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Can you list 10 items that can't miss in your backpack as a digital nomad?


by @thetiwi | 5yr  | 5 comments

Hey guys,
Iโ€™m still a digital nomad wannabe but Iโ€™m trying to plan my future as an actual one.
Iโ€™m now looking forward to buy my Digital Nomad essential gears to fit into my backpack.

Budgetting is really important to me and Iโ€™d like to know what is really usefull and whatโ€™s not when working and travelling in order to avoid spending lots of money on those things I donโ€™t really need.

So here is my question:
Can you list 10 items that canโ€™t miss in your backpack as a digital nomad?
Iโ€™d like to know more about your personal experience and why you think they are so important to youโ€ฆ

I hope this could be of help for wannabes like me but that it could also be of help to those veteran nomads looking to optimize their own backpack inventory.
Thanks for your time and your help!

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@thetiwi | 5yr

@kathrynoh Iโ€™m about to collect my things up.

Iโ€™ve seen you talked about medical prescriptions. If I have some made here in Italy, are they still available around the world?

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Iโ€™m probably not the best person to ask since I got 6 months of prescriptions in Australia before I travelled and Iโ€™ve not had to deal with getting more medication yet.

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@thetiwi | 5yr

Thanks guys, that was awesome!
Itโ€™s cool to see two different points of view and how you both share some of the essential items.

Iโ€™d be curious to find out how many different opinions I can find about this topic.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Absolute essentials:

  1. Passport is a given.
  2. Wallet, of course, with cards and cash.
  3. Medication (prescription)

Essentials:

  1. Clothes - I donโ€™t pack a lot but Iโ€™m not a minimalist packer either. I think you can get away with less depending on your size. I have a hard time buying things like shoes and bras in Asian countries.
  2. Some toiletries - if I can buy it easily at my destination then I donโ€™t pack it but I have some make up items, good quality tweezers, nail clippers that would be more trouble to replace than carry with me. Nail clippers are incredibly handy. I just used them to open a carton of milk :smile:
  3. Laptop - of course, for working.
  4. Headphones - noise cancelling ones are life saving for me.
  5. Tablet - probably not essential but I donโ€™t like lugging my laptop around with me all the time or dragging out my laptop when I just need to check maps or something. When it dies, I might just get a better phone and use that instead.
  6. Hair elastics - not just for hair but handy for many uses.
  7. Fold back clips - again, handy for many situations.

I have a few comfort things I take with me too. I figure itโ€™s not a competition to see if you can travel with the lightest load but finding a balance between lugging stuff and having the things with you to make your lifestyle enjoyable.

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@korc | 5yr

Not counting the clothes on your person (jeans, shoes, shirt, sweater, maybe a jacket if you are going to frigid places), your smartphone and wallet (with debit card) in your pocket , probably less than 10 things:

  1. Passport
  2. Laptop + Charger (I recommend Macbook Air 13", the best nomad machine)
  3. Minimal clothes: 5 sets of underwear, 2 shirts, 2 shorts, a pair of sandals
  4. Copies of passport, debit card, issued visas, etc: documents in case of emergency
  5. Headphones/earphones that suit your taste
    6 (personal preference) A small thermos (<500ml)
    7 (situational) mouse/drawing tablet depending on your work needs
    8 (situational) Backup battery (that can be used for both laptop or smartphone)
    9 (situational) Hard drive for recoverable backup of your laptop

Anything else you take along is a non-necessity unless relevant for your work, and more likely a liability than an aid. Keep in mind that as a nomad, the monetary cost of having to buy some $0-$100 item that you situationally need is negligible compared to clutter, weight, volume and stress given how much time your belongings will spend weighing your shoulders down rather than being put in use. Iโ€™m not a coffee person, so I skipped the thermos, but this is essentially what I went on my last nomad leg (6 months long, 5 countries/cities) with. I didnโ€™t miss much at all. I didnโ€™t have a jacket and it turned out I needed one in Japan in April, so I had to buy one from Uniqlo (got an ultra-compact down jacket thatโ€™s the size of a soda can when rolled up), and I had to replace my headphones which got busted, but that was about it.

I use a Tortuga Travel backpack, so I had plenty of space to spare after this much stuff, in which I carried one of my side projects, a board game Iโ€™ve been working on, and which serves as a great icebreaker with people I meet. I carried one sweater and one dress shirt more than I recommended above, and I wish I hadnโ€™t.

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 4mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 4mo 3 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 4mo 4 months ago | 17 comments

I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? Iโ€™m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 5mo 4 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 6mo 5 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 8mo 7 months ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 8mo 7 months ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 10mo 9 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 10mo 9 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 10mo 10 months ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Are there any digital nomad fitness retreats?


by @ryanjames | 10mo 10 months ago | 1 comment

Hey all:

Does anyone here have any experience attending a full time fitness bootcamp or a fitness resort while working? I know there is one in Cambodia for digital nomads (Fitness Retreat Resort Kep Gym), unfortunately the time difference vs my work schedule would make my life suck if I tried to go there. Iโ€™m looking for a place between US and Europe timezones that lets you live with them, kicks your butt with fitness, but would also have good WiFi/accommodate working eight hours a day. Iโ€™m also open to other tangential ideas for something close-ish to get that same experience.

Thanks for any help!

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Best place to set up a company selling digital services?


by @pras_k | 11mo 11 months ago | 10 comments

Whatโ€™s the best place?
For residency Iโ€™m looking at Portugal and they have the NHR (non habitual resident) program which would exempt dividends from foreign income.
So all Iโ€™m really looking for is the best place to actually start the company.
Biggest factors are of course low taxes and ease of setting up the company plus a business bank account that enables me to receive payments through Stripe.

