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What's the cheapest global location to bootstrap for 1 year?


by @thedude | 5yr  | 12 comments

The basic run down is Iโ€™m currently in Thailand and starting at the end of this year or beginning of next - I want to spend a year burning savings to build a piece of software. English language workable to get around (with the exception of Spanish - which I want to learn & donโ€™t mind finding a school / investing the time)

If I were to use a point system to decide where to go it would be something like this

Cost of living (has to include 1 - 2 round trip airfare back to the US. Visa runs / applications) - 10 pts

Geographic location I prefer (worth 3 points)

South / Central America
European
SE Asia
Africa / India

My options seem to be gravitating towards Eastern Europe (Serbia, Ukraine, Poland) or South America (Columbia, Argentina & Iโ€™m not sure where else). Looking into the visa rules it looks like I would be limited to six months in Columbia before needing to move on.

Am I wrong for giving up Southeast Asia? I understand itโ€™s popular (Iโ€™ve spent a month in Phuket Town, a few months in the Krabi province & a border run to Malaysia).

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@floc | 5yr

Doesnโ€™t get any cheaper than South Asia, especially Nepal. Pokhara is a favorite.

India is also very cheap outside of Mumbai and tourist places like Goa or Kovalam. Then again most Indian cities suck for livingโ€ฆ

Also, you only get a half year Visa for India.

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@jessehanley | 5yr

What about Prague or Taghazout?

Both great locations, relatively cheap and good places to bootstrap your startup for the next year.

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@cpury | 5yr

I also vote for Chiang Mai :slight_smile:

But gotta add in reply to @jonmyers: I lived in Ho Chi Minh City for half a year, and I got by with 500 USD per month. You can go as local as you want. โ€œNormalโ€ Vietnamese food is 1-3 USD, public bus is 30 cents, if you look out for one you can get a nice place in District 1 for 200 USD. Also, beer is the cheapest in the world. I guess your expenses rise steeply if you want your own motorbike, since you will have to bribe quite regularly :smile:

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@jonmyers | 5yr

Maybe thatโ€™s true, but thatโ€™s a really misleading statement and not anywhere near the norm in the years Iโ€™ve been here for myself or the 100+ people with whom Iโ€™ve had contact.

Often, I find when you dig into the numbers of those that make such claims, itโ€™s kinda like talking to gamblers who go to casinos who โ€œalways come out aheadโ€.

My buddy James who runs a travel blog and prefers to live frugally and very local, detailed his expenses here back in 2012. His bare minimum back then was $724/ month.

And he does not drink:

Since then, prices have risen.

If youโ€™re younger and want any form of nightlife, dating or drinking, which you may be accustomed to, the costs go up significantly.

Further, if you are bootstrapping a startup and plan on attempting to make any connections with other expat entrepreneurs - plan on spending more money for going out.

You donโ€™t want to be the person worried about every last Dong.

I know guys eeking it out on $1000 - $1200 - a month, and thatโ€™s doable. It gets old. In fact, I have to update my own resources on this point, so the expectations are realistic, but $500/ month is not realistic.

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@cpury | 5yr

Alright, you know better, man! I guess Iโ€™ll have to add that I

  • Mostly hung out with Vietnamese peeps, who had much less than 500 USD per month
  • Was not dating, but actually living with my GF (which split our 380 USD rent in half)
  • Am really a frugal kind of guy I guess (lived in the Bay Area for 1500/m, with a cheap room and biking everywhere, and in Germany for 600 USD/m)
  • Did not hang out so much in coffee shops, but actually in my (Vietnamese) Startupโ€™s office
  • As mentioned walked or took public bus everywhere (European, donโ€™t like driving)
  • Had a kitchen and like to cook, which I did like 3 times per week

So yeah, while I might be far below the median, I donโ€™t think telling people that itโ€™s possible to live this way is misinformation, is it? And itโ€™s really not like I didnโ€™t have any fun, far from it. Guess we were just in different bubbles. Iโ€™ve met quite a few foreigners who lived like me and didnโ€™t like to mingle with โ€œexpatsโ€.

Anyway, enough of me and Saigon, take my data point with a grain of salt, and just go wherever and spend as much money as you want.

Cheers

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@jonmyers | 5yr

Fair enough, but you see what happened thereโ€ฆ

When you say โ€œyouโ€ - itโ€™s not all you.

Splitting rent with a GF, not having to vacate a harsh room for rent to work from a coffeeshop because you have work facilities at a startup, and so on, contribute to a reduction in expenses.

It helps to verify these things - because we do a get a lot of people who hear how โ€œcheapโ€ it is - and it can be, but often the claims are exaggerated, and when youโ€™re representing a rock bottom scenario there are often nuances to what is possible for you and your personal circumstances.

