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How is Cape Town for digital nomads?

 

in Cape Town, South Africa by @jammingsloth | 6yr  | 32 comments

Has anyone spent time in Cape Town? Any recommendations on places to stay? Airbnb seems pretty sparse. Wifi also doesnโ€™t seem to be a strong suit - anyone have positive experiences?

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@purplespatula | 5yr

@yanokwa and I are in Cape Town now and are loving it! We found a place in Woodstock in Airbnb and although itโ€™s not cheap, itโ€™s really nice and has reliable uncapped Internet. Itโ€™s not super fast (3 Mbps down, 1 up) but itโ€™s good enough for our developer needs. We also really like working out of Field Office. Same deal - the connection is reliable but not very fast. Vodacom 4G is about 20 Mbps down, 6 Mbps up in a good spot (our house) at 150R for 1G. Thereโ€™s a lot to do in the city and itโ€™s absolutely gorgeous. Highly recommended!

EDIT: Weโ€™ve been working out of Spin Street House (previously Twenty Fifty) for a few weeks. Itโ€™s not a super social space but itโ€™s very productive.

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@the-bureaux | 5yr

Just to make all nomads aware we have three flexible work habitat locations in Cape Town with an average internet user speed of 20mb per second up and down, uncapped. Great locations include Woodstock, Sea Point and the city itself. Desk space and private office space available. I would like to know how we can constantly improve our habitats to make sure all digital nomads are catered for while visiting Cape Town.
Best to check out our website at www.thebureaux.co.za or contact me directly. Greg Beadle

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@10kjuan | 5yr

Yeah, they use reciprocity in Brazil too, which is why things got complicated when they dropped the 6-month limit for Spaniards to 3 months after Spain did the same.

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@10kjuan | 5yr

I hear that @Mari_travels, my girl and I planned everything around her visa restrictions as a Brazilian, pain in the a$$. In Europe itโ€™s not so bad though with so many options close by.

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@mari_travels | 5yr

True @juan, Europeโ€™s size and their low cost flights helps a lot. Africa is not that easy, though :S

The crazy thing is that I (from Latin America) can actually stay 3 months in SA, but my bf (from European Union - Poland) can only stay 1. No idea how they decided on that XD

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@anon82020850 | 5yr

As a South African I can attempt to answer that; Maybe it is because most Latin American countries allow us to stay for 3 months (or more) visa free, whereas European countries give us a lot of hassle. I would guess that it is a game of tit for tat.

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@mari_travels | 5yr

@jerriep that makes sense! Im happy to know that my country welcomes South Africans, too :slight_smile:

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@mari_travels | 5yr

Hi everyone!
I arrived in Cape Town last week, and so far I LOVE this city and country :smiley:
Im renting an apartment in Green Point, which seems very well located. (We booked it with โ€œstayincapetown.co.zaโ€, and everything was ok)

I wish I could stay longer, but sadly my BF can only stay for 1 month (the different visas regulations make it so hard for intercontinental nomad couples!) so after 4 weeks we are moving to Mauritius.

@lachicnomad I would love to hang out with other DN around here, so send me a message if you want to go for coffe or something.

Saludos :wink:
Mariana

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@lachicnomad | 5yr

Oh my! Mauritius is my home island!!! And CPT my second home. Sorry I only saw your message now as I got no notifications. Are you still around? I live in Green Point too, not far from Giovanniโ€™s Deli. Iโ€™m on Twitter under the same name (@lachicnomad). Lost my phone (fell in water).

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@10kjuan | 5yr

Sounds great, @lachicnomad. Just wish the minimum speeds were >10Mbps, Iโ€™ve always had connectivity and quality issues with my students on Skype with speeds below that.

I need THOSE speeds, @travelingpm, ha!

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@lachicnomad | 5yr

Hi I am a digital nomad and prefer slow-travel. For me, because I come from a tropical island (mauritius) I have no desire to go to other tropical places and with my currency, Europe and anything in the Northern Hemisphere is way too pricey for me. So I am based in Cape Town - getting the best of both worlds - it feels like Europe because itโ€™s cosmopolitan and you can surf, visit the winelands or have a beach picnic all in one day but still has the facilities/infrastructure of third worldโ€ฆ slow internet etc. I have uncapped internet 4mbps which Iโ€™ve been using for work - I mostly write, work on Wordpress. But I have friends who work on the same speed who do 3D animation, graphic design and it seems to work for them. Iโ€™m here for a little while until next year. Airbnb is available - you just have to keep looking because there are more people looking for accommodation than there are free rooms. Mostly because itโ€™s such a popular destination.

