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Why do nomads like working out of cafes? Hotel rooms seem better?

 

by @normaldude | 5yr  | 29 comments

When youโ€™re working out of a wifi cafeโ€ฆ

  1. A random idiot could spill a drink on your laptop.
  2. Thieves are roaming around, waiting to steal your stuff when youโ€™re looking the other way.
  3. Noisy environment to make phone calls.
  4. If you want to go to the bathroom, you either have to bring everything with you (and someone could steal your seat), or risk having stuff stolen.
  5. Canโ€™t take a nap.

Seems like it would make more sense to get most of your laptop work done in your hotel room, and then walk around town with only your smartphone in your pocket.

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@toshuo | 5yr

I hate working or even studying from a cafe or coworking space. You canโ€™t make much noise without being a jerk. That means no phone calls, no video chats, no recording screencasts, no talking along with language lessons. Youโ€™re also surrounded by other people moving around and itโ€™s difficult to customize the space (e.g. with a monitor or chair of your own). Itโ€™s also a bit of a money drain.

The two things going for cafes/coworking spaces are

  • People make food and / or drinks for you
  • The internet is usually at least decent (unlike anyplace Iโ€™ve been able to rent in Chiang Mai on a short-term lease)
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@anon36270473 | 5yr

I donโ€™t understand it either. Cafe has itโ€™s own atmosphere. And itโ€™s amazing, it kind of wake up your creativity and itโ€™s fantastic. I used to go to cafe when I was studying in college and needed to write difficult essays or term paper on business communication engineering, and it always helped me. Iโ€™ll never change loud cafe on calm hotel room :slight_smile:

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@yoio | 5yr

For the same reason people get an office space or a coworking space.
We are social animals (wellโ€ฆ most of us), we need the human interaction. Working from a cafe also helps us control the feeling of loneliness and boost our creativity.
Most of us canโ€™t work from a completely silent environment and prefer to have some sort of a background noise to get into the โ€œzoneโ€. There are even productivity apps that has a โ€œCafe soundโ€. Also, a huge plus is that you can get food over there. It seem trivial but speaking for myself, when iโ€™m in the zone, I canโ€™t be fucked with going out to look for some food and sometimes I forget to eat.

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@tuliptraveler | 5yr

I actually had to do research on this subject for a project at university a couple of years ago and there is a lot of scientific studies on how people work a lot better in cafes. The noise levels are just right to get you working productively, the walk there clears your mind and can boost creativity and you can meet other people and gain friends/contacts. Plus they found that as other people are watching you, you feel the need to actually work rather than procrastinate on social media or catching up on Netflix. Personally, I work so much better in a cafe and produce better work than if I just stayed in my room.

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@ifdattic | 5yr

I never leave my laptop when taking a bathroom break, too paranoid for that. If I want to keep my seat I try to leave something which will make it look like itโ€™s still taken, but wonโ€™t care very much if itโ€™s stolen (notebook, pen, etc.)

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@jeff_bronson | 5yr

I find co-working spaces totally worth the money. I was originally against them, thinking Iโ€™d be getting pitched products, and feeling too much like an office space.

In coffee shopโ€™s/cafeโ€™s, I find you elongate the amount of time you spend working. Too many variables like inconsistent Internet, getting into conversations, etc.

Hotels can sometimes work, but the Internet if often variable as well. Iโ€™d rather get my work done, then socialize after with a beer in my hand. Rather than spend 9 hours at a cafe half working/half socializing.

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@ibobriakov | 5yr

I used to work a lot from coffee shops, but realized it is just too distracting to do concentrated type of work there (while it may be OK to process emails, communications and some simple routine tasks).
For concentrated types of work, Iโ€™m more comfortable working from hotel room, as there are no distractions then. But seat sometimes is not that comforable.
Wish to get one of portable standing desks (such as - https://www.standstand.com/) soon :slight_smile:

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@don_lee | 5yr

I mostly work in coffee shops where I feel myself more productivity than working at home. Quiet coworking spaces always make me feel like staying in a boring office, and people look so serious with their works. Working in hotel rooms is a bad idea for me because the bed is always more attractive than the desk, I donโ€™t want to see it.

Working in coffee shops is really interesting, I have someone to serve me food, coffee, I can invite friends to come, not to loud but at least I can talk. I can watch people, enjoy the ambiance, enjoy being unique.

For the safety, I always choose a table in a corner to make sure nobody can see my screen and I can see everyone (my back must be the wall, not someone watching or approaching me without my awareness), far from the doors so that if somebody wants to rob anything it would take them a distance to escape. If the shop has more than 1 floor, I stay upstairs. I keep my laptop plugged all the time, do not leave the phone on the table, try to be a patron of the coffee shop and friendly with the staff. Avoid busy coffee shops.

