Meet Thibaut, the Kiterhood Founder
It all started in the summer of 2019. After two years of hard work and constantly putting my personal dreams on hold, I have successfully finished a first round of fund-raising for my startup. I have also turned the big 3-0, and that brought about a stringent need for self-reflection. Always chasing that next big investor in the hopes that you’ll end up building the new French “unicorn”… sure, that’s nice, but it doesn’t come without sacrifice. Sleepless nights, an immense pressure, and not much life left for the actual living – that’s what I saw when I envisioned the next five, ten years of my life. And it wasn’t what I wanted.
So I decided that things need to change. Without abandoning my entrepreneurial endeavors, I chose to live more in the now, and less in the potentiality of things to come. I have cleared my offices back in France, put my whole team in remote mode, and started planning for a more balanced lifestyle that catered for both my personal and my professional aspirations. The result was a location-independent, travel-centered, and winter-away lifestyle that combined following my business goals with more time for learning new things and enjoying life.
My First-Hand Experience with Nomading
Soon after embracing my nomadic lifestyle, with all due enthusiasm of being on a new path, of course, I have started to notice that some things were not running as smoothly as I wanted them to. And meeting other nomads along the way confirmed what I was perceiving as the pitfalls of being a digital nomad.
It’s not easy to fully focus on work when you change your “home base” each week. Between figuring out the logistics of your next destination and making the most out of your current stay, there is not much time and energy left for being productive in your day-to-day work.
It’s not easy to build meaningful relationships when you’re bound to say “Goodbye” in only few days. A new destination means always having to rebuild your social ecosystem from scratch. And we all know how difficult it is to move past the “where are you from” conversation and onto something truly meaningful and valuable.
You’re not on holiday, yet you pay holiday prices. Changing houses too often makes you a perpetual tourist: you don’t enjoy “local” prices and the benefits of long‑term renting even though that’s your main – and sometimes, only – home.
And while I understood all these are part of the digital nomad lifestyle, I couldn't help but imagine a better way of doing things. I started by adopting the principles of “slowmading”: that is, favoring longer stays over just one week or two, and getting deeper into knowing the place. Between one to four months seemed perfect to get my bearings, experience my new home base, form connections with the local community and my fellow nomads, and of course find that perfect recipe for blending work and life together that motivated this whole thing in the first place. I got to live there, not just pass through. And this was pocket-friendly too: by extending my stay, I accessed mid-term renting discounts that allowed me to enjoy better, cozier living conditions with the same budget as… well, budget ones.