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@floc | 5yr

+1 for $500 a month in Saigon.

But I also split rent with my gf, so it would be $700 solo.

Chiang Mai is definitely much more fun on $500/$700 than Saigon. Bangkok even more so. Food variety aloneโ€ฆ

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@kmander | 5yr

Chaing Mai wins. Of course thereโ€™s many cheaper places, but no where Iโ€™ve found offers the same bang for your buck. Youโ€™ll be boostrapping, without any feeling of suffering.

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@jonmyers | 5yr

The biggest determining factor is your budget.

What is your budget and runway?

South America is going to be more expensive than Southeast Asia.

Iโ€™m biased, I preferer Vietnam.

More of a serious entrepreneur scene.

Visa situation in Vietnam is doable, and not fraught with the hell and hassle of Thai Visas, but it will cost. 1 year business visa is $750usd. Vietnam is cheap, but not as cheap as everyone thinks. Everyone thinks they can โ€œgo localโ€ 100% of the time, and they never do. If you want to live a life, a realistic minimum monthly budget is $1500/ month.

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@thedude | 5yr

$1,500 a month seems steep to me. Is Vietnam more expensive than Thailand / Phuket? I was in Phuket town for a month & $900 was plenty for me. I could realisticly get my expenses down to $700 + visa runs if I went back thinking long term.

Getting rid of visa runs by paying $750 up front would be preferable to me.

This is a little off topic - but how accurate do people find nomads list? Does it scale fairly accurately? If Chiang Mai is listed as 30% cheaper than Phuket is it accurate? Or just listed that way becuse a different set of people with different lifestyle preferences have submitted their expenses? What other resources do people use to find low cost of living around the globe without actually going there?

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@tylertringas | 5yr

Chiang Mai, Thailand is hands down the cheapest city, with fast wifi, Iโ€™ve ever been to or heard of. Dramatically cheaper even than the Thai beach towns, particularly if you book long-term accommodation. Youโ€™ll need to do some border visa runs but there are lots of easy options.

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@anon72215238 | 5yr

If your main priority is to bootstrap somewhere cheap than you are wrong to give up SEA. Lowest cost, English to get around, can easily spend some time in Vietnam, Cambodia etc for the time you need to be out of Thailand.

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Read and participate in 13,983 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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How do I set current location? I've looked everywhere for this option.

 

by @yousifyalda | 16h 15 hours ago | 5 comments

All I see is section to add trips, but I reside here. Home and all.

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What's the best thing to do with your phone/ your phone number when travelling?

 

in Poland by @davda1546 | 4d 3 days ago | 0 comments

Hey, hope everyone is well!

We're leaving in a month to go travelling. Our first destination is still to be confirmed, but will likely be Poland or Slovakia. We will be moving around every month or two to different destinations.

The question we have is: what do people do with phones/ phone numbers when hopping from country to country? Ideally we'd just like one number for the whole trip (even better, the number we already have) wherever we go, rather than getting new SIMs with different numbers.

This is just so it's easier to keep in contact with family/ clients/ etc.

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What age did you start out and went location independent?


by @raynesio | 29d 29 days ago | 11 comments

Eager to find out what age most start out as a DN? (Me)โ€ฆ 27 and just started out in the last 6 months or so. Not presently 100% location independent, probably more like 90% as still required to visit the office from time to time

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Can Americans with EU Passports Travel to EU during COVID-19?


in France by @fqlx | 1mo 1 month ago | 1 comment

I'm a dual citizen of America and France with my resident based in the America. Can I travel to the EU using my French passport?

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


in Spain by @gabygarreau | 2mo 2 months 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 is the health and safety in Bali right now amid the global crisis?


by @valentineworld | 5mo 5 months ago | 1 comment

I would like to avoid having to come right back home, ya know? <3

I plan to be in Bali a lot, but if this is a terrible time to go,
it could stunt my future plans of being in Bali for an extended period of time.

Would love to see you guys! <3

@valentineworld

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Central America - Where and what's next?


by @as11 | 7mo 7 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 | 10mo 10 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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How to find Bangkok apartment rentals <$1,000/mo?


in Bangkok, Thailand by @vesko89 | 11mo 10 months ago | 1 comment

Hey all,

i am trying to find a monthly based condo in SUKHUMVIT in BKK becaue i am staying 1-3 Months in BKK. But somehow its nearly impossible to find a nice one. Except Air BnB 1000$+ โ€ฆ

How do you find your Condos in BKK?

Greetings Vesko

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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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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:

Ideally Iโ€™d like something that integrates with remote job boards in some way.

