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Is carrying around my laptop in a backpack every day safe in South America?


by @skarabox | 5yr  | 9 comments

Hello everyone, I usually carry my laptop in my day backpack, walk around the town in my home country (Poland) and work in coffee shops / shopping centers, other quiet places I find or like.

My question is, how would carrying around my laptop on myself every day around the town work in practice in those places in terms of safety in South America.

I prefer to travel by a city communication than taxis and like to walk around too, but my concern is that I will get blatantly robbed with a gun or knife in a side street and lose my whole backpack with a laptop.

If anyone living in those cities could share their experience about how likely this situation is to occur, as obviously being white and foreign will make me stand out in the first place.

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@replay | 4yr

2 years ago I got my laptop stolen at a gas station outside of Buenos Aires. It wasnโ€™t violent though, I stopped at the gas station together with 2 friends, all our laptops were in the trunk inside backpacks. When we got out of the car one of us must have forgotten to lock the rear door, two went to use the toilet and the third went to the gas station shop. The time window during which nobody was at the car must have been <1min. Apparently during that 1min some guy went into the car and managed to get to the trunk by putting the rear seat down, took the first laptop from the first backpack he saw, and disappeared.
Obviously nobody at the gas station has seen anything, despite some guys standing outside all the time.

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@maarten | 4yr

I was nervous about walking around with my 2k+ laptop in some more โ€œurbanโ€ places. I bought a cheap looking shoulderbag for about 10 bucks, that I wear cross-wise over my left shoulder. This makes the laptop hang under my right arm, which would make any attempt of grabbing it a pull rope contest. I donโ€™t think people generally expect a 2K+ laptop in a 10$ bag you can buy on the street. (probably 2$ if you know how to haggle)
Also, I am a tall man. That might help. If you are not in that situation, plan accordingly. Hauling around a 15 inch macbook pro when you donโ€™t really need it, is a hassle. Consider buying a cheap-ass chromebook or netbook. The psychological cost of worry is just not worth the technological benefits most of the time.
Have you considered insuring it? My laptop is covered under my standard travel insurance that costs 100 bucks a year. All my writing is in the cloud and I have a physical backup in a Shipito warehouse with all the songs I have written.

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@ahshiman | 3yr

Hi, what travel insurance plan are you using? Most that I have looked into only cover the laptop for a maximum of $500.

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@digital | 5yr

Hi @skarabox!
I hope youโ€™re fine. I personnaly never travel to South America and never had this experience of thieves. But, I have seen recently a discreet bag that can be useful for you I think :slight_smile: Itโ€™s like a slim bag for your laptop only and you can wear it beneath your pullover or jacket. Here is the link: https://www.betabrand.com/unisex-ultra-thin-laptop-backpack.html.
Apparently, itโ€™s too warm in South America to wear a jacket but why not trying it :wink:

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@al_steffen | 5yr

skarabox, itโ€™s true that carrying a laptop with you can be somewhat dangerous in Latin America. I do think you should put the whole thing into perspective though. First, the kind of coffee shop you would use to work efficiently is usually located in more policed areas, the majority of the time in malls. Second, there are millions of students who travel to their university by public transportation each day, most of whom carry a laptop these days. I suggest you adapt your routine to the situation (for example make sure you wrap up well before sunset and take a registered cab home) rather than go to the far extreme. In 2013 I listened to the dozens of warnings from friends (most of whom had never travelled there) and was without my computer for 10 weeks in Lima, Peru. After 8 days I bought an overpriced tablet cause it simply didnโ€™t work. This year I carried a Mac in a cotton bag around Cartagena, Colombia day and night for half a year and was fine. I hope this helps.

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@diegoserranoa | 5yr

Yeah, I wouldnโ€™t recommend it. It depends on the city also. But at least in Ecuador (where Iโ€™m from) if thieves see a European guy with a backpack they assume he has money, a camera or something of value in it.

