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What are the nomad hotspots in Eastern Europe (outside Schengen)?

 

by @emondpph | 5yr  | 43 comments

Hi everybody,

In august my Schengen tourist visa will be over. I would like to go 3 months in Eastern Europe, but it needs to be outside of the Schengen area. I would have loved to go to Budapest but because itโ€™s Schengen I canโ€™tโ€ฆ

Frankly, I donโ€™t know Eastern Europe that well. What are the best spots for Digital nomad in this region ? Also, I need a cool co-working space, I donโ€™t like working from my house.

Thanks !

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@srg_b | 3yr

Hanging out at Mokrin House just now. Itโ€™s incredible. Hereโ€™s some pics in the spoiler.

Summary

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@brmolin | 3yr

Bumping this thread back up. Iโ€™m in Budapest for June/July but will have to exit Schengen for August and September, looking for a good place to spend that time while remaining near Europe. Right now the strongest contenders so far are Romania, Croatia, and Georgia.

Having a good nomad community is key as I always seem to be much more motivated in those cases, but I donโ€™t think I can justify the prices of Split during the summertime, at least based on what I see on Airbnb. Though Iโ€™ve heard Zagreb has a good community and doesnโ€™t get as expensive during the summer, is this true?

I actually met a Georgian during my time down in Colombia, and based on what Iโ€™ve heard from him and others it seems like an awesome place to visit with great food, friendly welcoming people, incredibly cheap cost of living, etc. But I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s got the kind of community I could find in some of these other places.

Iโ€™ve heard a lot of talk about Romania as a good place to go in these situations with a good community, cheap cost of living, etc. But I havenโ€™t heard much about how it is to visit, how easy it is to get by just with English, etc.

Anyone with experience of these places care to share?

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@srg_b | 3yr

A lot of people will be in Belgrade this Summer, including Chris the Freelancer

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@brmolin | 3yr

Nice, do you have any tips on parts of town to stay, best place to find accommodation, etc? Was able to find a bit of info, but far less than Iโ€™ve found for other cities.

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@srg_b | 3yr

Airbnb, you should negotiate the prices for longer stays (2 weeks and more). Best areas to stay are Dorcol, and the region around the Parliament.
Also in the area check out Mokrin House (countryside coliving) and Fabrika Coworking (small town laid back coworking)

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@brmolin | 3yr

Awesome, thanks for the info!

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@rmeskill | 4yr

@borowis @suuzin

I was in Cyprus in January of last year. Wasnโ€™t working when I was there, and Iโ€™m glad I wasnโ€™t, because internet was abysmal. Every place claimed to have wifi, and, admittedly, I booked places based on location and price, not wifi, but nowhere I stayed had reasonable wifi at all. As in I struggled to check email from my phone, but didnโ€™t bring my laptop to have checked that.
+1, though for internet in major Ukrainian cities-Iโ€™ve only had great experiences there.

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Thanks for the input! Iโ€™ll definitely keep it all in mind.

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@borowis | 4yr

Yeah, as I said, getting fiber seems the way to go in Cyprus. But it will take some time

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Great, thanks so much for the suggestions, @borowis and @Serge.

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@srg_b | 4yr

Weโ€™ll soon be starting up a nomad community in Sombor, Serbia, just on the border with Hungary. And weโ€™ll have partnerships with other regional spaces, so you might find it interesting. See here: www.fabrika.org.rs/coworking/

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

For the Ukraine, I would choose Lviv over Kiev. I was there a few months ago, it was fine. The fighting is far away.

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Looking at non-Schengen options again, debating between Cyprus and Kiev, Ukraine for May/ June. Can anyone vouch for Internet in Cyprus and recommend areas?

Ukraine has a travel warning active but Iโ€™m assuming Kiev is still OK.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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@borowis | 4yr

Ukraine is very good in May and itโ€™s very cheap now for those with $ (consider Kyiv for some old churches and spring blossoms and Lviv for tasty food, old city and castles and perhaps Carpathians couple of hours away, thereโ€™s an express train right now between Kyiv and Lviv that takes ~5 hrs). Itโ€™s overall safe, fighting is in the east but itโ€™s not very active right now anyway, in other cities just avoid demonstrations if they come about. There are cheap flights between Larnaca and Kiev Zhulyany on Wizzair so you can easily go to/from Cyprus but I know that Cyprus becomes very hot in summer.

If you need more information or a guided tour, let me know, Kyiv is my home base : ) Ah, btw, Georgia is super good as well. Mountains are beautiful, people are very friendly. Perhaps you will have time for all those destinations : )

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Thank you for that info, @borowis ! I donโ€™t know if Iโ€™ll time for Ukraine, Georgia and Cyprus, but maybe. I have to admit a bias for Cyprus first because of the draw of the relaxing Med. Wondering about wifi there though โ€“ looks mediocre according to Nomadlist. Posts on experiences with that appreciated.

