We Roam Review – Polaris 2017
Last Updated on
Unfortunately, We Roam (WY_CO) has gone bankrupt and are no longer in business. If you’re looking for a remote year or remote traveling program, consider Hacker Paradise instead. Last updated 28 September 2018.
Earlier this year, I joined the We Roam work travel program. The program is catered specifically for people that have remote jobs or freelancers. They take care of all the accommodations, coworking space and all the logistics of moving to different cities each month.
I could’ve traveled independently but decided to join the We Roam work travel program for the community and professional development they offer. Our group consists of around 30-40 people. This number fluctuates as people may pause or come and go each month.
As this is an ongoing review, some of the details will only be published once I leave the program. In the meantime, this is what I have so far:
Cost & Flexibility
I originally signed with We Roam for 7 months (May-Nov 2017). But I left after 6 months so I can re-join Hacker Paradise (HP) in Asia 2017. The We Roam (WR) Polaris program costs $2000 monthly plus a hefty $3000 deposit. You can switch around to different itineraries but each program had a 3-month minimum. Apart from accommodations and co-working space, WR also takes care of the flights (in-between cities) and airport transfers so you don’t worry about navigating.
It’s very structured. While the structure is good, sometimes it can be confusing and more chaotic. It’s locked down so we weren’t allowed to create our own channels. This means any side trips or events Roamers were planning to DIY all had to be done in Threads or Group Conversation. When you have several threads or group conversations, it’s hard to keep track of things. Also because we’re forced to use threads and group conversations, even the simplest events get mixed up and sometimes even canceled as it was so complicated to properly communicate.
City Map, Accommodation & Coworking Space
The following is a list of maps, apartments and co-working space for We Roam Polaris 2017:
|Buenos Aires||La Maquinita Co-Working, Urban Station|
|Florianopolis||Cafundo Estudio Creativo|
|Barcelona||Melon District||Cloud Coworking (Sagrada Familia)|
|Prague||Prague City Stay
|Berlin|| In Berlin Homes
|St. Oberholtz + A few other partners spread around the city|
|Split||Apartment Varos||CoCreative Coworking|
P.S. I was not there for the first 4 + final 4 cities, though a fellow Roamer
While all the We Roam marketing materials really pushed on the professional development aspect, the reality is that it’s mostly up to Roamers (participants) to plan and figure things out on their own. The first few locations, the “professional development” was just We Roam posting 3rd party events based on 10times, Meetup or some other local events by the coworking space. Some of them we had to pay extra to participate and arrange our own transportation. that most of the time we had to pay extra to participate + arrange our own transportation.
Melon District. It was a very nice student hostel. I got a studio unit with my own kitchen. Other Roamers find it quite small but I felt it was perfectly fine. Other Roamers had units with no kitchen so they had access to a community space and this where I usually work (got an extra key card from reception) from instead of the co-coworking space.
WiFi was average at best. On video calls, sometimes I had to disable my video upstream for a smooth connection.
TV only had local channels so didn’t watch any.
The swimming pool on the rooftop was amazing and we can get a pretty nice view of the sunrise and sunset.
Laundry was pretty expensive at a total of EUR 6.5 for washing and drying.
There are vending machines available for coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. so you don’t have to venture outside if you’re feeling lazy. A hostel cafe is also next door and it is cheap but options are very basic.
Cloud Coworking, Carrer de Sardenya, 229. This was a good 30-minute walk from home so most of the time I worked at home.
Access is via fingerprints and for 24/7 access they’ll provide a key for the lobby door. We had access to 3 floors. Plenty of hot desking area but sometimes it gets really crowded, so WR had booked a few dedicated meeting rooms for us. Bookable private rooms for calls or meetings are on every floor.
It was a very nice space and the terrace garden has a beautiful view of the Sagrada Familia. The few times I went to the workspace, I preferred to work at the terrace garden to get some sun and cool breeze.
The very first day we all gathered at the event space in the hostel cafe and I got to meet everyone that was on the trip.
The next day at the coworking space, someone from the language school pitched us on Spanish language classes but even at a discounted rate, it was still expensive compared to online tutors you can get at iTalki.
After that, we had a Roamer Intro session where the new Roamers would introduce themselves and everyone gets to ask questions. It was roundtable style and focused on discussions with new Roamers.
