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Is it safe to work with your laptop from coffee shops in South/Central Amerca?


by @dhamm | 4yr  | 11 comments

Iโ€™m considering traveling to Panama, Colombia, Ecuador or Peru in the coming month and it is important for me to be able to work from a coffee shop at an outside table. Is it normal for DNs to be working with their laptops at coffeeshops in these countries, or am I just marking myself to be mugged on the way home?

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@gnclmorais | 4yr

I just came from Buenos Aires a few weeks ago, and I had no problem using my laptop anywhere. I carried it on my backpack anywhere and I worked from several coffee shops. I even carried my camera on my shoulder, without problems. I felt very safe there.

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@borowis | 4yr

In Buenos Aires you have to know where you are. Actually, your comment reminded me of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0duSM5NtNKw (was viral in Argentina). Shoot in Boca, itโ€™s beautiful city, but be warned!

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@gnclmorais | 4yr

To be honest, you need to know where you are everywhere, not just in Buenos Aires. I am not from there, but as a tourist that spent two weeks there and walked with a backpack & a camera around the most common places (I did not go to the outskirts, though), I never felt insecure.

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@matthieudrula | 4yr

Uber -> Starbuck -> Uber
In Bogota, I avoid walking with bling bling.

You take what you are ready to lose

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@andreadardon | 4yr

In Guatemala City I worked from Starbucks and other cafรฉs, though it can be dangerous, my dad had his iPad robbed on the street on his way to the car, even if it was not on view, theyโ€™d been watching him at a cafรฉ and then asked specifically for it while pointing a gun. So thereโ€™s that.

BUT with my boyfriend we worked in Antigua Guatemala and used the laptop in cafรฉs and restaurants all the time and it was perfectly fine. And I am Guatemalan, I always freak out more about these things, but it was very chill there.

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@levelsio | 4yr

I was explicitly recommended NOT to open my laptop outside my house in Medellin and the rest of Colombia by locals. I still did it and nothing happened but there is lots of robberies.

How it works is, they spot you in a cafe, then theyโ€™ll wait till you leave, follow you, put a gun on your head, and you give off the laptop. Pretty fast and easy.

The locals said they get robbed about once every 2 years and that was normal. So that means if youโ€™re there a week, itโ€™s still low odds. But then again, you are a foreigner and they spot you easily.

I think the same applies for Venezuela now.

By the way, Panama was SUPER safe compared. Definitely could do whatever I wanted there and nothing happened.

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@alemacgo | 4yr

Iโ€™m from Venezuela, which right now tops the world in violent crime. I wouldnโ€™t even carry my laptop with me using public transportation there, let alone open it in a public space. Itโ€™s very dangerous, a robbery could be the least of your concerns.

Good to hear about Panama! Iโ€™m heading there soon. Do you have any personal recommendations?

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@giovanni | 4yr

Yes, but everything depends on the city and area. For example: lots of people working on their laptop, on a terras, in Medellin (El Poblado), Colombia or in Panama (Costa del Este). But do not try that in the sketchier areas.
Ecuador and Peru is another story. Take an airbnb with a terras? :slight_smile:

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@dhamm | 4yr

I guess Iโ€™m asking if it is done. You see it all the time in Europe/USA, I just wanted to get an idea of how prevalent doing that is.

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@borowis | 4yr

I have spent some time in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Boquete, Bocas del Toro and Panama, Panama; and various places in Costa Rica. I havenโ€™t seen virtually anyone using laptop in public places or coffee shops in Argentina. But Iโ€™m not so sure about more relaxed tourist places in Costa Rica (say, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna) or Bocas del Toro, I think Iโ€™ve seen some guys but Iโ€™m not exactly sure : ) I hope someone can provide more details.

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@borowis | 4yr

Say, in Buenos Aires you could be mugged inside a coffee shop : ) But really, it depends on the place and time and your position inside a coffee shop

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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


by @skarabox | 3yr 2 years ago | 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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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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Are coffee shop expenses tax deductible?


by @octavient | 3yr 3 years ago | 7 comments

I often spend upwards of $150 per month in coffee shops, where I do much of my (remote) work (25+ hours per week). Since I donโ€™t pay office rent, I perceive these expenses as replacing my fixed rent costs, and I tend to spend more money at coffee shops when Iโ€™m camping out for a 2- to 4-hour work session, so these expenses strike me as legitimate business expenses. Has anybody gone down this road with the IRS? Is anybody aware of any official guidance or precedence for this?

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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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When are you using your laptop on battery?


by @jeanbog | 4yr 4 years ago | 10 comments

Hello :smile:

I am going to buy a new laptop, a lightweight one. And I am considering removing the battery as a option to remove extra weight (~350g / ~0,77lbs, I guess).
Because I used to work on my laptop at library, I am not able to image situations where there is no plug.

So, when are you using your laptop on battery ?

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Can you insure a laptop if you're already traveling?


by @danielmcclure | 4yr 4 years ago | 1 comment

Can anyone recommend an insurance company that will specifically insure a laptop for a few months or more for a UK citizen whilst already abroad for over a year and without a return date?

