One week in Athens - My first trip as a digital nomad
Shortly I did my very first trip as a digital nomad, which means taking advantage of my ability to work remotely. I basically just checked with my current client if it was okay to work 100% remotely for the upcoming week and off I was.
The criteria I had for a destination city were rather simple. In order to be able to work remotely there had to be co-working spaces. This is easy to research beforehand. Coworker.com: Find & Review Coworking Spaces is a great site for that, while you can also find some on google directly.
Other than working I was looking to go somewhere significantly warmer than Berlin and also no to fare away. So Athens was an easy choice.
How I experience another city while working for a week
1. Choosing a destination
I first check which cities in Europe would have the desired weather and are cheap enough to flight to. Then I mad sure it would have any co-working spaces at all, without actually choosing one (which I did on Sunday evening when I had arrived).
2. Finding accommodation
First I was struggling a bit whether I would be fine with sleeping in dorm-room at hostels or I should rather spend some more money to get a private room in a hotel or on Airbnb.
As I was to lazy on searching for accommodation and the trip was very spontaneous I took it easy and gave hostels a try. I actually did not booked the hostel for the first two nights until I was literally waiting for boarding of my flight.
Two days into the week I realized a nice hostel is sufficient enough, as I working normal hours and some explorations of the city did easily fill my days.
Next to being cheaper and easier to find, hostels featured another advantage in Athens. In the city center most places you want to go are rather close and very likely to be in walking distance. So going back and forth from hostels to co-working spaces were only a matter of about 10-15 min walks. This not just save you time but also money on metro tickets. And you get to see something of the city while going to work.
3. Experiencing the city
As mentioned most places are in good walking distance. This makes it very easy to explore the city and visit some sites. Make sure to download a offline-maps app and lookup some of the site you want to visit. I find Wiki Travel to be good starting point. Additionally there are free tourist maps provided in most hostels. Another great way to get some knowledge about the city are a “free walking tours” , which usually take about 2 hours and are actually not free but run by tips / donations. Another way is to look for audio guide apps or similar podcasts. For instance I used Rick Steves Audio Europe™ Travel App while exploring the Acropolis of Athens. Lastly exploring the city on your own and enjoying local food and drinks is always a good idea.
What I learned from this short trip
Working from a another city was actually surprisingly easy. If get your work done on a computer all day as well and have setup to communicate with your team online you can do it too. If your employer is flexible enough to allow you working remotely for a week, you don’t even need to be a freelancer. You just need to be compatible with working from a co-working space and staying in hostels and that’s all it takes to visit other cities without taking any days off. I flew in on Sunday evening and stayed until Saturday evening, worked mostly and still found it valuable. Hence, I think arriving Friday night and leaving late on Sunday the weekend after gives you plenty of time for most cities.