We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?
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We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?
Easy answer would be don't go to places with bad WiFi and research before you go. Many less developed countries actually have better developed 4G than the West, so many people tether their phone's 4G to their laptop and use htat.
Thanks for this, appreciated. If you're travelling through SE Asia, would you need a different SIM in every country?
I'd recommend just getting SIMs indeed. 4G is super fast in SE Asia and Asia in general is much faster than in the West, and much cheaper. Google Fi is hit or miss, and generally way slower than the SIMs you can buy in each country. If you get a dual sim or eSIM phone, you can put your home carrier as eSIM and the physical SIM in your SIM slot and be reachable on both lines and use the data line of the physical SIM. Or vice versa.
I’m a big fan of Google Fi since that works in any country. But if you can’t, or it’s just not for you, buying a SIM in every country isn’t a bad deal, it tends to be pretty cheap and easy.
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
Good to see this thread finally!
I’m Indian and have been location independent for almost 3 years since I left my job. Keep my home-base in Bangalore for now and travel for 3-4 months of the year in various coworking/coliving setups around Asia and Europe for and a bit of luxury + offbeat travel here and there
Happy to catchup with the remote folks if anyone is around my locations anytime.
Hi ! i’m Mehdi Berberos, from Morocco. starting my nomadic digital life from india. started in new delhi, 1 day then i just left … too crowded and stressing. come here to Chandigarh; love the place. everything is beautiful … 3 days here i didn’t met any foreign person; but i feel good an willing to stay here for 2 weeks.
I am a digital nomad from India. From this month end I am moving out and becoming a non-resident and will live outside India for at least 6 months in the year.
Getting Dubai residency, but I also have a long term visa for Thailand, so I will be there a lot… And of course, travel.
Planning to experience different places of the world as I get the opportunity.
Glad to see you here, brother! We are connected on Facebook
I’m from Dhaka, still not a full-time nomad though aspiring to become one someday soon
Hi… I am not a nomad… yet… But got some plans to make the switch by the end of this year. I’m a web developer working on AngularJS and .net framework as of now. Eventually planning to learn new things once I get out of my current job and find some time.
Just wondering, anyone here in Mumbai right now? Or planning to come down?
Hi! Abhishek from India. I work on marketing for online course instructors. I was in Bangalore in 2016 and moved to NCR in 2017.
Working out of unboxed coworking in Noida.
Working from chandigarh. Calm city to work from. Loving it here.
Hey, I’m an Indian citizen (grew up in Bombay) but have been based in South-east Asia for the past ~4 years. I would love to hear from other long term Indian nomads. I am especially curious about renewing Indian passport overseas as a Digital Nomad and also if any of you have managed to change your citizenship by unconventional or lesser known methods. Legal methods of course, but not the usual routes like marriage or employment based migration. More along the lines of “citizenship by investment”/buying real estate. The Indian passport needs a visa to go most places and is really holding me back. I have no desire to ever go back to India and want to get a better passport.
I might be in Goa in a week-ish. I was planning to work from there for a couple of weeks in Jan, but had a motorcycle accident and extended my Calcutta time (bedrest, can’t leave the house, no idea when the bike’ll be running again). Hopefully I’ll head out again this week or next
Ping me if anyone’s around, or if anyone is thinking about heading to Calcutta later in '17; I’m working with one coworking space here and one self defense training center, so I’ll likely be using Calcutta as a base for most of the year.
I am currently at Pune, working with a startup. My last visit was to Pondicherry(26-05 dec 16).
Pondicherry was a very good experience for me, found a coworking place also, interacted with few bloggers and enjoyed the beach very much. Very clam and interesting city to travel.
Planing more trip around the year to explore more of our beautiful country. Next I’m planning to Goa, kerala, and then north.
Let me know for any tips and suggestions!!