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@borowis | 4yr

All right, I have a colleague who spent a winter there, I think in Limassol but I can ask him for more info if you want me to, but for us 5 Mbps is more than enough, so I donโ€™t know if anything better is available.
Another thing I can advice is to check sites like http://opensignal.com/ for 4G coverage and speed stats, as well as prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Cyprus for rates. Ah, actually seems like their mobile data is pretty expensive : )

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Sure, that would be great. 5 Mbps sounds a bit risky for Skypeโ€ฆ any info appreciated. :slight_smile:

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@borowis | 4yr

So, I asked him. District : Larnaca, downtown. Thereโ€™s slow wifi in many cafes. 3g is 2-3 down, 1 up, 4g is better but he lived out of the signal zone. Prepaid mobile internet super expensive, but one can buy modem and postpaid package. In the end he bought fiber channel for himself which took 3 weeks to arrange and gave him 20 Mbps down/ 2 up, provider cablenet for 32 euros a month. So, your best bet is to find an apartment with fiber link or ask them to arrange it for you.

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@lightmotif | 4yr

Meant to throw Georgia in there as an option too, if anyone has been and can vouch โ€“ Iโ€™ve heard really good things about it.

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@bavals | 5yr

News update: it looks like Romania has given up its hopes of entering Schengen this yearโ€ฆ or the next. This is a big change of tone from just a few weeks ago when they sounded quite confident that theyโ€™d be in by the end of 2015.

Source:

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@emondpph | 5yr

I did not know about Skopje. Looks very nice. I might stop there later in the autumn.

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@shawn_w | 5yr

Skopje Macedonia is great value for money (probably best in east europe) and good internet speed. Worth a look.

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@levelsio | 5yr

Just added this based on this thread:

If you go to https://nomadlist.com, click MORE FILTERS then click Europe and Non-Schengen, itโ€™ll show you ~60 cities you can go to.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Uuugh. The Schengen needs to stop expanding or lengthen their stay time. This is getting ridiculous.

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@bavals | 5yr

I agree.

Does anyone know why all these countries are so eager to join the Schengen? There may be some financial reasons I am not aware of (e.g. extra funds from Brussels to help maintain the common border) โ€“ in fact, I strongly suspect thereโ€™s got to be something there for the candidate countriesโ€™ elites for them to want to join so bad โ€“ but perhaps theyโ€™re also assuming it will help their tourist arrivals (because itโ€™ll be all โ€œseamlessโ€).

Maybe it will. But I wouldnโ€™t be so sure. EU citizens already donโ€™t need any visas, by definition, and I canโ€™t see how the membership will increase their numbers. But if I am in Europe as a non-EU country national, forced to count every day of my 90 allowed, wellโ€ฆ no offense, Romania, Croatia, and the rest, but there are going to be quite a few places a bit higher on my wish list.

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@lightmotif | 5yr

I agree with you, but they apparently donโ€™t see it that way:

Where did you get the information about Romania already enforcing Schengen rules? Someone else on FB tried to say the same about Croatia. To me, either youโ€™re in or out of the Schengen zone. I really hope to not get hassled but plan to print that article above just in case.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Iโ€™ll be really interested to see how schengen impacts tourism in places like Romania and Croatia, because I know most people when limited to three months arenโ€™t choosing Croatia or Romania over France and Italy.

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@bobz_zg | 4yr

@bisonravi
Well, Schengen brings open borders and tax-free trade.
Meaning when Iโ€™m traveling from Croatia to UK I need only ID card and not passport anymore, there is no border if you go with car to Italy/Austria, just drive trough.
For example before I can buy something in Italy/Austria only up to 150Eur / person, all above I need to go to customs, pay tax etc, or Iโ€™m smuggler if I donโ€™t do.
If my company buys something in Austria, i donโ€™t need to pay VAT in my country.
There is no 3 months limit anymore for me to stay in any EU country, I can stay there as long as I like, and depending on country I can apply for any job just like iโ€™m local, I donโ€™t need a special invitation, proof or other tons of paper.

Thatโ€™s whatโ€™s all about.
Right now, there are some more border controls because of immigrants, and bomb attacks around the Europe.

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@bavals | 5yr

Just a warning for everybody considering Romania. Although itโ€™s technically still outside the Schengen zone (but pushing hard to join by the end of the year) and therefore days spent there donโ€™t count toward the 90-day limit of the โ€œrealโ€ Schengen, my understanding is that the country has already started applying Schengen principles (including 90 days / 180) unilaterally. What it means that if youโ€™re coming to Romania at the end of your 90 Schengen days expecting to spend even just a few weeks in Romania, you might be in violation of the Romanian (โ€œunilateral / pre-Schengenโ€) border rules from day 1. I know itโ€™s a bit weird, but think about it like this: their days donโ€™t count, but they count everything: both the current Schengen countries and Romania.

