Located in a beautiful Tenerife North, Maraya is made to inspire you to experience life to the fullest while being at peace with yourself.
Check out the interview and meet Maraya, a nest for digital nomads and remote workers built by five creative friends – Ben, David, Alex, Lucca, and Domi.
When it comes to community, these guys understand better than anyone the importance of connecting with the right people to create something amazing. Their experience definitely shapes Maraya’s energy, making its community one of its strongest points.
We did this interview as a part of our second set of interviews with coliving owners in Spain. In case you missed other interviews we did in this or the first set, you can check them all here.
How it all started
“Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.”
–William Arthur Ward Dare
1. When and why did you decide to open a coliving space of your own?
– We decided to open a coliving space at the end of 2019 / beginning of 2020, before the covid pandemic made it such a popular form of finding a balance between work life and travel life.
We decided upon a coliving because we always liked this approach to life. Sharing spaces, utilities, stories, dinners, and new experiences. We also always imagined a coliving would attract a varied group of guests from all over the world.
2. Have you ever stayed in some other coliving space or any shared accommodation before you decided to open your own?
– All of the team have spent a lot of time travelling and living overseas in some form of coliving or shared accommodation. This gave us a lot of experiences on the things we liked or disliked about spaces, facilities, structure, and the communities.
3. Do you remember beginnings and what was the most difficult for you when you started your coliving?
– Our beginning was only recently (we opened in October 2021) and I think our most difficult challenge at the beginning was the overwhelming demand mixed with still figuring out our structure and community.
We also renovated the entire space from the ground up by ourselves, that was also quite a challenge 🙂
4. Is there something that you wished you knew when you started with coliving?
– It’s still almost too early to answer this question as I’m sure there are many things we still don’t know and will have wished we knew in the future! But for now, I think the knowledge we’ve gained that’s been the most valuable has been related to our community.
We started with a lot of ideas and experiences but have learned so much about our community and in particular what a Maraya community looks like, but I’m also happy we didn’t know this before because it’s been a fun journey to figure it out!
5. Have you had the opportunity to visit other coliving places since you opened yours?
– We have, in fact. We have a good relationship with the other colivings on the island, we all feel working together to grow the entire digital nomad and remote worker community on Tenerife is by far the best possible experience for guests.
6. What is the story behind you choosing Spain as the location for opening your coliving space?
– The reason we choose Spain, and in particular Tenerife is for the sunshine, the surf, the culture, the pace of life, the language, the food, the diversity – so many things to list!
We love it. And we’re super happy to have our coliving on Tenerife.
7. What are the advantages of having coliving at a remote rural place, and are there any disadvantages?
– We’re quite fortunate that although we are surrounded by nature our guests can also be at the beach, or go to a supermarket in only a 25-minute walk. Of course, being in a city guests would have immediate access to conveniences but being rural provides a new experience, or reminds them of a childhood experience.
Many digital jobs pull people into the cities and being rural allows our guests to reconnect to nature. Be it sitting around the bonfire, star gazing, harvesting fruits and veggies from our garden, jumping in the ocean, or just breathing the air here. It’s different and it helps them to reconnect.
“You don’t have true freedom until you allow a diversity of opinion and a diversity of voices.”
8. What is the profile of people who are most likely to stay at your place?
– Our guests fall into two main categories, digital nomads (travellers who work online) or remote workers (workers who have had their jobs moved online and decide to travel).
These two groups bring a different set of experiences, ideas, and energies. This diversity is by far the number one positive aspect of owning a coliving/coworking space.
9. What is the average age of people who are visiting your accommodation?
– The average age of our guests is 25-35, but we’ve had a variety of ages, and often the more diverse the number the more interesting the connections!
10. How long do people usually stay at your place?
– Guests usually stay 1 month. Shorter stays mix up the energies more, but longer stays allow for deeper, more meaningful connections to be created, either to other guests or to the space/island.
11. Do your visitors have the tendency to return back to your place?
– We’ve only been open since the beginning of October, so it’s a bit early to say, but we’ve already had quite some repeat guests, so it looks like it could be – which would be awesome!
12. Is there some trend where people from specific countries come to your place?
– We tend to see the trend that winter attracts guests from northern Europe and we believe summer will attract guests from southern Europe, similar to the trend throughout the Canary Islands. But we’ll have to wait and see if this is the case for Maraya!
13. What additional activities are included for people who stay at your coliving?
– We offer a number of activities for guests during their stay. From family dinners 4 nights a week, daily yoga, surf lessons, movie nights, game nights, skill-sharing, listening sessions, hikes, workout circuits, trips to the beach, trips to the volcano, this list goes on and on and on 🙂
We believe activities build a stronger, more connected community, plus we love being active!
About the Coliving Movement
”Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
14. Do you think that coliving is only dedicated to a specific group of people such as freelancers, digital nomads, and startups, or do you think there is a possibility to gain popularity beyond that group of people?
– We don’t believe colivings are just limited to such a small group. We’ve had a number of creative guests (authors, artists, and even a musician) as well as a number of remote workers who are performing more typical office roles, simply remotely, along with the more typical groups.
We believe as technologies advance, so does the ability to work remotely however work looks for you.
15. Do you think that coliving cannot exist without coworking?
– We think without the coworking aspect, a coliving could simply be a short-term rental or a shared house/hostel. The coworking aspect definitely connects guests and is something special and unique.
16. One of the main selling points for coliving is the possibility to meet new people, share experiences and maybe even develop new partnerships. Is that really the situation?
– These are for sure important aspects of why people choose a coliving. A community brings energies and ideas together, and provides possibilities to either work or play together!
17. Do you have some examples where people who had the opportunity to meet at your place later managed to develop successful partnerships or relationships?
– I hope that this time next year we’ll be able to provide many examples of this because for sure this is one of the outcomes of a healthy community! For now, we’ve experienced people partnering up to share skills and experiences, meetups in different locations, and even some romance! Watch this space because I think it’s just the beginning at Maraya 🙂
Secure yourself the best coliving experience
- italki – Why not learn some Spanish before your trip and make your coliving even better? italki is the perfect platform for that! You will find more than 3500 native speakers waiting to help you with your Spanish.
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