@greenhorn, I speak Bengali and understand almost zero Hindi Like most Bengalis, I just assume everyone speaks either English or Bengali. It works surprisingly well; I’ve ridden Calcutta - Kargil - Leh - Bangalore - Calcutta camping for three months. People are friendly; if you make a little effort, everyone helps. I had the same experience in Tijuana, where my Spanish is atrocious.
@shefali, I was just in Goa last month, but I’m back in Calcutta now. Any chance you’re heading to this side of the country? What projects are you working on?
I’m from India. I’m not technically a nomad but a location independent entrepreneur who travels (or at least tries to) frequently. My travels have mostly taken me outside India but | am looking forward to travelling in India more and discovering our wonderful motherland.
My main problem with travelling in India is that I don’t know the language well - I can only speak basic Hindi (its a long story!) which makes me feel a bit insecure travelling solo so always looking for travel companions.
If any of you guys are in New Delhi area right now - would love to meet up for a beer/coffee. It’s hard to find people of the same mindset and flexible schedules that I have. .
Hi, I am nomad from past one year. I am freelance developer and mostly travel solo. I am planning to explore kerala and karnataka in next few months. If anybody interested to join , inbox me.
@shefali: nice to know that you are a solo traveler… I have been a solo traveler for long and have traveled (not tourism) a lot of places in India.
At present in Assam working with a non-profit organization on various things including increasing IT usage within the organization to tackle various issues. Its exciting. Visit us sometimes.
email: different.ankit at gmail dot com
I was in Assam side one month ago. Now planning to go south india - kerala or karanataka next month.
Myself madhukar. I am from bangalore. I am been into nomad from last few months. I run my own software consultancy called datamantra.io
My first nomad experience been in nearby city mysore. We are group of 4 stayed for few weeks there. I also been to bangkok for 2 weeks in feb.
If you are planning to come to bangalore and need any help in planning to stay and work in south part of india feel free to reach out to me.
Found this thread really interesting. Me and my partner (Srishti) started our digital nomading journey about 6 months ago. We both are freelancers in the field of Web Design & Development & we work remotely for clients all across the globe. I would like to share our experience till date.
Originally from Delhi, we initially stayed in Pune for about 4.5 months, which was a pleasant experience. Pune has got amazing weather, happy to help people (opposite of Bangalore), reliable internet connection (Airtel 4G), plenty of dine-out & food-delivery options, & moderately priced AirBNB homes (35k-45k/month for 1BHK). There are more than a few weekend getaway options around Pune as well. We visited Mahabaleshwar (breathtaking in monsoon), Lavasa, Lonavala & Mumbai.
During our time in Pune, we adopted a cute chihuahua puppy (Angel), who joins us in all our adventures now. We moved to Goa at the end of November to experience this exotic state in its best season. To our surprise, Goa turned out to be way below our expectations.
Since we both were brought up in Delhi, we had a certain level of expectations regarding infrastructure, quickness of services, & generally everything. We are not proud of this fact, and our working on becoming more adjusting day-by-day. Goa felt way too slow & laid back to us. Small things like getting an internet connection, communicating with AirBNB hosts, hunting for a co-working space, etc. took longer time than expected. Since we are freelancers, we like to track hours spent during each task, converting it to money using our hourly rate, & then taking a call if its worth it or not. (TIME = MONEY)
Goa is a beautiful place to be if you all you want to do is enjoy. In the last ~45 days here, we ended up spending most of our time figuring out little things. After 30 days staying at 1 apartment near Anjuna, our host ditched us and asked us to move out because she was able to rent it out to someone who could pay higher than us. We had to spend a hilarious amount of money since it was the season time leaving us very demotivated.
Internet situation is also really bad here. We have to keep switching between Vodafone 3G, Reliance Pro 3, & Tata Photon Plus for regular connectivity. Luckily, we found a coworking space in goa, which is really good. Lets see how it works out now.
We are planning to move to Thailand (Bangkok or Chiang Mai), as soon as we can. We are here in Goa till end of March at least.