So for the next few months, if youโ€™re coming from outside Europe, you can visit Romania first and then continue on to the rest of Europe for 90 days (not having to count the days spent in Romania), but not the other way around.

http://www.mae.ro/en/node/2035

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@lightmotif | 5yr

Interesting. I never heard about this and got into Romania with no problem, no exit ticket, after spending 90 days in the Schengen zone. I plan to go to Croatia next, which has also applied to be part of Schengen, but they donโ€™t expect approval for another five months.

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Split and Zagreb (Croatia) are pretty popular with digital nomads lately, but if youโ€™re on a budget, avoid Split in summer season (mid-end September) as the accommodation is very expensive.

From what Iโ€™ve heard and seen around, Serbia is very strong in IT so if thatโ€™s your department, Belgrade might be a good place.

Here are some co-working spaces in Belgrade.
http://smartoffice.rs/
http://polygon.rs/
http://www.novaiskra.com/en/coworking-space

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@teofil | 5yr

Hi buddy,
Sofia is the place youโ€™d like to check. Why?

  1. Entrepreneurial tech scene is booming
  2. Great value for money - itโ€™s rather cheap
  3. Sofia is place where you could do whatever, and if youโ€™re seeking for nature/adventure - seaside is 400km and the mountain range with great hiking locations is 150km

Do let me know if youโ€™re around.
T.

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@emondpph | 5yr

Hey Thanks Teo !

So far, iโ€™m thinking about Split, Belgrade, Sofia and Bucharest. But I slow travel (at least 1 month each place) so I may have to choose two or three amongst those.

If I go to Sofia, I will let you know for sure.

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@10kjuan | 5yr

Let me know what you decided, @emondpph. My girlfriend and I have 3 weeks in-between apartments in Zagreb and are thinking of skipping town for that time. We definitely want to do Belgrade for a few days but were thinking either Sofia, Split, Bucharest or Varna for the other 2.5 weeks or so.

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@petar_np | 5yr

I agree with Ivan and Maria :slight_smile: You can read what I wrote about Belgrade and Serbia here Recommendations for the Balkans starting in April?

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@mariasokolova | 5yr

Iโ€™d say Belgrade, but I would also recommend to check out Kiev or Lviv in Ukraine, itโ€™s insanely cheap right now because of the exchange rate, internet is good, plenty of places to work from, nice people.

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@kovacevicivan | 5yr

I am currently in Belgradeโ€ฆi can show u aroundโ€ฆ :wink:

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

I really enjoyed Croatia. Cheap. Gorgeous. Good food. And my internet in Split was reliable. I donโ€™t do co-working spaces myself, so canโ€™t speak to that, but Split is pretty happening, so Iโ€™d be surprised if they didnโ€™t have something.

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@10kjuan | 5yr

How reliable, @gigigriffis? Do you remember the speed? Weโ€™re considering going for 3 weeks next month, but this is my main concern.

I teach English via Skype 25 hours/week and really depend on a connection north of 6-7mbps at the minimum. Weโ€™re currently in Zagreb and had to use the ethernet adaptor just to get in that range, and itโ€™s supposed to have a stronger connection than Split, so Iโ€™m not sure.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Sorry, I have no idea what speed it was. But I was able to do everything I needed to, and that includes at least one Skype call that I remember. Iโ€™m sure it depends where you stay/use the internet, but mine was good.

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@levelsio | 5yr

A quick glance on Google Maps shows me these countries border the Schengen area in the east:

Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.

In terms of cities, youโ€™re best bet is Sofia (less developed) and Bucharest (well developed, safe and fast internet)

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@kovacevicivan | 5yr

Check out Belgrade/Serbia alsoโ€ฆif you need any help i would be glad to help youโ€ฆ

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@emondpph | 5yr

Thanks everybody ! And Ivan where are you located ?

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Read and participate in 13,975 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 5d 5 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 | 4mo 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 | 5mo 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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How to ship bikes from US to Europe?


by @ld | 6mo 6 months ago | 3 comments

Hello,
Iโ€™m preparing to travel again to Europe, but this time I want to bring our bikes. 2 road bikes. Iโ€™ll be traveling from USA to the Milan or Rome airport.

Iโ€™d appreciate hearing your thoughts, experience and tips on traveling with a bike. I plan on being fairly stationary with our location and staying in one spot for 2-3 months, then (hopefully train) to another spot for 3 months, etc. So itโ€™s the initial international flight Iโ€™m most concerned about. But realistically, I think a regional flight will be inevitable with the bikes, too.

I know a bike box will be huge and we will have to break down the bike, thankfully our bikes are fairly light weight. Iโ€™m expecting it to be a huge painโ€ฆbut I think the reward of having a good bike to roam around with will be invaluable. Especially since we will be staying in rural areas and donโ€™t want to rent a car.

General range of cost?

Anyone bring their bike and glad they did? โ€ฆWish they didnโ€™t?.. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks!

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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 | 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 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 | 10mo 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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