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Is it too late to become a digital nomad at 40?

 

by @roadwalker | 5yr  | 36 comments

Hello, i am a developer from italy currently working in south of france.
I would really like to go nomad as i donโ€™t like my current job and i would like to try new experiences in other countries.
I saved lot of money in the past and i donโ€™t have wife/son.My only fear is linked to my age. Going from 9-18 stable job to earn nothing is a litte bit crazy at this age. If i fail as a nomad(n it could be probably difficult to find another job.
I have good knowledge of java/javascript and i programmed in the past with many other languages. I am also familiar with iOS sdk /android and SEO: i was not able to make good stable incomes from apps and blogs as side projects working some hours during the week.
What do you think about my situation? thanks

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@cityroominc | 3yr

I became full-time nomadic when I was in my mid 60โ€™s. Now in my 70โ€™s. I developed my job and had it firmly tucked into my laptop before I started, but age is really immaterial, and as for being in your 40โ€™s โ€“ well, my kids are that old.

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@workingnomad | 3yr

Kind of sad that this sort of question has to be asked at all and is probably a reflection of the ageist society that many of us live in.

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Not at all. Just take the plunge. You wonโ€™t regret it! :slight_smile: Good luck!

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@albertocanada | 3yr

Well, Im am 53 myself and i startd a year ago.
And i am not old.
so , iโ€™d say โ€ฆ go 4 it!

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@derekmurphy | 3yr

You might feel isolated agewise - most digital nomads start of young and then quit after a few years. Most older digital nomads stop as their business gets more successful (my wife and I have already circled the globe a few times, now weโ€™re more likely to find a nice place and do work, rather than socialize or interact much). Iโ€™ve still met quite a few digital nomads in their 40s, but they usually have several businesses and arenโ€™t at the โ€˜basic mindframeโ€™ that newbies would be, so you might not have much to talk about. Plus the pool is smaller, itโ€™ll be harder to find a few you get along with. That said, everyone should build an online business if they can for more freedom and stabilityโ€ฆ good luck with yours!

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@elisa.m.z | 3yr

Never is late!!
Always is time to do everything you can or want to do!!! And if you want to work remotely and can do it, try it!!

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@jmacattak | 3yr

I started this year at 39 so it is possible!

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@travelingpm | 3yr

There are definitely worse ways to celebrate a mid-life crisis. :wink:

Kidding aside, itโ€™s a lifestyle so I donโ€™t believe age has anything to do with it. Is it too late to become a vegetarian at 40? We are in our early-thirties and have met up with my wifeโ€™s great aunt and her husband in South Africa and Thailand. Theyโ€™re in their 70โ€™s and travel 9 months out of the year. Theyโ€™re retired, but it just goes to show that age should not be a factor in deciding to travel.

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@jacquiet | 3yr

@roadwalker did you end up taking the plunge? I too started life as a digital nomad in my 40s and have never looked back. I even think after spending so many years in the corporate world, you appreciate the freedom so much more (if you are that way inclined).

I went to the Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai earlier this year and there were 350 other digital nomads there but what surprised me was that the average age looked older than what I thought it was going to be.

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@jb510 | 3yr

43โ€ฆ need doing this almost 10 yearsโ€ฆ and plan on at least another 10 :smiley:

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@jcw | 5yr

Go for it! I plan to hit the road when my kids are grown and Iโ€™m 50.

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@geonomad | 5yr

@dangermouse117 we had CompuServe and The Source from 1979 as I recall.

Signing up for dialup service in the UK was โ€œinterestingโ€. 50 bps uploads. At the end of the month a printout of every connection with stats on a giant pile of 11x15 inch paper.

Yes, it was different. But you could still work and create for customers in other countries.

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@dangermouse117 | 5yr

@geonomad, I loved those retro days.

Did you every use one of these?

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@jeff_bronson | 5yr

Itโ€™s never too late. In fact, itโ€™s more โ€˜crazyโ€™ to do the same old thing year after year, wondering what if. I took the plunge earlier this year at 40 (and get taken for mid 20โ€™s). Iโ€™m now back in the states and will be more of a part time nomad, as I need several specific social/interest/activity circles which donโ€™t exist internationally.

However, you have the skills and the drive, so go for it. It sounds like youโ€™ve saved a good amount of money and donโ€™t have dependents either, like myself.