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@lucha54 | 5yr

Yep my friend was in a small town/city in Peru and ended up alone at night after she left some friends at a barโ€ฆ someone came up and mugged her at knifepoint and stole her backpack- the only thing she really had in it was her tablet but itโ€™s quite hard to replace these sorts of things in most South American countries. At night and/or alone is not wise. But really depends on the place. Iโ€™m in Buenos Aires and itโ€™s unlikely someone would try to steal my backpack during the day which is when Iโ€™d be going to and from home and a cafeโ€ฆ

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@julia_nunes | 5yr

I am from Brazil and I donโ€™t recommend to carry your laptop all the time, because is very common thieves take your backpack even using a gun. Leave it โ€œat homeโ€ in a not obvious place and always locked. However, I also recommend always to have some money for thieves, because if you donโ€™t have anything is worst.

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@oskar | 5yr

I would say to be careful. South America is a region with endemic corruption and pick pocketing is common. The safest countries like Chile and Uruguay still suffer from this though in a smaller scale.

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

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Has anyone created a list of co-living spaces around the world?


by @keegansard | 5mo 5 months ago | 4 comments

Iโ€™m a big believer in co-living but Iโ€™m finding hard to find all the options available in different cities.

I have found the major players like Roam, The Collective, and WeLive but havenโ€™t found many others.

Has anyone seen a list or should I start making one?

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 8mo 8 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 nomad hot spots in Central and South America?

 

by @jb510 | 1yr 1 year ago | 106 comments

The last few years Iโ€™ve spent mostly in Asia (Thailand/Indonesia) and Europe (Spain/Italy), but I run a company in the US and need to coordinate with 10 US based employees and business partners. The time zone issues between EU/US and SEA/US are exhausting even if I love the locales.

Iโ€™d really like to try romping around the Americas for a while, but Iโ€™ve never been south of Baja California and really canโ€™t find much positive having been said about remotely working from CA/SA as a DN.

I know some hippy, surfer, artist, musician, yoga teacher types calling various locals home, but no one making a living onlineโ€ฆ more than a few people have told me itโ€™s fabulous down there until you go to Thailand/Bali and then you wonder why all those ExPats are suffering in CA/SA. Of course you only really know when you go yourself.

Iโ€™d love to see nomadlist.io get filled out with more details on Central and South American cities. It seems really sparse coverage at the moment, but maybe thatโ€™s simply because itโ€™s not good and no one stays there for long.

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What festivities are happening around Bali for New Years Eve (NYE)?


by @diannamallen | 2yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Looking for somewhere to celebrate New Years in Bali! I would prefer somewhere in Kuta or nearby, but if itโ€™s worth the travel, give me your suggestions!

Not looking to spend too much money either.

Thanks =)

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Cheapest places to be a digital nomad in Latin America?


by @jfowler | 2yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

Hey guys โ€” Iโ€™m looking for the best cheap places to be a digital nomad in Central and South America. Priority list: 1) cheap 2) social 3) strong internet. Iโ€™m in debt and need to cut my cost of living as low as possible. But hey, I still have to live it up. THanks!

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I have a one way ticket and two laptops, is it suspicious?


by @amirrafiepour | 3yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

Has anybody traveled as a DN with a one way ticket and two laptops?

Iโ€™m going to Chile in a couple weeks and I only have a one way ticket and Iโ€™m going to Argentina after Chile. I donโ€™t know when so that is why I still have not bought my onward ticket to Argentina but I will go there before my Chilean visa expires. Iโ€™m also going to carry my work windows laptop and my personal mac with me.

Now my question is, is this enough reason for an immigration officer to get suspicious and not let me in Chile? What would you tell them if they try to give me a hard time about my one way ticket and two laptops?

Thanks for you help in advance!

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Anyone (almost) exclusively traveling in Latin America?


by @danielaf | 3yr 2 years ago | 7 comments

Is there anyone around who spends most of their time in Latin America? After short trips to Peru earlier this year, Iโ€™ve now come back to Lima to stay for another three months and will then head to Buenos Aires. Lima will be kind of my home base but I aim to explore as much as possible of Latin America in the next couple of years. No interest in Asia, Africa or North America and no intention to go back to Europe.