We have also stayed in Bangalore for about 7 months (before Pune), though not as nomads. I had a regular job at a startup in Kormangala, & Srishti was figuring out between job & freelancing.
Any questions about Pune, Goa, Bangalore, travelling with a pet or anything else are more than welcome. I am also on the slack channel hashtagnomads as @shreyansqt.
Thanks for reading!
Shreyans & Srishti
I am from Hyderabad and looking to start a nomadic lifestyle soon. We host via Airbnb regularly and have hosted a few digital nomads as well. If any of you comes to Hyderabad, would love to host you or at least connect. BTW, Hyderabad has terrific internet speeds, good co-working spaces and reasonably cheap accommodation. So it could be a good choice of place for digital nomads.
You can connect with me on Twitter: @sneha_magapu
It’s good to see Indians too here &I I was wondering the same when browsing the forum.
I’m a digital nomad from last one year. Before getting married in Dec-14, I usually travelled across India and now me n my wife started travelling to other countries
Right now in Thailand n here for another 12 days.
After Thailand, next is Malaysia or any other country where getting Visa wouldn’t be an issue.
By profession I’m
a blogger n this gives me independence to work from anywhere.
Let’s stay connected!
@denharsh I have been following your blog posts whenever I get time read. And congratulations for your new married life. I read those posts as well.
I did not know I will get to interact with you personally here
My life is rather not a digital nomad, but a social entrepreneur. And for that I travel often. However Internet is pretty bad. We have so far installed 51 eco-friendly toilets in rural Maharashtra and waiting to do more.
Apart from that, we have been taking up new projects to work on. Our main idea is to leverage the power of existing Non profits through networking in rural India.
Do connect with me at: [email protected] (in case you have time )
I am in Bangalore, will be on road to Rishikesh and Dharamshala in another two weeks \0/. Lets meet up when you are in Bangalore (I can host you) . Drop me an email at “shabi at fossix dot org”. Try joining the Bangalore digital nomads meetup http://www.meetup.com/Bangalore-Digital-Nomads-Meetup/
We are mostly working in Maharashtra, but open to working throughout India and the world.
I just thought of saying Hi to you all and see where we go from here. I am here to learn more about the life of a nomad and what it is to be a nomad. And probably make a transformation in a few months from now.
I just finished my intro here and this is my very 2nd post on the group.
I would love to meetup with you all. Is anyone currently in Mumbai and would like to catch up over a beer or coffee?
I am in Pune. Would love to meet up whenever in Mumbai.
Drop me an email at: ankit at aroundloveandlife dot com
Hey @ankitdas123 nice to see someone starting a thread from India! What exactly do you folks do? I can connect you with a startup or two who are looking for people like you (one is this) Apart from that I would love to meet up with you guys (I move around India quite a bit). Also, I can offer a room at my flat in Delhi when I am not around (you will have to share the flat with a friend of mine.)
I am too lazy to introduce myself again, so read this
Quite an amazing name you have
At present, we are busy building a social enterprise (but registered as a LLP) and working in 3-4 villages. We have already built 50 eco-friendly toilets and about to start a livelihood project in a tribal area.
Also, trying to work with farmers to see possibilities to revive dry and semi-arid land and start organic farming there. Also a few things here and there.
Sure, will let you know if we need the Delhi flat, but since my hometown is Dehradun, I do have a lot of people around there. Since 9 years, my base has mostly been Pune - and travelled extensively in rural as well as urban India, except deep south.
I’m Indian (US passport), back in India for about four years now, semi-nomadic. I have a great base of operations in Calcutta, so my work (web development, mostly Drupal in the past, mostly front-end code at the moment) infrastructure is relatively stable. Airtel’s 8Mb/s DSL line usually seems to get me 1MB/s+ on torrent downloads if you need an idea of download speeds, and it goes down maybe once every year or two for a day at most.
In other words, it’s about 10x more reliable than my Comcast line back in Chicago.
