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What's it like to travel through villages (European or otherwise) without a car?


by @archagon | 5yr  | 14 comments

Iโ€™ve been traveling in Europe for about a year now, and Iโ€™ve come to realize (perhaps too late) that some of the most interesting and peaceful stays arenโ€™t in the cities, but in the smaller villages. Unfortunately, I donโ€™t have a car, so the logistics of this might be a little tricky. Have any of you travelled for significant periods of time through villages without a car? If so, I have a few questions:

  1. How did you deal with transport?
  2. Did you feel comfortable and content, or did you get bored? (I assume that without a car, youโ€™d be spending much more time in the actual village than in the neighboring areas โ€” unless you biked, maybe?)
  3. What kinds of people usually live in villages? Is it mostly older people or is it a mix?
  4. How did you deal with the language barrier? I assume that English isnโ€™t nearly as common in villages as it is in the cities. Did you feel uncomfortable or out of place?
  5. Was the internet OK?
  6. Any places youโ€™d particularly recommend?
  7. What are some areas around the world where you could get around easily and see lots of beautiful areas with a bike or scooter? Iโ€™ve heard this about parts of Thailand and the Amalfi coast. Also, if you donโ€™t know how to ride a scooter/motorcycle, do you need lessons or is it easy to pick up?
  8. How easy is it to find affordable stays (via Airbnb or others)? My definition of affordable is no more than, say, $40/day, but ideally less than $35/day.
  9. Is there a good way to balance the desire for contentment and serenity found in villages with the lust for the multi-sensory spectacle and newness of city life (while not having a car)?

I realize itโ€™s a general topic but I donโ€™t have any specific destinations in mind. (Currently looking at France, Italy, Germany, etc.) I also realize that โ€œget a car!โ€ might be the optimal choice for most people, but for me, not only is it too expensive, but it just doesnโ€™t mesh with the way I live my life. So even if thereโ€™s no good answer, Iโ€™d love to hear any and all tips you might have!

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@patrick | 5yr

Try using www.blablacar.com
It is a rise sharing community that is growing like crazy in Europe. Maybe that helps you getting from town to town.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

I visited many years ago when I was living in the US and fell in love with the village, so I kept coming back to visit and eventually asked myself โ€œwhy not try to live here?โ€

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@archagon | 5yr

I see. Yeah, Iโ€™m currently in France and Iโ€™m looking around for some villages to visit for a change, but unfortunately most of them seem to have no accommodation through my usual channels (Airbnb & similar) โ€” or if they do, theyโ€™re priced at $100/day or more for a single on the very rare, cheapest end. Same deal with hotels. This makes sense for vacation homes, but it makes it nearly impossible to visit for a more frugal traveler such as myself! It also makes it harder to find interesting villages incidentally, while passing through, because I have to make specific plans to visit each one. (I could always stay in a larger neighboring town and do day trips, but that doesnโ€™t really give you a sense of village life, and also takes too much time away from working hours.) Ah well, Iโ€™m sure something will come up eventually. (Or maybe I should just suck up the price and stay for a shorter period of timeโ€ฆ)

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Have you tried campgrounds? In Europe, Iโ€™ve been delighted to find that many campgrounds have cabin or hostel accommodations and theyโ€™re cheapish. Thatโ€™s how I stayed in my valley the first few visits before I knew people to ask about cheap accommodations.

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@archagon | 5yr

Hey @gigigriffis, Iโ€™m currently in Perugia and really enjoying it, and I happened to find one of your articles about the city while Googling for other nomad-type travelers who might have come through here. Do you have any other favorite towns/villages in Italy? Iโ€™m going down to the Amalfi coast for a few days but I still havenโ€™t decided where to go after that!

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Hiya @archagon!

Near Perugia, my favorite was Assisi. SO beautiful and the hike down the hill is amazing. Highly recommended.

Farther away, I really loved Modena, which is the home of balsamic vinegar (the real stuff). Go to a tasting at one of the producers if you can. Iโ€™m not sure what the dates are, but thereโ€™s a fantastic food festival during the summer in Tavernelle val di Pesa (outside Florence) if you can find it. (Itโ€™s a tough thing to suss out, but thereโ€™s a hostel in town - Ostello di Chianti - and you can email them and ask about festivals). The Cinque Terre is another favorite (though stay outside town in lovely tiny Biassa if you donโ€™t like crowds; thereโ€™s a nice hostel there).

