The Best Cities in the World for Digital Nomads
You're one of the lucky ones. Thanks to your business and your circumstances, you can work from anywhere as long as you have your trusty laptop and a fast Internet connection. Your digital nomad lifestyle, of course, is an awesome way to experience the world and expand your mind (research shows that those who live abroad are more likely to start successful businesses), but it also raises a fun, if vexing, question--exactly where should you go?
A new website aims to help. Stripped down and simple in design, Nomadlist.io, developed by Pieter Levels, gives would-be world travellers the essential details on a variety of international cities, including estimated living expenses for a month, weather, and, crucially for globe-trotting entrepreneurs, local Internet speed. The user community of digital nomads can then up-vote favored cities to further help those looking to choose their home base of the moment.
Which cities have racked up the most votes at the moment? Low-cost Asian and Eastern European locales are currently dominating. Here's the top five, with their estimated monthly living costs (converted from euros, which is the currency used by Nomadlist.io):
- Chiang Mai, Thailand ($598.74)
- Taipei, Taiwan ($918.25)
- Sofia, Bulgaria ($1,283.40)
- Belgrade, Serbia ($1,221.64--but be warned, Internet speeds here are only 10 MBPS)
- Kosice, Slovakia ($1,380.05)
Should any of these cities strike your fancy, you can simply click a link to get further details like friendliness to foreigners, safety information, and co-working space recommendations. Eventually, Levels hopes to monetize the site by transforming all this information into various city guides, but for the moment the crowdsourced rankings are just getting off the ground.
This information is a fun place to get inspired if you're already thinking about hitting the road with laptop in hand, but if you're currently more settled, it could also have the effect of rekindling your travel itch. If you're one of those entrepreneurs with an urge to get on a plane but an uncertain mind about the viability of an extended stay abroad, be advised that more folks than you might expect insist it is possible. Whole startups have packed up and headed abroad together, as have (some brave) middle-aged parents. The experience, experts insist, can be both life- and career-changing.
If you could pack up and work from anywhere, where would you go?
JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.