Co-founder of award-winning co-living Sun and Co. describes the experience as “a summer camp for grownups” who are in this case digital nomads.
Jon founded Sun and Co. with his friend Eduardo in 2015. He worked in the co-working field, while Eduardo ran a hostel, so together they thought to combine these experiences and created Sun and Co. on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Javea.
The house hosts 18 people, and their visitors span over different professions; from coaches, to marketing and social media, to developers, designers and entrepreneurs, the list goes on.
For Jon, co-living is about intentionally sharing a space for 3 weeks or more with like-minded people who have similar interests and are probably in the same stage of their lives. It’s about not feeling lonely in this nomad lifestyle, and being around people who have the same mentality.
“I’ve witnessed very strong bonds created, and intense experiences lived” he added, people stay together, work together and have the safe space to discuss deep issues like love, death, fears and families.
He strives to create a home, not a house, where people keep coming back; and indeed, 25% of their co-livers come back. Even during the pandemic, when things were not going well and Sun and Co. started a donations campaign, their community supported them with about EUR 17,000.
In 2021, Sun and Co. received the “Best co-living community of the year” globally from Coliving Awards. And in 2022, it’s in the final 4 for a Nomad Co-living award.
“It was a very difficult year” Jon said, Sun and Co. struggled to get bookings for months, then in May between one moment and another, the place was fully booked. At that time, they applied for the award and they won. Everyone in the house watched the online ceremony and celebrated together.
Javea is a small town in south-east of Spain, between Valencia and Alicante. It has a population of 30,000 people and quite a few expats. The numbers of expats ensures that English is understood everywhere, however the town still keeps its Spanish character.
Sun and Co. recently had a pop-up experience for one month in the Basque country and they are likely to repeat it again. They also plan to offer community passes to nomads who don’t stay in the house, but want to take part in the activities.
These co-living experiences are growing with the growth of digital nomad culture. Previously complicated official papers or procedures are now much easier. Take for example getting a travel medical insurance, now it happens fast and easy and renews automatically, via providers who are dedicated to digital nomads like SafetyWing.
“We encourage people to enjoy the slow life. Do your work, and still enjoy your life. Go to the beach, visit the market and connect with the people in the house” Jon said.
He added that the special thing about their co-living is that they worked hard for 7 years, putting the people at the center of the experience.