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What's the best digital nomad backpack?

 

by @levelsio | 3yr 2 years ago | 93 comments

I hear stuff about Tortuga and Minaal, although Iโ€™m myself using a fake Chinese one I bought here in Bali.

What do you currently have and whatโ€™s the best?

2017 UPDATE: I made a gear page now:

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What's the best surf spots in California or South America?


in Cali, Colombia by @rynesweeney | 3yr 2 years ago | 8 comments

I am currently living in Medellin until February. I want to find some of people favorite spots for surfing and community. I have heard Nicaragua and Guatemala have many options.

Multiple one month or more stays in countries below the US (CA, SA, Caribbean as all?). Spanish isnโ€™t a problem. Safety, internet, and surf are priorities. Ive heard good things about Panama and CR but they amount of gringos currently in these places is sort of a turn off (Im a gringoโ€ฆbut that is my preference). Budget is sub $1500/month.

Thank you for the suggestions!

Ryne

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Anyone walking around the world while working?


by @michaltakac | 3yr 2 years ago | 8 comments

Hey guys,

Is there anybody who loves walking that much? Iโ€™m thinking about this for about 3 years now, and since I finished university this year, I could possibly plan for this huge trip and start sometime next year. I have no commitments, no girlfriend, some money saved and pretty strong motivation. I like to travel low cost (couchsurfing, exploring cities by walking, cooking own meals, sleep in a tent if needed).

Small background about me: Iโ€™ve been working 5+ years (and still working) as a software engineer remotely (full-stack, web, mobile, VR), trying to not spend everything and save a little here and there (plus some index funds, mutual funds and holding few cryptocurrencies). Walking is big part of my life since itโ€™s something like meditation, great time for creative thinking, research and solving problems. Usually my daily routine involves 10-20km of walking (some in the morning, some in the evening). So far longest stretch was 55km, aiming to raise it to at least 100km during next month. Also love to track everything (Fitbit Charge 2 + Gyrosco.pe).

Iโ€™m thinking if itโ€™s possible to walk around the world in 5 years while working occasionally during mornings or evenings (own web/mobile app, writing blog) and at the same time complete a PhD in Process Control (got an offer to work with great professor on an interesting thesis using augmented reality, for which I only need a smartphone, my Macbook and ability to once in a while consult with him over phone/skype).

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Which laptop charger case are you carrying?


by @srg_b | 3yr 3 years ago | 1 comment

Iโ€™m looking for a case in which I can put my laptop charger, mouse, power bank and proprietary cables, and then put that case into a backpack. Any ideas? Thx!

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Anybody around Europe over the next few months?


by @paulrose | 3yr 3 years ago | 9 comments

Hi All

Soโ€ฆ a few months ago when I was in Asia, for some reason I decided that it was gonna be too hot over the summer months and I wanted to mix it up with a few months touring Europe. So I had the idea to buy and RV and drive round for a few months.

Meet Teagan :slight_smile:

Itโ€™s taken a few months going through the process of getting my license to drive the RV, because itโ€™s so large it wasnโ€™t covered on my standard driving license. Add to that, I had some solar panels fitted for unlimited power, and a massive satellite dish for internet wherever I go.

Iโ€™ve now got my ferry booked out of the UK for September 11th and at the moment have no plans past the first few weeks.

Has anyone on here done anything similar before? Any places recommended, or anyone around Europe over the next few months?

Iโ€™m doing about 3 months worth before heading to Vegas for NYE and around the states for a few months after that before back to Asia for a bit.

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How to get around blocked credit card transactions?


by @nomadaccountant | 3yr 3 years ago | 15 comments

it seems like Visa have gotten more tight recently and itโ€™s touch and go whether each transaction will go through. Sometimes it does but often now I am getting declined. The bank knows my locations but in the background Visa seem to be blocking a lot regardless and they are harder to notify. I am using paypal where possible because it doesnโ€™t get blocked, but thatโ€™s only good for a limited number of places.
Anyone else getting worn out by the payment approval games?