Feature list

Iโ€™ve done some research and currently have this feature list:

Proposal building & tracking

  • Compile proposals from snippets - technologies, past projects
  • Quickly pull together a realistic/client friendly quote
  • Test and measure different approaches
  • Beat proposal deadlines while maintaining quality
  • Fine tune pitch material to bid more quickly and win more work โ€“ templates
  • Store history about past projects involving common needs and technological solutions
  • Learn which proposal content is working, and which is not

Lead generation and client management (CRM)

  • store info about regular clients
  • track remote projects which Iโ€™ve pitched for
  • Remote Job Board integration
  • search multiple job sites for keywords
  • track projects across multiple remote platforms โ€“ API integration / message alert/response

Project Management & Scheduling

  • Break projects down into granular tasks
  • Gantt chart to visualise overlapping jobs
  • Calendar to schedule daily work, deadlines, R&D
  • follow up, plan and schedule future work now, rather than once current work has dried up
  • offline reminders via a dedicated Android app
  • time tracking โ€“ to get an idea of true cost, to flag issues to client
  • BitBucket integration

Billing

  • Integration with Xero
  • tracking status of payments, actual payment date vs expected payment clearance date

Marketing

  • Get repeat business
  • Build Word Of Mouth
  • Proactive lead generation
  • Publish proposals as case studies

Cheers,
Dan

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What's the best place to incorporate an online business?

 

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?

Apparently in Hong Kong you need 2 years trading history to get an Internet Mechant Account and they generally turn their noses up at those with less than $1m(us) a year turn over. Singapore seems a bit easier.

I really want to avoid paperwork and book keeping. I hate it.

So i was looking at Seychelles, Panama, BVI, Belize.

Does anyone have experience with payment providers in these countries?

Most nomads i see donโ€™t really have a high volume of small monthly transactions which i do. Im going around in circles and donโ€™t know where to start.

Ill also need a bank account for business and a personal bank account to pay my salary into

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Anybody recommend US health insurance with global coverage?


by @tylertringas | 1yr 1 year ago | 18 comments

Any US nomads found health insurance with global coverage? My current approach has been to have US health insurance, essentially a waste of money but if I ever got very sick I could go home and have coverage. My actual healthcare is a combination of travel insurance (havenโ€™t really used it much though) and paying cash in cheap places like SE Asia and Latin America. The cobbled together approach is neither simple nor very cost-effective. Love to find a product with global coverage that also satisfies Obamacare requirements. Any leads?

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Advice on phone plans? 1 year in Europe


by @larsheather | 1yr 1 year ago | 8 comments

Weโ€™re Americans planning to be in Europe for all of 2020 - approx. 90 days in each country, and alternating Schengen and non-Schengen. Our destinations will likely include four of these: Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Romania, and Spain.
Can anyone give us advice on cell phones? We would prefer to keep our current (U.S) numbers if at all possible. We donโ€™t anticipate making many local calls, but will phone the U.S. about once a week. Weโ€™ll use our phones for internet quite often.
Any advice for our situation would be very much appreciated!
Thanks,
Heather and Lars

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Do you have a system for how you plan your next location?


by @mitch_dina | 2yr 1 year ago | 3 comments

It seems to be taking me days to plan my next trip. Its so complicated and seems to be a domino affect. Example: Iโ€™m in Dubrovnik and want to go to Bari, Italy next because it is close, and I can get there by ferry, (so not using so much carbon,) but the ferry only starts running in April and 90-day visa is up on March 15, so I need to move on. Cheapest flight out is to Rome, but Rome can be pricey and Iโ€™m more of a small town person, so I go looking for beautiful small towns in Italy, a BIG research project. Then how to get there?.. oy! I need a system, please!

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


in New Zealand by @goldsaj | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

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.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Suggestions for home base for 10 months in Mexico or Panama next year?


in Mexico by @we_are_escaping | 2yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Weโ€™re researching places to use as a home base next year, and are leaning towards Mexico or Panama for 10 months (with 1 week โ€œvacationsโ€ to explore surrounding countries)

But, I want to settle some place where the infrastructure is good enough for fast, reliable internet - fast enough to run live webinars without worrying that Iโ€™ll be S.O.L due to internet issues when itโ€™s time to go live.

And ideally, Iโ€™d like to be on the coastโ€ฆ I like to have ocean/beach access without the need for a drive.

And not in a malaria zone (just saying, since Panama in particular has many areas that Iโ€™d rule out simply due to the need for malaria prevention meds)โ€ฆ itโ€™s one thing to take that stuff for a few weeks long trip, but I donโ€™t want to take it for months on end.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading all :slight_smile:

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What you think about salary based on the location of where the employee lives?


by @augustomna2010 | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

I see that some companies do this, they pay the remote worker based on where he lives, I would like to know what do you think about this?

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What's the best bank for South African digital nomads?


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.

If any of you have any experienced advice I would be very grateful, Thanks in advance!

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