Coliving Stories: Digital Nomads at Cactus

25th May, 2024

What makes Cactus stand out is its commitment to community and interpersonal connections. Colivings are set up for longer-term stays than hostels, but some have fallen in love and stayed for months. We chatted with some of our long-term guests about their experience and what made them choose Cactus for their stay in Tenerife.

sunset picnic tenerife
This weekly activity included a swim and a sunset picnic.

What drew you to Cactus Coliving?

The long-term colivers have different reasons and draw to come to stay at Cactus. Silviu and Pawel both went for the sun to escape the winter months and ended up falling in love–they both found Cactus accidentally and never looked back! Silviu hadn’t heard of coliving prior and thought it was more like a hostel situation, but after being recommended Cactus by a friend, he thought he might as well give it a try–a try that turned from one month to three months to six months the following year!

Jasper had his eyes set on Tenerife for a different reason. He also wanted to escape the winter and stay in the Schengen region, but as a road cyclist, he had also heard of the island as a “Mecca” of wintertime riding. Tenerife is actually where all the pro teams go training pre-season! Though Cactus was very new and lacked reviews for him to check out, he took a risk and “couldn’t have been luckier!”

easter cactus coliving easter bunny
Jasper in the kitchen at Cactus Coliving during Easter.

It was also Susie’s first coliving experience. She was drawn to the various workspaces that Cactus offers, especially the wine cellar, which she thought was perfect for working, yoga and social events! One huge draw for her was the history and proximity to nature, as well as the adventure/sports offered all around the island.

Riccardo found his way to Cactus while looking for a great place for his dog, Mojo to enjoy his days while Riccardo works. He loves choosing unique places to work that also give him space to visit new towns, go for hikes, and practice water sports. 

dog calisthenic park pet friendly coliving
Riccardo and Mojo exercising at the Calisthenic park.

What is your favourite part of coliving?

Jasper’s favourite part of coliving was how it took the hassle out of making a social life while travelling. Being able to make arrangements (planned or spontaneous) with your neighbours you live under the same roof with has so many perks and easy bonding opportunities. On the flip side, he also enjoyed the balance that Cactus offers, giving the option and space to be alone when you need some time to yourself, and many “hidden” spaces to explore and relax.

Silviu was one of the unofficial movie night curators at Cactus. When asked what makes a good movie night, he says “I think the most fun we had on a movie night was watching a mediocre drama, but seeing it as an unintentional comedy. Other than that, snacks and good company.” As you can see, some of people's most precious memories revolve around community involvement.

hike activity tenerife digital nomads
Cactus coliving crew during a weekly activity.

Riccardo was initially drawn to Cactus because he could bring his sweet pup. Mojo, but not only was Mojo “allowed” but embraced and loved! Maria is a dog owner and lover herself, and feeling the support from her to make Mojo feel at home was a huge win! Not only is Cactus a coliving for two-legged creatures, but also all our four-legged friends!

Susie loved lots of aspects of Cactus, returning on three separate occasions! The proximity to nature, the integrated feel with the local community, and all that she learned about Canarian culture through staying at Cactus were all favourites for her. But when it comes to one of her simple favourite experiences, she loved staying in the Agave room on the rooftop patio because she was just steps away from the incredible night sky outside her room each night! And it’s not just any old night sky–the Canary Islands are one of the best places to stargaze in the world due to its low light pollution!

cat dog pet-friendly coliving tenerife
June and Mojo in our garden at our pet-friendly coliving space in Tenerife.

What did you learn while staying at Cactus?

Silviu learned to appreciate meeting many new and exciting people with easy access to social activities. He also experienced emotional fatigue from getting close to new people and then saying goodbye. But he asserts that the emotions are well worth it since you can’t have the socialising and connection without the inevitable goodbye.

That said, the Cactus experience does not have to die after leaving. The spirit and energy of Cactus Coliving tend to find themselves in past guests in practical and mysterious ways. Jasper found much in common with the colivers around him who equally enjoyed a simple lifestyle and pure things while sharing a curiosity and broad worldview. He even hosted two friends he made in his hometown almost a year after meeting and felt that they “hadn’t been apart at all”, a testament to the powerful bonds forged under the same roof.

beach clean up tenerife
Silviu and Maria (Cactus host) participating in a beach clean-up in Tenerife.

Beyond the emotional connections made, Susie also loved the integration with the Canarian culture and recipes, offered by Maria and her family and the knowledge and all the traditions of Tenerife that she got to experience first-hand! Not only was there much to learn about the Canarian culture but getting to meet other international colivers was a huge plus. Family dinners were a favourite way to learn about cultures through yummy recipes! Riccardo also shares his appreciation for family dinners, not only with the eating but learning lots of new cooking habits and techniques for others as half of the colivers at any time are part of the “cooking team” led by whoever is the head chef that week!

Mondays are reserved for our cosy family dinners.

What will you carry with you from this experience?

Pawel found his way to Tenerife for the biking. Although he only recommends biking for two weeks if that’s your vibe (because any longer may feel too challenging), he still reflects fondly on the beautiful landscapes of Tenerife and his “unreal experience”. Some of his favourite moments from his stay include riding on the “edge” of the clouds (high in the mountains, when one half of the road is clouded and the other isn't) as well as seeing the “epic shadow of the freaking 3700m volcano in the ocean and on the horizon.” There’s no doubt Teide and the elevation that comes with it is a striking and powerful pull to the island.

teide activity tenerife spain
Traveling by car with the backdrop of the Teide volcano.

Silviu’s experience was shaped mostly by the connections he made and the friendships he fostered. When reflecting on his Cactus experience, he fondly remembers the good company and sense of community. He left Cactus with “wonderful memories, interesting people and experiences,” mostly made possible by the Cactus team and their positive attitudes. Susie echos this intent, describing Cactus as “welcoming and friendly” and committed to the guest connection experience.

Jasper learned to appreciate the balance between socialising and spending time with others while cultivating quiet time and space with himself. He loved how coliving took the pressure off of meeting people actively and making plans. Instead, it was a smooth and communicative environment filled with people who wanted to do exciting and adventurous things! At the same time, one can easily find peace and quiet in one's own space, which helps to set a nice balance.

hike tenerife community activity spain
Hike in Tenerife led by our local community manager.

Staying at Cactus long-term offers many benefits. Not only do you feel you actually have the time to explore the whole island and build bonds with people you have the potential to be life-long friends with, but there’s also a nice discount available for long-term stayers, making the choice to stick around Cactus even more of a no-brainer! With daily yoga, weekly family dinners, activities, and skillshares, Cactus is the place to dive deep with yourself and your work! Make Cactus your next temporary home, and you’ll see the magic we are talking about.

wine tasting tenerife spain
Savouring wine at Villa Flor while basking in the sunset.

FAQ about Digital Nomads and Colivings 

How do digital nomads benefit from coliving spaces? 

Coliving spaces offer digital nomads a supportive community, shared resources, and a productive environment for remote work. They facilitate networking opportunities, foster collaboration, and provide amenities tailored to remote workers' needs.

María Mayordomo
Founder of Cactus Coliving. In love with the nature of the Canary Islands.

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