Calcutta has a couple of coffee shops that are great co-working locations, and some of the places I’ve traveled would be great coworking hubs (Dharamsala, Goa). These do tend to be much more foreign-influenced / touristy than the four Indian metro cities.
There’s some serious culture clash between modern distributed teams and the traditional Indian tech corp. The professional context here is very different from what I was used to back in the US. (These may be irrelevant if you’re not working in tech.) Quick examples:
I can’t manage teams if the team members are older than me; some employees will throw a shitfit if they find out their manager is younger than them, or that someone younger than them makes more cash than they do. A lot of people stubbornly cling to the idea that they’ll be exploited when they’re just starting out, but that salary increases come with age, not with experience. I started working when I was 18, so this is sometimes a problem for me; I frequently have more experience (especially on larger projects) than others my age here.
A lot of people are in tech because it’s good money + stability, so their parents told them to do tech. They’re not necessarily passionate about tech or even curious about learning new things. This is a very Calcutta problem; the workforce here is complacent. It’s much better in Bangalore or Bombay.
(Similar to #1) Older team members are always right. It doesn’t matter if the younger devs are the ones reading about git and wondering why the rest of the world insists on version control; if your senior dev doesn’t want to learn it, no one in the office is going to be allowed to advocate for it. Team aren’t very agile when it comes to inhaling new tech, or new workflows. We’re slow to keep up.
Work-from-home generally means your employees aren’t working at all, which results in deeply suspicious managers who are cranky and aggressive if employees even suggest a remote work policy.
All of this means that India doesn’t really turn out digital professionals who gradually shift into increasingly remote professional lives. There are a few of us who’ve headed back from the US or elsewhere, and far fewer of us who’ve gotten there while working in India, but it’s a pretty small group.
My wife started working in New Delhi for a NGO, hence I visit often. The internet speeds are not great. In fact, my observation was that it has been deteriorating. 3G speeds were reasonable to hold a Skype video call in 2012, not anymore.
A home/office based broadband by providers like Airtel is perhaps what is required.
The best solution at this moment is 100MBPS connection from Airtel
You can also try co-working space such as 91SpringBoard
I’m not from India, so don’t have much to add. But I am in India at the moment. It’s fun (if a little tedious at times). I’ve just been tethering to my phone for Internet, which has been moderately successful so far.
I’m from the U.S. but currently in India since the end of January. First month was Goa, then Varanasi and now Rishikesh for 2 weeks. It’s not really setup well for Nomads, however I can’t speak for larger cities like New Delhi or Bangalore.
Currently, I get great Internet through my home-stay to work on projects, but that’a about it.
I am a digital nomad, travelling since last six months in India. Since January, I am staying at Bagnalore, will be here till March end. After this I plan to move to Goa, or Kerala. I have heard few places in Kerala that provide reliable internet.
I am also planning to start doing international travel, Europe being on top of my list after Thailand, but I am not sure of how visas will work and trying to understand more about it.
In case of hostels in India, I found that youth hostels are also good.
If you are looking particularly for Bagalore, Airbnb worked good for me. Initially I stayed at a PG but that wasn’t good at all and expensive too. Most PGs are good for students who just come to crash there at night.
In Bangalore, co-working spaces are good specially in Koramangala and Indiranagar. I will recommend Bhive for it, it costs 5k per month, but even if you start with daily passes, it costs Rs. 200 per day with tea/coffee included.
In and all, I would be happy to answer anything about Bangalore and would love to know from everyone about VISAs to other countries specially Europian ones.
Though I am not a true nomad, and still aspiring to be one I have experienced this lifestyle for a short while. I am also in the process of becoming a full time digital nomad. I am organising a meet up in Bangalore on April 5th 2015 for digital nomads.
Lots of interesting stories. I’m Indian. Born and brought up in India. I’ve been traveling and generally working online for the past three+ years. Mostly international travel too.
Yes, visas are a pain but if you have a US Visa, the list of countries that will let you in with a visa on arrival is quite a bit longer (Costa Rica, turkey, panama, etc.). A schengen visa also adds quite a few schengen and non schengen countries (croatia and some others) to the list.