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@ericvan | 5yr

Itโ€™s too YOUNG if anything! Just remember that most people wait until they retire to see the world! Iโ€™m in my upper 40s and worked remotely abroad in 1993 before digital and started a company in Asia to be able to work internationally on digital media in 2005.

Do you want to be 70 seeing the world, when your body is frail, or do you want to see it when you are full of energy?

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@panoramica | 5yr

Iโ€™m 42 and also just took the plunge. I procrastinated for many many years and found lots of ways to justify being locked into the same 9-5 (gear buying rampages, new work challenges, just need to save a bit more money, just need to speak perfect German etc etc).

When I finally quit it was the easiest thing and I think I finally earned some respect then too. I had been there for 13 years and I just walked out the door without giving a shit. And I also learned a big lesson, which was that everything I had poured into that job was for nothing, or at least, it was done for me and not for the company.

Iโ€™m freelancing at the moment, and the work came to me through previous contacts. Although Iโ€™m working on the other side of the world, in many ways itโ€™s no different to sitting in that office. But when Iโ€™m brave enough to commit to the next step and set up my own business, I think pouring energy into my work will become a lot more satisfying.

So I wholeheartedly encourage you to let that safe job go and just see what happens. There will always be dev opportunities, but there will also be oodles of spare time to think about what you could really be doing with all your talent and energy. Go!! :smile:

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@geonomad | 5yr

It is funny that Silicon Valley is now ageist. When I arrived there at age 27, the great thing was that everyone believed I could work at or do a startup. Everywhere else, people thought you had to have years of experience and wouldnโ€™t talk to a young person. That is why I moved there.

Now, I see no ageism in the valley if you present as an angel investor :smile:

Enjoying Paris this week. Arriving in Silicon Valley next week for a month. Gotta keep movingโ€ฆ

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@freedio | 5yr

Hey there, with 53 I canโ€™t beat @geonomad of course, but then I just started the nomadic way of life this year. I think open-mindedness and a certain go-getter attitude are the main prerequisites of this life style. Fear is not real, it exists only in your head.

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@geonomad | 5yr

65 now and a digital nomad since I was 34.

There is no such thing as too old.

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@dangermouse117 | 5yr

Wow @geonomad - youโ€™ve been digital nomading since 1981, did I calculate right? Wasnโ€™t the pre-dating Internet rolling out in a usable way worldwide?

Iโ€™m 44 and started digital nomading on dial-up in 1999. Back then I would find coin operated Internet vending machines in backpackers, unplug their phone line and jack my laptop in using IBM Worldnet ISP. What the heck did you use in 1981?

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@munly_leong | 5yr

Geez and I thought I was old by SV ageism standards at 34 (soon to be 35). My gravatar is from my college years btw apparently. I need to update that lol

I really dont care about age and generally love hearing about โ€œgood old daysโ€ type stories. No idea where the ageism comes from gen-y looks more and more stupid to me every year because of it

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@curtiss | 5yr

Yep! Lots of us are higher up in age. As old habits go, give yourself room to slowly ease into new situationsโ€ฆ and have fun with it! You get to craft your own lifestyle, so get active in that process and enjoy.

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@chris_hartwig | 5yr

43 here too, also a dev, Iโ€™ve never felt so young! Iโ€™m in Malta, moving to the Canary Islands next month for winter. Iโ€™ve got a great remote job with a (french) startup.

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@nomadicnotes | 5yr

As the well-worn quote from George Eliot goes:

โ€œitโ€™s never too late to be what you might have been.โ€

Iโ€™m 43 and Iโ€™ve been nomading since I was 31. I love hanging out with a broad spectrum of age ranges, from the 20 YO newbies, to the 60+ veteran expats.

Ageism is a thing in Silicon Valley, sure, but makes no difference in the online world that we inhabit.

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@bavals | 5yr

I also started at 39, just a couple of months before turning 40, although I had been mentally preparing for a few years before that (while shedding personal possessions โ€“ mostly by giving them away). Had my 40th birthday dinner in Paris, at La Coupole. This may not sound exotic if youโ€™re from Europe, but for me it was a big step.

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@psedillo | 5yr

Love this thread!