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@robwattct | 5yr

Hi @jammingsloth

Itโ€™s so good to hear youโ€™re wanting to check out Cape Town. Itโ€™s a very cool place, it has itโ€™s challenges (mostly related to the current government), but it will blow your mind! You will not want to leave!

I grew up in Cape Town and have done a fair bit of travelling around the world, so I can undoubtedly give you the best feedback on CT with a global perspective.

Firstly, it is the most beautiful city in the world. No where else in the world will you find a city which is surrounded a beautiful (โ€˜New 7 Wonders of the Worldโ€™) mountain range, which runs down onto pristine white sand/blue flag beaches, the blueness of the sea matches the deep-blue cloudless sky, which has hundreds of centuries-old wine estates (featuring michelin star chefs!) within 30 mins driveโ€ฆ not mention all the outdoor and cultural things to do! Think of Cape Town as a semi-first-world city within a third world country.

What we call Summer in CT, lasts from mid-October to mid-March and the temperature is typically 28C-38C during summer. In Winter the temp drops to around 5C and it rains a lot during July, August and the first two weeks of September.

As a nomad, you want to live in and around the city bowl. Within tech circles, CT is known as Silicon Cape (Google them) because of all the startups and devs. There is a big design, modelling, film industry (second biggest in world to Hollywood). There is a lot of work available for devs. I heard someone mention they had a bad experience in Camps Bay. Thatโ€™s unlucky, Camps Bay is probably one of the most beautiful and upmarket suburbs in the world. If you donโ€™t believe me, Google it! I saw someone else said it was fake; having lived there myself I can tell you itโ€™s not fake and a very cool place to be based and also virtually crime-free. I recommend staying in Camps Bay if your budget allows it, otherwise the following areas are all good: Bantry Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Mouille Point, De Waterkant, Gardens, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht. Capetonians use the gumtree.co.za to look for and advertise accommodation. AirBNB and Agoda are just kicking off. Look at spending around $500 in accommodation.

Around the city bowl the public transport (MyCiti Bus) is really good and cost-effective. Uber is also a good option.

Only use Vodacom for your mobile network. The poor service provided by the other networks is not worth the cheaper price.

There are a lot of co-working spaces: Check out Jungle Corner at the Woodstock Exchange or the Bandwidth Barn. There are a lot more, just Google them.

In the last two years, internet speeds have got really good in SA. A lot of people have 10MB down (even my parents!), but a lot of businesses and co-working spaces have 50MB-100MB down speeds. Some restaurants like McDonalds etc. give you one hour free, but plenty of coffee shops/restaurants donโ€™t have bandwidth limits as long you order from the menu.

Despite international media, Cape Town, as in the CBD and suburbs are one of the safest in comparison to other well known international cities. If you venture 45 mins out of the city into the townships/Cape Flats (ghettos), there is a chance you might experience crime, so avoid those areas unless you have a local guide.

One of the biggest challenges South Africa faces right now is โ€œload-sheddingโ€โ€ฆ basically planned power outages. I wasnโ€™t too affected staying in Camps Bay, but a lot of other suburbs get hit regularly by load-shedding. The only way around it is to check the load-shedding schedule and move onto an area nearby which isnโ€™t scheduled, but sometimes the schedule isnโ€™t 100% accurate. Cape Town is situated in the Western Cape province and is run by the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), because of this the province is run far more effectively than the rest of SAโ€™s ANC-run provinces and more recently on occasion when the national load-shedding program has CT scheduled, Cape Town has not experienced load-shedding because the city (DA) has managed to conserve power in other areas.

Over the last two years, the city bowl area has been experiencing a resurgence of artisan businesses. Expect plenty of great coffee bars, top end restaurants and bars. Craft beer happy hour specials for $1.20 a draft.

There is a lot of big business in CT, so if youโ€™re a networking you can find team members, clients, business partners, angel investors etc. If you want to get connected join a meetup.com group or ask around and find out where the meets ups are happening. Thereโ€™s plenty of opportunities if youโ€™re in the right circles.

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@travelingpm | 5yr

Update: Mark from Workshop 17 here in Cape Town is a miracle worker - making huge advancements in fiber infrastructure. Today he was showing off the speedtests at Coworking Africa Conference (hosted at workshop 17 in Cape Town).

