And not only the fish, but especially the kites. Tarifa is Europe’s Mekka of kite surfers, and even in November there were plenty of kite surfers out there in what I sometimes considered very rough conditions. For the kiters, it’s probably not rough but heaven on earth. But I wasn’t there for kiting.
Johannes from Webworktravel loosely invited digital nomads for a “workation” to Tarifa for the month of November. To work, to talk, to exchange thoughts and ideas, to get inspired, to hang out. In the end, over 20 people accepted the invitation. I met some really interesting people and gained some valuable insights on how other people organize their digital work life. It was a great experience and, in case your interested, Johannes will organize another workation in Tarifa in spring time (April or May 2015).
Most of the time, people randomly or “semi-organizedly” met in a public place like a café or arranged some kind of work session at an apartment. Independent of Tarifa, working in a café is not always the best solution, it really depends what I need to do.
If I need to be really sharp-focused, I don’t really need all the visual and acoustic distractions in form of not-my-type-of-music, little life bits I never cared finding out about while overhearing conversations, hard street noise, never-ending WhatsApp notifications or, my favorite, fellow citizens holding their phone in front of them while talking and walking around the whole damn place…I call them not sleep but stalk walkers. I also don’t need a Facebook posing picture with my laptop on the table and some posh beach, lovely sunset or fancy drink as decoration…ok…that’s allowed though ;)
However! All the things that distract can also be inspiring at times and spark your energy. For me, if I don’t need to do something that requires my full attention or if I’m seeking for ideas and for creative input, it’s often beneficial to step out of my usual zone and place myself into a spot that’s not so comfy and as the predictable home office. So…sometimes I actually want or even require all the distracting stuff mentioned further above.
In any case – you’ll have to find out yourself what conditions you need to do whatever you want to achieve on a certain day. I like to experiment with the conditions to find out what keeps me flowing & going.
We mostly met at these places:
- Surla: very nice café close to the beach with tasty, slightly expensive food. Not sure about power outlets.
- Mudaki: bar / café right by the beach walkway with a spacious outside area. Wifi is a bit shaky, as reported by some coworkers. Outside, you can immerse yourself in loungy couches and enjoy the sun. But it can be very windy at times. No power outlets.
- Bossa: small bar in the old town, for my taste a bit too small tables for working. I like a lot at night though for a drink or two. Tuesday nights they have tasty, cheap curry! Not sure about power outlets.
- Cafe 10: cute, little café in the old town with great coffee and cake and things like that. A few seats are available outside and the sun reaches there for a few hours. No power outlets.
- Café Bianco: Midsize café with roofed outdoor seats. The best coffee in town, for my taste, a bit more Italian style espresso. Lots of regulars, especially police, every day. The food was not so recommendable, though. Power outlets available.
- La Cocotera: hostel with coworking and really nice and friendly staff. There’s no food or drinks. But you can get something close by. The coworking is still a bit in its infancy. Power outlets available.
- Bienstar: Great beach bar with ok food & coffee. No wifi, so typically no work possible. But vivid at night, especially with live music Friday nights.
In Tarifa, the activity focus lies on kiting, windsurfing, skating…and a bit of (wave) surfing. If you don’t like it…there’s plenty of other things to do like hiking, rock climbing or just exploring the area. You can get by with English but most people don’t or hardly speak it. I don’t speak Spanish and found it difficult to really come in touch with the locals.
If you’re interested in Yoga and the like: check out Inga’s Shri Yoga. I took a class and a workshop and enjoyed it very much. She teaches at the Hurricane Hotel or at her admirable house a bit in the wild.
I enjoyed Tarifa very much though I’d prefer coming back when it’s a bit warmer – maybe in May!