What I found so far:
Hong Kong
Corporate tax rate of 16.5% (8.25% for the first HK$2 million)
โŠ•/โŠ– offshore income from outside HK is exempt from taxation but itโ€™s not clear whether this can be done in the first year and prorated or if itโ€™s only through filing the offshore exemption claim. This might take two years and requires not income from HK at all. More info on that would be great
โŠ– seems very difficult to get a business bank account
โŠ– necessary services and fees are roughly around โ‚ฌ2000 / year
โŠ– accounting requirements seem to be very strict
โŠ• Doesnโ€™t require local partner
โŠ• Agencies available that seem to handle most of the work

Singapore
Corporate tax rate of 17% (0% on the first S$100k, 8.5% up to S$300k)
โŠ– requires a local director. What are the implications of this?

Malta
Corporate tax rate of 35%
There is the โ€œfull imputation systemโ€ but I donโ€™t really understand it.
"In most cases, the tax refund to the shareholder is 6/7 of the tax paid by the company on profits distributed as dividends. The tax refund rate may be different in the following cases: " This would result in an effective corporate tax of around 5%.
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that

Cyprus
Corporate tax rate of 12.5% and there seem to be ways to lower this
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that
โŠ– requires staying in Cyprus for 2 months / year

I find it surprising how much research this requires and how much โ€œit dependsโ€ information is out there when Iโ€™d assume that there are probably thousands of digital nomads who probably have very similar requirements.

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Do you "out" yourself as a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 11mo 11 months ago | 2 comments

When you meet new people or reconnect with old friends, do you โ€œoutโ€ yourself as a digital nomad? The simple question โ€œwhere do you live?โ€ makes us uncertain now. We wonder if some places may be less welcoming to digital nomads, or if โ€œdigital nomadโ€ has a negative connotation in some places. If you are forthcoming from the start, does your status as a digital nomad make it hard to form friendships?

We would love to hear how other people navigate thisโ€ฆ how to balance being authentic in relationships vs. withholding the context (and allowing people to assume youโ€™re on vacation, for example).

Thanks!

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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 1yr 1 year ago | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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What's the best bank account for a global nomad?

 

by @barrybjjoubert | 1yr 1 year ago | 25 comments

Dear all
As a wanna be nomad figuring out a way to get free of the rat race, I was wondering what is the best bank account to have while travelling the globe? I need an account where is easy for me to receive payments from all over the world and it also need to be a bank that I can find almost anywhere in the world. I want to avoid carry cash on me if itโ€™s possible.

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Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan - which island is better for a digital nomad?


in Ko Lanta, Thailand by @melinda | 1yr 1 year ago | 6 comments

Iโ€™m currently in Penang, Malaysia and I was thinking to head to Thailand next. What are the best islands in Thailand to get some work done? I was considering either Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan because those both islands have coworking spaces. I might need to take some client calls, also video. Is the wifi good enough? Are there any other differences between the islands?

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Do any digital nomads travely solely by motorcycle?


by @fraserdeans | 1yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

Last summer I spent some time travelling through Thailand and Cambodia and jumped on mopeds to get around. I fell in love with them, the freedom, the ability to get off the tourist trail and see areas of a country not written about in tour books.

Recently a friend of mine cycled from London through Western Europe down to Morocco. His journey, stories and photo blog have all inspired me to see Europe by road rather than missing it all by plane.

Iโ€™ve been encouraged to do the same longer term through Europe. Next month Iโ€™m heading off to Spain to start that journey.

I was wondering if any nomads here are on similar journeys? Does anyone motorcycle between cities setting up to work for a couple weeks then moving on?

If so, have you got any advice/tips for someone just starting that journey?

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Where should I register my company as a digital nomad? Singapore, Hong Kong?


in Singapore by @raphadk | 1yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Hey guys, hereโ€™s a question Iโ€™ve been asking nomads I meet everywhere, but still havenโ€™t found good information. My startups mostly focus on american and european markets but I donโ€™t have a registered company, nor I live permanently on any of these countries.

I get the cash payments online in paypal (or adsense) and transfer it to Thailand (or Malaysia, or Bali, or Brazil, or wherever Iโ€™m at). The thing isโ€ฆ for low volume living expenses it seems fine, but as I scale the business, Iโ€™m starting to think more and more about fiscal law.

A fellow nomad told me to transfer it to Singapore, Hong Kong or The Virgin Islands, and then use an international credit card anywhere. I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s the best way to optimize thisโ€ฆ any ideas?

Also, could there be any problems in selling to these countries without a registered local company?

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Suggestions for home base for 10 months in Mexico or Panama next year?


in Mexico by @we_are_escaping | 2yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Weโ€™re researching places to use as a home base next year, and are leaning towards Mexico or Panama for 10 months (with 1 week โ€œvacationsโ€ to explore surrounding countries)

But, I want to settle some place where the infrastructure is good enough for fast, reliable internet - fast enough to run live webinars without worrying that Iโ€™ll be S.O.L due to internet issues when itโ€™s time to go live.

And ideally, Iโ€™d like to be on the coastโ€ฆ I like to have ocean/beach access without the need for a drive.

And not in a malaria zone (just saying, since Panama in particular has many areas that Iโ€™d rule out simply due to the need for malaria prevention meds)โ€ฆ itโ€™s one thing to take that stuff for a few weeks long trip, but I donโ€™t want to take it for months on end.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading all :slight_smile:

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Best online Bank for Digital Nomads


by @nilanjan | 2yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Hi All,
Can you suggest a cheap but reliable online Bank for Nomads?
What I meant by " cheap" is decent " service charges".

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