I spoke with Stephanie Brennan, Head of Sales at Noma Collective, an organization that runs both Noma Villages in Belize (a permanent location) and Noma Editions (cultural immersion experiences for a fixed length of time).
Digital nomads seeking community can spend time in Belize or take fixed-length trips to other locations.
The pandemic accelerated many travel trends: including the reshuffling of people who sought out a human connection when familiar social venues were unavailable or inconvenient.
Noma Collective, a digital nomad community in Belize, is a tangible result of people seeking out human connection when it was hard to do.
This community is representative of a growing trend we are watching at Wayviator: formal digital nomad colocation. Remote workers and entrepreneurs are choosing to live in group accommodations that allow for like-minded people to be near each other and foster community while pursuing goals for a location-independent lifestyle.
But a village in Central America isn't the only thing that Noma Collective is up to. Another trend we are watching is the "fixed-length remote work excursion". Imagine a month-long trip to South America which isn't quite a vacation — but isn't your typical month of work either. Noma Collective and other companies are structuring trips that take into account that people are working and plan the itinerary of the trip with that dynamic in mind.
Unlike a vacation cruise or an all-inclusive getaway — scheduled activities are in the evenings and on weekends because it is assumed trip-takers are actually working remote jobs and earning a living during the day! This trend of taking "temporary relocation adventures" — for one month or a few months at a time — is likely to grow as more people get comfortable with their remote work lifestyle and with being productive in unfamiliar places.
I spoke with Stephanie Brennan, Head of Sales at Noma Collective, an organization that promotes both Noma Villages, a permanent location in Belize, and Noma Editions (cultural immersion experiences for a fixed length of time).
I heard about Noma Collective while looking into digital nomad communities in Central America. What's the quick history of your presence in Belize?
Stephanie Brennan: Noma Collective was born on the beaches of Belize during the pandemic. A few friends escaped to paradise to live, work, and play on the sandy shores of the Caribbean Sea. After a while, a few more friends joined them. Before long, a community of newly minted digital nomads were living and working together at a time when a human connection was needed most. Adventures were taken, ideas were exchanged and lifelong friendships were made.
What is it about Belize that caused Noma to select it for your first permanent village? Or did that evolve organically?
This evolved organically as the team fell in love with the local culture and community in Placencia, Belize.
Can you explain a bit more about what digital nomads can expect if they come to your village in Belize?
Nomads coming to Belize can expect spacious condos with a kitchen, a variety of coworking spaces with beach lagoon views, a like-minded community, and an action-packed events calendar. The weekly events calendar consists of family dinners, game nights on the beach, happy hour drinks in town, volunteering with the local community, volleyball games, and at least one larger excursion (waterfall hike, catamaran, snorkeling).
Can anyone who wants to join you at the Village? How do you grow your community at Umaya?
There is a vetting process. First and foremost, people need to be working while they are here. This is not a vacation destination. There are no other set criteria for acceptance. However, we interview everyone before coming to make sure they are an accepting person who we believe will vibe with the community.
What kind of accommodation do people get — and is this something that was existing or have you undertaken "renovations and repairs" to upgrade your Lagoon and Ocean condos and make them ready for digital nomad visitors?
The room accommodations are condos equipped with Wifi, full kitchens, andwater-facingg large balconies. Each apartment has several areas for working including a table inside and outside on the balcony. We have made some upgrades to the common areas of the resort such as coworking spaces and Wifi coverage.
Now, I noticed you just launched some promotions for an upcoming digital nomad month in Argentina under the brand "Noma Editions". What is/are Noma Editions and how do they differ from your Noma Village in Belize?
Noma Editions are fixed trips whereas Belize is a rolling date format.
Your website mentions several other Editions around the world? How long have you been doing this and how do you choose which countries to launch Editions in?
We choose Edition locations where we believe we will be able to deliver a great onsite experience. Usually, these are places where we have a local connection to ensure an authentic and sustainable experience for our community members.
What can people who sign up for a month-long Edition expect?
When you book an Edition people can expect comfortable accommodation, a variety of coworking spaces, a like-minded community, and an action-packed events calendar.
What's your ultimate vision for Noma Collective?
Community is at the heart of Noma Collective. We want to empower our community to guide the direction of the company. This will be done through having great relationships with our members and constantly listening to feedback. Ultimately we believe the product will be multiple beautiful coliving and coworking spaces for working professionals.
More info on Noma Collective is available at https://noma-collective.com.
Noma Collective has offered Wayviator subscribers $100 off a Noma Editions trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina (April 30th to May 30th, 2022). Accommodations will be at the boutique Fierro Hotel in the Palermo neighborhood. The stay with Noma includes a community manager, 3 yoga classes per week, daily breakfast, airport transfers, walking tours, and private and shared coworking spaces.
Subscribe to Wayviator below to receive the promo code for this offer.