Feeling restless? Expand your horizons at Freedom X Fest

A village in Lleida in the Pyrenees

Summer is coming (I can barely believe it, either) in the northern hemisphere, and you might be thinking about getting away from it all. Sun, sand, sangria and all that. Summer is also a time to be rethinking priorities before the dreaded back-to-school feeling returns.

Perhaps, as you sit on that fluffy beach and stare at the deep blue sea, a sea that appears to go on forever, you think big thoughts on doing big things in a big world unconstrained by, erm, big borders.

But where to begin?

Coworkation, who organises work retreats for digital nomads, will be holding a festival on freedom this August in Spain. Over six days, Freedom X Fest will bring together leaders of the location independent movement, entrepreneurs and creatives in a remote village in the Pyrenees.

It’s far from a bad choice of location for a festival seeking to inspire. The Pyrenees are somewhat underrated – amazing food and drink, ancient villages forgotten by time, and fabulous Barcelona on your doorstep. Seriously, what more can anyone want? To kind of prove my point, the following image shows the Pyrenees snapped from a flight I took in January 2016:

More than 50 speakers are now reportedly confirmed, and there will be additional activities such as rock-climbing, swimming, hiking, yoga and meditation, and live music with DJs.

Aspiring digital nomads can sign up on the website for a ticket (with one day, weekend and week passes available).

Le Wagon hosts digital nomad meetup in Shanghai

X-Space in Shanghai

The digital nomad movement is normally associated with spiritual places like Bali and Chiang Mai, rather than the financial hubs of this world – and for good reason. But as the name suggests, digital nomadism denotes location independence, and so the trend is rapidly finding its way into our big cities where you’re more likely to encounter a football field than a rice field.

And big cities frankly don’t come much bigger than Shanghai, a heaving megalopolis of 24 million souls (more than double the population of Belgium, or eight times the population of Wales, if you prefer), the scene of an upcoming digital nomad meetup.

On 11 May, coding bootcamp specialists Le Wagon Shanghai will deliver a free evening of digital nomadism talks on how to take advantage of our “ultra-connected world to work whatever suits freelancers”. The event will be held at bar/cafe/hipster space X-Space, Jiangning Road near Fengxian Lu, which has the added kudos of being located in my former neighbourhood.

Beginning at 7pm, the evening will include a snapshot of the key challenges relating to the digital nomad lifestyle in Shanghai, short talks from digital nomads on remote work, Q&A and drinks (obviously).

(With special thanks to Brian Tam for alerting me to this.)