They first showed up in our offices somewhere around the beginning of June. At first, they looked around cautiously; they warmed up a bit at their welcome party, but even afterward most shyly averted their gaze when you ran into them. It turned out that they were only staying four weeks before moving on to another city.
They have three to twelve months when they work for their employers and travel the world at the same time. A diverse group, linked by the English language (in a variety of accents), high demands for high-speed WiFi, and a We Roam sticker on their laptops. You haven’t heard of them? If you can work from anywhere in the world and you have USD 2,000 a month to spare, you can join them.
Various types of nomadism are exceedingly popular at the moment, and We Roam expands the range of possibilities with a more luxurious experience. It’s designed for individuals who have their own income and can work from anywhere in the world but prefer not to travel alone. For these kinds of nomads We Roam takes care of everything on their travels: from schedules and tickets to accommodations and coworking in their target destinations.
Several groups (this year Polaris, Orion, and Lyra) set out from various corners of the world; travel plans are known in advance, so you can choose where to join. How many continents you can handle is up to you. You can simply focus on working and enjoying the summer weather in the given city. And when you want company, you have a band of other Roamers around you. In the locations themselves We Roam organizes tours, parties, and workshops so that Roamers can get to know the country as well as each other.
At first I couldn’t grasp the concept. When you’ve already got a high-paying job year round from anywhere in the world, why would you need to pay We Roam to plan your travel? The route of the Polaris group (Buenos Aires- Floriánopolis-Bogotá-Rabat-Barcelona-Prague-Berlin-Split-Belgrade-Chiang Mai-Hanoi-Bali) is not a difficult one in terms of either logistics or safety. Of course, that’s from the perspective of a widely traveled Central European who doesn’t need anything more than she can carry. Roamers either lack travel experience or are limited by the media image created on their side of the ocean. In other words, they’re afraid to be on their own. One nice American woman asked me in all seriousness whether Greece was really that dangerous (when she was planning her visit for the summer, and with a group of friends).
Another factor is the company of other Roamers. Not everyone has friends who are willing and able to travel. Fernanda from Brazil was disappointed at how many people she offered at least to visit her during her travels. All of them made promises before she left, then suddenly she was hearing a flurry of excuses. Maybe they were afraid, or too complacent. After all, setting off on a journey means leaving your comfort zone. Thanks to We Roam, Fernanda doesn’t feel lonely.
Even though there will always be someone in the group you don’t get along with, you want to have someone to share your experiences with. At our offices in Opero the Roamers handled interpersonal relations by changing up their seating arrangements. They simply spread out throughout the Flexi space, terrace, and café. It even happened occasionally that my favorite couch was taken and I had to have my coffee at the bar. 🙂
We Roam helps people overcome their fear, thereby making travel possible for people who would otherwise never look beyond the borders of their own country. And what a waste that would be! From experience I know how much a person learns about life and themselves when traveling. I somewhat naively hope that the more people expand their horizons the better off we’ll all be. Especially when financially secure Americans encounter the reality outside the USA.
A month is enough to gain a basic understanding of a country, and We Roam tries to take it one step further. Roamers have the option to participate in a number of volunteer activities. In South America they helped build a school and teach English, here in the Czech Republic they wanted to help walk dogs at the pound. The only disappointment was that they more or less kept to themselves and didn’t interact more with the coworkers.
With the nearing of Saints Cyril and Methodius Day it became time for our Roamers to be on their way. The Polaris group has moved on to their next stop in Berlin. Some said goodbye, others simply disappeared, and Opero grew quiet. I no longer had to wonder if I should greet people in the kitchen in Czech or in English, the pizza boxes disappeared from the refrigerator, my spot at the café was free again.
Then one afternoon I head out from my office for my usual coffee and find a pile of things lying on my favorite couch. A backpack, smartphone, and laptop with a We Roam sticker. It looks like the Orion group has arrived. It’s the first month of their journey, so we’ll see what adventures their visit will bring. 🙂