- The term digital nomad was coined in 1997 by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners in a book called “The Digital Nomad”.
- Employers are starting to encourage remote working and are moving away from the traditional 9-5 model.
- Coworking spaces can be found all over the world.
A digital nomad is a teleworker independent of the place. They usually travel to different countries and work in cafes or coworking spaces. In 2018, an estimated 4.8 million people described themselves as digital nomads and around 17 million reported aspiring to become a digital nomad at some point in their careers.
But what causes this desire to live a nomadic lifestyle? More and more people are rejecting the 9-5 way of life and with the rise of technology, working remotely has never been easier. When nomads choose a location, they take into account a few important factors: internet speed, cost of living, workspaces and quality of life. Here are 10 of the best cities to live as a digital nomad:
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is one of the first destinations for digital nomads and remains a preferred place to live and work for the self-employed. Located in northern Thailand, Chaing Mai enjoys a slightly cooler and more comfortable jungle landscape and climate compared to Bangkok – another popular nomadic destination. The cost of living in Chiang Mai is very affordable and there is fast internet connection in coworking spaces and cafes. The Nimman area is the most popular area for living and working as there are a number of restaurants, street food stalls, a variety of accommodation types, as well as two shopping malls.
9. Tbilisi, Georgia
Another hot spot for digital nomads is Tbilisi. In 2015, Georgia introduced a law that allows citizens of a number of countries around the world to stay in the country for one year without a visa. This is perfect for those who want to stay in one place for a while, especially since the cost of living is quite low and the internet connectivity is good. A one-year stay offers plenty of time to travel through Georgia as well as vacations to neighboring countries. Tbilisi is a bustling capital that has everything a digital nomad could possibly need and the locals are extremely friendly and hospitable.
8. Canggu, Bali
Canggu is paradise thanks to its sublime climate, perfect postcard backdrops and relaxed lifestyle. Fast internet connection in a number of co-working spaces combined with a low cost of living means digital nomads like to spend long periods here. The locals are extremely friendly towards foreigners and the crime rate is low throughout the region. The emphasis is on a healthy lifestyle and activities like surfing and yoga are easy to find and a day’s work often ends with a bit of relaxation on beautiful beaches. Canggu has a large nomadic community which is great for making friends and networking.
7. Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Min City offers the hustle and bustle of a bustling metropolis without the sky-high price tag of most capital cities. This bright and vibrant city offers fast internet connection in many cafes and coworking spaces with a welcoming digital nomad community. For those who want a break from city life, Mui Ne is a peaceful coastal fishing village which is only a short drive away.
6. Barcelona, Spain
Enjoying sunshine that lasts most of the year and an enviable Mediterranean coastline, it’s easy to see why Barcelona is a favorite among digital nomads. The city is teeming with history and culture, so residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding things to do. There are excellent transport links throughout the city and the cost of living is very reasonable. There is a large community of digital nomads so you will feel right at home and the city even has its own Silicon Valley where you will find great networking opportunities. English is widely spoken throughout Barcelona and the locals are friendly and welcoming.
5. Taipei, Taiwan
For a mix of culture, food, fast internet, and friendly people, Taipei is the place to be. Public transportation is reliable and affordable, so it couldn’t be easier to get from a coworking center to restaurants in hidden gems – and the city is full of them. Visitors from most developed countries will receive a 3-month visa upon arrival, which will give them ample time to balance work and pleasure.
4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Incredible landscapes and fantastic weather make Buenos Aries a favorite destination for independents. This metropolis has many neighborhoods with accommodation to suit all budgets, a low cost of living and workspaces offering good Internet connection. When it comes to days off, Buenos Aries offers a range of nightlife options and cultural attractions to keep nomads busy. Not to mention that the fabulous beaches are just steps away.
3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen in Mexico is a digital nomad’s dream. Home to a plethora of cafes and coworking centers with fast Wi-Fi within seconds of breathtaking beaches; an extremely affordable cost of living and a friendly, laid-back community, Playa del Carmen ticks all the boxes. Spend lunch breaks sunbathing or swimming in cenotes, and finish with all-consuming tacos filled with the freshest ingredients.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
The capital of the Czech Republic is fast becoming one of the most popular places for digital nomads. Compared to many European capitals, the cost of living in Prague is much more affordable. The internet is extremely fast and reliable and most cafes have free Wi-Fi. Another advantage of living and working in Prague is the proximity to other European countries. The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe, so moving between countries couldn’t be easier thanks to fantastic transport links. Prague also benefits from good weather. For 9 months of the year, in spring, summer and autumn, the weather is warm and sunny.
1. Koh Lanta, Thailand
Many people trade the pressures of crowded cities for the warm breeze and the relaxed nature of island life. Ko Lanta is one of the most impressive islands in Thailand and it has become a great place to live and work. The cost of living is cheap and internet speeds are fast, and there are a number of great places to work. The beaches are second to none and it is quite hot all year round. Monday morning has never been so beautiful!