Earlier he ran at 749 Mbps download speed. The comments on slow internet in CPT are still relevant, but times are a changeโ€™n. :slight_smile:

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@lachicnomad | 5yr

haha - youโ€™re right when you say you will not want to leave. My 2 weeks in a guesthouse in sea Point turned out to be 3 years! And before that, I had been to Cape Town for 1 night and stayed for 4-5years!!! AWESOME PLACE and way cheaper than Mauritius.

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@eterae | 5yr

I lived just outside of Cape Town all of 2015 and will be returning later this year. Iโ€™ve actually postponed my return because there are frequent (daily) power outages throughout the country and it, undoubtedly, affects the internet. The internet wasnโ€™t the greatest anyway but I could make do unless I had to have video conferences with coworkers. Since I left in March, I heard the power outages have increased and itโ€™s not getting any better.

If you have flexibility, you might be able to make do. But if you have deadlines and need reliability, I donโ€™t recommend going to South Africa at this time. Google Eskom power failures to learn more.

I have heard that if you post up near a hospital that you can avoid the power outages, though - just FYI.

As for safety, itโ€™s not the kind of place I would be comfortable in without gated security, a car, and friends. You definitely donโ€™t let your curiosity guide you in this country.

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@mike_riess1 | 5yr

I lived in Cape Town for 6 months, living with friends who are residents.

If you are doing web work, freelancing out of Cape Town can be difficult. Graphic design / non bandwidth intensive activities are probably fine, but for web guys like myself, you are going to be very limited in your options. Data wasnโ€™t sufficient for me as I would just eat up gigs with the amount of stuff I do on the web - itโ€™s my 8 to 5, as it were. 99.5% of the internet is DSL, and really crap DSL at that. Plus data caps, time limitsโ€ฆyikes. Donโ€™t plan on working at most hotspots for more than 15-30 minutes without paying for some so-so internet access.

However, hereโ€™s the secret: Canal Walk, a mall in a suburb called Century City, has free and unlimited high speed wifi. Itโ€™s good to great as far as free wifi goes, and the security is top notch too. They spent buckets of money on this place - security everywhere, redundant power, ample parking, blazing internet (for SA) - itโ€™s a great place to work. The only trouble is that there isnโ€™t really a ton of great cafes to work out of, so thatโ€™s where youโ€™ll likely run into issues. There used to be a coffee shop in Exclus1ve Books, but they closed I heard. The illy coffee shop may be your best bet.

Be sure to check out Origin Coffee - best roasters / coffee shop in town. The guys there are awesome too. Last I heard they were talking about turning their upstairs into offices, so they may even be an option for office space. Wifi at their location is so-so, however (and parking is difficult as they are downtown).

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@erikbrits | 5yr

Alas, Canal Walkโ€™s magical wifi was a temporary deal to promote MWEB (a local ISP) and it is definitely no longer nearly as awesome. Us locals were heartbroken when it went!

But the Exclusive Books Cafรฉ is open again! They went from outsourcing all their coffee shops nationally to in-housing them one by one. Food and coffee quality at the moment is variable, but itโ€™s usually acceptable, and with the new decor the bookstore is pretty nice. Still, now that the mall wifi is no longer magical, this would be a fairly random place to choose to work unless you have to be in the area.

Fibre rollout is slowly but surely happening, weโ€™re all hoping that changes the playing field.

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@leo | 5yr

hey @jammingsloth i spent a few months in the mother city and had to learn how to make things work the hard way. here are my experiences. First, forget TwentyFifty co-working spaceโ€ฆ sure, they donโ€™t charge for the data usage but they only have metal chairs that are frankly impossible to sit on for more than 10 minutes. I have literally tired every co working space there. The best one, in my experience is, 88 mph (http://www.88mph.ac/capetown/) and happens to be one of the cheapest too. they have real tables, very comfortable chairs, located in a cool trendy part of town, and the community is great.

Next: wifi. forget cafes, forget restaurants. the wifi โ€“ here โ€“ just sucks. the thing is, i NEED super fast wifi for my work. Enter Vodafone. Get a SIM card and load it with a data package. I would purchase around 4GB per month. itโ€™s not that expensive and itโ€™s very fast and very reliable.

next is load shedding โ€“ or sporadic power outages. The solution is just to chill, take a break and drink a cold one when it happens. after an hour or two, youโ€™re back on your feet. This is where you mobile phone really comes through. you can run on battery so you have good internet even during load shedding.

as for security, i would recommend to chat up one of the locals for tips. I always used Uber at night, and was extremely careful at night. In short, youโ€™ll be fine if you make safety something youโ€™re always thinking of. it sounds worse than it is, but itโ€™s really ok.

lastly, pay attention to the VISA rules. If you over stay your visa, even by one hour-- youโ€™re banned from the country for one year. itโ€™s a new law and it sucks.

the best way to describe cape town is a beautiful easter egg. looks amazing on the outside, but once you crack it openโ€ฆ itโ€™s a bit screwed up like every other city.

cheers to the good life.

