Workaway Camp is turning into Refuga

26. May, 2015

Today we are announcing a name change from “Workaway Camp” to “Refuga”.

I’m not gonna take a lot of your time today, but I will just quickly explain why.

Our project got started really spontaneously in Denmark as a blog post on my own blog post. At that time I just wanted to do one trip, I didn’t imagine it would become what it is today. Of course I didn’t check if there was anything out there with the same name or buy any domains. Two days after someone bought and made an exact copy 🙂

When I wanted to do international trips too, in 2014, I saw that there was something called, so I called both the danish and the international concept for “Workaway Camp”. Not a perfect name, but it was okay. The last 6 months, as our projects as grown, I have received emails from people confusing it with and that’s not good.

We don’t want to take advantage of someone else’s brand, we want to be unique and do our own thing. Also I have major respect for the team. Actually the wrote me, because they were experiencing the same things. They spend 13 years building the Workaway brand, but they were so nice, just asking if I could stick to “Workaway Camp” and not also just call it “Workaway”. More than fair people, that’s for sure.


Why Refuga?

I had the Refuga name and .com for a few years now and I actually used it when we did a Kilimanjaro trip. I asked on my own social media profiles for a name and someone suggested me Refuga, a development of the word “Refugium”.

I think the meaning is the same in many languages (it comes from latin), but it means a place of refuge, a place you go to focus, reconnect, relax and work. Across the world you can find Refugiums, where mostly authors, artists and researchers go to work, focus and reconnect. These things align super well with what the whole purpose is of our trips. A combination of actually taking a step forward while also relaxing and reconnecting. It’s a perfect name for our project.

Of course a name change is a step back. It will confuse some. But that’s just how it is. I’m sure it will be one step back, two steps forward. It’s a necessary step and it’s much better to do now than in two years. For our project, 2015 is 100% focused on tweaking, testing and getting the concept right. No later than 1st of January 2016 or focus will be on scaling, so a name change had to be done before.

Nothing else really changes, we just updated the logo a bit, to also make that a bit more unique. Overall the name change probably just means the most for me, but I need to feel good with things, because this project is a big part of my life and will be for a long time.

I promised to not take up too much of your time, so let’s wrap it up. I hope you all will receive the name well. Back to work, we doing something BIG here 🙂

Nikolaj Astrup Madsen I am the founder of Refuga. I'm danish, but I'm traveling the world while building Refuga and whenever I have time I go for a run in the mountains. I hope you will join me on this journey!

13 responses to “Workaway Camp is turning into Refuga”

  1. Miles Long says:

    But you didn’t answer the question WHY REFUGA?

  2. GERARD says:

    Refuga… You are always on the move.. You have inspire me and 1000’s of enterpreneurs. We love what are you doing for the community and we will always support you. REFUGA!!!!! Welcome!!! And let’s do REFUGA !!!!!

  3. Godt valg og held og lykke med det i fremtiden. Jeg håber meget at kunne komme med på en af de næste turer 🙂

  4. Refuga sounds unique, good name!

    • VascoLopes says:

      I would love to have told this before.

      In portuguese, REFUGA, may be interpreted as third class issue.
      The word is the “same as” REFUGO, or REFUGAS, and it means waste.

      Please note: RE means reinforcement, as beginning of a substantive. and FUGA means “escape”
      So, if you, ever, intent to use it in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissao, Azores, Madeira, Timor, Macao, Equatorial Guinea, and a lot of communities in world (portuguese is the 5th wold most spoken language).

      So, if possible, in lettering you should use Re Fuga (double escape), not Refuga, if you may.

  5. Rune Jensen says:

    As always a pleasure to read your posts Nikolaj. A setback, but one from a decision that will provide much more long term value than “staying on the old name”. Keep up the good work, and I hope to join Refuga on a trip sometime later this year. 🙂

  6. Andreas says:

    If you say “refuga”, you need a claim to describe your project. work away …. thats specific. not “work at home”, just “work away”. I’m not sure, I read the article last november, If there was no message in the head line :-).
    But I’m sure, if we share our experiences about your fantastic project with own storys to friends and collegues, we can help to grow up refuga.

    • Hi Andreas,

      You’re right. Workaway says more about what it’s all about, but I think it’s more important to be 100% unique and then I’m sure people will find out.

      At the same time, we also want to do more different trips, where it’s not all working (but it will still give you some value in your business / career).

      But, we would of course really appreciate all help with spreading the word 🙂

  7. David says:

    Big respect to you Nikolaj. Its a great sign of your hard work and good concept that we were starting to get enquiries about Workawaycamp/Refuga.. Good luck for the future. We of course will be sending all inspiring nomadic digital entrepreneurs your way..

    David and the team at

  8. PRECIOUS says:

    Good move Nik. The meaning of the Refuga is well aligned with your idea. Ideas are like frequencies, we all tune in and correct course along the way; uniqueness is the most important thing. This is more than two steps forward. It’s many steps in the right direction. Keep doing what you are doing BIG!

  9. Simon Paag says:

    We have your back. Great decision and thank you for telling us more about the background for your choice, not only of brand name, but of the history behind it. Thank you again for your hard work and godspeed and well wishes for your future endeavors.

  10. […] Jeg er på Refuga – og dette er beretningen om mine to ture på workaway. […]

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