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Portable external laptop battery for MacBook Pro?


by @pezmc | 4yr 4 years ago | 4 comments

Hi all,

Iโ€™ve been doing some research on external batteries for the MacBook having seen a HyperJuice in someoneโ€™s desk shot. There was also a thread on this about a year ago: Whatโ€™s the best portable battery charger for a MacBook?

My findings so far are that itโ€™s very important which laptop you have. A MacBook โ€˜Newโ€™ (USB-C) seems to have the most options, followed by a MacBook Air which has a low power requirement, the MacBook Pro 13" which has a medium power requirement and the MacBook Pro 15" which has a very high power requirement and very limited options.

Iโ€™ve found the below, have any of you used/tried them? Do you know of any alternatives? Personally Iโ€™m looking for something that works well with the MacBook Pro 15" but share anything as others may find it useful!

  • HyperJuice - comes in sizes 60/100/150/222WH - requires a modification to your MacBook charger as they canโ€™t use the patented MagSafe2 adapter.
  • BatteryBox - 60 Wh - uses a custom compatible charger that works with the Air/Pro/MacBook
  • ChugPlug - 65 Wh - MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13" only, small battery capacity
  • Xiaomi power bank - ~80 Wh - MacBook USB-C only
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Bali: Legian, Kuta, Seminyak - coffee shop to work from?


in Seminyak, Indonesia by @bobz_zg | 4yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

Im in Legian atm, arrived today.
Anyone can suggest a decent place to do some work?
And not to be coworking space, something like coffee shopโ€ฆ?

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How do you dispose of a laptop?


by @kathrynoh | 4yr 4 years ago | 4 comments

I was sure there was already a topic on this but I canโ€™t find it.

If you have to replace your laptop while travelling, how do you go about it?

Iโ€™m assuming itโ€™s best to blitz everything before throwing it out. Also, do you just bin it or is there some process (I guess that would depend on location).

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If my laptop is stolen, what are some quick replacement options?


by @normaldude | 5yr 4 years ago | 10 comments

Hypothetical Scenario: Letโ€™s say Iโ€™m traveling, and Iโ€™m using a Windows 10 laptop to get some work done. Itโ€™s 12 midnight, and my laptop(s) and luggage are suddenly lost. Maybe I went to a restaurant/bar/club, and thieves ransacked my hotel room while I was away. Whatever the case, I still have my wallet & smartphone, and thatโ€™s about it.

At this point, I need a replacement Windows 10 laptop, that I can install programs on, and I need it ASAP, so I can meet a deadline. What are my options?

Is there some 24 hour laptop-replacement-on-demand service out there?

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Does anyone know of a laptop backpack that meets British Airways' new carry-on requirements?


by @ani_goes_tweet | 5yr 4 years ago | 12 comments

BA has recently reduced the permissible dimensions for a carry-on personal item to 40 x 30 x 15 cms (i.e. 16 x 12 x 6 ins). Iโ€™ve been travelling by train since June, but Iโ€™m about to fly again and see that my wonderful laptop backpack is now oversized. Can anyone recommend a laptop backpack that fits within the new dimensions?

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Best place to buy a laptop in Asia?


by @kathrynoh | 5yr 4 years ago | 9 comments

My laptop is having issues and Iโ€™d rather replace it before it gets too bad. Iโ€™m currently in Chiang Mai, going to Phnom Phen next week then to KL and Seoul.

My impression is that Seoul would be the best place for buying a replacement but Iโ€™m not sure what Iโ€™m basing that one.

Where in Asia am I likely to get the best bang for my buck?

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What tools are there for finding good coffee shops to work in?


by @corft | 5yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

What tools do you use to find then best coffee shops to work in when youโ€™re in a new place? Iโ€™m often somewhere for just a day and donโ€™t want to waste time hunting about for places with wifi and plugs! Hate it when I canโ€™t get work done because the place Iโ€™ve chosen is missing something vital (bathroom for example!)

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Can I use my laptop to call into conference calls remotely?


by @dave4peace | 5yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

Hi Nomads,
First, I am very appreciative of this Forum, have read a lot of very helpful feedback to questions to previous folks questions.

Currently, landing in Hong Kong in about 2 months with no true Nomad experience other than working remotely, as a US Citizen, from home to a US Bank here in the States. My normal workday is remaining constantly in meetings using a Conference software called โ€œLyncโ€ on my work machine. Usually, i can have Lync call my cell phone with no problem in the US, of course.

Question:
Can I do the same Lync Conference, as above, while working abroad, substituting my cell phone with a personal laptop with microphone wherever I work? (presuming: 1) good internet, 2) Skype/GoogleVoice, installed on personal laptop). Basically, my work laptop would be calling Skype on my personal laptop, right? Can this work, cheaply, for 40+ hours of calls per week? Does Skype have country limitations? How does this work in combination with Google Voice, any cheaper? I read GV only works only for certain countries (HK, China, Thailand are okay). Any folks here know what a 40 hour week costs, on average, having this type of setup (Skype and/or GV, or other combo)? All new to meโ€ฆ will just have to try it, and, let you know, if no one has done it here.

