Getting started: where to?


#1

Hi everybody!

I just joined this community because I’m currently in a place in life where I can live the digital nomad lifestyle and I feel like I would really be missing out if I didn’t catch this opportunity. I work fully remotely, no fixed hours, I currently live in northern Italy and I basically have no partner or kids.

So, the question is… where to? I would love to hear the advice of more experienced digital nomads!
Laptop and internet is enough for me to work but I need decent internet for conferencing and I really have to put in the hours: some days are more relaxed, others I’ll have to work all day and night.
I enjoy more temperate climates, so no torrid heat or unbearable humidity, if possible.
I like decent food but I’m very adaptable in terms of tastes: anything is fine as long as quality is good and sanitary conditions are acceptable.
I absolutely do not enjoy the club life and would just rather go hiking during the weekends and pubs (or breweries) during the evenings. I’m a social person though and I don’t particularly enjoy places where people are too introverted (been in Seattle for four months… the freeze is real); I really look forward to making friends or acquaintances wherever I end up.
I enjoy decent transportation so places where there’s a viable metro system or Uber actually works would be nice.
I prefer places with a bit more of history and culture (this is one of the reasons why I absolutely loved Portugal, for example).
I’d like to spend under $3k average per month for rent, food and going out.

For now I was thinking either:

  • Staying close to home for a first experience, so something like Vienna or Berlin
  • South East Asia; I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times before, now I was thinking either Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, or possibly Thailand
  • South America, especially Colombia. I also have some people I know in Bogota and in Medellin, which I think would be a plus

When? Ideally I would leave anywhere from mid to late March and stay away for 2 or 3 months.

Sorry for the long read, I hope to get some input. Thank you for your time, if we ever meet in person I owe you a beer (or whatever you’d prefer).


#2

Hi there!

I’d recommend going around Taiwan. It’s less popular and crowded than Thailand, but there’s a number of good spots to visit and stay. The island is stretched to North and South and transportation is efficient and reliable, so take a train or head for hitchhiking/bike adventure if you like. Also going South will give you warmer temperatures.

Staying along the East coast in a place like Hualien will give you plenty of hiking opportunity while staying around Kenting in the South will result in lots of surfing. The internet is pretty good throughout Taiwan and of course, you should get a local sim card with lots of data to tether in case of emergency :slight_smile:

Cities are concrete jungles, quite similar to what you’ve seen in Hong Kong. What I liked the most are natural landscapes there. If you enjoy Portugal, it’s worth to mention that some time ago Taiwan was called (for good reasons) Ilha Formosa, which is Beautiful Island :wink:

Enjoy and hope to meet you there or elsewhere :beers:


#3

There are so many options to consider which is really exciting. My first real home away from home was Chiang Mai, Thailand. I’ve been to a dozen countries since becoming nomadic and I still consider it the best location for nomads. It’s just so easy and the value for money can’t be beaten.

I’ve also spent some time in Athens which is closer to you and I’d also consider it as an option. It’s cheap, the food and culture is amazing and the weather is also decent most of the year. The biggest issue for nomads is the Internet and lack of quality co-working spaces.

I’m currently in Medellin and would also recommend it. It’s not as good as Chiang Mai but a good option. It has the best weather I’ve experienced outside of my home country of South Africa.


#4

Congrats on making the leap and getting started! I solo travelled Europe from March to May, 2018. From the cities I visited (Prague, Amsterdam, Porto, Madrid, Barcelona) I would say Prague is the best place to start based on what you’ve said.

Internet and Remote Working Conditions
You won’t have an issue at all with strong internet. Most cafe’s have free wifi. Also there are a TON of cafe’s all around Prague. The coffee culture is huge there so you’ll see a lot of people chilling in coffee shops for a few hours working. The businesses are also very open to people staying there all day. Just be friendly and order at least a tea or coffee to support the business and you’ll feel totally welcome. I can suggest a few of my favorite cafes to work in if you’d like. Just send me a message on here.

Climate
I was there in March and it was freezing I’m not gonna lie. But by the end of March there were some beautiful and warm days. I would suggest going in April based on my experience for the perfect weather. Everyone takes advantage of the weather too, so you’ll see a lot of people outside walking and eating outside. There are also some nice parks and great places to run if you enjoy “urban running” and exploring the city that way.

Food
I found all the food to be just OK. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. The good thing is it’s very cheap compared to big city prices, so you can afford to go to better restaurants for higher quality stuff. Comfort food is more popular here…a lot “meat and potatoes” kind of places. Dumplings and Goulash (spelling?) are some of the traditional dishes.

Social
I was there for a month, and during that time I made a lot of friends. Everyone was so friendly and approachable it was incredible. Pro tip, learn basic words and phrases in Czech. They will be surprised and love it if you can pronounce the food and order in Czech. It’s also a great conversation starter. The language is pretty easy in my opinion so learning basic phrases shouldn’t take you long. People were not shy or introverted at all. Like I said, making friends was really easy.

Transportation
I had a great experience with public transportation. It was on time for the most part. Google maps was pretty reliable in terms of delays, changed routes etc. Prague a great place to fly out of because it’s close to some other great cities for weekend trips. Flights are pretty cheap from Prague as well.

Price
Everything was very cheap when compared to big city prices, as I said. I’m not sure what prices are like in Northern Italy, but Prague was the cheapest of the places I travelled to…Porto might have been a bit cheaper?? You wont have a problem spending under 3k for the month. What kind of places are you planning on staying? Hotel? Airbnb? Do you like nice amenities or hostel life?

If you have any other questions I’d be happy to help, just send me a message. Good luck!