Not to be self-promotional, but did you see that I have an Italy guide? You can find it on the site: www.gigigriffis.com. It has tons of info from real locals.

Hope thatโ€™s helpful!

Gigi

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@archagon | 5yr

Thank you for the tips! Iโ€™ve already been to Modena (the vinegar is amazing) but I have yet to see Assisi. Will have to go there for sure.

And yes, I saw your guide and Iโ€™m almost certainly going to end up buying it, though my worry is that I wonโ€™t have time to read it before I leave Italy! (Iโ€™m sure itโ€™s still great reading material, though. Where did you find 100 Italians anyway??)

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Itโ€™s not really a cover-to-cover read anyway. You can just skip to the parts that are relevant to the places youโ€™re traveling in. :smile:

I find my interviewees in lots of places, including blogs, through tourism offices, people Iโ€™ve met in all my own travels through Italy, friends of friendsโ€ฆetc.

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@archagon | 5yr

May I ask how you ended up settling in these villages in the first place? (Or maybe you have a blog post about it?)

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@archagon | 5yr

Thank you! I will have to check them out.

Are the locals generally annoyed by the influx of visitors or are they OK with it?

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

The locals in LBN are mostly farmers who keep to themselves or folks who work in tourism. Those who work in tourism seem happy and grateful to have the booming industry (probably both because itโ€™s their livelihood and because they genuinely enjoy what they do and meeting people from all over). The farmers have a more delicate relationship with it. But Swiss people tend to be a bit more reserved in general, so they can be tough to suss out.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

My experience of most of Europe is that bus and train service is really easy. I havenโ€™t had a car for almost three years and I almost always stay in university towns or small villages. Both getting to the towns is simple if they have a train station (or regular bus service) and getting to neighboring areas is also simple. Boredom really depends on you. I like the quiet life and love hiking, biking, being in nature, and taking things slow, so village life is a great pace for me. Itโ€™s also easy to get around if you choose a place with a train station.

For example, if you based yourself in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, you could be in Murren, Wengen, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg, Mannlichen, Brienz, or Spiez within an hour by train or cable car. In two - three hours, you could get to Bern, Thun, or even Lucerne. Even staying there for months, it would be tough to see everything and you would never need a car.

Similarly, letโ€™s say you based yourself in the university town of Freiburg, Germany. In just a few minutes you could be in the Black Forest hiking tons of trails. And if you hop on a train you could get to Colmar in France, Basel in Switzerland, etc. etc. etc. within just an hour or two.

Your third question is hard to answer because different places are different. Some small towns run older; some are a mix. Some are all locals; some have been discovered by tourists and have a mix of nationalities. This is the same with your language barrier question. Discovered small towns will have a lot of English; less discovered places less-so. And again, internet is going to vary widely by where exactly you are.

As for where Iโ€™d recommend: smallish cities/university towns Iโ€™ve loved include Freiburg, Germany and Ghent, Belgium. True villages Iโ€™ve loved include Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, Murren, Switzerland, and Tavernelle val di Pesa, Italy.

  1. For a motorcycle, in most countries youโ€™ll need a license (for which youโ€™ll need to take a course). Scooters are easy to learn.

  2. Again, this will depend very much on where exactly youโ€™re going. An apartment in a village in the Swiss Alps will price differently than a village in Croatia.

  3. You could always spend a month in a city and a month in a village, alternating lifestyles. That is, after all, the beauty of being a nomad.

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@archagon | 5yr

Thank you for the very informative reply! Have you encountered any smaller/more rural villages/towns that have been โ€œdiscoveredโ€? Iโ€™m really curious about those kinds of places. Ghent is lovely โ€” I was just there a few days ago โ€” but it has a population of 250k! In my mind, the kind of village Iโ€™m thinking of would probably be in the 1-10k range in terms of population.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Lauterbrunnen (about 800 full-time residents), Murren (maybe about the same), and Wengen (probably about triple that) are all small and discovered and very international. English spoken widely. (This is where Iโ€™ve been based for the last year.)

