Digital nomads know that the travel part is easy — the connectivity is the tricky part.
Commuting from the jungle sounds great, until it's 3 a.m. Thailand time (or mid-work day in America) and the wifi cuts out. No wifi, no job. No job, no Thailand.
A new Canadian service wants to smooth those rough edges for a not-inconsiderable price. Say hello to Unleash. Currently on offer: two-month stints in three South American destinations — Arica, Chile; Huanchaco, Peru; and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Pay them $3,300 a month and they'll supply accommodations, Spanish language lessons and 24-hour wifi, both at home and in a shared co-working space. (A local data account will be available for emergencies.) That bill will also cover interior travel within South America and twice-monthly surf trips.
Is this a good deal? Depends. Check Airbnb and you'll find five-bed apartments close to the beach for around $800 a month. Is Unleash providing $2,500 of services you couldn't provide by yourself? For digital nomads without language skills, whose income is make-or-break dependent on 24-7-365 connectivity, maybe it's worth the cost. And maybe there's value in the built-in community of probably extremely like-minded remote workers.
So if the priority is a mobile office that best replicates working in Palo Alto — well, go for it. It seems like there's something to be said, though, for jumping into a place ... and truly leaving Palo Alto behind.