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@namtrok | 6yr

I spent 3 months in Cape Town last year and would recommend TwentyFifty Theyโ€™re the best coworking spot in the mother city as they donโ€™t charge per MB used. everywhere else has really low limits. (two of the fibre connected coworking spots limit you to 2gb per month) The community at TwentyFifty is also awesome. Theyโ€™re chill but easy to get connected to. Last I knew when the Buffer guys are in town they work from TwentyFifty.

As far as everything else (accommodations, transportation etc) Iโ€™d recommend getting this PDF Guide you can use the coupon code โ€œnomadtogetherโ€ for 10% โ€ฆ worked great for me.

And finally you need to checkout Gumtree

As for my personal experience outside of the co-working spaceโ€ฆ well lets just say I spent a lot on 3g data due to paying per MB. (I travel with a wife and 4 kids, so we eat data like itโ€™s going out of style) I used Vodaphone and a 3g mifi hotspot. worked well in every area I went and wanted to work. Cafesโ€™ wifi is a joke, theyโ€™ll give you 200mb free and then you have to pay a terrible rate for the data.

We lived in Camps Bay, mostly because we were there in the off season and found an incredible deal on an awesome house (yeah canโ€™t do the hostel thing with 4 young kids). We stayed our first week in a terrible airbnb house in camps bayโ€ฆ we left a review saying so, if you run into that place avoid it. There are some awesome backpackers/hostels in Cape Town and if you get out of the CBD/downtown area you can find cheaper BnBs. My recommendation is to watch gumtree, get a bnb (or airbnb) for a week and then meet up with realtors and find a place for a couple months (thatโ€™s how we did it)

The food is awesome, the fun is awesome, there is no place on earth quite like Cape Town. Iโ€™ve lived there twice in 10 years and while the threat of crime is still an issue in all of South Africa it is super simple to avoid trouble. The only problem we had was 10 years ago someone broke into our bakki (pickup truck) and stole our medicine/medical supplies kit. In reality the majority of the crime is petty theft, or crimes of convenience. You can avoid these by being smart!

Let me know what other questions you have Iโ€™m still in touch with a few locals and would love to help anyone enjoy Cape Town.

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@travelingpm | 6yr

Re: accommodations. It depends on the scene youโ€™re into. If you want hipsters and design - bleeding edge, bruโ€ฆ 0_o - check out Woodstock. Gardens and Vredehoek are sleepy areas that are safe but very windy. Greenpoint has a decent party scene and relatively cheap apartments considering the location, and Seapoint is a bit dated and overrated. Camps bay is expensive and fake. Alright, so Iโ€™m hating on a lot of suburbs nowโ€ฆnot intended. Put it this way, youโ€™re not going to avoid crime altogether, but if youโ€™re mindful you have nothing to worry about. Consider what you want to do while youโ€™re here and know the public transit is pretty good (MyCiti), then choose a location. Airbnb is good, but gumtree is also the go-to for everything here. We live in Hout Bay - sleeper, hippie community 20min by bus from Cape Town. A blazinโ€™ 3mbps speeds down here. haha :slight_smile: Enjoy the Mother City!

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@mari_travels | 6yr

Thank you for the info about accommodation @travelingpm!

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@travelingpm | 6yr

Hey jammingsloth, Iโ€™ve been living in Cape Town for a little over a year now and while itโ€™s a beautiful city, I wouldnโ€™t recommend it to digital nomads looking to do any serious work. The wifi speeds are generally horrendous (1-3mbps) and if you opt for the only alternative for speed (3G) then youโ€™ll pay out your ears for it. There are a few coworking spaces popping up around woodstock (suburb of Cape Town) that boast fiber and high speeds, but have yet to check them out.

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Great tips, @theunis - Iโ€™ll drop you a line when I arrive in November :slight_smile:

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@mari_travels | 6yr

Hi! Im planning to go to Cape Town around september.

Which areas would you recommend to rent for digital nomads/expats? My main concern is safety, but I would also like to have easy access to markets/restaurants and entertainment options.

