Digital nomads: Looking for help for 3-12 months travel? Try 312 communities

Written by Doreen Hemlock

After her job in Seattle is far away, Rachel Azarov decides to drive leisurely through the countryside and city-hopping on the East Coast of the United States to find a new home base. She spent countless hours searching: searching for places to stay, eat, visit; reading blogs and niche sites; finding companies to help with storage and needed services; As well as asking friends and contacts for tips.

Now headquartered in Miami, Azaroff is building an online platform to focus this information and create a community for fellow remote workers and others seeking to live away from home for three to 12 months — a project it calls “312 Society.” It develops not only blogs and chats, but also a marketplace where travelers can sell itineraries and other content, and where companies can offer services such as booking for camp sites.

“A lot of people are interested in being more Nomadic, but it gets more and more difficult, so they stop the process,” she says. Its goal: to address issues from visas to insurance, and e-scooter rentals for pets, as well as connect people with common interests to “realize extended travel dreams.”

Rachel Azarov

The 37-year-old has skills that complement her passion. Besides her MBA and BAs in Journalism and English, she has more than 15 years of experience in technology, including working for two companies that have gone public: tax compliance platform Avalara and IT management software Apptio. It plans to feature technology on its platform that will survey users about their interests – eg, three months of exploring Southeast Asia – and then match each user with the resources for their trip.

The platform is taking advantage of a growing market for what some call “mid-range travel,” neither weekend or two-week trips nor long-term transfers. The market has millions working remotely out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes people giving more priority to health and choosing to work independently, take vacations, or choose more flexible schedules. In addition, it extends to empty retirees and retirees who are also less restricted, as they can keep in touch with their loved ones through technology such as free video chats.

Azarov launched the beta version of the community platform 312 in June 2021, mainly using its own funds. She’s now raising $1 million in the pre-incorporation round. It expects the project to generate revenue from partner sales on the platform and from subscriptions due to launch later this year.

She is particularly keen on initially remote employers who offer subscriptions as a corporate advantage: “This benefits the employer, because 312 Society makes a lot of time for employees who want to take advantage of working from anywhere. And living on their far away list of things About home increases worker happiness and reduces fatigue.

So far, more than 300 people have signed up for 312 Society, mostly women between the ages of 25 and 45 in remote jobs, but others as well. Dylan Rhodes, 47, who works for a Japanese tech company, recently consulted the 312 Society’s concierge for plans to possibly take his job from Spain or Portugal. He majored in Japanese and computer science in college, lived in Japan and loves how living abroad broadens your perspective of cultures. “I want to explore the ability to work from anywhere I like,” Rhodes says.

Companies that have already partnered with the 312 Society include Shyft, which provides transportation and warehousing services; trusted home nannies for home and pet care services; Beyond electric scooter and bike rentals; And Campspot for booking camping sites in North America.

Azarov did not expect to make Miami their headquarters. However, it found that the city met all of its criteria: access to nature, being smart and engaging people; diversity; quality healthcare, arts and museums; Major Airport A vibrant Jewish community and closeness to family on the East Coast of the United States.

In Miami, she participated in the Fall 2021 cohort at Babson College’s Innovative Women’s Growth Lab Now (WIN), learning tools to scale her project and learning about mentors and colleagues. Now, besides building her business, she’s beginning to plan her next three-month trip – a summer trip to the West Coast of the United States and possibly to Banff National Park in Canada.

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