What is Coliving? A Deep Dive into Community-Based Living

by | Oct 11, 2023 | What is Coliving

Welcome to the first post of our blog! Here, we’ll dive deep into answering the question, “What is coliving?” But we won’t stop there; we’ll also explore the history, types, and benefits of staying in a coliving space.

Colivings are on the rise, and the term “coliving” encompasses a wide range of lifestyles and building types. That’s why you’ll find a variety of definitions depending on the website and the experiences of the people sharing them.

For us, coliving is more than just a place to live; it’s a way of life. Imagine a housing setup where you’re not just another brick in the wall, but an integral part of a community.

But before we dive into the inspirational quotes, let’s start with the basics…

What is Coliving?

Some might define coliving as just a housing model where you pay a monthly fee for a room in a shared apartment, with bills and contracts included in the payment. While that’s one way to look at it, this definition falls short of capturing the essence of coliving: community.

So, for us, coliving is a space where strangers come together to live, share space, and pay for all services in one monthly bill, all while collaboratively enhancing each other’s lives.

What Coliving is NOT:

  • A shared flat, because there’s no requirement to build a community.
  • A hotel with a coworking space, as hotels prioritize privacy over community.
  • A hostel with a coworking space, since hostels are generally short-term and make it challenging to build connections.
  • An organized trip, because in coliving, you’re living with people, not just traveling with them.
Nomads having dinner together at Alpiness Coliving
Dinner at Alpiness Coliving

History and Growth of Colivings

From our hunter-gatherer days to medieval European households, communal living has been a cornerstone of human society. The concept of a nuclear family only became popular in the 1500s, influenced by societal and religious changes. The average household size has been shrinking ever since, especially in modern times.

The term “coliving” started making headlines in 2004 and gained significant momentum by 2016. A mix of factors like housing unaffordability, urbanization, loneliness, and the rise of remote work have all contributed to this modern-day renaissance of communal living. It’s as if history is coming full circle, but now we’ve got the added perks of WiFi and espresso machines.

Type of Colivings by Target

Residential Colivings

Imagine living in a space where everyone pitches in, making daily chores a breeze. That’s residential coliving for you. With a minimum stay of a year, these spaces offer a cost-effective alternative to living alone. Residents share household tasks, making it easier to manage the home and, let’s be honest, life in general. But wait, there’s more! The residents often become fast friends, bonding over shared activities like movie nights, potlucks, and weekend getaways.

Families Colivings

Raising a child takes a village, and family-focused colivings are that village. Multiple families cohabit in buildings with shared spaces like kitchens and living rooms. The community vibe is strong here, with families taking turns handling different chores on different days. It’s like a well-oiled machine where everyone chips in.

Senior Colivings

Think of it as the golden years, but better. Senior colivings offer the perks of typical senior residences but with a twist. Residents have their private spaces but also share common areas for socializing and activities. It’s a more independent lifestyle compared to traditional senior residences.

Entrepreneurs Colivings

Silicon Valley, anyone? Entrepreneur colivings are buzzing hives of innovation. These spaces house budding entrepreneurs looking to save on rent while working on their next big thing. It’s not just a roof over your head; it’s an ecosystem where residents share knowledge and resources to help each other succeed.

Nomad Colivings

Last but not least, let’s talk about colivings for digital nomads and remote workers. These offer stays ranging from one to three months. It’s not just about having a place to stay for a while; it’s about being part of a community. Residents collaborate to explore the local area and immerse themselves in the local culture. But more on that in the next section!

Colivings for Digital Nomads and Remote Workers

In the era following Covid-19, remote work has become more than a trend—a lifestyle. Colivings equipped with coworking spaces are meeting this shift head-on. These aren’t just places to stay; they’re meticulously designed environments that serve as your ultimate workspace and community hub. Expect high-speed internet, coworking areas that inspire productivity, and ergonomic setups that make work comfortable.

But work is just one part of life. These colivings typically accommodate 8-15 residents, creating a community that’s neither too small to be boring nor too large to be overwhelming. Shared meals, casual conversations in communal spaces, and even collaborative projects are all part of daily life here. The advantages are clear: the flexibility to move as you please, a ready-made community, and enough privacy to enjoy your downtime. All of this allows you to immerse yourself in a new location without the risk of burnout.

So, how do you find an authentic coworking coliving that checks all these boxes? Head over to mapmelon.

Coliving as a Solution to Modern Challenges

Before you arrive we prepared this room with care and love.
Our Rosa took care of it.
If you have any ideas to improve it, we would love to hear your suggestions.
You can tell your proposals to Rosa or to the rest of the team.
Thanks to your experience we will be able to continue building the paradise we want.
Welcome message at the room in Anceu Coliving

Sustainability in Colivings

Coliving spaces are not just a trendy alternative to traditional housing; they’re a sustainable solution to some of the most pressing issues we face today. By design, coliving is inherently more eco-friendly. Sharing resources means consuming less, reducing the overall carbon footprint of each resident. But many coliving spaces take it a step further by actively promoting sustainable lifestyles. Think vegetarian communal dinners, composting systems, and even on-site gardens for fresh produce. In a world of climate change and resource depletion, coliving offers a way to live that’s kinder to the planet.

Solitude and Social Anxiety

Let’s face it, modern life can be isolating. But step into a coliving space, and you’ll find a community where everyone is welcome, and solitude is optional. These spaces are designed to foster social interaction, from organized activities to those random, meaningful kitchen meetups that make interacting with others easier and more relaxed.

In a coliving space, you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your values and lifestyle, making it easier to connect on a deeper level.

Comparing Colivings vs Airbnb vs Hotels vs Hostels

We’ve put together a quick comparison to help you see the pros and cons of colivings, Airbnb, hotels, and hostels at a glance. Whether you’re all about that community vibe or just looking for a short-term stay, this table’s got you covered.

Community VibeHigh (Built-in)Low Low High (Young Travelers)
Stay Length1-3 MonthsVaries> 1 Month> 1 Month
Work-Friendly AmenitiesYes (Coworking Space)Maybe (Depends)Maybe in the roomSometimes (Common Area)
Social ActivitiesYes (Community Events)NoNoYes (Tourist Activities)
SecurityHighVaries (Depends on Host)HighLow
Local ExperienceHigh (Live Like a Local)MediumLow (Tourist Areas)Low (Tourist Areas)
* Price average for accommodation in Tenerife in 2022

In a world where remote work is the new norm and the quest for meaningful connections never ends, coliving shines as a holistic lifestyle choice. It’s not just about a roof over your head; it’s about community, flexibility, and authentic local experiences. So, why settle for less when you can have it all?

You can read more about What is Coliving at Morgane’s (Life at Selgars) post.

Ready to dive into the coliving world? Head over to mapmelon to find authentic colivings that suit your remote work lifestyle.

Want to keep the conversation going? Join our Colivers Club community to learn more, share experiences, and get the inside scoop on all things coliving.

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