If you love to travel and are lucky enough to be able to work remotely as a graphic designer, web developer, writer or project manager, then the digital nomad lifestyle could be perfect for you. You can make the most of location-independent work by setting-up wherever you want around the world, exploring new cities, discovering new cultures and learning new skills along the way.
The sense of freedom for digital nomads is one of the top draws for modern employment as you can float from place to place without any ties. If you want to visit a friend in Costa Rica for two months, you can. Or if you want to explore South East Asia, changing destinations every few weeks, there’s nothing to hold you back. Here’s the lowdown on the digital nomad lifestyle:
Becoming a Digital Nomad
Who wouldn’t want to live and work in different places around the world? Many companies are clocking on to the benefits of freelance and location-independent roles. Some jobs can be done from anywhere, all you need is a laptop and good internet connection. In fact, research shows that working remotely can boost creativity and productivity as you can escape the nine to five routine in your home country and feel rejuvenated with a newfound zest for life while working internationally. If you’re scared to take the plunge, you can join groups such as WiFi Tribe, which is a co-living and co-working group that picks a new city to live in every month. You can get a taster for the digital nomad lifestyle before going alone.
Good WiFi is Key
For a digital nomad, good WiFi is everything. While it’s nice to work from your accommodation (and accommodation with good WiFi is essential) you need to break-up your day. Tons of the top digital nomad locations around the world have great cafes, where you can spend your days cafe-hopping, drinking great coffee and mingling with other digital nomads. Plus, many top digital nomad cities have co-working spaces, where you pay a small fee (either daily or monthly) to use a shared space, which will provide you with a desk and fast WiFi. Some co-working spaces even have coffee-on-tap, so you can really get your money’s worth.
Where to Go?
There are tons of cities where it’s cheap to live or stay for several weeks, meaning you get more ‘bang for your buck’. You can change locations every month, or you stick around in one place for several months. Some of the top destinations include:
Chiang Mai in Thailand, which is one of the most popular digital-nomad spots in South East Asia, if not the world. Digital nomads congregate to Chiang Mai thanks to its great weather, abundance of coffee shops, cheap accommodation, delicious Thai food and large digital nomad community.
Medellin in Colombia is known to be one of the best digital nomad destinations in South America. The ‘City of Eternal Spring’ has shaken its dark past and today is one of the most vibrant, creative and innovative cities in Latin America. Medellin has great weather, an electric culture and you have the chance to practice your Spanish and salsa when you’re not working. It’s packed with cafes with speedy WiFi and you can sample some of the world’s best coffee.
Meanwhile, cities with lower prices in Europe, such as Barcelona in Spain, which is known for its beautiful weather and international community, and Plovdiv in Bulgaria, which has recently been drawing digital nomads thanks to its beautiful old town and low prices, are great destinations to work from.
Check out the 10 best places to live as a digital nomad for more inspiration.
Where Should You Stay?
The best types of accommodation for digital nomads are private rooms in hostels, where you can embrace the social atmosphere while having the privacy of your own room, or renting your own room or apartment, which gives you total independence. AllTheRooms has every type of option you could possibly want in cities and destinations around the world. When selecting your accommodation, make sure to check there’s free WiFi. Even if you plan to spend your time working from cafes, you’ll still want WiFi to check emails and do extra work from home. If your job requires speedy internet, be sure to contact accommodation options to ask about the WiFi speed.
Many digital nomads embrace a minimalist lifestyle, however some items that you can’t leave home without include:
– Laptop charger
– External hard drive
– Credit card with no international transaction fees, meaning you won’t get hit with extra costs in the different countries you’re working in
– A good day backpack for carrying your laptop around
If you’re planning on moving around a lot, always pack light so you won’t be weighed down by a heavy backpack or suitcase. Check out these best digital nomad gadgets if you want some more inspiration.