Thank you!

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@theunisk | 6yr

@Mari_travels In the city Iโ€™ve only stayed in de waterkant, which turned out to be a great location, a couple nice restaurants around, including the piano bar which I really enjoyed (for the music).
Also easy to walk to center / waterfront, though it might not be recommended to do so alone at night (but I have).

The hiking is great too, if any of you are into that.

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@lachicnomad | 5yr

Hi @Mari_travels are you in Cape town already? I live in Green Point which is very safe and walking distance from the beautiful Sea Point promenade that stretches over the oceanfront. Filled with coffee shops and lovely places to stay. The rent is expensive. If you need a workspace my place is available. I donโ€™t find my internet speed that bad. It is not as fast as when I was in Zurich, but heyโ€ฆthis is the southern hemisphere and itโ€™s an awesome life here in CPT.

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@theunisk | 6yr

I donโ€™t have any specific places to recommend (though one Iโ€™d recommend against), but http://www.safarinow.com/ is more widely used. http://www.capestay.co.za has some good listings but has a terrible browsing/enquiry experience (if youโ€™re casting a wide net).
Wifi is usually available at coffee shops/restaurants but often slow or limited as mentioned.
I primarily use mobile data bundlesโ€ฆ costs roughly R100 ($9)/GB, though there are a couple deals that are good value 60GB = R1800 ($150), 100GB = R2500 ($200).
Average mobile speed is 2-8 Mb/s, wired internet is in the same range, and wifi often slower. There are a few co-working spaces that have good wifi though.

Iโ€™d definitely recommend CT (in spring/summer at least) if you can find affordable accommodation, the city and surrounding areas are really beautiful and thereโ€™s plenty of fun things to see and do.

If anyone does find themselves down here sometime in the future, give me a shout.
Would be great to meetup if Iโ€™m not off travelling myself.

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@jammingsloth | 6yr

Thanks @theunis. Regarding mobile data bundles - any providers that you lean towards, especially for faster 4g?

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@theunisk | 6yr

@jammingsloth the two I mention are 3g only I believe. For 4g you might be better off using Vodacom & Mtn, they tend to have better signal country wide, but I could be wrong. Iโ€™ve been using my 100gb (once off) cell c data sim fairly successfully for work in cape town and johannesburg, but if youโ€™re used to European internet it might be too slow for you

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@replay | 6yr

Iโ€™ve spent some time in this guest house and really liked it: http://www.sunflowerstop.co.za/

Unfortunately I canโ€™t really recall how the quality of the wifi was, because it was over 2 years ago. But I do remember that the place was very nice, the location central in the city, the rates reasonable, and the owners of the guest house were extremely friendly and helpful when I broke my foot there and needed help all the time:)

Edit: The city is one of the most beautiful cities I know, and also the surrounding areas along the coast and inland are really pretty, so I think itโ€™s totally worth it to go see it

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Iโ€™ve heard wifi isnโ€™t particularly fast, and some cafes limit your connection to only one hourโ€™s free surfing. Others let you browse all day, but it might not be great for heavy duty work.

Iโ€™m heading there for six weeks in November, so hopefully Iโ€™ll be better informed soon. Iโ€™m staying with friends and family, therefore accommodation isnโ€™t an issue.

Any tips or advice from people who have worked there remotely would be most welcome though.

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@digitalpirate | 6yr

I worked in Cape Town for 20 years. My daughter is still living there so I go over usual once a year and was last there in August 2014. Most cafes and restaurants now have wifi. What type of accommodation are you looking for and how long are you looking to stay.

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


in Antigua, Guatemala by @momo11 | 11d 11 days ago | 0 comments

Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 14d 14 days ago | 1 comment

I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.

Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?

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How to get into the digital nomad lifestyle?


in Switzerland by @filiptk | 27d 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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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 3mo 2 months ago | 4 comments

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 7mo 7 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 | 7mo 7 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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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 8mo 8 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 | 9mo 9 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 | 11mo 11 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 | 11mo 11 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 | 1yr 1 year 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 | 1yr 1 year 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 | 1yr 1 year 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 | 1yr 1 year 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 | 1yr 1 year 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 | 1yr 1 year 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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Apple TV and Netflix: Do these work for Nomads?


by @lricci | 1yr 1 year ago | 8 comments

We launch in 2 weeks. In the US, we use Apple TV and Netflix regularly. Do these work abroad?

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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 | 2yr 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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