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Ho Chi Minh City vs Chiang Mai vs Medellin?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @mementomoriblog | 5yr  | 7 comments

Iโ€™ve realized that if I really want to be a DN entrepreneur, I need to get my ass to a DN hub.

My income (around $1000 USD/month) and some research Iโ€™ve done point to Saigon, Chiang Mai, and Medellin as 3 great choices to start out with.

I know some people who could โ€œplug me inโ€ to the DN scene in Medellin and Saigon, but not Chiang Mai.

The primary goal of me moving is to build relationships with DN entrepreneurs, and get great work done. Quality of life for $1000 USD a month is very important too, as I know how much a lack of money can degrade oneโ€™s quality of life.

Any advice from people who have lived in 2 or more of these cities? Any particular ways I should be thinking about this?


Right now my initial, probably wrong impressions are:

Medellin -
Pros: Culture and language are more interesting to me than Vietnamese or Thai culture.

Cons: More dangerous than SE Asia, not sure how much more. Higher cost of living than SE Asia. Thriving community, but not as much as SE Asia.

Chiang Mai -
Pros: Lowest cost of living. Very friendly, safe. Probably the easiest to integrate into, and least stressful.

Cons: Harder to connect with locals than in other locations (I know a decent amount of Italian, so Spanish seems easier, and apparently a decent amount of Vietnamese living in Saigon speak English.)

Saigon:

Pros: Seems to have the best community for what I am looking for. Very exciting entrepreneurial atmosphere. Cheaper than Medellin.

Cons: Pollution, could get old living in super urbanized area (stressful perhaps)

Right now I am leaning towards Saigon haha, but I am hoping for othersโ€™ experience based perspectives as I am just spouting theory right now :slightly_smiling:

Also, it seems like maybe I should be just thinking about Medellin vs either of the other two cities, since I could literally just fly between Saigon and Chiang Mai for cheap and see how I like either of them.

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Thanks everyone!

@Don_Lee @wanderingdev
Honestly I feel like I would rather try to date female nomads, as the idea of getting to know a local pretty well and then just bouncing seems like it would hurt a lot.

I think I would rather find someone I can travel withโ€ฆ

@AntonioEvans Thanks for the breakdown, looks like Medellin might be a little too much $$ for the immediate future.

@Victoria How are you liking the city life? Are you glad youโ€™re in Saigon?

@NomadAccountant @lognaturel
It seems like I should probably live in both places for a few weeks and then decide. Iโ€™m more of an outdoors type of person, but I am also really into a โ€œmore seriousโ€ entrepreneur sceneโ€ฆ

Thanks for letting me know about KoHub, Iโ€™ll definitely consider that as it seems like the perfect way for me to network and get shit done without worrying about logistics.

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@purplespatula | 5yr

Iโ€™ve stayed in all three and enjoyed them all very much. I agree that Medellรญn is going to be more expensive. You canโ€™t go wrong with either Saigon or Chiang Mai but theyโ€™re very different places to live. Do you like the big city over a smaller community? Go with Saigon. Do you like to do lots of outdoors stuff? Go with Chiang Mai. Etc.

If what you really want to do is focus on your business and network with other digital nomads, Iโ€™d also recommend you consider Koh Lanta during KoHubโ€™s busy season. If you go during the busy season, youโ€™ll have an immediate network of a few dozen digital nomads doing all kinds of interesting work with lots of energy and great ideas. I donโ€™t know what itโ€™s like during the green season but it may be a bit lonely.

Like you mentioned, in SEA, you can try out a few different places without spending much money. It also has a significant community of digital nomads who stay in the region so itโ€™s easy to run into or organize trips with people you know. Latin America is more sparse and spread out.

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Maybe itโ€™s just me but Saigon was too stressful to enjoy. Itโ€™s great fun for 3 days but not relaxing if you are a chilled/outdoors kind of person. CM is very nice but too far from the coast for me long term, no problems with English there though, as you suggested. :slightly_smiling:

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@victoriathoo | 5yr

Iโ€™m in Saigon at the moment, great DN scene here. Very easy to plug in, main areas of living at in District 1, near Japantown and 18a NTMK.

