Valencia Nomads is a network of like-minded digital nomads and entrepreneurs that help each other out. From housing to meet ups, activities, and knowledge, they open their arms to all wanderers and provide a helping hand, and friendship, to those interested. Daniel Hazelhoff reports…
Valencia, our sunny city, has been steadily becoming an up-and-coming destination for the digital nomad. Digital nomads are individuals who have taken advantage of the internet, and its liberating capabilities, and have chosen a lifetime of experience and independence, working from their laptops. Those seeking true immersion in overseas cultures, and the freedom of independence from the shackles of an office setting can find that right here, in Valencia. Little wonder that it came first in a survey of 66 cities in the Expat City Ranking survey of 2020.
With the help of Valencia Nomads, digital nomads can now cooperate, collaborate, and connect. Valencia Life spoke to creators Charlie and Jiji Hedley-Giron (below), a couple of entrepreneurs with a zeal for business and also community.
The birth of Valencia Nomads
“It all started when we were sick and tired of the pandemic,” says Charlie. “We moved to Valencia about nine months before the whole fiasco, from Mexico, where we’d already set up a digital nomad’s collective.
“When the pandemic hit here we were sick and tired of not being able to meet anyone. So the whole idea was to help people meet each other, and make connections. We started as a group of friends, and we’d organise meetups,” adds Charlie.
It seems it’s all about being a collaborative environment. Starting as a small group of friends organising meetups and activities, it all grew from there.
“If it wasn’t for Telegram, we wouldn’t have what we have today. There’s no limit to the number of people you can have on any given Telegram group,” says Jiji.
“Our platform grew so quickly, we soon needed to find ways of managing the whole thing. Telegram can help with bots, but we also created a team of about 30 admins that help with the management,” she adds.
Digital nomads in Valencia
The Valencia Nomads group connects like-minded people. Meetups, talks, and workshops are all held via their Telegram groups. It’s a place where digital nomads gather to create and cooperate within Valencia.
Its growth really skyrocketed since its inception, and they found a need to create subgroups to cater to the specific needs and interests of the rapidly growing community.
“We grew really quickly and with this growth, there was a demand for events and activities,” Jiji explains.
“There were specific events people wanted to do, so instead of posting an event publicly on the main group,” she says, “so we started to create subgroups of more specific interests. And so now we have different types of subgroups. You can check out our subgroups from our main Valencia Nomads group. From there you can join groups that cater to your interests.”
It’s not all about work
These hyper specific groups help people connect with communities that are interested in the same things, bonds are created and good times are had, says the couple. Not to mention the learning opportunities and networking that get done. The digital nomad community is known for its entrepreneurial interests and cooperation-rooted motivations. What better way to get connected with like-minded, driven individuals?
At valencianomads.com you can find their website and a comprehensive list of all of their Telegram groups. From marketplaces to content creators, mountain climbing to groups on sexuality and tantra, from recycling to house searching, they’ve really got it all. The website is a one-stop-shop for all digital nomad needs, and man, do they streamline it.
“Our Telegram groups are more focused on genuine human connection, making friends, sharing ideas and hobbies. Now that we have the website up and running, we are excited to work with businesses, and entities, get people on board and start promoting fantastic entities,” says Jiji.
“We’re trying to offer services for those in need as well. We have accommodation and insurance. But that’s not our focus.”
“We’re all about events and workshops, that’s our main focus for now,” they explain.
Though their members are predominantly English-speaking, about 25% of them are Spanish or Valencian locals. This shows a degree of cross-pollination and integration between the two different communities. It’s apparent that some individuals are interested in getting to know the nomad community and learning about it, just as the nomad community is interested in Valencia, and its way of life.
The Portuguese way
“Look at Portugal, for example, and their nomad visa. We understand Spain is considering a similar system. This makes it easier for people to move and live here for a certain amount of time, without necessarily becoming a citizen,” says Charlie.
Valencia is already known for its tourism.“Many people come to visit, then join some of our groups, and all of the sudden, they’re going back home, packing their bags, and with the help of our community, many end up moving here,” says Jiji.
“Thanks to the internet, and these coworking and coliving spaces, digital nomads can move and operate from anywhere. Our target market is that of the younger professionals and entrepreneurs, 25-35. We’re just trying to help them grow.”
But that’s not all they’re doing. Last December, they held a donations event at Bugalü, one of our favourite bars here at Valencia Life. That afternoon they went around Valencia giving out food, beverages and also clothing to the homeless around town.
Valencia Nomads give back too
Valencia Nomads is just as much about connecting individuals as it is about giving back to the host community.
“It’s all about collaborations,” says Charlie, “and the idea of helping each other out. We wanted to create a platform where people can share their skills, talent, and experience to make life better for everyone involved.”
They both share their opinion, which we, at Valencia Life, wholeheartedly agree with; Valencia is an up-and-coming city, especially within the world of digital nomads. Compared to the saturated markets, and the hustle and bustle of Spain’s larger cities, Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia seems like a no-brainer for young determined minds to reach their potential, in a more relaxed environment.
“We want to help Valencia become one of these digital nomad hubs. We see Valencia as a growing city, it’s one of the places to be. And who knows what it will be like in the next five years?” they ask.
Indeed, who knows? All we know is that the prospects are good, and with people like the Valencia Nomads on your side, there’s no telling what heights you can reach. So what are you waiting for? Check out their website at valencianomads.com
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