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Search/review site for Co-Working spaces around the world?


by @gnefkow | 4yr 3 years ago | 7 comments

Hostelworld for hostels,
Nomadlist for general locations,
Yelp for food (among other things)
Trip Advisor for activitiesโ€ฆ

Is there a website where a community of people can rate and review co-working spaces around the world? Iโ€™m in a nice place right now, and about to start on toward the next destination, Iโ€™d love to review the coworking space Iโ€™m currently sitting in and start planning for the next stop.

I know that there are some threads around here about it, but Iโ€™d love to search โ€œTaipeiโ€ and see a list of them with reviews from actual nomads (rather than the hap-hazard websites the coworking spaces make about themselves).

  • kyle
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What alternatives are there for bad WiFi in Latin America?


by @ryanleonard1989 | 4yr 3 years ago | 10 comments

Hey gang, Iโ€™ve traveled pretty extensively through Central America and was recently in Colombia.

I love Latin America and want to continue to travel/work here, but internet connectivity is a constant issue. Hostel wifi is always hit or miss and when it does work, itโ€™s often slow or thereโ€™s no convenient place to work.

Cafes are even worse most of the time.

Iโ€™ve tried local sim cards with data and sometimes that works well, but skype calls eat the data right up and in many locations, the speeds are slow.

Iโ€™m willing to pay more for more reliable internet, but I havenโ€™t found anythingโ€ฆ

Wondering what most of you fine folks do and if anyone has any suggestions.

Also, what are some alternatives to hostels?

I know you can use AirBnB, but the locals jack the prices up on there (if youโ€™re in an area you can find anything on AirBnB). Apartment rentals can be found pretty inexpensively, but I like to stay moving and usually donโ€™t want to stay somewhere for even a month.

On top of all this, I like to surf and the coastal towns tend to be the worst for wifi.

Iโ€™m a little frustrated and wondering if anyone has any suggestions I havenโ€™t thought of?

Admin edit: Fixed title to lessen ambiguity & to adhere to community guidelines.

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Any nomads travelling south in South America?


by @christabeiia | 4yr 3 years ago | 9 comments

Hola everyone from Colombia! I have recently landed in South America and am planning on making my way south from here over the next six months. I expect to only relocate on the weekends so I can keep my 9-5 wifi schedule, but other than that I have no real plans for destinations or timelines. Iโ€™d would like to meet other digital nomads to team up withโ€” Anyone on or beginning a similar path in this region?

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Why is South East Asia preferred by nomads over Latin America?

 

by @oskar | 4yr 3 years ago | 34 comments

Hi guys

Why do you think south east asia attracts far more 1st world digital nomads and tourists than latin america does? i have some theories but i would like to know your opinions because most of the people in this forum are from 1st world countries :smile:
Is it because is cheaper? safer? closer? more โ€œcoolโ€ ?

thanks

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Do you travel with a laptop stand?

 

by @danielgenser | 4yr 3 years ago | 38 comments

Now that Iโ€™ve been working for a few days without my Cinema Display (just sold it!), Iโ€™m definitely considering getting a travel stand for my 13" Macbook Pro. Do any of you travel with one? Any recommendations?

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What laptop/tablet do you prefer for remote working?

 

by @roberthopman | 4yr 4 years ago | 29 comments

Hi,

as Iโ€™m looking into buying a new laptop/tablet, Iโ€™m wondering what everybody is using here for work and why?

Mentioning your profession or business, location, travel activities or anything related to this will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert

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How to insure my belongings when traveling in SE Asia & South America?


by @adrienbetweets | 4yr 4 years ago | 9 comments

I want an insurance that covers my belongings only.
I already have a international travel health insurance, hence I do not need some link or recommendation to do-it-all packages (i.e. insurance for health + rescue + belongings).

I came across this threads:

But they did not help me because:

  • I do not live in the UK, nor am I a UK citizen
  • My credit card does NOT cover my belongings, nor does any of the insurances I already have

Ideally, Iโ€™d like to find an insurance that can insure my belongings regardless of my nationality & residence. Any link to information of quality is welcome.

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