Once upon a time, digital nomads and remote workers huddled together in coffee shops and coworking spaces around the world.

Creative ideas were shared, caffeine was ingested, plans were formulated, and epic amounts of work got done.

While working in a coffee shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I once sat next to the guy who invented “chats on websites.” He was in his 20s, retired, super-rich, still backpacking, and working on passion projects for fun. That totally inspired me!

Today, I live with my wife and two kids in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. We have a beautiful home with a fruit orchard, chickens, ducks, plenty of space to play, endless projects, and a rainbow-colored dog that looks like Falcor from The Neverending Story.

My business continues to be remote, which means I have gotten to know all of the coworking spaces in the Santa Cruz area. Below are two of my favorites.

Satellite Felton
My current favorite coworking space

Inside is a mix of styles. It’s like Silicon Valley meets Office Space.

In the back, red brick and large movie posters wrap around rolling desks and ample power outlets. It a straight out of a San Francisco artist’s loft.

In front, we find cubicles surrounded by offices. The office windows look back at the cubicles. It reminds me of my days in Corporate America.

My favorite seat is by the front door – right across from Mia’s reception desk. I really enjoy watching people come in and listening to their stories. Since the devastating CZU fires that ripped through the area recently, I’ve listened to a steady stream of locals come in and say:

  • I have no internet at my house
  • I need somewhere reliable to work
  • My kid needs to do his online school
  • I have a job interview and need privacy for an hour
  • I need somewhere quiet to do a Zoom
  • Do you do copies/faxes/notary?
  • Can I use your bathroom?
My usual seat - up front at The Satellite Felton - the Best Santa Cruz coworking space

My usual seat – up front at The Satellite Felton – the Best Santa Cruz coworking space

Mia

A magical day at the Satellite

In late October, the entire San Lorenzo Valley lost power and the Satellite transformed into a community hub. All those answers Mia had given people over the past few months had paid off – and the place was packed.

All-day, the walls echoed with a cacophony of voices, laughs, and conference calls. Every socially-distant chair, table, and workspace was filled. Satellite felt alive – just like it did in the old days.

Random fact about this story – I was actually interviewed by the news for a segment on how the community was rallying during the power outage. In that interview, I talked about how awesome Satellite is. Sadly, they didn’t use my segment – so no “photo of Greg on the news” below — but plenty of photos of Satellite in action.

A room full of people getting shit done @ Satellite Felton

A room full of people getting shit done @ Satellite Felton

The back room at Satellite feels like a chique SF coworking space.

The back room at Satellite feels like a chique SF coworking space.

I love listening to Mia greet all the people who come into Satellite Felton

I love listening to Mia greet all the people who come into Satellite Felton

Outside The Satellite Felton coworking space in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Outside The Satellite Felton coworking space in the Santa Cruz Mountains


CruzioWorks:
my favorite coworking space in Santa Cruz, CA

I’ve tried out most of the coworking spaces in Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas. Before Covid, I had declared CruzioWorks to be my favorite. With huge windows flooding a modern common space with natural light, it felt hip, light, and fun. I also loved the building’s coffee shop, the easy access to downtown Santa Cruz restaurants, and the lightning-fast fiber internet.

CruzioWorks santa cruz coworking space-3

A giant wall of old programming and internet books lines the walls of Cruzioworks. They double as a monitor stand. The Perl box in this photo was my favorite one – and this was my favorite seat/desk

At my favorite desk in the big, open common area @ CruzioWorks in downtown Santa Cruz

At my favorite desk in the big, open common area @ CruzioWorks in downtown Santa Cruz

Sometimes I like to work at a desk in the back that's surrounded by bookshelves. It's very cavelike @ CruzioWorks in Santa Cruz -

Sometimes I like to work at a desk in the back that’s surrounded by bookshelves. It’s very cavelike @ CruzioWorks in Santa Cruz –

Did you know I created a James Bond fansite? Launched in 1996 as a high school project, UniversalExports.net is still actively updated.

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