The idea of starting my Digital Nomad Year in Detroit didn’t go over so well with my circle.
The feedback ranged from lukewarm to media-influenced fear and caution.
In reality the city of Detroit is experiencing a resurgence and has been one of my favorite destinations thus far. I have never felt so safe outside of my home state of California as I did in Detroit.
I found the residents to be “Kind with an Edge” which was very much reminiscent of my time living in New York City.
The secret to tapping into a new city can be found within the walls of local barbershops and beauty salons. While waiting to get a haircut at The Final Kut Barbershop, I met one of the top political fundraisers for the state of Michigan who was campaigning. Through that interaction, I was encouraged to attend a Black Tech Saturdays event and connect with founders Johnnie and Alexa Turnage.
The Turnages do a great job fostering community by supporting the growth of the Black tech space in Detroit. I attended two meetups and found a diverse group of people coming together to support, mentor, and collaborate on projects.
Rising costs in Detroit pushed me 15 minutes outside of the city center to an AirBnB in Redford Charter Township. Other lodging options for Digital Nomads to consider are Extended Stay America, Meta groups for traveling professionals, and word of mouth through friends and family looking to rent rooms. I found my short-term rental accommodations to be conveniently located near the points of interest on my itinerary.
Digital Nomads are always looking for spaces with strong internet connections to work remotely from. Bamboo Coworking Spaces and Techtown Detroit were two that I found to be budget-friendly, with days that are free to the public. While fees are dependent upon your needs, you can find shared desks and soundproof booths to work from. Typically, I take meetings in my home rental and do less focused work at coworking spaces and coffee shops around the area.
Detroit is home to some amazing museums, such as the Henry Ford, Motown, and my personal favorite, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
In fact, I found my visit to the Wright Museum to be life-changing, as it opened my eyes to so many things.
The Eastern Market could also be listed under food, but I also found it to be a cultural epicenter. There were so many vendors selling home-grown produce, handmade goods, and services. Not only did I save money on groceries during my 30-day stay, but I also got to further engage with people from the community.
I absolutely loved the experience.
During my 30-days I didn’t have a lot of “great” restaurant experiences and found myself cooking for most of my stay.
Experiences that I did enjoy came from Cornbread Restaurant & Bar in Southfield, Joe Louis Southern Kitchen, Lamy’s Diner found in the Henry Ford Museum, Forest Grill in Birmingham, and finally Remas Restaurant.
Please keep in mind that my overview is just a small snapshot during my 30 day visit to Detroit.
Please, consider visiting this culturally rich city with just as many opportunities for exploration, education as with any other metropolitan city.
Please check back for more Digital Nomad coverage here at YRB, and also on IG at @KittyBradshaw.