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How is Kuala Lumpur as a digital nomad base?

 

in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by @agirlwhotravels | 6yr  | 29 comments

Hi everyone! Iโ€™m considering moving to Kuala Lumpur for about a year or so (mainly because itโ€™s a great getaway to SE Asia islands). I was wondering whatโ€™s it like as a travel base? It would be great to hear the opinions of those of you who lived there! Thanks so much in advance!

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@bobz_zg | 5yr

I spent last month in KL and it was ok - Bukit Bintang area. 26. Jan > 01. Mar.

I also came from Thailand like @Riennn , oh man what a depression hit me when I entered a room in a thing they call 3 star hotel. My God!
Be sure to always check room size!
I spent 2 days looking for another suitable hotel, as from what I could see it was difficult for me to find decent place up to 30$ US/day.
Either the room is to small or there is no window.

Second thing about hotels - cleanness could be issue, I have read trough dosens of comments while I was looking for another place to stay, and I did it for same hotel on couple of websites: booking, agoda and hotels. Lots of people complaining about that.
Most of the Hotels look very poor from outside and I just got a feel that they donโ€™t care about it.
So take a good look of what you get if you are booking hotel - daily housekeeping!
I was in 2 hotels, they donโ€™t clean room unless you ask, I donโ€™t know is it just me but have that in mind.

After finding suitable place to stay the other part :slight_smile:

What I found as a good thing about KL is that when you walk into any coffee shop, there is always at least 2-3 people with laptops working something. Meaning you can sit in any of these places couple of hours without any problem and do your work.

I used prepaid Maxis (Hotlink) 4G with 2+2Gb data plan for 36RM/Month then I just buy addons of 1,5Gb for 12RM when I spend that (I spend ~ 10-12Gb/month). Download app.
Wifi in Starbucks did not satisfy my need for speed, and other coffee shops when there is lots of people with laptops can get overcrowded so itโ€™s always good to be independent.

The weather was so-so, sunny with showers, sometimes to hot when there is to much clouds, but you can always hide in air conditioned space or mall, there are lots of mallโ€™s there.

To go out, Changkat is a street where you can find bars, usually they have happy hour after 10pm. While bars in malls have happy hours until 8pm.
Eg. Guinness pint ~ 20RM, or when non-happpy hour then ~ 30RM.
Coke is cheap ~ 5RM, Caffe Latte in SB ~ 13RM.
Always check small letters to see if prices are subject to service 10% and GST 6%.

Zouk is a popular night club, entrence 45RM+ (depending on program) before midnight including a drink, and they donโ€™t allow short pants.

There are couple of coworking places, but I didnโ€™t visit them, I just kind of like more to spend same money in a nice coffee shop, and then change couple of them trough days.

For a travel guide about what to do/see etc, I checked: http://www.kuala-lumpur.ws
There is lots of things to explore.
I did go to see both towers, Petronas and KL Tower, I donโ€™t knowโ€ฆ I always climb these things even the ticket is expensive. I did KL during day and Petronas night, for Petronas you need to buy ticket day in advanced and you can do it online.
Petrosains is a must see, I really liked and recommend that. Just a tip, maybe it would be good to avoid weekend and try to get there in a time when there will not be to many children or adolescents, you can spend hours there.

Food is good, I had no problem with that. Usually regarding the food/bars I check 4sq/tripadvisor app.
They donโ€™t have pork that much because itโ€™s a muslim country so if you want to eat pork, then google for pork :slight_smile:

Overall experience was very good for me, itโ€™s a nice city, very good connected to everywhere around. You can find everything you need there, just take a good look when/if you book a hotel.
I just missed DN meetup in KL, as usual I saw it on twitter the other day, darn!

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Iโ€™ve been through KL a few times and get the impression that there isnโ€™t much choice in mid-range hotels. Itโ€™s either budget guesthouses or luxury hotels. Iโ€™m going back next week and have an Airbnb, $AUD50 for the week for a studio with a decent sized balcony + all the usual facilities like gym, pool.

