Digital nomads are people who work remotely and live in a different city or country for at least 5 days out of the week. These locations are generally called digital nomad destinations because they’re affordable, have fast internet, and are easy to get to from most major cities. To become a successful digital nomad, you need to find the best places to live as one. The perfect combination of affordable living, fast internet, safety, and quality of life will allow you to thrive as a remote worker without having to give up your life.
There are over 100 popular digital nomad destinations around the world — but not all of them are good options for remote workers looking for somewhere to live and work remotely long-term. Some digital nomad destinations aren’t particularly remote-friendly or safe; others cost more than they should; while others don’t have reliable internet services. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to choose the best digital nomad destinations.
How to Choose Digital Nomad Destinations
Know what you’re looking for
Digital nomad destinations are like any other city or town – there are things to love and hate about each one. It’s important to know what you’re looking for and what matters to you the most. If you know what you want, finding the perfect location is a lot easier. Are you looking for a beach town, or do you prefer a city? Do you want to be near tourist attractions, or do you want to be in a quiet corner of the world? Do you want to live in Asia, or would you prefer to try somewhere new, like South America? Perhaps, you want to live near other digital nomads? Or are you okay being in a remote location? Do you have any allergies or special needs that you need to consider when picking a destination?
Check the internet speed
A fast and reliable connection is essential for any remote worker, but especially those hoping to earn a living online. The average connection speed in the U.S. is around 11.5 Megabits per second (Mbps). In some cities, like New York, you can find internet connections that are almost as fast as a landline. However, in other cities, like Portland, OR, the average internet connection is around 3 Mbps. In many digital nomad destinations, the average connection speed is even slower than this. It’s important to check the internet speed wherever you want to live. If it’s too slow, you might not be able to do your jobs online or earn a living as a digital nomad.
Check the safety and security situation
It’s important to consider the safety and security situation in the city or country where you want to live and work remotely. While you can generally feel safe walking around during the day, you need to be extra careful at night. It’s a good idea to avoid being out alone after dark — especially in highly touristy areas. It’s also important to know your rights as a digital nomad when it comes to police interactions. In some countries, police have the right to enter your home without a warrant — even if you’re not there. It’s a good idea to find out the laws and civil rights in the area where you want to live.
Don’t sacrifice comfort
Don’t sacrifice comfort for a cheap or easy move. You might save a bit of money in the short-term by moving to an area that’s less expensive, but you’ll probably end up paying more in the long-term. If you’re looking for an affordable digital nomad destination, you can save money by skipping the major cities and looking for a quieter, less-developed area. If you’re open to living outside the U.S. or Europe, you can definitely save money. But if you want to live in a major city, expect to pay a lot of money. Big cities like New York, London, and Hong Kong are some of the most expensive places to live in the world.
Check your options for co-working spaces or housing
A good place to work remotely isn’t just a cheap place with fast internet — it’s also remotely accessible. You’ll have a much harder time finding a remote work-friendly city if the only place you can stay is in a noisy hostel with bad internet. If you can, look for a co-working space in the city you’re thinking of moving to. These places have everything remote workers need: fast internet, comfortable furniture, reliable Wifi, and plenty of other remote workers to talk to. If you want to live in a city without a co-working space, you can also use a website like RoomorCoworking.com to find a place to work.
Talk to other digital nomads already there
The best way to find out if a digital nomad destination is right for you is to talk to other people who live there already. If you have friends or colleagues who work remotely, ask them where they like to work. If you don’t know anyone who works remotely, join digital nomad Facebook groups and ask where people recommend living. You can also search for digital nomad meet-ups in the city you want to live in. Meet-ups are a great way to connect with other like-minded remote workers. You can ask questions, find out about the area, and get firsthand information about the quality of life in that city.
Hopefully these tips can be helpful to you. Becoming a digital nomad isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. So, be strong and stick to it. Hopefully, after a while, you’ll get into the flow. It’ll feel so much easier!
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