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@nemrut_dagi | 5yr

So what do you do when all the tables against the wall are taken, waste time going to another cafe? How about when you need to go to the bathroom, waste time packup up all your stuff and risk getting your seat taken?

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@don_lee | 5yr

It rarely happens, but if it does, I would choose a random table and wait.

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@magalhini | 5yr

Same same :smiley:

I have developed an allergy to working from my bedroomโ€ฆ which is slowly evolving into an allergy to working from my house. That already has evolved from working from somewhere that doesnโ€™t involve a short commute. If I donโ€™t move, I feel terrible, physically and mentally!

I agree, working from coffee shops can be a hassle: Iโ€™d save so much money on coffee if I could work from home sometimes without feeling the anxiety of not being outside. My team often complains about the noise coming from our Skype calls, itโ€™s hard to predict when a bunch of school kids will be seating next to you.

Yes, going to the bathroom without worrying about your stuff getting stolen is a concern. True, all of this adds a layer of extra planning that I donโ€™t need: where willI work from tomorrow? I know it canโ€™t be home unless I absolutely have a reason to stay inside.

So to answer your question, I guess it depends on your personality. I just canโ€™t stand to work where I sleep, but I envy the people who arenโ€™t so clinical about this. Luckily, I can drink 5 or 6 coffees per day and Iโ€™m not distracted at all by loud environments :slight_smile:

But thatโ€™s how I am. I need to adapt to what my mind is asking for.

Iโ€™ll give you this, though: when itโ€™s raining like hell on a Monday morningโ€ฆ Iโ€™ll probably work from my bedroom quite happily.

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@normaldude | 5yr

@magalhini So for you, having people around doesnโ€™t seem to be the main motivation. Is it more the change of scenery & โ€œbeing outsideโ€, or is it literally that you need the actual commute?

In other words, if you could walk out of your bedroom, and onto a balcony with a stellar outdoor view, would that be enough of a change of scenery to work in, or would you still feel the need to commute somewhere?

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@magalhini | 5yr

Ah, I didnโ€™t make myself clear on this :smile:

What I mean by commute is to have some meaningful distance between work & home, and also to get some exercise/activity between home and work. If I donโ€™t go out for a run in the morning, I do need to walk a little bit first in order to get some physical activity - becoming remote made me a little bit of a freak in terms of getting to move, physically :smile:

So a 1 minute walk between the two places isnโ€™t enough.

As for the people, Iโ€™ve failed to mention this so thanks for touching this point.
I work much better when there are people around me for sure, especially if I can naturally do people-watching when Iโ€™m thinking or tackling a problem.
It is only natural after all: as humans weโ€™re hard-wired to prefer these scenarios. Weโ€™re voyeurist bastards :smile:

Itโ€™s also nice when I can expect some kind of social interaction with people around me, as it does indeed get lonely sometimes. This, so far, has been my main point of concern with going remote.

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@replay | 5yr

Personally I think itโ€™s just too depressing to sit alone in a hotel room for so much time. Even if it can be distracting I prefer having some people around.

Regarding safety it depends quite a lot on where you are. For example in South Korea I usually didnโ€™t hesitate to go to the toilet while leaving my laptop alone on the table, because all the locals there do the same and the crime rate seems to be extremely low. But in many other countries I also wouldnโ€™t do that.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

I guess I wouldnโ€™t stay somewhere that was a depressing place for me to use for work :smile:

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@replay | 5yr

True, usually Iโ€™m always trying to avoid hotels because actually I think after a while they all get depressing. But from time to time it happens that I end up somewhere where I canโ€™t find another place to stay at at least temporarily so then I usually need to fallback to Hotels.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

sometimes itโ€™s not that easy. :slight_smile: depression isnโ€™t just about location.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

Iโ€™m another one who finds it really easy to just stay in my hole and work at the time and never leave my room so working from cafes can get me around people a bit. The only challenge Iโ€™ve got is the bathroom break issue. :slight_smile: Theft is really common where I am and I wouldnโ€™t ask a stranger to be responsible for my stuff, nor would I just leave it. But there are ways around that.

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@rbruce | 5yr

As a few others have mentioned, I like the company that comes from working in a coffee shop. Iโ€™ll work out of my room if I need some quiet, but I prefer cafes or a hostel common room for the social bit. I have earbuds for when I want to drown the noise out.

