What It’s Like To Join A Coworking Retreat In Ubud, Bali
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Last month, we had the opportunity to join No Desk Project, a startup coliving and coworking wellness retreat for entrepreneurs in Ubud, Bali while working at the Outpost coworking space with major jungle vibes – right up our alley!
We’re all about companies paving the future of remote work and empowering people to learn new cultures and live creatively because it’s crazy to think that we spend ⅓ of our lives working (that’s 10-25 yeaaaars girl!).
So, why not pursue a job that you love right?
One that gives you freedom and flexibility to not just work on your own terms, but the ability to live your life to the fullest!
Studies actually show that productivity, happiness, a sense of purpose and a zest for life increases when we move beyond the 9-5 cubicle #heckyes.
So, while we’re normally crankin’ out work poolside with coconuts at our fave coworking base, the Dojo in Canggu, Bali, we jumped at the opportunity to check out a new space and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs for a week in Ubud!
Today, we’re excited to share the entire experience with you — so keep on readin’ to get the low-down on this coworking space in the jungle, our favorite adventures and eats in Ubud, one of the coolest yoga studios we’ve ever laid eyes on and our top pieces of advice if you’re thinking about joining a coworking retreat (you don’t want to miss this info!).
So here’s to us crazy ones paving this path for The Remote Revolution, one wifi connection and passport stamp at a time!
This is the future of work…
WORKING AT OUTPOST COWORKING SPACE
For us, one of the most important aspects of any coworking retreat is the ability to still maintain our work schedule throughout the retreat (girl bosses gotta work!), which basically means a stable wifi connection and an inspiring space to work out of.
As part of the pilot version of the NoDesk retreat, we received a membership to Outpost for the week, which gave us the flexibility to crank out work in paradise!
BB TIP: Make sure that the coworking retreat provides full access to a nearby coworking space! You’ll want a space other than your shared home/apartment/villa to work from.
We loooved that Outpost is located outside of the busy Ubud center, it has gorgeous jungle views all around, plenty of different seating options (from hanging swings, to hammocks, to shared desks!) and overall, it’s a bright, inspiring and spacious workspace.
Check this beauty out for yourself…
On the first floor, you’ll also find their attached cute cafe, The Green Window Cafe, with a supply of yummy eats and endless flow of caffeine (try the iced coffee served in a mini vase – adorbs!)
Plus, the Outpost community hosts weekly workshops, free massages on Thursdays (sign me uuuup!) and plenty of networking events to meet your fellow “co-workers”.
We usually opted to kick off our shoes and set up shop upstairs (the designated “loud” section), particularly on the large veranda overlooking the jungle versus the cozy, albeit very quiet, section downstairs. Because well, we’re kinda chatty 😉
BB TIP: Check out the operating hours of the coworking space – some are open 24 hours which will ease your worries if you need to make late night or early morning calls because of time zone differences.
YOGA AT THE UBUD YOGA CENTER
After crankin’ out a solid work day, it was time to head to the Ubud Yoga Center, where we received an unlimited pass to get our zen-on and decompress in paradise #heckyes.
Ubud is the yoga capital of Bali, which means there’s an abundance (no pun intended ;)) of yoga studios and classes to choose from — yet this yoga center is unlike any we’ve ever seen!
Imagine a stunning modern glass studio perched high over the jungle and the most serene lounge area and cafe — complete with plush hanging couches…yaaasss, it’s that amazing.
As soon as you enter the space, a calmness washes over you as you head upstairs to grab a mat, stretch it out and prepare for one of their many amazing classes.
The yoga center is also located literally around the corner from Outpost – which makes it oh so convenient to get your down dogs in after work 😉
ADVENTURES IN UBUD
One of the best parts of any coworking retreat is the ability to connect with other entrepreneurs also joining the retreat — because sometimes, it ain’t fun flyin’ solo as a digital nomad!
For this pilot program, we all came from various backgrounds and industries (a recent 9-5 cubicle ditcher, a budding entrepreneur, social media influencers and content creators etc.)
BB TIP: Find out beforehand who the coworking retreat is specifically geared for (i.e. is it for newbie freelancers? corporate employees? High-level entrepreneurs? etc.) It’s nice to be surrounded by a group of very like-minded individuals who are in a similar place in their journey.
Since there was no set retreat schedule, we all had the ability to plan adventures, meetups and dinners at our leisure.
The lax schedule made it a bit difficult to gather the whole group for activities throughout the week (i.e. while some of us were free in the mornings, others preferred to meetup in the evenings), however, we did conquer a handful of fun activities on our bucket list!
Like this one…
BB TIP: Find out if the coworking retreat schedule is strict or flexible. Check to see if they have pre-scheduled activities so you can plan these in your schedule ahead of time.
Questions to ask your coworking retreat host:
- Does the group meet for dinner every evening?
- Are there pre-planned activities scheduled? (day trips, tourist attractions etc.)