You can get a room for $200-$300 in 18a, but can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes it seems like thereโ€™s a bunch available and other times there hasnโ€™t been anything, but doesnโ€™t take long for something to open up.

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@antonioevans | 5yr

Just left 3 months in Medellin. 1k is a bit low for my type of life there and for DN might be tight. You can definitely do $3-$5 lunches in typical restaurants but you will be priced out of night life. Breakdown I have seen:

Apartments: $1 -2k (airbnb)
Lunch: $5-10
Dinner: $15
Posh Dinner: $20-25
Taxi: $3-$5
Beer: $1
Wine: $10
Maid: $20 per day
Haircut (Men) : $5
Haircut (Women): $30
Food Shopping: $40 per week
Internet Cafe: $1 per hour

As for dangerous. Really only in โ€œhamsterdamโ€. Which is near city financial center. This is the area drugs and homelessness allowed. You will never go there cuz nothing to do there. Just some park land near the highway.

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@don_lee | 5yr

Donโ€™t know about Medellin but both Chiang Mai and Saigon are good/perfect places to start your nomad lifestyle with. You may meet a lot of other DNs in Chiang Mai but Saigon has more serious entrepreneurs and expats, and you may find more opportunities to build a successful business there. Chiang Mai has a cheaper cost of living but the city of Saigon is more active and itโ€™s a food paradise. The weather in Saigon is much better than Chiang Mai in summer.

Admin note: post edited to keep on topic.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

Medellin has the same cons as hcmc and your Italian wonโ€™t be super helpful pkus cost of living there is $$. $1k/month would be kind of scraping by if you donโ€™t want to live in a dump with 20 people and have any kind of social life. Time of year matters too.

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How do I get Travel/Medical Insurance for Portugal for visa application from Australia?


in Portugal by @jonathanpoh | 5d 5 days ago | 5 comments

I'm preparing my Portuguese D7 long-term visa application and one of the required documents is proof of travel insurance with medical coverage. However, as an Australian citizen, if put that as my country of residence in many travel insurance companies' quick quote forms, I'm unable to get ANY insurance coverage at all because of the current travel ban out of Australia, and the Australian govt's 'Do Not Travel' advice to ALL countries. I know that Aussies are applying for, and successfully getting visas from the Portuguese Consulate here, so where and how are they fulfilling this insurance requirement if insurers aren't selling any coverage? Does anybody know or have any ideas?

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How to get into the digital nomad lifestyle?


in Switzerland by @filiptk | 26d 26 days ago | 1 comment

Hi, I've got a question to anyone who had experience with the digital nomad lifestyle. I'm 24, I'm in my last year of university doing computer science, got 3 years of experience mostly doing web development.

I never liked the idea of staying in one place, getting a job and growing roots - hence the will to take the opportunity and travel the world. My main question is โ€“ how do I go about it? Are there any useful resources I could look into?

How do I go about insurance and such once I decide to move. I currently live in Switzerland and do freelance work for one company. It's not a lot, since my studies don't allow me to pick up a full time job, but it allows me to cover simple expenses.

I'd be happy to get some insight into how things work and also happy to network with anyone interested.

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Where should I set up my company as a remote worker?


by @beloruchka | 1mo 1 month ago | 7 comments

Iโ€™m looking for any recommendations for services or people others have used to get answers on the best place to set up their businesses based on their personal circumstances.

Leaning towards Singapore after a ton of research, but would really like some concrete advice before jumping in.

Appreciate it!

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How to learn a language without taking a formal class?


by @zakamercury | 1mo 1 month ago | 5 comments

How to learn a language without taking a formal class, while traveling in different countries?

What advice can you give me?

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What's the best thing to do with your phone/ your phone number when travelling?


in Poland by @davda1546 | 1mo 1 month ago | 6 comments

Hey, hope everyone is well!

We're leaving in a month to go travelling. Our first destination is still to be confirmed, but will likely be Poland or Slovakia. We will be moving around every month or two to different destinations.

