An ecovillage is an intentional community with the goal of becoming more sustainable.
This concept fascinates the digital nomad in me. I want to travel better. I am not attracted to places like Chiang Mai or Bali where the practice of digital nomadism disrupted the local culture. To be a good flâneur, you need places where you can live incognito among different people. When you go to Bali, you are surrounded by individuals from a similar socioeconomic background or locals who are here to serve you as a tourist.
Don't get me wrong, digital nomad places have their perks. The network is great, you can collaborate and build great stuff together. You can party on a Tuesday with everyone because no one has to clock in at 8 AM the next day. You don't even have to explain your situation to backpackers or locals, they already know what a digital nomad is. You feel understood. This is not my vision of travel, however.
What are the alternatives then? You can live in cities, or you can live in the countryside near small towns. I did both and I won't say one is better than the other. The countryside is great to meditate and reconnect with a healthier environment while doing deep work. City life allows me to meet new people that will inspire my work and go on adventures.
Monasteries like the Plum Village and ecovillages appear as another alternative. I considered both as well. When I researched the ecovillage movement to build EcovillageList.com, I ended up a bit disappointed. It's incredibly hard to find remote-friendly locations. I want to live in an environment where sustainability is encouraged, but I also need to work hard on my different projects. Monasteries and ecovillages have lots of rules, and for good reasons, but I'm certain the lack of flexibility will impact my work. I work like a shokunin: my job is not just a part of my life, it's an integral component of it, and I want to work hard because it's my way to give back to society. Volunteer work should come afterward, not before.
Another problem, another opportunity. Yesterday I decided to make a call for participants to organize a co-retreat in the French countryside. If I can't find a suitable ecovillage, I'll gather people and together we'll make our own temporary structure to work on our projects and learn from each other. Sustainability by creation and collaboration.
5 people already answered - which is more than enough - but I keep receiving messages. I just had to ask!
The idea is to co-rent a cottage on Airbnb for a month near a small town and work from there. I think it's a good trade-off between Bali, an ecovillage, and solo flâneur-like travel: a travillage.
With 6 people, we can have huge cottages at a ridiculous cost - easily less than $500 for a whole month per person, and as little as $200 per person. Since I targeted French people, we don't have to overthink how to go there. Trains, buses, and car-sharing can get us almost everywhere. Personally, I intend to take my bike and make most of the distance by train to reduce my CO2 emissions.
The next step is to invite everyone to a Telegram group chat and pick dates and a location.