It’s not generally unpleasant to travel as an Indian but you can draw weird looks at times, especially at immigration when you present an Indian passport. It’s mostly because people aren’t used to seeing Indian travelers a lot. Not expected from a ‘poor’ country.
@Flyonthewall Thank you so much for that information. Is there a specific document on which countries VISA allows on-arrival VISA for which countries… and also where there is no need for VISAS and the travel and stay is also cheap and affordable for social entrepreneur to connect with people there.
Hey @ankitdas123, I’m Keerthik, from India
I actually grew up in the Middle East, studied in Boston, and worked in California, but I’m an Indian citizen (for all the hardships that comes with that and trying to be a nomad).
There’s a lot to talk about being a nomad as an Indian, but I’ll tell you this much – in many ways our experience is very different from that of most of the others you’ll find in this forum. They either hold citizenships affording them better mobility (even if they are of Indian origin), maybe are white and have a different social atmosphere, or maybe are SEAsian and moving around SEAsia doesn’t feel very different from leaving home for them, etc. Being an Indian-citizen nomad in other countries is very different.
For the record I’m in India right now, but I do my best to spend as little time as possible here because for the most part it is very non-conducive to getting any work done compared to any other country I’ve been in
Anyway, feel free to ask me anything. What would you like to know more about?
@keerthiko Yes, a lot of your reply answers the basic fact how easy or difficult it is for someone from India doing it throughout the world. My work ahead is not really going to be in the digital space always, but since I have a Masters in Computers, it comes with its assumptions of people you need to deal with always.
I am generally helping a lot of organizations who are doing great work in the field in rural India and otherwise. I will be mostly traveling to different rural parts of India and willing to do that beyond India as well.
What I want to know is if there are any places you know of with free / cheap food and stay throughout India? If you have such a list, do share please.
Hmm, I can only offer limited help for a couple reasons. One is I have done very little “true nomadism” in India, just because I know too many people all over the country. The majority of the friends I grew up with in the Middle East are scattered all over India now, so I mostly wind up crashing with a friend who hosts me instead of booking a hostel and trying to figure out cost-efficiency on my own when I travel in India.
Secondly, I only visit metropolitan cities, because I work on a mobile internet tech product and need perennial stable internet connectivity and power. And it’s bad enough as it is in most tier 2 cities (like Kochi, my hometown, for example). Since your work will be in rural areas mostly, any suggestions I give may not be super useful. I have heard good things about Zostel if you’re in my kind of situation and want good internet and a stable environment. Not sure how well it translates to your usecases. I haven’t tried it myself yet.
My most valuable information to share with an Indian nomad-wannabe would be regarding visas for other countries, what places have food an Indian would like (although I now eat just about anything), and how society in different countries view Indians (some like us, some don’t) and which societies you might feel at home in (whether that’s what you want or want to avoid).
India itself, well, it’s not ready yet to be a digital-nomad-friendly. Regarding general nomadism, if you lead a simple lifestyle it’s easy to keep very cheap.
If you ever happen to be in Kochi when I’m here (which granted is rare), I’d be happy to offer you a place to stay at my parents’ house
@keerthiko that is so nice of you to offer me a place in Kochi
will definitely get in touch about my plans. Let me know your email ID at least so that I may write to you directly and FB (if you feel like)
Also, I am checking out Zostel, looks good to me initially, will let you know how it turned out for us though. And any help about bigger cities may also be useful, as ultimately I will have to stay in cities as well.
Ankit (& Rishika)
Helllo @ankitdas123 and Hey @keerthiko ! Thanks for that very succinct explanation brother! I’m beginning a digital nomad lifestyle, based out of Austin, Texas. I will be traveling to India in March, first to Bangalore, Delhi, and then considering a hop down to Kerala.