The question we have is: what do people do with phones/ phone numbers when hopping from country to country? Ideally we'd just like one number for the whole trip (even better, the number we already have) wherever we go, rather than getting new SIMs with different numbers.

This is just so it's easier to keep in contact with family/ clients/ etc.

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How do I set current location? I've looked everywhere for this option.


by @yousifyalda | 2mo 2 months ago | 5 comments

All I see is section to add trips, but I reside here. Home and all.

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How to get post abroad for UK Expats??


by @davda1546 | 3mo 2 months ago | 0 comments

Hi guys, wonder if you can help. I'm from the UK, and my husband and I are looking to go across Europe this coming year.

What's the best solution you've found re having all your post sent to you? I've found a site online that will set up a street address in the UK for you and scan in post to your email address, just wondering if you've found any other ways?

We've set up paperless statements, which has helped but with things like mortgages, official docs etc - how have you got around it?

Thanks so much!

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Driving from Italy to Croatia..how to handle passport?


in Croatia by @ld | 3mo 2 months ago | 3 comments

Hello, we are US citizens that have been able to stay in Italy past our standard visa stay due to covid. Now we must leave. We want to drive to Croatia as our โ€œout of EUโ€ stay. But Iโ€™m now wondering what considerations I need to take care of for my visa. I wonโ€™t go through an airport and get my passport stamped. But I assume I need to get my passport stamped as a way to prove Iโ€™m out of the EU.

Anyone else travel in and out of Schengen zone via car? Or know what I should do to properly handle the visa situation? I get unclear answers online. Hmm.

Appreciate your help!

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Introduce yourself โ€” who are you, where are you and what do you do?

 

by @coffeeshopceo | 3mo 3 months ago | 672 comments

tl;dr: introduce yourself in this thread.

We must all get sick of the same backpacker travel questions when we meet new friends, I know I do.

You know the ones - where are you from, whereโ€™ve you been, where are you going, what do you do, how long have you been doing it - etc.

The novelty of answering these questions wears off after maybe a week, but theyโ€™re nonetheless insightful and no matter how much we hate them, we find ourselves asking others.

So letโ€™s bring the dreaded backpacker questionnaire to NomadForum and introduce ourselves shall we?

**

  • whatโ€™s your name?
  • where are you from?
  • how long have you been away from home?
  • what do you do?
  • where are you currently?
  • where are you going?
  • what has been memorable for you so far?
  • will you go home anytime soon?
  • what have you learnt during your time as a nomad?
  • [insert your own question here]

**

No need to answer them all if you donโ€™t want to :smile:
But the more you shareโ€ฆ The merrier!

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Did you learn any Thai before staying in Chiang Mai?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @digitaldiva | 3mo 3 months ago | 0 comments

Iโ€™m curious to know how many people learned some Thai before going there. Learning languages is a hobby of mine but Iโ€™m very put off by how complex the writing system is, and if I decide not to learn it Iโ€™ll probably cross Chiang Mai off my bucket list. I prefer to be at least conversational in a language before I do an extended stay in a country. Iโ€™m curious how people who learned no Thai did getting by. And Iโ€™m curious, from people who did learn some, if itโ€™s any easier than it seems? Thanks!

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How to get SMS verifications for banks while traveling?

 

by @jackgopack | 3mo 3 months ago | 39 comments

Any suggestions for seamlessly receiving SMS Verifications from US financial institutions and other sites while traveling internationally continuously? Wonโ€™t keep my US Verizon account due to cost and currently plan to use local sims at each destination (T-Mobile and Project Fi are NOT an option as they terminate for continuous roaming). In summation, I wonโ€™t have a US mobile account.

Unless Iโ€™m missing something, which is very possible, this appears to be the single most complex issue Iโ€™ve encountered in my preparations, and one that no one addresses. I would greatly appreciate any possible solution that works 100% of the time. Canโ€™t afford surprises in this regard. Many Thanks! Jack.

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How do you ensure that you have good WiFi for working whilst travelling e.g. in places like India?


in India by @davda1546 | 4mo 3 months ago | 4 comments

We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?