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Read and participate in 13,918 discussions on Nomad List

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What's the best SIM card you can get for traveling to Spain?


in Spain by @gabygarreau | 24d 23 days ago | 3 comments

Hi! I want to relocate to Spain and I was wondering if someone can recommend a SIM card with a good data package.

Thanks

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How to get a UK residence address without renting/buying?


by @pavel_maximov | 25d 25 days ago | 17 comments

Background:
Iโ€™m an EU national IT specialist, recently decided to become a digital nomad. I just left my permanent job in Germany and opened a UK based LTD (for a better taxation) to start a new career as remote working IT contractor. I also want to become a UK resident and pay personal income tax there BUT I donโ€™t want to rent/buy a place because I have no interest in physically living in the UK, as a nomad I will be traveling abroad 100% of the time.

So I just need a UK address where Iโ€™m registered as a resident and could receive mail, but I would never actually be there. I could rent a place and keep it empty but that would be a total waste of money.

Question:
How do I find somebody who could give me an official residence at his/her address and keep my name on the door? Iโ€™m ok with paying a reasonable monthly fee for this โ€œserviceโ€ (but not as high as a rent), and give assurance in whatever form that I will never pretend to physically live there. I have no close friends in the UK to ask for this favor, and trying to propose this to a random landlord would be just weird since they are not familiar with the needs of a digital nomad.

Maybe you guys can suggest me somebody who understand the situation and want to make some extra cash every month to pay the bills? Iโ€™m ready to meet in person, provide full proof of identity or any other document, and to make a written agreement that gives the landlord the freedom to cancel this โ€œsituationโ€ at any time.

Note:
This is NOT for tax evasion, itโ€™s the opposite! I WANT to pay full tax as UK resident, I just donโ€™t want to waste money on a rent which I will literally never use.

I would be very grateful for any advice!

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Central America - Where and what's next?


by @as11 | 6mo 5 months ago | 11 comments

Currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and heading to Santa Teressa, Costa Rica next week.
Then Aruba in the Caribbean Sea for Christmas and New Year.

However I feel I want to head back to Central America to bring living costs down, rather than staying in the Caribbean Sea among the expensive Islands.

This means I have around 2 - 2,5 month of unplanned travelling.
Any digital nomads who have ideas about where to head in that timeframe?

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What's the first step now that I can work remotely?


by @mariaplslourdes | 9mo 9 months ago | 4 comments

Hi everyone and nice to e-meet you!
finally, after so long I found a job that allows me to work remotely.
But now? Do you have any practical advice that I can use to approach this new world?
In particular, I have to put my tax situation in order, do you know a good tax advisor from whom I can ask for advice? (Iโ€™m Italian but I live in Franceโ€ฆI donโ€™t know how long it will beโ€ฆ) )
Beyond that, any advice is welcome.
Thank you!
Maria

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What's the best warm destinations in Europe in the winter?

 

by @jammingsloth | 1yr 1 year ago | 33 comments

Planning ahead for the winter. Iโ€™ll be in Spain in the Fall and want to go someplace warm for the winter in or near Europe, but not Schengen. Was first thinking Cape Town, but the internet is slow and it is very far. Was also thinking:
Israel - but airbnb listings are very pricey.
Morocco?
Turkey - maybe a little chilly.

Any other suggestions?

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What's the best bank account for a global nomad?

 

by @barrybjjoubert | 1yr 1 year ago | 25 comments

Dear all
As a wanna be nomad figuring out a way to get free of the rat race, I was wondering what is the best bank account to have while travelling the globe? I need an account where is easy for me to receive payments from all over the world and it also need to be a bank that I can find almost anywhere in the world. I want to avoid carry cash on me if itโ€™s possible.

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Co-working space in Shanghai WITHOUT monthly payment


in Shanghai, China by @katrin | 1yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Daily/hourly pass needed.
Canโ€™t work in normal cafรฉ because having clientโ€™s laptop for security reasons, canโ€™t use open networks. Working for R&D. Also laptop is so huge it doesnโ€™t fit normal cafe environment because itโ€™s far from discreet.