Are you familiar with the Trivendrum area? I would love to stay for a week or two down there - mainly by the Kovalam beach, but am hesitant to go somewhere without first knowing I’ll have a reliable and secure connection 24/7. Any thoughts?
In general, I find Kerala to be a bit too weak on the internet infrastructure side. I stayed here for 2 months because I needed to process some visas and since my family is based here so it’s cheaper for me, but in retrospect that was a poor decision, and I would have been better off biting the bullet and renting a room in Bangalore or Bombay. You need to be in one of the IT-centric or youth-centric metropolises to have internet you can count on!
Kochi is currently the bigger metro than TVM in Kerala, and even here the net infrastructure is lacking, with high cost, low bandwidth/data caps, frequent outages and inconsistent performance, so I can’t really recommend Kerala for more than a pleasure trip
@vish is from India. He’s been hanging out with us in Chiang Mai but is going back to India in a few days due to visa issues. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you guys reached out to him.
We are a nomad family starting our journey in Medellin. India / Mumbai to be specific is our next destination.
I am finding it very difficult to find properties in AirBnB within a reasonable budget and makaan and magicbricks is cumbersome.
Anyone has had any experience on best approach to find where to stay?
Any help greatly appreciated.
Mumbai is notorious for the exorbitant accommodation rentals.
It is really difficult to rent an apartment online in Mumbai.
My suggestion would be to contact any of the listings on the popular rental websites and then ask that agent to show you around. ( Most listings are done by agents).
Once you have a fair idea about the rates, facilities and locations look out on your own to hone on ta suitable accomodation.
I am having the same issues with the same city. The rental sites show cheap places but are hard to use and seem unpredictable. Airbnb flats are too expensive, relative to the ones on rental sites.
Does anyone know of any decent coworking spaces in Goa (India) ?
Looks like a very fun place to live for a few months. I haven’t been there myself yet but keep hearing very good things about it.
Wow! I didn’t realize Goa was becoming a co-working hub. Have you worked in Goa? Do you think there’s a big need for co-working there? If yes, then in which area. Where would you like to work and hang out?
Just collecting some info to understand if I should open one
Okay, I googled and found several
Depends where you go, you might find one in Panjim. At Palolem Beach there is “German Bakery” which usually has good wifi and they don’t mind people working there. I’d recommend a LTE router and battery pack and just sit anywhere at the beach in Palolem though, it’s great.
I am going to India for a few months and am planning on going to Kerala, Goa, Varanasi, Dharamshala, Rishikesh. What phone company has the best coverage and data speeds for those places, or India in general?
I also heard of people using a wifi stick to work remotely while traveling in areas where you may not be able to find a coffee shop, hotel, etc, with reliable wifi. What company sells the best one of those and where can you get it?
@natalie1, I haven’t used one. So far, it hasn’t been a problem, even for the desktop that’s my main work environment. I travel too much (and on a motorcycle some of the time) for a voltage stabilizer to be practical; they tend to be extremely heavy. Even on a flight, weight restrictions would probably rule it out for me for local travel inside India.
@foxy96, Sure, depending on where you are. I use Skype / Hangouts for calls every day, and don’t even stop my torrents while doing it, but that’s on a 100mbps fiber line. Skype also works well on my Vodafone 4G connection in major cities (Calcutta, Delhi, Bangalore), but not at all if I’m up in the mountains in Darjeeling where your connectivity is completely hit or miss. In other words, it’ll really depend on where you are when you need to make the call. If you can get most of your work done in major cities, you’ll be fine (same quality as a phone call, or better, and you can video when you need / want to without any problems), but you could be screwed if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and a client has an emergency. I just use regular international calling on my cell phone in situations like that; it doesn’t happen all that often.
Has anyone tried making phone calls to Europe using computer programs in India? Is the connection good enough without interruptions and is there delay in the communication?
Thank you. I got Vodaphone for now as there wasn’t Jio where I got my SIM. I will pick one up from Jio when I can.
