Welcome to Digital Nomadland – Longreads


Susana Ferreira reports on a digital nomad village that promised integration with the locals. Instead, she finds a somewhat awkward community with little meaningful interaction with the local Madeirans. Can such villages ever really work?

Established digital nomad hot spots, like Chiang Mai, Thailand, or Canggu, Bali, tend to be bubbles where wealthy and overwhelmingly white foreigners cluster at coffee shops, coworking spaces, and other businesses that cater to their wants and comforts in English. If he built a destination for digital nomads in small-town Madeira, Hall thought, things would be different. Itinerant remote workers could live just like locals, alongside locals: They could reside in the same neighborhoods, eat at the same restaurants, and mingle at gatherings coordinated by a “community manager.”

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