a place of work, is also about sharing a place to live. It’s more of a community concept, where you get your own private room and bathroom, a shared kitchen and shared place to work.

But gets even better, the idea behind (still not totally implemented), is that you pay a rent to the company running it and they have different locations across the globe, so you can easily switch from one place to another with minor struggles, is like a renting membership with multiples locations.

The closest logical comparison would be with Airbnb, but the key difference is the community aspect, at the end everything is about connections. Renting a great place using Airbnb will cover you in your shelter needs, but what about friends in your new place? Activities? Plans for going out? All of those are essential part if your life if you are expecting to stay more than few days.

ROAM

Probably there are several companies doing the same (or similar concepts), in my case the first time that I heard about this was almost 1 year ago in a blog post of someone that I follow who shared his experience about co-living with ROAM, it automatically blew my mind and I got in contact with one of the founders. Funny enough that several months after I had the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

ROAM has different locations, and they are heavily working in order to add more to their network. The ones that I recall are: Bali, Tokyo, Madrid and Miami.

How was it?

I end up staying there for 1.5 months, they try to incentivize people to stay at least for a couple of weeks, which makes a lot of sense since the idea is to connect.

The price for a room is 1800 USD + taxes. I will say that is a very good deal for Miami. A great point is that the price remains the same regardless if you are one or two, what they told us about this is that you are renting your home and they don’t want to run it as a hotel.

Cons

  • The location is not amazing (at least for the one in Miami). Don’t expect to wake up looking at the sea or anything like that. But is also true that uber is very very cheap there, and you can get to Miami Beach for 2 USD.
  • The co-working area is not great. A bit small, in some cases it can get noisy. For me was a big struggle, I normally spend most of my time in calls, and in order to not bother the rest I needed a more private place which was hard to get. Most of the cases I ended up doing it from my room.
  • Internet is not great. In the co-working works fine, but across the building it is more random and you may get some small issues which are extremely annoying if you are in a important call.
  • There are also several people staying for only few days. Even if that is probably not the idea of the place I understand that the owners also have a business to run and managing all the bookings is probably a nightmare, but still will be nice to have less random people walking around.
  • I was probably the only one with a “normal” job, meaning that I had to work full time every day. This somehow set me a bit apart of the rest of the group, where everyone had a way more flexible schedule.
  • The component of “multiple locations” is big part of the idea, but the network is just not ready. There are only a few active places and too far from one other. I believe that as soon as they have that in place will be way more interesting.

Pros

  • Great deal. Easy to get, good price, no deposit or crazy fees.
  • The property was seriously gorgeous. Four houses with a middle green area, a swimming pool and a lot more.
  • PEOPLE, in the end is all about connections. You get the chance to meet very very impressive people, and actually spend a lot of time with them which helps to make a meaningful relation. Almost everyone there has a very exciting story to tell, if they are there more likely it’s because they are traveling the world, because they run their own business. Those are things that I deeply like and care about, and by far not the standard in society, but suddenly you get into this group where that is the norm. The first question that you will get after your name will be: “what you do?”. Everyone is very curious on why you are there and how it is that you are having this type of life.
  • Redefining what is possible. I really care about freedom, about running your own life, about being where you want to be and work on what you want to work. I spend a fair amount of time following people on internet that in a way or another are doing it, trying to learn from them, but somehow always still seems unrealistic. But here you are, suddenly in Miami, with people from all over the world, that most likely have no clue about their next steps, that can afford to travel the work, to make money over internet only investing few hours per week. Think about it like your own master mind group. I had the chance to understand some of the business that a few of them where running and I just could not believe it, there is always so many options if you are willing to try, and they are the true example.

Conclusion

I had the chance to live already in several cities around the globe, and to be honest I have no clue which may be the next destination. Changing places is never easy, but now seeing that there is an network of places at your disposal, that you don’t need to deal with crappy owners, that you don’t have to agree to a 12 month contract, where you can have your own private space, but at the same time be part of a community really amazes me and redefines the idea of what is possible and where the world is going. Even if we are in the early stages, I love the possibility that this type of movements create and it’s deeply connected with what I believe the world should/is going, less borders, less owning, and more freedom.