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Do you prefer co-living spaces or hostels or Airbnbs?


by @davda1546 | 4mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

We are hoping to become nomads soon and have booked an AirBnB in September in Goa for our first destination. We are considering what would be the best option for accommodation after that. We are trying to decide between co-living spaces, hostels, or Airbnbs.

What are your experiences of accommodation in terms of the following: reliable wifi, social aspect, pricing, cleanliness, cooking facilities?

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How do you find people to meet whilst travelling?


by @davda1546 | 4mo 3 months ago | 1 comment

We are going travelling but we won't know anyone out there, what's your best advice for meeting people and socialising abroad? We've thought about the obvious things like Meetup etc, is there anything else you can suggest from your experience?

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What are the best blogs by individuals who have started businesses in Southeast Asia?


in Thailand by @haiducii | 4mo 4 months ago | 0 comments

Hey everyone,

Looking for blogs by individuals who document their progress/business in South East Asia - ideally Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos - but also Thailand/Myanmar too.

Thank you,

Haiducci

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How to get a UK residence address without renting/buying?


by @pavel_maximov | 5mo 4 months ago | 17 comments

Background:
Iโ€™m an EU national IT specialist, recently decided to become a digital nomad. I just left my permanent job in Germany and opened a UK based LTD (for a better taxation) to start a new career as remote working IT contractor. I also want to become a UK resident and pay personal income tax there BUT I donโ€™t want to rent/buy a place because I have no interest in physically living in the UK, as a nomad I will be traveling abroad 100% of the time.

So I just need a UK address where Iโ€™m registered as a resident and could receive mail, but I would never actually be there. I could rent a place and keep it empty but that would be a total waste of money.

Question:
How do I find somebody who could give me an official residence at his/her address and keep my name on the door? Iโ€™m ok with paying a reasonable monthly fee for this โ€œserviceโ€ (but not as high as a rent), and give assurance in whatever form that I will never pretend to physically live there. I have no close friends in the UK to ask for this favor, and trying to propose this to a random landlord would be just weird since they are not familiar with the needs of a digital nomad.

Maybe you guys can suggest me somebody who understand the situation and want to make some extra cash every month to pay the bills? Iโ€™m ready to meet in person, provide full proof of identity or any other document, and to make a written agreement that gives the landlord the freedom to cancel this โ€œsituationโ€ at any time.

Note:
This is NOT for tax evasion, itโ€™s the opposite! I WANT to pay full tax as UK resident, I just donโ€™t want to waste money on a rent which I will literally never use.

I would be very grateful for any advice!

Pavel

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How does Ireland tourist visa length and recurrence work?


in Ireland by @nrgetik | 6mo 6 months ago | 2 comments

Iโ€™m planning a stint in Ireland and Iโ€™m wondering about the 90-day tourist visa. Official information just mentions the 90-day limit without elaboration. Is it akin to Schengen where itโ€™s counted against the most recent 180-day period? Iโ€™m asking because I might like to take trips to the continent flying out of Dublin, but I donโ€™t know how I should account for the days Iโ€™m gone if I do that. Do I stop the 90-day clock for Ireland while Iโ€™m away, or should I make sure Iโ€™m gone from Ireland <= 90 days after my initial arrival date, regardless of where else I go during that interval, just to be safe? What have others done?

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How do you deal with โ€œproof of addressโ€ for banking and investing and other random stuff?


by @eljaques | 8mo 7 months ago | 6 comments

How do you guys deal with the dreaded โ€œproof of addressโ€ for banking and investing and other random stuff?

I donโ€™ have the option to have a family member do this for me, sadly (not wanting to use that country as residence for tax implications).

This has to be a pretty regular problem for most who arenโ€™t doing the old timey โ€œlive in one place and pay bills there foreverโ€ thing. Suggestions? Services? Hacks? Workarounds?

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How is the health and safety in Bali right now amid the global crisis?


by @valentineworld | 8mo 7 months ago | 1 comment

I would like to avoid having to come right back home, ya know? <3

I plan to be in Bali a lot, but if this is a terrible time to go,
it could stunt my future plans of being in Bali for an extended period of time.

Would love to see you guys! <3

@valentineworld

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 8mo 7 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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