Three words come to mind when I think of my experience at Nurall’s 10-day digital nomad residency in Goa, India: unexpected, connection, and jugaad.
The first two sparked a magical mix of camaraderie and friendship between the group, but combined, created long-lasting unexpected connections—bonds between strangers that will open up new ways of thinking, choices, and opportunities. Connections that will influence and pivot our paths in more ways than we’re conscious of.
The last word, jugaad, I picked up on during the retreat—both in theory and in practice.
Jugaad is a term born out of India’s spirit.
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Some may call it flexible problem-solving, but for me, the best idiom is perhaps that of “organized chaos.”
Together, these words, and these experiences, made quite the dazzling cocktail of emotions: surprise, love, nostalgia, vulnerability, and insight all swirled together, eventually becoming one pleasant concoction that I wish to keep sipping from.
But let’s take a journey behind the scenes of this remote work retreat.
Why, what, and who is it for?
What can you expect from a Nurall Nomad Residency (in Goa or elsewhere in the world)?
Learn more below about what it is like to attend a Nurall Residency alongside a diverse tribe of expert and upcoming digital nomads. 💻 ✨
Nurall’s Goa Residency in India
What & Who Is Nurall?
First, what is Nurall, and who are the faces behind this emerging brand?
In their words, Nurall is,
“led by a group of people who refuse to settle in their pursuit of growth, meaning and experiences—the Nurall advantage is that we really do practice what we preach. We aim to create safe space clusters across the world for the thinkers and the doers, the creatives and the entrepreneurs, the nomads and the intellectually curious and enable everyone to live a wholesome, enriching life!”
And after spending ten days with Team Nurall, I’d say that description is poignantly accurate.
Now let me tell you about the faces behind Nurall, in my words.
Ravi, the founder of Nurall, and the India-based team (Navneet, Anu, Karthik), are the type of people you want to be around.
Wildly talented in various fields, you will find in each member professionalism without pretension, down-to-earth insight and experience, and an ear or hand always ready to listen and help out.
And when you are showing up (i.e. taking a leap of faith, making yourself vulnerable, investing in yourself, etc) to learn and cultivate a nomadic lifestyle for yourself, those qualities in the Nurall leadership extend a sense of support, comfort, and space to grow.
Besides the positive energy and willingness to inspire and empower, Nurall is taking decisive action and setting things in motion by giving wannabe nomads the tools and resources through digital nomad residencies, curated workations, city guides, and any advice that they may need to enable change, #LevelUp, and claim their own freedom lifestyle.
It’s not every day that you can go to a nomadic work conference and travel and walk away from the experience with such fresh and close connections.
But that’s Nurall in a nutshell, and with them, you can.
Nurall’s Digital Nomad Workations in Goa and Beyond
Nurall’s first-ever residency launched in Goa, India March 30 – April 9, 2023.
It was a 10-day retreat filled with workshops on financial freedom and nomadism, cultural activities, daily mindfulness/yoga sessions, and one or two late-night parties (okay, maybe three or four).
But Goa was just the beginning.
Nurall is launching a residency this year for Himachal Pradesh (a gorgeous mountainous state in Northern India) and a 2-week Muay Thai residency in Khao Lok, Thailand.
✨ Stay tuned for updates and follow Nurall on Instagram so you don’t miss a launch! ✨
All About the Nurall Goa Residency — Is It Worth It?
I hesitate to give you a full 10-day breakdown of the structure of this first Goa Residency as it will no doubt adapt and change in the future as Nurall incorporates feedback from our group.
However, I can tell you a bit more about the workshops, activities and inclusions!
Retreat Cost & Inclusions
The cost for the 10-day Goa Residency was around $999 / $1499 USD, depending on whether you signed up for Anjuna only or Morjim only.
In the future, the price may change so make sure to express interest and inquire via their website.
- 9 nights stay in boutique hotels in Anjuna and Morjim (Panjim possibly in the future)
- CYF CON ticket — Nurall’s premiere Digital Nomad Networking Event/Conference in India
- 1:1 mentorship + workshop with Dean Kuchel, serial nomad and founder of Digital Nomads Israel (41k)
- Pickup from GOI airport
- Morning yoga and meditation
- Daily breakfast, water, tea/coffee
- Activities are mostly optional and are semi-free/paid (i.e. pub crawl, walking tour)
- Free time for deep work/recreation
Things like meals/drinks out, transport, and activities were more of jugaad nature and depended on our group’s collective decisions at times. (Again, for future residencies, this all may change.)
Workshops & Conferences
As for the workshops and conferences, there were two main events spanning the ten days, with other small sessions for skill sharing throughout the week.
