Roam - A Lease That Lets You Live Around the World

Would you pay $1800/month for a lease that lets you jump between Bali, Madrid, Miami, London, San Francisco, and more?

By: Kyle Frost

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The digital nomad lifestyle has grown into a massive community in the last few years. Driven by a generation that prioritizes travel, availability of remote jobs and access to the internet, millennials in particular are taking flight, choosing to live and work as they travel. Roam is betting on co-living as the next big trend.

What is Co-living, exactly?

Co-living is a movement that has grown out of the co-working and digital nomad lifestyles. There's no doubt that shared office space and co-working has hit the mainstream, with companies like WeWork hitting valuations of $16 billion. Co-living bridges the gap between remote work, leases, and travel; more generally, it's challenging conventional ideas of real estate ownership. It's a movement largely fueled by globalization and a desire to create less 'fixed' communities. What if people weren't tied to one place to live and work?

Enter Roam

Roam is a new entrant into the co-living space, and they're hoping that their unique approach to housing resonates with digital nomads. For $1800 a month, you can jump between their custom designed properties in Bali (Ubud), Madrid, or Miami. They hope to soon add additional locations in San Francisco, London, Berlin, Prague, Shanghai, Morocco, and Nicaragua. 

Each property is painstakingly designed with the unique local flavor of the area. For example, in Miami, Roam inhabits the restored grounds of a hotel built in 1908. Amenities like Parachute bedding, private bathrooms, cleaning services, fiber internet, Eames chairs, and community events are intended to make the Roam experience feel more like a home than a hostel. It's important to note that Roam is designed for living and working. Every property has designated working spaces designed to attract remote workers.

Roam spaces aren't really designed for short-term stays. While rooms will be available for week-long rental, most of the space is dedicated to Roam members staying monthly, or jumping between properties as they travel.

A bedroom at Roam Miami

Co-working space at Roam Ubud, Bali

What's the cost?

At $500 a week or $1800 a month, Roam doesn't come cheap. There's a very specific market here for digital nomads looking for a more structured and home-like experience while working abroad. Roam believes that it's relatively high price is justified by a suite of internal tools for community members, the quality of both work and living accommodations, and the live/work proposition (think $900 living/$900 workspace). That said, it is sure to still find detractors in experienced travelers who find it much easier to find cheaper accommodations. While that's valid, there's something to be said for the comfort of plush, clean, private accommodations, guaranteed blazing wifi, and a likeminded community.

So what's the verdict?

Jury's still out on this one. Personally, as a remote worker myself, I like the idea. Roam definitely caters to a very specific category of person though, one that is making enough money to justify the extra comfort of it's beautiful spaces. Overall, I'm excited to see where this style of living/working goes and watch Roam as it expands. Maybe I'll take a property for a spin one of these days! 

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