There was also a Welcome Party at the coworking space but I did not participate due to work.
The first free activity of the month was a team building activity at The Escape Hunt Experience Barcelona.
Potluck lunch at the coworking space where I contributed an orange juice and lemon ice cream!
Volunteering was an overkill with over 20+ of us raining down on a small kindergarten to build a few pots from second-hand car tires for their garden. We were done in like 10 minutes.
Barcelona is a very walkable city. I mostly walked all around but some places may be too far away. Local taxis are good and they accept credit card payments. There’s no Uber but you can use something similar, Cabify (6 EUR off for your first ride).
Many choices here but be aware that if you miss the lunch window, you’re out of luck. You’ll have to wait for the siesta to pass by and try again when dinner time arrives! Fortunately, most places are open till late night so you can always find food even after midnight. Tipping 10% is customary if the service is good and they accept credit cards everywhere. The most popular food delivery service is Glovo and I use it regularly almost every other day.
Prague City Stay. A few other Roamers and I had a studio apartment at Roháčova 134/9, Žižkov, Prague 3. This time I had no housekeeping at all. Roamers that were across the street from mine were in hostels and housekeeping was available. The rest of the Roamers were spread around other districts in Prague and they had 2 or 3 bedroom apartments.
WiFi was good enough for audio-only conferencing. The apartment had a Smart TV with Netflix included and surprisingly it worked well. Binge watching anyone? Just make sure you’re not using multiple devices or streaming multiple things at the same time. They had several different Access Points for other units using the same network password. To my surprise, the router admin console was not secure at all! Using the default admin/admin credentials I was able to gain unrestricted administrative access to all units. FYI, make sure you have a VPN (I personally use Private Internet Access) or anyone can just intercept your traffic!
Entry to the building is secure. You need to go through 2 doors requiring either a physical key or access code. If you’re like me and don’t like stairs, there’s a lift you can use.
Opero Premium. Smack bang in the middle of Old Town Prague. Although 25 minutes away from home (15 mins bus + 10 min walk) this was worth it. It definitely a premium workspace with large open areas and tables for hot desking and comfy sofa’s on the 1st-floor cafe.
We were there in the middle of summer, so it was hot and humid insight. And not, they do not have A/C. They did eventually provide us some fans.
I really like the cafe above the workspace and the couch there is so comfy that I fell asleep most of the time during siesta. You can either set up a tab or pay cash each time you buy something. They serve coffee, soft drinks, alcohol and baked goods.
The workspace here is a popular spot for after-hour events for businesses and press. So be sure to take advantage of that and build strategic connections.
We had orientation at the workspace. We were introduced to the workspace owner, managers and our local guide.
The welcome party this time had way more options (especially for vegetarians) and we also invited other people from the coworking space. This gave us a chance to connect with some interesting people from the local startup scene.
There were not many people who came for the Roamer Intros and Potluck Lunch this time. Probably only a third of us showed up.
This month we had some progress on the Professional Development events. Amar gave a talk on photography and social media. Then we had Daniel Vach from SENS (Energy bar with cricket flour). I didn’t attend the Wellness Workshop but a fellow roamer did and he wrote some takeaways.
Public transportation was super easy. The bus station was just behind my apartment building and the tram station was a 5-minute walk away up a hill. Going around the city was very convenient. You can also Uber around as it is everywhere and super cheap.
Amazing food here. From the local cuisine to Asian food. Everything and anything you want is here. I went to Eska (Michelin guide) and also Fields (Michelin star). Tipping 10% is customary. Tap water is safe to drink. Food delivery here is also super easy. You can use Damejidlo (UberEats alternative). You might want to use Google Translate to decipher some of the local menus. Tap water is safe to drink
Korean lunch feast for two: Bibimbop, Kimchi Jjigae (stew), Haemul Pajeon (Seafood pancake) and bokkeumbap (fried rice). One of the best meals I’ve had in Prague and you can see more of it in my Instastories! Fun fact – I noticed that there was a lot of Asian food here and started discussing with my lunch buddy – fellow roamer and SEO guru @asadzulfahri. He told me that the city is an attractive destination for Koreans because of a popular TV show. So I did a little research and found out that the 2005 series was called “Lovers in Prague” and that the Korean population more than quadrupled here from 2005-2009. It’s amazing what a little television influence can do!