I had another question for anyone working in India. Do you all carry voltage stabilizers when you travel? My friend is letting me use his here but when I leave I won’t have one. It seems necessary with all the outages, although the one I’m using is quite heavy and not good for travel. I have a surge protector but it only works for one surge, is that right? The first time the power went out here, even when using the stabilizer, it messed up my computer. It seems okay now, ish. But now I’m afraid to not use a voltage stabilizer anywhere in India. Thanks for any insights.
I am going to india on Monday - my friend told me it would take 4 days to get a SIM card?? Can I get one at the airport if we’re landing after 10 pm at night?
Depends on the airport; most places, the SIM card guy will be closed that late. But it doesn’t take four days; you can get a SIM on the spot by walking in to a Vodafone store. You have to go to the big, official, branded ones, not the little random stores with Vodafone banners selling prepaid recharge cards. Or your friend can just get you one ahead of time; that’s what I usually do when someone’s flying in.
Goa airport’s tiny and pretty far from the one major town or the touristy stuff, so if you’re flying in there you might have some challenges finding an official Vodafone store nearby.
Sure, I’ll ping you with Aishwarya’s contact information. Have a good trip!
I’ve got a female friend who rents a lovely 2 bedroom place near Anjuna, and has been living there (alone) for a year now. She’s probably the best person to talk to about security stuff for women; let me know when you’re there and I’ll put you in touch with her. I’ve been to Goa a three times now (most recently last year), and I’d say it’s safe for women as long as you’re careful. Unlike almost all of the rest of India, Goa’s a place where you won’t get as many stares or groping attempts or sniggering comments on the street for being in shorts, though guys will still hit on you. Definitely be careful if you’re into the drugs / partying scene, like you’d be anywhere else in the world. Tourists (including ones from out of state) also get ripped off a lot or get scammed for things (car rentals where the car owner suddenly insists you’ve broken something random in his car and wants an exorbitant amount, for example). But this isn’t specific to Goa.
One of my female friends (Indian) and two of her female friends (Australian) recently spend a few months partying, relaxing, and traveling through Goa and Pushkar, and absolutely loved it. I’m leaning more toward the mountains these days, but Goa’s worth doing.
Hi Dave, I would love to be connected with your friends there, message me if that’s still a possibility. thanks!
I traveled India in 2015 for 6 months and moved around a lot. Coverage was pretty unreliable. I agree with the comments about the following:
1)going to a proper Vodafone/Airtel shop to be registered to ensure your SIM doesnt expire. I’d make the effort to do both as some providers are better in other areas.
2)Streaming/Video calls are going to be a challenge, but you’ll get by with basic things.
3) The Jio option sounds new and interesting, but my experience is new players in a markets usually start off their coverage in big cities, so its possible that outside of them it wont be great.
I lived in Varkala in Kerala for 6 weeks, the wifi at restaurants was hopeless and my own SIMS also didnt well when along the main strips, but a bit further back inland was significantly better, just do your speedtests when deciding on accommodation.
In Mandrem (a small place) last winter, Jio had great 4G coverage whereas other networks were stuggling to give even 3G, let alone 4G.
I’ve been to India over 10 times in the past 10 years usually for several months at a time. Jio is a total game-changer.
Goa has its safe and not-so-safe parts. I’ve stayed in Mandrem recently which is very quiet but perfectly safe (although I’ve never tried walking along the beach in the middle of the night). Rishikesh is wonderfully safe. I recommend that as a starting point for just about anyone going to India for the first time.
Jio is a new mobile network started last year. It’s 4G-only and has been priced so cheaply that all other network providers have been forced to slash their prices too. So while one year ago you would expect to pay 1000Rs for just a few GBs / month, now you can get 1GB / day for 300Rs / month. This finally makes India a realistic place to do remote work
Last winter I got great Jio 4G coverage in Rishikesh and Goa (Mandrem).