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What's the best CRM/system for managing remote work opportunities?


by @panoramica | 1yr 1 year ago | 3 comments

Iโ€™m currently doing some work through Upwork, but itโ€™s sporadic and Iโ€™m keen to get more active on other platforms like Freelancer, Toptal, CodeMentor, Fiverr etc

Currently Iโ€™m managing leads in a Google sheet. Basically itโ€™s just a list of projects I pitched for, how much I bid, what I did differently from the last pitch/bid, how much time went by before I got a offered a job etc.

Iโ€™m not actively following up anybody, and Iโ€™ve in fact โ€˜lostโ€™ a few jobs where the client was keen, but then disappeared without a trace. I guess I need to keep in touch with those people to ensure that they remain focussed on our agreementโ€ฆ

Iโ€™m also keen to take on more small projects concurrently, without dropping the ball on any of them.

Iโ€™ve done a quick Google and turned up a few names including Salesforce, Zoho, Nutshell, HighRise, Base, Nimble, etc etc. But testing out all these products isnโ€™t all that appealing, so I thought Iโ€™d ask here first :slight_smile:

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Feature list

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Lead generation and client management (CRM)

  • store info about regular clients
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Project Management & Scheduling

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Marketing

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  • Publish proposals as case studies

Cheers,
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by @octave | 1yr 1 year ago | 63 comments

I have an commerce website. We get around 1000 orders per month and this is going to get quite a bit bigger in next few years.

I am British. I live in Thailand.
Im not allowed to majority own a Thai business and small foreign entrepreneurs are not really welcome. So i need an offshore company.

I need PayPal and an ecommerce internet merchant account. Also looking at alternatives like worldpay. 2checkout etc

Does PayPal need me to be a resident to the country i register my account to? Are there complications being a non resident to get other payment solutions?

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What's the best mobile-data option in New Zealand for nomads?


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Hi All! Iโ€™ve heard Spark and Vodafone are the best. I plan to move around, so I care mostly about having good coverage, and all Iโ€™ll need is around 1 GB of data or so.

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in South Africa by @kirst85 | 2yr 2 years ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m a South African about to become a Nomad next year. I will still be employed by a South African company and receive a salary into my FNB bank account monthly.

I will be mostly based in Serbia but plan on travelling a lot. Does anyone have any advice on the best bank account to have? Is there a way to not get charged a small fortune in ATM charges and avoid getting my account frozen for using it in lots of countries?

Iโ€™m unsure of the best way to handle things. Should I try get another bank account outside of SA (Can I even do that)? I also have a British Passport if that makes a difference.

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What's better? Puerto Vallarta vs. Playa del Carmen in Mexico?


in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico by @oskar | 2yr 2 years ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m going to travel to Mexico by the end of february and i would like to know which place do you recommend to stay at for a month or so. Which one would fit better for a digital nomad? Pros and Cons for each place are welcomed :smile:

thanks!

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How to do without permanent address nor local bank?


by @tradeaway | 2yr 2 years ago | 2 comments

I am soon to find out one way or another as I will leave my residency to become a nomad myself. I have not found a good solution for Bali or Asian countries on the internet.

I read our existing Nomadlist posts under Money tag. Money handling and charges around accessing it seem to be a big issue for nomads, soon my issue. As a post I read said, accessing money for a Nomad can be harder than making money. I am more worried about accessing money than having some.

Iโ€™ll use Transferwise Borderless account to keep my day to day living money. I am opening a Pte Ltd corporate, that only goes for business-related expenses.
My Canadian credit card will charge me an arm and a leg in fees and currency conversion for me to get Indonesian Rupiah in Bali from Canadian dollar account. Then at some point, my credit card will complain I am not in Canad anymore.
Not knowing better, Iโ€™ll try that. If that works good and still live me short on how to go for smaller and random daily expenses.

Thanks for your help!
Enjoy your Nomad living!!

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What's a good US call and SMS forwarding service?


by @vong | 2yr 2 years ago | 12 comments

Hi all,

What do you guys use for call and sms forwarding?

Currently I have a Skype US number that forwards to my local phone number. However, it canโ€™t receive SMSโ€™es so thatโ€™s a huge dealbreaker.