Thanks for any suggestions with this!!!
Dave

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Any third-wave coffee fans?


by @bavals | 5yr 4 years ago | 13 comments

Anybody here whoโ€™s in love with good, expertly prepared coffee? How do you go about finding good cafรฉs in the cities you visit? By โ€œgoodโ€ I mean not just the availability of several espresso drinks and wi-fi, but a whole bunch of things: arabica beans, good roaster, skillful barista who knows how to pull a good shot and steam milk correctly, etc.

I recently spent a month in Barcelona, meticulously going through a list of recommendations fromโ€ฆ you knowโ€ฆ the Internets. Mostly it was very disappointing. For example, I found no cafรฉs that grind to order (in fact, there might have been one, but it was closed when I went by). People on various tourist forums rave about cafรฉs that are frankly terrible in the important respect: the product. In the end, the best that I found in that city (after doing some Googling in Italian: I gave up on trying to find anything in English because itโ€™s all marketing and SEO now) was Cafรฉ Central near Diagonal. They use decent beans and know how to steam.

So my question, if this kind of thing is important to you, how do you research/find good cafรฉs? Is there a web site covering many world cities written by people who are able to distinguish arabica from robusta?

P.S. I hope I didnโ€™t come off as a pretentious elitist here. Itโ€™s just that I really really love me a good cup of arabica. It lifts my spirits and makes me more productive.

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Developers! Thoughts on the new Pixel C laptop/tablet for travel?


by @dave_chakrabarti | 5yr 4 years ago | 9 comments

Itโ€™s that time of year again, where I see cool swanky new tablet / laptop hybrid things and start wondering if I could actually replace a Macbook Air for shorter / longer travel.

Anyone have any thoughts on Googleโ€™s new Pixel C? Anyone have experience writing code (or for that matter, writing long-form text, like a novel) with either Android or IOS as your main operating system? Would you leave the Macbook at home for a one week trip? A one month trip? Long-term?

  1. I know the softwareโ€™s not quite there yet. I anticipate major issues being the lack of web dev tools for mobile OSes (I write a ton of front-end code!), and flaky alternatives to Sublime. Iโ€™m interested in figuring out if itโ€™s โ€œgood enoughโ€. For example, howโ€™s Cloud9 on Android? Any workarounds I should know about?

  2. Anyone living tethered to Tmux / Vim on a Linode (or other VPS) full-time? Iโ€™m not drinking the Vim Koolaid (or well-aged single malt) yet, but might consider it if thereโ€™s a tangible reason for it.

  3. Is the hardware trade-off likely to hurt a lot? $500 - $600 buys quite a lot of laptop, running Intel 4th gen processors + the never-ending clunkiness of trying to make Ubuntu work on Windows hardware. Where should I expect to feel the pain on a Pixel C?

  4. Anyone figuring out a semi-reliable way to multi-task with multiple windows in Android? For example, how painful would it be to run two terminal sessions, a Cloud9 window, and a Rails tutorial window at the same time, switching between them constantly?

  5. Is there a compelling reason to consider an Ipad Air 2 over the Pixel C? Theyโ€™re in the same ballpark, and though Iโ€™ve stuck with Android as a phone OS, Iโ€™m very used to working within the Apple ecosystem for work stuff (downloading El Capitan as I type this).

Note: Iโ€™m fairly anti-Windows these days, especially as a dev environment (havenโ€™t used it since XP), so an older Surface isnโ€™t likely to be a good alternative unless the Ubuntu support is rock solid :smile:

Thanks! All feedback appreciated.

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How to keep laptops clean in grimy environments


by @alehandrof | 5yr 5 years ago | 2 comments

Iโ€™m working for a few weeks near the sea and I need wifi. All the cafes are lined up on the main street running parallel to the beach. None of the cafes are air conditioned, relying on the wind to cool them. The ones that are more sheltered are incredibly hot during the day; the cooler ones tend to be grimier.

Iโ€™ve found a few places that are midway between heat & grime and further away from the beach. But the grime is worrying me. I have a soft cloth to wipe down my laptop down before returning it to its case, but Iโ€™m not sure what else might help.

Any other advice for keeping your laptop clean when youโ€™re working in this kind of environment? Any kit I should have brought along with me?

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Are there any decent global laptop rental & delivery services?


by @normaldude | 5yr 5 years ago | 0 comments

Like if youโ€™re traveling around the world, your Windows laptop gets stolen at 2am, and you just need a quick rental laptop, delivered to your hotel room ASAP, for using during the next 1-2 weeks. As a long-term solution, youโ€™ll mail order a custom Windows laptop, but that may take a while to assemble & deliver. So for now, you just need a quick short-term temporary laptop replacement.

I know that there are overnight laptop rental services, but they seem focused on the US marketโ€ฆ

Are there any overnight laptop rental services for global travelers?

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