I guess it depends on whether you need the daily housekeeping or not.

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@alexlielacher | 5yr

I spent three months living and working out of Penang (the second largest city in Malaysia). I did a little write up on Medium with all the keys infos about Penang. Itโ€™s in my view the much better alternative to KL, especially since theyโ€™ve opened a new co-working space there. https://medium.com/@AlexLielacher/penang-a-new-hub-for-digital-nomads-7404907faacf#.ku3l4vng4

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@sylow | 5yr

Heading to KL beginning of June. Was there to visit gf last time for a week, this time I will stay for 2 months and would like to meet you guys there.

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@alexlielacher | 5yr

Whatโ€™s the internet like at internet cafes in Penang? Works fine or are co-working spaces the only place to go if you want to upload/download larger files?

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@felisworldcom | 5yr

Hi @all:) I am in Kuala Lumpur until Sunday - anyone likes to meet uo? best, Feli

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@essasaulat | 5yr

Lived in Kuala Lumpur for a few years. Fun city, relatively cheap and great food. Most of the expat community there is really friendly and welcoming. At the time I didnโ€™t have too much money to travel to different countries, but there were so many cheap and gorgeous places to go to within Malaysia, that I really didnโ€™t mind :slight_smile:

Also, where you live in the city can have a massive effect on what you think of the place. If you do end up planning to move there, ping me and I will be happy to chat about specific places to look for accommodation in :smiley:

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@ia_chris | 5yr

Hi all,

Just landed in KL yesterday. Iโ€™m in Bukit Bintang today thru Wednesday. Any nomads around? Is there a specific coworking space everyone goes to?

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@henning | 5yr

I just got back to KL after a time in Europe and then Bangkok. What I miss in Thailand is English. Thai people just seem to hate speaking English. And in Malaysia the Ringgit is currently is also very low, which makes it cheaper.
Any other nomads around in KL right now?
There is a Couchsurfing Meetup each Friday in Bukit Bintang btw.

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@db8871 | 5yr

Any neighborhoods in or around KL of interest to DN?

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@munly_leong | 5yr

Nomad Capitalistโ€™s Andrew Henderson is based out of Malaysia although I think heโ€™s found a smaller city around KLโ€™s orbit that serves his needs and is even cheaper. Heโ€™s written a good article about KL though here.

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@liztai | 5yr

I live in kl so if you have any questions feel free to contact me via my website at elizabethtai.com. Always happy to help nomads in town though my schedule has been really hectic so I may not be able to take you guys around town. Would love to though!

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@henning | 6yr

I have been to KL previously and now I am back using it as a base for SEA. The city is nice, not as crazy and chaotic as Bangkok and people speak very good English. Its not as beautiful and culturally active as Singapore but its also a lot cheaper.
If you are in KL at the moment and wanna meet up for a beer at Changkat, drop me a line!

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@miriam | 6yr

Ive been staying in KL the last year, but not as a digital nomad. KL is a great getaway to SEA! The good thing is that most foreigners can get a 3 month visa on arrival!

Living costs in KL are quite cheap, and the standards are good. You can find a shared flat from as low as 650-1500 RM. But be aware the deposits are quite high - about 3,5 month rent. Cool areas are Bukit bintang (near Changkat) or Bangsar.

There are many international departures from KL airport, and with airasia its quite cheap. Airasia also has a cool ASEAN pass promotion: http://www.airasia.com/ot/en/book-with-us/asean-pass.page

There are plenty of coworking spaces in KL, but I think there are mainly locals hanging out there. Plenty of nice chic cafes to work from as well. There are also monthly events for entrepreneurs and expats so it will be easy to meet new people. You can for example check out the event called โ€œDrinkentrepreneursโ€ to meet entrepreneurs, or you can meet other expats through internations or couchsurfing eventsโ€ฆ

Good luck!