Iโ€™ll use a Kensington Lock for my laptop (even when seated), and then Iโ€™ll just take my backpack (with anything I canโ€™t lock down) to the toilet. Thieves want easy targets; hop in, hop out. Iโ€™ve even heard of laptops being stolen from my uni campus during the 5-min break during longer classes, which is what got me in the habit of locking down my laptop. :smiley:

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Iโ€™d never ask someone in a cafe to keep an eye on my stuff because how do you know that they are going to be honest? Even if they are, if someone does a quick grab and run, whatโ€™s a stranger going to do about it?

One disadvantage youโ€™ve left off your list: a group of parents arrive with their young kids. I guess it is a cultural thing as to how supervised the kids are but having a bunch of young kids running around makes the environment impossible for me to work in.

The main advantage to working in a cafe is that you have someone to serve you coffee.

An apartment with a coffee machine is the best working space for me but then Iโ€™m very sensitive to stuff going on around me. Even with noise cancelling headphones, too much busy-ness is hard for me to cope with.

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@raoot1979 | 5yr

I used to always head out to cafes but was recently a victim of No. 2. Completely unaware at the time, somebody clearly spotted me with my Macbook Pro and followed me back to the apartment, waited for me to go out and then broke in taking only the MBP. There was also an iPad, camera and other tech in the apartment, by they knew what they were after.

Iโ€™m heading off for a year soon and plan to look into co-working spaces if I need a break from hotels rooms or apartments. Iโ€™ve used a lot in London and the facilities have been great and while thereโ€™s generally a pretty relaxed policy in terms of walking in and out, iโ€™ve never felt my things werenโ€™t safe and iโ€™d definitely trust a co-worker over a random person in a cafe to watch my things while popping to the toilet.

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@grum | 5yr

For me, I need to separate work and play. Home is where I can be me without having to worry about work. When I travel, I canโ€™t always get an office, so a cafe is one of the better options. Not the best, but in most countries on this planet that are within the budget of nomads, cafes are the best youโ€™re gonna get.

  1. Yes, accidents can happen but I have spilt more drinks on my keyboard in the office than I have in a cafe. Actually, Iโ€™ve NEVER spilled a coffee on my stuff in a cafe. Shit, Iโ€™m overdue for a disaster.

  2. Thieves are everywhere. Iโ€™ve seen people have things stolen in co-working spaces as well. When you travel, you get smarter about safety and also, know how to trust people. The entire planet isnโ€™t out there to steal your tech.

  3. Remote worker cafe etiquette dictates that only dicks take calls inside cafes. You just donโ€™t do it.

  4. I always leave my stuff where it is. I trust human beings. I also secure easy-to-steal items like phones etc. A thief wants easy targets. A giant laptop isnโ€™t easy. My laptop also has an alarm on it if it is unplugged. I also ask someone to keep an eye on it when I get up. Good excuse to make a new friend.

  5. I go back to my apartment for naps. I never had a reason to sleep in an office. This comes back to the work/play separation.

Iโ€™m not saying how I live is better than others, in the end different strokes for different folks. I like to trust people and accept the fact that we all share the same planet, so no need to assume theyโ€™re all bad people. Travel insurance exists for the times you get stung and you should always backup your data for this possibility.

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Hotels are very depressing. Iโ€™d much rather prefer hostels. But to answer your question, for some reason I feel emotionally better when Iโ€™m around other people. Even though I donโ€™t know them, I feel comfortable.

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@normaldude | 5yr

[quote=โ€œInspirationfeed, post:4, topic:2828, full:trueโ€]Hotels are very depressing. Iโ€™d much rather prefer hostels. But to answer your question, for some reason I feel emotionally better when Iโ€™m around other people. Even though I donโ€™t know them, I feel comfortable.
[/quote]

I guess Iโ€™m a cynic. I like being around people, but I also assume that a certain percentage would love to swipe my laptop.

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@tfe_travel | 5yr

For me, working where I sleep makes it easy to always stay home, and isolate, and get depressed.

So, leaving the house/hotel/AirBnB is better for my mental health.

And, if I need to schedule a call I just go home to do that. Also, I always bring headphones and an EDM playlist to counteract the noise of a public space.

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@normaldude | 5yr

Interesting. Iโ€™ve always found it easier to do laptop work on my hotel desk, and then take occasional walks (along the waterfront, urban parks, flea markets, etc) for stress relief, unencumbered by a laptop.

Iโ€™m paranoid, so I just hate carrying a laptop around town. Iโ€™ve read about cases where people sat down on a park bench, got distracted for a few seconds, and next thing they know, their laptop bag is gone.

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@levelsio | 5yr

Iโ€™ve been traveling as a nomad for 2.5 years now (in Asia), and you know when I got all my stuff stolen? When I was back home in Europe for a few days:

It depends on the city you are. Most places in the world are pretty safe by now. I think parts of South America are an exception.

