Last year we opened the doors to our beautiful new beachfront property in Weligama, Sri Lanka. Although the country has been through some challenging times recently, it has regained stability and is enticing travelers once more with its stunning nature, vibrant cultural diversity, and thriving remote work scene. One of the world’s top travel publications recently said there are digital nomad locations in Sri Lanka that are “giving Bali a run for its money” — and we couldn’t agree more. Outpost Weligama is an all-in-one coliving + coworking space, so if you’re wondering whether this teardrop-shaped island country could be your next nomad destination, read on for ten reasons to try coliving in Sri Lanka.
Weligama means ‘sandy village’, and just 30 meters from our Sri Lanka home are the dusky pink sands of Weligama Bay, where surfers of all skill levels catch waves in its sparkling waters, while snorkelers and divers encounter magnificent marine life. Coliving is all about making connections with fellow travelers and digital nomads, and the perfect place to do so is at our on-site Current Social Club & Kitchen, which hosts not-to-be-missed rooftop parties from sunset.
Since the mid-1960s, Sri Lanka’s government has been making a concerted effort to develop its tourism industry, which contributes 12% of GDP. It’s a relatively small island country with well-connected destinations, meaning experiencing its diversity is easy. You can hop on a bus, tuk-tuk, or motorbike, take a taxi or hire a private driver, but one of the best ways to explore is by train. The BBC has even called the Colombo to Badulla railway one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. When you’re ready to hit the road, our team will be happy to provide insider knowledge on Sri Lanka’s best destinations and how to reach them.
Ecotourism has formed a major part of the country’s pandemic recovery efforts, and opportunities to immerse yourself in nature while supporting conservation projects can be found across the island. Sri Lanka has numerous national parks, dense jungles, and breathtaking archeological sites, not to mention its dozens of palm-fringed golden beaches. It’s also one of the most biodiverse islands in the world, making it a wildlife lovers’ paradise.
English is spoken fluently by about a quarter of Sri Lanka’s population, while most Sri Lankans in the service industry, from hotel staff to tuk tuk drivers, have a high level of English. Language lovers will delight in hearing Singlish (Sinhalese-influenced English) or Tinglish (Tamil-influenced English), depending on the location.
From jackfruit curry and coconut relish to spicy salads and ocean fresh seafood, Sri Lanka’s cuisine is renowned for its vast array of flavors and textures. Dotted along the beach at Weligama Bay are plenty of eateries and cafes where you can sample vibrant local dishes as well as international choices when you’re craving a taste of home. After a long day at the laptop, we can’t go past a plate of locally-caught fish stuffed with mushrooms and mango, served with a spicy Sri Lankan BBQ glaze at Current Social Club & Kitchen.
Sri Lanka was recently voted among the world’s top ten friendliest countries, and from the moment you land in the country, you’ll see why. Sri Lankans are renowned for their love of visitors and take genuine pride in welcoming them into their homes. Expect smiles in the streets, curious questions from taxi drivers, and most importantly, someone who is more than happy to help if ever you’re in need.
If you want to make wellness experiences a bigger part of your cowork + colive journey, Sri Lanka is an ideal destination. The country has a historical connection with Ayurveda, meditation and yoga, and wellness services are a rapidly growing part of its travel sector. Weligama Bay is home to excellent spas, such as Good Spa, which is featured in our Local Area Guide.
Sri Lanka is an affordable destination for all types of travelers – and some websites even list it as one of the most affordable in Asia. Its competitive cost of living is one of the reasons it ranked as the second best country for digital nomads in this 2021 poll, alongside other factors such as temperature, internet speed, and range of activities.
Although it is yet to be finalized, Sri Lanka will soon join a steadily growing list of nations offering a digital nomad visa. Reported to cost US$300, it will allow foreigners to work in the country for an international employer or on a freelance basis for international clients for up to a year. We’ll update you as soon as we receive an official announcement.
Digital nomads and remote workers often express the desire to give back to the communities in which they live and work. Coliving and coworking at Outpost Weligama Bay and exploring beyond means your rupees will go a long way to getting Sri Lanka’s economy back on track. During the recent challenges, the nation’s tourism industry was prioritized for resources as it is the third biggest earner of foreign exchange. Dozens of tourism sector workers have made sincere appeals to international travelers to ‘please come back’ and to ‘not forget Sri Lanka’. Traveling with meaning and purpose is a core part of the digital nomad journey, and in Sri Lanka you can be certain your contribution will be deeply appreciated.
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