My advice would be get a Jio SIM and only consider getting something else (additional SIM) as and when you need it or if you are about to spend time somewhere particularly remote (in which case get a BSNL SIM). Check that coverage map anyway for your locations.
Regarding iPhone vs. Android - both are capable of being used as a hotspot, although older iPhones have more problems regarding this (in my experience). Just make sure you have a 4G-enabled phone (which almost all sold these days are anyway). However, you also need to check your phone’s 4G bands are compatible with India’s.
Finally, if you get a SIM card legitimately (with your own ID) then it will probably be automatically cut off after 3 months (or when your visa expires, whichever is earlier). A SIM dealer might offer a quicker option to use a local’s ID for a small charge. That one won’t expire (other than if there is an extended period of non-use), and so is generally preferable.
I’ve been here since '11. The most reliable internet is going to be a fixed line DSL / fiber, but this is likely not an option for you if you’re traveling; no one really wants to do one month installations. This leaves mobile:
Vodafone 4G is great, works most places, but will drop you back to 3G speeds outside major cities / metro areas. It’s uber-reliable in a city like Calcutta or Delhi, but terrible if you’re on the road. A lot of random towns and villages do get some 3G coverage these days, though. It’s enough for email / text work or code, but not enough to stream Netflix easily. Depends on what you need.
In cities, that 4G connection will stream / download movies easily.
BSNL requires far too much paperwork and pain; I’d avoid them if at all possible. Related note: you really, really need to go to one of the large, branded Vodafone stores if you’re a foreigner, and not one of the random little shops. The little ones don’t really know how to use foreign IDs for verification, so your connection will be deactivated (could take a week, could take a month) randomly. The paperwork thing is a big enough pain that now that I have Indian IDs, I just get SIM cards registered to my ID for friends traveling here.
The dongles get better reception than your phone-as-a-hotspot, but then you’re paying for two SIMs and two plans. Not a big deal, since plans are very cheap here compared with the US. Most dongles also come with a plug adapter, so you can use them as a hotspot by just plugging them into the wall instead of directly in your laptop. The Vodafone 4G hotspot device (not the dongle) also has an internal battery, so you can run much longer if you’re working remotely without power for a while.
The only other company I’d look at if Vodafone doesn’t work out well for you is Airtel. The other players in the market have been extremely unreliable for me at best.
Thank you for your responses- this is super helpful!
Someone discouraged me from going to Goa because it was very dangerous. If anyone has any input on that, let me know.
If you are using iPhone (4G) then you can definitely use as HOT Spot just carry a spare battery pack.
You can also go for this:
I do not prefer dongle as that required computer to be power on. With HOTSPOT device you can keep it on in your hang bag and use the wifi, on go for phone.
In India, if you want connectivity in remote corner including high in the mountain then one should go with State Telecom Provider BSNL. However, the places you are going to visit are widely covered by all Telecom Operator. I would recommend Vodafone.
If you have a 4G handset then you should get a Vodafone Pre-Paid Sim card. For working remotely right now you have 1GB / data plan at 4G speed. 4G network is available in Kerala, Goa, Varanasi and for rest two you have to do with 3G network. If you decide to go for Vodafone then go for FR 445 Plan (INR 445 / 28 days, around $8/28 days).This will give you 1GB data per day for 4G as well as 3G network.
Many thanks! Would you recommend then using my phone as a hotspot for my computer? Or are there reliable options to get a wifi stick you plug into the computer or another type of wifi device so I can work on my computer online?
✅ Affordable to live
✅ Pretty safe
✅ Lots of fun stuff to do
✅ Warm now
✅ Warm all year round
✅ Good air quality on average
✅ Spacious and not crowded
✅ Easy to do business
✅ People can speak basic English
✅ Not many people smoke tobacco
❌ Pretty slow internet
❌ Very humid now
❌ Difficult to make friends
❌ Quality of education is low
❌ Roads can be dangerous
❌ Freedom of speech is weak
❌ Not safe for women
❌ Not family friendly
❌ Hostile towards LGBTQ+
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