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@pizza0502 | 6yr

Hi Marta,

Iโ€™m live in Malaysia but currently working in Singapore.
KL is not bad for gateway to others countries and islands. As I know most of the people love the beaches in Malaysia. But you might get difficult time to have internet in islands. If you donโ€™t need then it will be great to enjoy there.

The main airport is in KL. If you are plan to stay awhile in Malaysia before going to other SEA countries, you can go to Penang and have a look. Penang island is like a Malaysia version of Singapore (but not that advance like them :smile: ). As I know there is some startups going there and it is awesome. Peoples there more friendly and not very busy life like in KL.

Is your choice now :smiley: haha. Let us know more here if you end up in KL and what you feel in Malaysia. Enjoy!

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Penang was one of my options! Iโ€™ll look into it a bit moreโ€ฆThanks so much and sorry for a late reply :blush: Tbh, my ideal choice is Bali but since my partner is coming with me and heโ€™s not nomadic, he may struggle finding a job thereโ€ฆ

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@floc | 6yr

May I suggest good old Bangkok as an alternative? Itโ€™s well connected to Thai islands and everywhere else in SEA. Itโ€™s the most diverse city, I can think of.

Ofc in KL you have Air Asiaโ€™s home airport, so you canโ€™t beat those airfare prices. But Bangkok has lower costs of living than KL, so it might all equal out.

You should also have a look at Visa policies, before you make a decision.

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Thanks Florian, I was considering Bangkok but I was a bit worried it mat get t too crazy and hectic! Whatโ€™s your opinion? Yes, Iโ€™m definitely looking into visa policies, thanks! :slight_smile:

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@floc | 6yr

Bangkok can be anything you want it to be. Most places along the river are the very opposite of crazy and hectic.

If you like the Huzz and Buzz of a metropolis, crazy traffic, huge shopping malls and a modern city, stay in New Bangkok (Silom or Sukhumvit).

If you like it traditional and slow with temples, canals and wooden houses and all the crazyness just a half hour bus ride away, stay in the historic center (Rattanakosin and Thonburi).

I prefer the latter :wink:

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@riennn | 5yr

Visa policies are way easier in Malaysia. 90 days on arrival through land or by air, what a breeze compared to Thailandโ€™s current visa situation! Itโ€™s the reason why Iโ€™m currently considering Malaysia as my next location, after my time here in Thailand is over.

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@taj | 6yr

Hey Marta

I live in KL and it is a good place ( KL is trying to be Silicon Valley of SEA) so if you are particularly interested in Startup, it is a good place to be in. I am not sure about Digital Nomad community here yet.

To me it is a good travel base and you have options to choose your co working space.

If you need any specific suggestion, kindly let me know

Wish you all the best

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thank you Taj! Interesting to now about the startups - this may be helpful when looking for new clients as I always enjoy working with new companies and brands.

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@liztai | 6yr

Marta,
If you ever do come around Kuala Lumpur, drop me a line and Iโ€™ll be happy to bring you around and show you what KL has to offer. Itโ€™s an exciting city, albeit a little chaotic. Itโ€™s also advanced enough for any digital nomad to operate in. Itโ€™s not as cheap as some people would like to believe, but compared to places like Australia, itโ€™s still affordable.

Itโ€™s difficult to describe Malaysia. Itโ€™s a mix of numerous cultures in one. In one corner you feel like youโ€™re in India (Brickfields) and in another Hong Kong (Chinatown). And then there are tonnes of expats in hip and happening Bangsar โ€ฆ KL is just very different.

Most people speak good English here, and thereโ€™s a number of co-working spaces too.

Hope to see you here. We need more nomads down here! :wink:

You can contact me via e-mail at liztaiwrites AT gmail.com

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Thanks SO much for your help Liz!! I will be sure to get in touch if I do end up in KL! I visited a few years back but only for a couple of days - I had a great time and I really liked the mix between the modernity and culture/traditions. The food was amazing too!

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@liztai | 6yr

Yes, do keep in touch. Itโ€™ll be cool to meet a new friend!

