How to travel, co-work and grow your location independent business

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This afternoon, I received an urgent message from a friend of mine in Brazil.

“Elaine, I NEED project getaway RIGHT NOW!!!!! I think they’re closed… Do you know any other places like that??? =]”

I started to put some links together to help him out, and then realised it’d be much smarter to just publish them here. As an entrepreneur I believe you need two types of travel in your life.

1) Freedom Fighter
2) Business Workcation


This is a brilliant way to grow your business while NOT working.

Freedom fighters go on vacation and work for only 1 hour per day or less.

This focus is on travel – whether it’s visiting countries you had on your bucket list, jumping out of helicopters in New Zealand or helping muster cattle in Wyoming.

The freedom fighter literally fought for this. In the six weeks before the vacation, s/he applied the Pareto’s principal to cut out work that wasn’t beneficial to his business and put in place a great team who could do his work better than he could. He also automated everything possible. In the last 2 weeks before leaving, the freedom fighter should already seen his weekly ‘hours worked’ drop dramatically.

The results of this trip is that the business is now focused on more profitable niches, his team is stronger and his day to day business can still function without the entrepreneur being right in the middle of all the little details.

But there are two more important results of this vacation:

1) The freedom fighter has more time to work on the important high level aspects of his business when he gets home

2) While the freedom fighter is travelling and not working, the freedom fighter will get some of the best ideas on how to grow his company

It’s easy to burn yourself out when you are running your own business so it’s important to schedule in time away from it all – whether it’s a spa one hour up the road or to a different hemisphere.


A business workcation involves the best of travelling and working. The idea is that you travel to join a community of like minded entrepreneurs, and then enjoy a mixture of living in a new country, meeting and learning from amazing people and growing your business. This is what I did two months ago when I visited Bali.

It help my business at lot, and just as importantly it helped me to refocus and enjoy my business even more than I had before. I came home 100% more enthusiastic about EVERYTHING than I had been before (and honestly I was pretty content before).

So you might be reading this and decide - “Yes, A workcation sounds great, where can I find something like this?”

The answer is that it’s actually quite difficult. Even on google! First up, here are friends of mine that run Startup Getaway – a place in Bali that entrepreneurs can go all year round to work & play.

Keith put together a great list of co-working and co-living spaces around the world, which are listed below. This list was originally published here. Some happen once a year, and some are available all year round.

Project Getaway: The one that started it all. Originally just held in Bali, it’s now spreading globally with events occurring throughout the year. Typically for 1-month and open to around 25 folk. Packages are all inclusive, even including a weekly massage. Luxurious, fun, and inspiring. It’s great to now see the concept now spread.

Startup Getaway: The PG spin-off, if you like, where you can live in a villa in a quiet spot in Bali. Available year-round, with rates being fully inclusive (food, laundry etc). Great networking opportunities with international and local minds.

deceler8 me: A bit of a different event; a 5-day retreat geared towards taking things slow and reflecting. The inaugural event occurs this October on the sleepy Indonesian island of Gilli Air. Open to around a dozen entrepreneurs.

Change Ventures: 20 person event occurring for the first time this September, also in Bali. B&B package in a luxury villa setup. Small team of business mentors makes this a bit more unique.

Coworking Camp: An all inclusive event (even including flights!) kicking off at the end of this year in Egypt. Open to a massive 75 participants.

47Ronin: A permanent co-living/working space in Kyoto. Pretty rad opportunity to live and work in a very cool city. Accommodation is shared, but quite affordable.

Startup Abroad: A 2-week event for 10 entrepreneurs that happened last year in Ubud, Bali (a super town). This year it’s in southern Italy!

Sunny Office: A German-lead event that occurs in various spots in Spain, with the next even happening in Barcelona in September 2013.

The Surf Office: A permanent fixture in Gran Canaria. A lovely island with perfect year-round weather. A large house with office space. Offers just bed, desk space, and encouragement to hit the waves.

Coco Vivo: An isolated villa in Panama where you can escape to live and work with solar power and snail paced Wifi.

Cork Screw – Spark: A one-month event occuring throughout the year in a few global spots, including good old England. All inclusive package with a very focused schedule of activities.

The Ignition Lab: 4-day event in Nicaragua. Only available to a small group, with lots of time spent with the founding partners. Quite expensive, but aimed at those with a good track record looking to develop ideas amongst a private group.

Nest Copenhagen: A co-living space being created in downtown Copenhagen. Made up of 4 apartments, it’ll house 17. Kicks off in January 2014.

Hus24: Same as the above, but in central Stockholm.

BlackBox Mansion: Communal living and working in the heart of Silicon Valley (in FB’s hood). As covered by the BBC. A way of entering into the right networks for the next big thing. Was bookable with Airbnb, but seems to be no longer available.

Exosphere: A couple of months in Chile.

Are you a freedom fighter and what advice can you share for others on how to reduce their working hours? Or perhaps you’ve taken a workaction with some amazing entrepreneurs? Do you know any more workaction programs that I haven’t listed above?

Let me know your stories and travel experiences in the comments below.

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Elaine Heney is the CEO of Chocolate Lab Apps, #1 Bestselling Author of "The App Escape Plan". Elaine has over 200 apps published with over 3 million downloads, 5 online App Development Courses, and mentors international mobile startups.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  1. 1 Rachel Young December 15, 2013, 6:45 pm

    For shorter workcations, there is the Coworking Visa program. It’s a way for coworking space members to work from other coworking spaces while travelling. At my coworking space in Toronto (Camaraderie Coworking) we’ve received many international visitors, and our members make full use of this membership benefit.

    The Deskmag article:

    The map curated by The Network Hub:

  2. 2 Josh December 16, 2013, 3:50 pm

    This is a great list Elaine. Thanks for sharing!


  3. 3 Sanjay Kumar January 3, 2014, 6:03 am

    Hello Dear,

    I don’t know how to make apps but, yeah it can be a good job to make useful apps. I love your passion for horse riding which your picture shows too.
    Thank you!

  4. 4 Sergey January 9, 2014, 12:21 pm

    Great list, thank you!
    It could do with a bit of cost/fee info.

  5. 5 Elaine Heney January 24, 2014, 8:47 am

    Thanks Rachel Young!

    @Sanjay Kumar yes its not all about work!

    @Sergey – best idea is to email them directly for this info. Cheers!

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