Most sedentary jobs require you to stay put. Your office is your whole world during your office hours, your lunch break being, if you can afford one, your only moment of freedom.
However, now that the wireless internet connection has become a must literally everywhere, more and more people have started opting for a different kind of lifestyle – the kind that allows you to fulfill your lifelong dream of seeing the world and still being able to earn a living.
While this kind of arrangement used to be a privilege of travel writers, journalists and explorers, it is now available to everyone who can manage to do their work online.
People all around the world are happily leaving their offices in order to work from different cities and countries, from beaches, cafes, parks, libraries and co-working spaces. Digital nomads are breathing in the fresh air and enjoying their newfound freedom.
What is a digital nomad and how do you become one?
In general, a nomadic lifestyle means that you are free to roam the earth traveling rather than being bound to one particular place. In contrast to a long-term traveler, nomads are on the move for so long that they have to make money along the way. And this is where business meets pleasure.
A digital nomad will use a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet to do work regardless of the location. Yet, a digital nomad is not a homogenous category. There are several types of work you can do while being out of the office.
One of those is a corporate remote worker. More and more companies today offer the possibility of working remotely. As long as the work is done, the employee is free to choose the office. This provides a steady income as well as the opportunity for travel.
A freelancer, on the other hand, does online work for one or more clients. Web design, social media management or content writing are the most common fields that allow this type of work, which is often found on online platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr.
Entrepreneurs are the ones who have their own company and can do all their business online which makes them ideal candidates for this kind of lifestyle.
In order to become one, tuck your map in your suitcase, bring your work with you and embark on an adventure.
Best places for digital nomads to work from
If you feel you fall under this category, by now you may be wondering where your nomadic path should take you. Let’s take a look at the most appealing places to spend your office hours.
1) Chiang Mai – Thailand
If you’re up for something exotic, then Thailand has much to offer. Chiang Mai is considered the hub of digital nomads since it’s inexpensive, easy to navigate and has an abundance of co-working spaces.
It has embraced the new-age nomadic culture while offering a mix of ancient temples and impressive nature which will definitely boost your creativity.
2) Pune – India
Speaking of rapidly evolving cities, the ones in India are becoming ever more popular destinations. With the fourth fastest growing economy, this country is becoming ever more attractive for the working traveler. Life in India is more than affordable, and more than 300 cities will welcome your nomadic lifestyle.
India’s strong commercial real estate sector is doing everything in its power to better suit your needs. In the hub of business opportunities, you’ll be able to grow your network while sharing an office with potential colleagues, business partners or investors.
3) Mussoorie, Uttarakhand – India
With free WiFi with speeds of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps since 2015, you’ll have all the freedom to explore this city to the fullest. Situated at the foot of the Himalayas, it offers breathtaking views, lush green hills and varied wildlife. Besides its natural treasures, it is famous for being an important educational and business center.
4) Pondicherry – India
This town is a delightful mixture of traditional Indian sensibilities and French architecture. As a former French colony, it has retained the bohemian spirit, the art of French pastry making and the need for charming cafes with a very good internet connection. When you’re not strolling through these fairytale-like streets, you can focus on your work in very affordable co-working spaces.
5) Bali – Indonesia
Move a little bit to the south, and there’s Bali, in all its exotic glory. In 2013, the first co-working space, Hubud, opened its doors both to freelancers and a new era for this, up to that point, mainly holiday island. Now it is one of the most desired locations for destination working which ideally combines your holiday destination with your office.
6) Budapest – Hungary
In case you’d prefer to work in places brimming with amazing architecture, history and culture, then Europe is the right choice for you. Budapest, for one, tends to hit the top of the charts every summer. Unlike its counterparts in Western Europe, it manages to retain a lower cost of living so you can spend more time and less money on its treasures.
When it comes to Europe, you can really take your pick, since most major cities have a great deal to offer. There’s Berlin, with its high-speed internet, extremely good position and friendly English-speaking locals. There’s Belgrade, affordable, with a good internet connection, as well as a bustling nightlife scene and Prague, the city of art to name a few. But if you really want to get down to some serious business in a breathtaking city, Barcelona will welcome you with open arms.
7) Barcelona – Spain
The whole city seems like one big masterpiece, and you’ll find no shortage of WiFi, co-working spaces or freelance-friendly cafes and parks. On the other hand, the cost of living might be an issue. Since life there tends to be a little pricey, Barcelona has become known for attracting more professional, successful nomads. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t miss it even if you’re just passing by.
8) Buenos Aires – Argentina
Moving on to Latin America, Buenos Aires in Argentina awaits all nomads hungry for outstanding architecture and diversity. Although not the cheapest of cities, you can still survive and thrive on a budget.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with hundreds of co-working spaces, a myriad of Starbucks and cafes with excellent internet connection for your virtual work, as well as affordable and reliable transport.
9) Medellin – Colombia
Going north, you might want to stop by Medellin, Colombia. Investments in technology and infrastructure have made this place extremely attractive. This city will go easy on your wallet and wear out your dancing shoes.
Co-working spaces are tirelessly popping up giving you a suitable place to work, but after you close the shop, you can head for either the mountains or the beaches of this wonderful city.
10) Mexico City – Mexico
A little up the road, there’s Mexico City. Maybe not the safest place on the planet, but if you are careful enough to stay away from shady places, you should be more than fine. Being the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, it guarantees limitless culture to explore and be immersed in.
11) Cape Town – South Africa
One might think that this particular part of the globe is yet to see its glory when it comes to location independent work. Although that is partly true, there are a few places that stand out. Cape Town, for instance, will captivate you with its stunning outdoors.
Surfing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, diving, and all that within a 30-minute drive from the city center. It is only slightly cheaper than Europe, but you’ll get so much more for your money. And with over 20 co-working places, you’re all set.
12) Taghazout – Morocco
Taghazout, Morocco, a charming fishing village on the Atlantic coast. Although not very popular as a long-term destination, it is especially appealing to Europeans when they want to get away from the harsh winters. A comfortable, secluded place to do your best work.
13) Tunis – Tunisia
How about Tunis? The capital of Tunisia sits along the lake Tunis, just inland from the Mediterranean Sea’s Gulf of Tunis. It offers one of the best co-working spaces, along with rich history and one of the most famous archeology museums which feature impressive Roman mosaics displayed in a 15th-century palace complex.
As you can see, if you’re the kind of enterprising individual that isn’t afraid to break out of the mold of the daily grind, there are plenty of opportunities to kickstart your nomadic adventures. Pick your starting point and get ready for a spontaneous digital journey.