I donโ€™t like working in coffee shops so much because they mostly have bad ergonomics. Coworking spaces are definitely a better option for me.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

The ergonomic thing is definitely important. A bad case of RSI can really screw things up.Thanks for mention it. Iโ€™ve never used a co-working space but when I travel longer term over the next few months, Iโ€™m going to look into for that reason.

I think even if a place is safe, itโ€™s never that safe. I lived in Tokyo where people walk into a cafe, sit their wallet, phone and other valuables on cafe table then go to the counter to order. I could never do it. Even if only 1 in a million people are dodgy, thereโ€™s no saying that one of the bad ones isnโ€™t in that coffee shop.

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@raoot1979 | 5yr

Yeah, I should add my theft occurred in Europe in a very touristy Spanish resort while on a weekโ€™s holiday. Before that iโ€™d travelled and worked throughout India, Nepal, Thailand & Vietnam without any trouble.

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Read and participate in 13,931 discussions on Nomad List

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Any attorneys working remotely?


by @rohitsn | 25d 24 days ago | 3 comments

Transactional Attorney with a focus on US Immigration. Burnt out doing the law firm thing. Trying to leverage skill to get on this digital nomad tip. Love the traveling experience, hostels, seeing new places, new cocktails etc etc.

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 3mo 2 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 nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 3mo 2 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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What have been your biggest challenges working remotely in your team?


by @wanderer | 3mo 2 months ago | 2 comments

My interest in DN lifestyle started when half of our company have been taking 1 month for remote work @ Ko Samui. It was truly cool but we observed quite some communication challenges. Communication seemed just โ€œriskierโ€ when online.

What were your worst situations caused by misunderstanding while communicating online with your teammates? What do you do to avoid misunderstandings?

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 4mo 3 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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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 5mo 5 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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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 6mo 6 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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Where are the nomads in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @shellyfish | 8mo 7 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 | 8mo 7 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 | 9mo 9 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 | 9mo 9 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 | 9mo 9 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 9mo 9 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 10mo 10 months ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Best way to connect with "local" nomads using Nomadlist?


by @migueltic | 11mo 10 months ago | 4 comments

Hi, Iโ€™ve seen that Nomad List offers different options that could work for connecting with other nomads that are in the same place as me (forum, Slack, user maps, matches and maybe even more options I havenโ€™t seen), but Iโ€™m not sure what is the best/recommended way to use all these options.

Should I use all of them? Start with a message in the forum and/or Slack?

Sending private messages to a lot of people feels a little bit โ€œaggressiveโ€. And matches are not based on current location if I understood it correctly.

By the way, I just arrived at Budapest :slight_smile:

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Best American phone carrier for nomads


by @tylertringas | 11mo 10 months ago | 12 comments

Iโ€™m surprised this isnโ€™t anywhere on the forum yet. But just a pro tip for Americans about to start a nomad adventure. T-mobile offers unlimited SMS & data in 120 countries for FREE with any of their (already pretty cheap) plans. Itโ€™s ideal if you plan to be back in the US for any part of the year, but I honestly would consider it even if youโ€™re going to be entirely out of the country.

You get bumped down to much slower 3G speeds, but itโ€™s free and works as soon as you land. Can be super helpful before youโ€™ve sorted yourself out with a local SIM. I usually keep my T-mobile SIM in my iPhone all the time and then buy a local SIM and drop it in my pocket wifi for both laptop and iPhone when needed. I keep my local US number and just use it (itโ€™s like $0.05/min in most places) for important clients calls so they donโ€™t have to bother with Skype.

Iโ€™m not affiliated at all, just a happy customer. Anybody found a better deal worth mentioning?

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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 1yr 1 year ago | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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Apple TV and Netflix: Do these work for Nomads?


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

We launch in 2 weeks. In the US, we use Apple TV and Netflix regularly. Do these work abroad?

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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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Do any digital nomads travely solely by motorcycle?


by @fraserdeans | 1yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

Last summer I spent some time travelling through Thailand and Cambodia and jumped on mopeds to get around. I fell in love with them, the freedom, the ability to get off the tourist trail and see areas of a country not written about in tour books.

Recently a friend of mine cycled from London through Western Europe down to Morocco. His journey, stories and photo blog have all inspired me to see Europe by road rather than missing it all by plane.

Iโ€™ve been encouraged to do the same longer term through Europe. Next month Iโ€™m heading off to Spain to start that journey.

I was wondering if any nomads here are on similar journeys? Does anyone motorcycle between cities setting up to work for a couple weeks then moving on?

If so, have you got any advice/tips for someone just starting that journey?

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