Thereโ€™s RingCentral - but that starts at $29/month which is rather pricey.

Any suggestions? Iโ€™d just like to be able to call and text like Iโ€™m still in the US (when Iโ€™m not). Thanks in advance!

Sarah

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What's a good and warm place in April to surf with fast internet?


by @jakegibson | 3yr 2 years ago | 9 comments

I landed a remote job that is fully remote with only one team skype meeting a week. Iโ€™m looking to leave around March 13th and stay 1 - 3 months in each place. The first place I want somewhere that is warm with good surf. For the group video chat I need at least 5/2 down/up reliable internet. Any recommendations for a place that meets that end of March - April?

Iโ€™ve read through the forums / nomads list. Iโ€™ve already done Costa Rica and Indo and would like to try somewhere new. Currently looking at Sayuliata Mexico, Canary Islands, and Morocco though I think Iโ€™ll wait on the second two since they sound like they are better in the fall.

Thanks!

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What's the weirdest thing you travel with?

 

by @gigigriffis | 3yr 2 years ago | 21 comments

I was thinking about packing today and Iโ€™m curious: whatโ€™s the weirdest thing you guys have in your bags? Nomads are, by nature, minimalists, but Iโ€™m sure we all do it differently. I have a friend who travels with BASE jumping gear, another a sequin dress. So, whatโ€™s the most unusual thing in your bag?

Mine is probably that I travel with a dog.

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International health insurance without having a permanent residence?

 

by @fabyliechti | 3yr 2 years ago | 30 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m a Swiss Citizen but full time traveler (living a few month there and there) and therefore donโ€™t have a permanent residence/home anywhere in the world.

For this reason, Iโ€™m as well not registered in Switzerland and therefore donโ€™t have medical care since I would have to pay at least 200$ monthly for medical care which I wonโ€™t use since Iโ€™m not living there.

As a in Switzerland unregistered Swiss Citizen I donโ€™t have medical care in Switzerland but, however based on Swiss Law Iโ€™m always allowed to return to Switzerland, register and then get medical coverage (f.e. in a medical emergency).

So now I was looking for both, an international health insurance with good coverage and an additional travel insurance for my trips. Unfortunately every insurance I check, I got asked for a permanent residence - which I donโ€™t have and donโ€™t want to. So I donโ€™t know what to fill out and if I still can get insurance without having a permanent residence.

I was wondering if there are any nomads here with a similar situation like me and (not registered anywhere and without a permanent residence)? If so, what health insurance, travel insurance you have and where?

PS. As well Iโ€™m not sure if it is kind of illegal not having a permanent residence anywhere plus where do I have to pay taxes?

Would be extremely grateful for any help on those matters - thanks so much!

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Quaint small towns/villages in Italy and/or France


in Italy by @theunisk | 3yr 2 years ago | 13 comments

Any recommendations for a few weeks stay in a small, quiet town or village somewhere in Italy/France during summer ? Open to any setting, by the seaside, in the mountains or the countryside - Iโ€™d like to get a feel for local life (outside the cities) in a charming place.
Having hiking routes available nearby would be a bonus, but not required.
Internet speed will not be very important, so that does not need to be taken into consideration.
Iโ€™ll likely be doing both Italy and France, so suggestions for both would be great.

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How do you manage receiving mail without a permanent address in the Philippines?


in Philippines by @kaizenpreneur | 3yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

Hello all,

I have a mail management service in the UK which all my mail gets sent to. This works fine 90% of the time and most can be dealt with digitally.

The other 10%, I need the mail sent on to me, which they do offer as a service. However, where I struggle is giving them an address to send it to in the Philippines, namely Manila.

Iโ€™ve used DHL for really important stuff, like bank cards, but it would be nice to have an address where I can forward certain mail. Anyone been able to set something up like this in the Philippines? Would a virtual office allow me to receive mail?

Thanks in advance

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What's the standard salary for a designer in Germany?


in Germany by @nchow119 | 3yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone,

I was wondering what the annual base salary for a full time junior to mid designer would be in either Frankfurt(Main) or Hamburg, Germany.

Thanks,
Natalia!

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