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@sergi | 6yr

KL is a nice option, although Iโ€™d choose Singapore if it wasnโ€™t because itโ€™s pretty damn expensive. Then you have Jakarta as well but itโ€™s such a crazy city. So itโ€™s not easy to find a perfect place. If you do, let me know! :wink:

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Haha I know, itโ€™s so hard to choose! Iโ€™m torn between a big city and somewhere more relaxed, like Ubud! I may just have to do bothโ€ฆ:wink:

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@yako | 6yr

I havenโ€™t lived there, I stayed there for about 2 months. As you say KL is amazing as a gateway. The airport is probably in every mayor route for any place in Asia so that is a plus. Regarding the city itself I havenโ€™t found it super interesting, but that doesnโ€™t mean it is not a nice city. It will really depends of what type of job you are doing and what are your intentions. If you are choosing KL only because of the airport, I think you can find better options in Asia.

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Thanks very much for a reply! Iโ€™m not dead set on KL - I spent a couple of days and liked it but Iโ€™m open to other places too :slight_smile: Thank you again!!

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Read and participate in 14,056 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Any nomads in Arizona, US?

 

in Netherlands by @info132 | 4d 3 days ago | 0 comments

Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

We do a bunch of hikes and campouts in the northern of Arizona. If you would like to connect with us, please do so :)

Val

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Best place in Portugal near cool nomads, good surf, and a great cowork spot


in Portugal by @joelnicholson | 4d 4 days ago | 10 comments

Hi there, title says it all. Canadian nomad hoping to find the city/town in Portugal with great, consistent surfing, a solid coworking spot, and a fun group of young nomads. Please recommend!

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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 | 7d 7 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 | 10d 9 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 | 23d 22 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 nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 6mo 6 months ago | 33 comments

Hoping to see all the cool stuff people are working on while they live an extraordinary life.

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 7mo 6 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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What is the gender split on NomadList?


by @iamhopeless | 7mo 7 months ago | 1 comment

Just curious. What percentage of men vs women are on here.

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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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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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Are there any nomad meetups in Osaka?


in Osaka, Japan by @freddychanut | 9mo 8 months ago | 1 comment

Will be in Osaka this April/May and was curious to discover interesting groups/events.
I had a look at FB + Meetup but there doesnโ€™t seem to be much. Any advice on where to look?

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 9mo 8 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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Are there nomad families here and how do you choose your next destination?


by @martinratinaud | 9mo 9 months ago | 4 comments

All members of my family has different needs and hobbies so how do you pick the perfect places?

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My first time nomad-ing... Spain or Portugal?


in Portugal by @jasraj | 9mo 9 months ago | 6 comments

Hey everyone,

Iโ€™m a freelance + nomad newbie, off for my 1st proper trip in May. Iโ€™m wanting to spend a month somewhere and go from there.

I just came back from Slovenia/Ljubljana and loved it there (just a week). I donโ€™t mind โ€œsleepierโ€ places par-say, as long as theyโ€™re close to a beach or nature of some kind. In fact, I kinda like places less-busy and a bit smaller/cosier.

Iโ€™m been swaying towards Porto, but have been impressed by the rave reviews Iโ€™ve seen for Valencia.

-> Have you every nomad-ed in a Spanish/Portuguese city? Iโ€™d love to know where and what you liked/disliked :slight_smile:

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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How to save filter settings on Nomad List?


by @krzemian | 10mo 9 months ago | 3 comments

Hey, is there currently a way to save filter settings? I feel like it would be helpful for planning the trip as I have several ideas on what to target and would like to cycle between them

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 10mo 9 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians donโ€™t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But Iโ€™d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? Iโ€™ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 11mo 10 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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Where are the nomads in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @shellyfish | 11mo 11 months ago | 9 comments

I just landed as a n00b digital nomad in Mexico City, and I am wonderingโ€ฆ Where are all the international digital nomads hiding around here? I have been to several coworking spaces (Selina etc.) only to find A LOT of local Mexican workers and businesses. Donโ€™t get me wrong, that is all fine, but I was hoping to meet some international nomads! Any advice?

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