My favorite event during the Nurall Goa Residency was the CYF CON (Claim Your Freedom Conference)—India’s first-ever digital nomad networking event—hosted by Nurall and its community partners.
The conference took place at a gorgeous outdoor venue amid vibrant fields in Anjuna called Elephant & Co., and featured:
- Keynote by Dean Kuchel
- “Building a Portfolio of Small Bets” with Indian digital nomad Saurav Arya
- Sustainability x nomadism with activist Jill Ferguson, co-founder of Act for Goa
- Panel session / Q&A of entrepreneurs and creatives (for which I had the pleasure to contribute, 👋)
- Giveaways and talks by NomadGao, build3, and other local digital nomad-focused businesses
- Plus live music, networking, and drinks!
Both India-based and global nomads were in attendance as well as members from the local community interested in nomadism and remote work.
Plus, I got to speak with several people interested in travel writing and blogging, which was a highlight of my evening.
All in all, the night was informative, fun, laid-back, and inspiring! It’s amazing to see the digital nomad movement in India come to light.
1:1 / FINANCIAL FREEDOM WITH DEAN KUCHEL
The second big aspect of the Goa Residency was the partnership with Dean Kuchel.
Dean is a long-time nomad who has traveled nomadically in 105 countries, and counting. He has successfully built up several income streams including investment portfolios, small businesses, and subscription communities, to be able to continue his globetrotting.
Attendees of the residency also could set up a private 1:1 with Dean to seek advice (personal, financial, entrepreneurial, etc) and glean insight from his dynamic experiences as an entrepreneur, digital nomad, and speaker.
Within the first few days of the retreat, Dean also gave his signature Financial Freedom Workshop at the Café Rasa coworking space in Panjim which went into deep detail about his strategies, portfolios, and mindset matters.
Activities & Community
Finally, the glue of the Nurall Goa Residency: activities and community.
Without these two, the retreat wouldn’t have been such a success.
From Navneet’s Panjim pub crawl to group lunches/dinners to Dean’s heartfelt icebreaker at the retreat closing, all of the time spent together sharing, talking, laughing, and learning was the icing on the cake.
A few of the optional activities were:
- 🇮🇳 Walking tour of the Fontainhas Latin Quarter (Panjim) — click here to book this experience on Viator
- 🏺 4-hour pottery class with local artist (Panjim)
- 🪘 Drum circle session (Anjuna)
- 🍻 Panjim pub crawl and jiving night
- ☀️ Group scootie ride to sunset spot in Anjuna
- 💃 Bungee jumping, road tripping, surfing, salsa dancing, saree fitting (Morjim)
The nature of the retreat was semi-organized with lots of optional add-ons that the Nurall team would help organize for us.
Meaning, we had plenty of time to work remotely from the hotel or a nearby café or explore/adventure on our own at leisure outside of the scheduled skill-sharing sessions and workshops.
In the end, it didn’t really matter what went well or what didn’t, or what started a minute too early or a minute too late.
In fact, come think of it, the most valuable aspect of the residency wasn’t the tools/resources from the retreat but rather the group dynamic and energy. And that’s in large part thanks to the upbeat energy and support of the Nurall leadership.
Ever since I read this quote in middle school that goes something like, “People won’t remember what you wore or what your hair looked like. What they will remember is how you made them feel,” I’ve endeavored to lead my life with that in mind.
Human connections are the only reason we want to remember and relive moments’ shared again and again.
I know that this is the sentiment that I will carry with me following this retreat, as the sense of community was very present.
Call it luck or synchronicity, but our group matched incredibly well!
💻 Thinking about being a digital nomad in India? Read more here!
Why You Should Attend a Nurall Residency / Nomad Retreat in the Future
Nurall is like a seed that is in its sprouting stage. The best moment to get involved with a movement is at its conception, at its planting.
The next best time is when it begins to grow and flourish. Nurall feels like that—a flower in its early blossoming stages; full of potential and yearning for life.
And when it reaches skyward for life-saving water and sunshine, it gets touched back.
The right people will gather. Connections will spark. Perspectives will shift. Lives will be forever changed—yours included.
So, yeah. While you can invest in any digital nomad retreat out there, that’s why I think you ought to attend one with Nurall.
After my first experience traveling in India in 2018, I thought I had seen and experienced “enough.” And I certainly did not consider India in a digital nomad context.
But if you were to ask me now, I’d take a moment and think.
Unexpected. Connections. Jugaad.
In other words…
Count. Me. In.
📍 Pin me for later!
Please note this article was written in sponsorship with Nurall, but all opinions, thoughts, experiences, etc., are my own. I truly enjoyed discovering Goa through Nurall’s digital nomad residency and I think you would, too.