- Are these optional or required activities?
DAILY MASSAGES IN UBUD
Yep – you heard that right girl…daily massages.
As a busy girl boss, self care should be a top priority and being in a country with a low-cost of living makes it easy-peasy to frequently indulge in inexpensive, heavenly massages.
One of our favorite spas in Ubud, Cantika Alami, is a simple yet relaxing spa set right next to a gorgeous rice paddy field and views of the famous Campuhan Ridge Walk.
One hour here and we were walkin’ out on top of the world, ready to continue buildin’ our digital empire 😉
For all of you adventurous souls, this one is for you. Disclaimer: this activity is only for very experienced ATV riders and we would not recommend it if you’re a newb. #nojoke
Luckily, we were accompanied by some friends who knew what the heck they were doing (and didn’t drive us off a cliff in the jungle :o) which could have actually been possible – eeek!
We took a half-day of work and set-off trekking into the Ubud jungle to get muddy, disconnect from our screens and have a thrill!
THE BALI SWING
If you’ve ever scrolled through the #ubud hashtag on IG, then you’ve probably seen an epic shot of someone swinging high above the jungle, like this…
This jaw-dropping place is called the “Bali Swing”, a famous, you guessed it…swing hanging between coconut trees and high above the Ayung River.
There are actually a few unofficial “Bali Swings” around the Ubud area, one of them located on the property of a popular Airbnb rental called Zen Hideaway.
To get access to this exclusive Bali Swing (not the major touristy official one), you’ll need to:
- Send a private message to Zen Hideaway on Airbnb.
- You’ll receive instructions with dates and times that you can visit the swing.
- Arrive early on the scheduled day as there will be plenty of other people also oh-so patiently waiting for their turn on the swing.
Note: Since this activity is clearly not all that safe, you’ll be required to sign a waiver before swinging. There is a rope attached around your waist, but really, you swing at your own risk!
OUR FAVE FOODIE SPOTS IN UBUD
There are loads of delicious healthy restaurants in Ubud (from raw-vegan, to vegetarian, to organic clean-eats) which is another reason why this jungle city is a digital nomad hotspot!
Although we received complimentary breakfast as part of the retreat, we were a bit disappointed to find out that our breakfast options weren’t at all healthy, considering the retreat was marketed as a “wellness” retreat.
As busy girl bosses, it’s one of our our top priorities to maintain a healthy diet (gluten-free, dairy-free and processed sugar-free for us!) to have a clear mind, high energy levels and overall, feelin’ good!
We really believe it’s extremely important to pay attention to the fuel you’re putting into your body and figure out what type of food works best for you — your mind, body and soul depends on it…
So, off we went to discover the best healthy food spots in Ubud, which, are plenty!
BB TIP: Find out what type of meal options are available on your retreat. If you have a specific type of diet, be sure to inform your retreat host. Check to see if they have a list of healthy restaurants they recommend, which will save you time from runnin’ around the city!
Here were some of our faves:
Clear Cafe: This jungle cafe is all about the ambiance and experience. Take off your shoes, walk through the round hobbit-sized front door into a stunning locale with hanging vines, koi ponds, a winding wood staircase and comfy floor seating. The extensive menu here has so many delicious healthy options — although the Buddha Bowl with shrimp is arguably our fave 😉
Check it out for yourself…
Watercress: One of our staples in Canggu, they also have another location in Ubud – same cozy vibes, delicious food combinations and fast service. Although it’s located on the busy Jalan Raya Ubud street, you can head upstairs and find a nook away from the busyness. Our brekkie fave? The Sprouted Goodness on gluten-free bread with poached eggs…yuuuum!
Who’s Who: Don’t be put off by the strange name, this laid-back and slightly hidden spot is one of our go-to’s in the area! As it’s a relatively small restaurant, be sure to make reservations particularly for dinner (by candlelight!).
Elephant: The Elephant is the sister cafe to one of our Canggu faves, Green Ginger, and they serve up the same incredibly delicious, vegetarian dishes in a cozy environment. With views of the Campuhan Ridge Walk and a location outside of the busy Ubud center, this spot tops our list for any meal of the day! We love a cafe that prepares and serves their food with love of soul…
F.R.E.A.K. Cafe: You didn’t think we’d forget the caffeine did ya? Uh-uh girl. After trying out our fair share of coffee shops in the area, this one has stolen our bellies! The tiny space isn’t anything to write home about (casual crate benches, simple decor and a few seats), but…the coffee is perfection and that’s the most important thing right? Be sure to try out the mocha made with 100% raw Ubud cacao!
Copper Kitchen: This rooftop dining spot is part of one our fave boutique hotels ever…Bisma Eight. Really, it’s no surprise that this well-curated, jungle, modern minimalist hotel has an incredibly gorgeous (and equally delicious) restaurant – Copper Kitchen. We could sit here basking in the sun and indulging in their fresh fruit juices and homemade pastries for hours!
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