I just recently quit my job after a 25 year career in technology to become a digital nomad. To me age is a state of mind and you are never to old when it comes to following your passion.

BTW - just turned 50 back in September and couldnโ€™t be happier.

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@olwagner | 5yr

The best time to start was yesterday. Failing that, today will do :smile:

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

iโ€™m not sure why you think you canโ€™t remain an employee since it seems to be the freelancing part thatโ€™s freaking you outโ€ฆ

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@roadwalker | 5yr

thanks a lot for your replies. Very inspiring. Age could be a barrier in some countries for developers (for example in italy at 36 you are already out of market).
I did not figure out there were so many people going nomads in the 38-50 range.
I think my fear is also related to the needed change from employee to entrepreneur approach.
I worked as employee for 12 yearsโ€ฆ

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@skatkov | 5yr

Having fears is totally normal, you should overcome them. Founder of McDonalds was 56 then he started it.

A lot of people who started on their own who are older then you. So go for it!

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@dries | 5yr

Hi @roadwalker, definitely go for it like others are saying. It would be a fitting destiny for your pseudonym โ€˜roadwalkerโ€™! But try some freelance work on platforms like elance (and other ways, see other threads) in order to grow confidence and prepare for a good start.

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@jonmyers | 5yr

Checking in at 43 here, and I second otherโ€™s words of encouragement.

Youโ€™ve got the right skillset to make a go of it.

Go for it.

There are some older nomads on the road, some older than myself here in Saigon.

Honestly, I never really think about age much, and age doesnโ€™t come up much here. Some of my friends are in their early 20s - some much older and many run the spectrum.

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@ericvan | 5yr

Yup, abroad we are all โ€œvisitorsโ€ and age matters less: this is as it should be.

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@anon82020850 | 5yr

I am 43. I started with my current nomad lifestyle when I was 41. Met a couple the other day who are also just starting with their nomad lifestyle and the guy is in his early 50s.

For me it was the best decision of my life. What have you got to lose? You have skills which are in demand, and if you find that this is not for you, you can always go back to your old lifestyle. At least youโ€™ll take comfort in the fact that you have explored this opportunity.

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@ani_goes_tweet | 5yr

And Iโ€™m 49. Believe it or not, 49 isnโ€™t actually old. In fact, if you go nomad, youโ€™ll be younger longer. :smiley:

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

well, iโ€™m 41 so I say go for it. :slight_smile: Devs are always in demand if you have good skills. you can freelance or you can get a job with a different company that allows remote work. There are lots of opportunities out there.

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Read and participate in 13,983 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 9d 8 days 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 | 4mo 3 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 | 5mo 4 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 | 5mo 4 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 | 5mo 4 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 | 6mo 5 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 | 6mo 5 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 | 6mo 6 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 | 7mo 6 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 | 7mo 6 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 | 7mo 6 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 | 7mo 7 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 | 7mo 7 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 | 9mo 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 nomads in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @shellyfish | 9mo 8 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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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 9mo 8 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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App/tool/service for nomads to bring things from another country?


by @brmolin | 10mo 10 months ago | 4 comments

I vaguely remember hearing about such a service before, but Iโ€™m drawing a blank on the name. Basically I left my tablet on a connecting flight in Europe, right before my main flight to Thailand. They have my tablet and are willing to ship it out for me, but people have warned me thereโ€™s a big risk of it getting โ€œlost in the mailโ€ if I ship something expensive like that to Thailand.

Iโ€™m wondering if thereโ€™s a service or community, where I can find a nomad whoโ€™s in Europe/heading to Thailand soon, so I can have it shipped to them in Europe and pay them to ferry it down here for me? I met someone in Budapest a ways back who had built something for this type of use-case, but I canโ€™t remember the name of it. Any help would be appreciated!

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Are there any nomads from India?

 

in India by @ankitdas123 | 10mo 10 months ago | 56 comments

I have seen a lot of posts from different people across the world, but not even a single post from someone in India, who has been a nomad, either living within the country or traveling to another one.

Would definitely love to hear stories from such people. We are a couple traveling as social nomads who are trying to bridge the gap between the rural and urban societies in India. We have started out very humble and do not have much resources, so looking out for help from the community.

Ankit & Rishika
Around Love and Life

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 11mo 10 months 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 | 11mo 10 months 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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