The most authoritative source of news and intuition-based reporting for the Buenos Aires Expat Community.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Urban Yurt: The perfect accessory for your Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The economic crisis in the U.S. and the relative affordability of South America has spurned a trend of movement south by those whose work is "location independent," or, as they like to call themselves, Digital Nomads. Finding housing can be a challenge, however, especially in a city like Buenos Aires, in which many landlords require a guarantee by a property owner in order to secure a rental agreement. Some nomads have found a solution to this problem by bringing their housing with them: the urban yurt. A portable dwelling of 150-square feet with wooden floors that can be set up or taken down in a day, yurts are agile, flexible, and affordable.

"I don't couch surf anymore," says Mike Wilkins, a 7-year dedicated nomad. "I terrace surf. with my yurt, I can pop my own space on a rooftop in a day, bringing my own bedroom with me. It's the perfect solution. What's more, I can put it all in the back of a taxi when I need to move on." Mike uses a laptop with Internet access through a telephone company, and is connected wherever he goes.

While not recommended, some nomads also "stealth yurt," setting up their portable dwellings in abandoned buildings, parking garages, or rooftops that are rarely visited. When they need to move, they can be out in a couple of hours.

Wilkins does confess to some drawbacks of the yurt lifestyle. His yurt was stolen on his first day in Buenos Aires, for example, because he terrace-surfed with the wrong people. It is not weatherproof, and does not have bathroom facilities. Some point out the fine line between the "yurt lifestyle" and being a homeless guy with a tent. But Wilkins remains undaunted.

"It's the wave of the future," says Wilkins, "A true nomad isn't confined to one place. Wherever I am, I am home. It's very liberating."


  1. Mr Gheddafi!!! ;o) I think he always use that (but a little bit LARGER...cause in that way he is sure for his privacy!! No cam, no mics etc atc :o)

  2. You are right, in Argentina, many landlords require a guarantee by a property owner in order to secure a rental agreement. Well, I understand that but renting an apartment in buenos aires is the only option if you have a low budget or you prefer to spend your money visiting places or buying things. if you travel with American dollars, everything will seem so cheap, that you may want to purchase the whole shopping. However, if you are a torist, you have to be careful. Some stores, when they see you are a foreigner and don´t speak their language, just tell you a different price from the real value because they know you don´t understand what is going on. So, pay a lot of attention and don´t be fooled by hungry sellers.

  3. Very nice. Thanks for introducing this nomad yurt. It's an intriguing product and concept.

  4. If you plan on traveling to Argentina and you don't have a place to stay, here's the perfect place for you.

    Hostels in Salta