The best thing about living in the digital age is the potential freedom on offer. No longer are we confined to the office—working abroad is more popular than ever before. The world is our playground, and all we have to do is make it happen.
Digital nomadism is hot right now. So hot, in fact, there will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035 according to serial entrepreneur Pieter Levels.
I did it. They did it. You can do it too.
Once you've started a successful business (I became a full-time travel blogger), then comes the fun part: deciding where to live. The world is a big place and your destination could be anywhere.
Here are some of the most popular locations for travel bloggers and digital nomads. Each has its pros and cons, which means there is no “perfect” place to settle down.
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand — For the Chilled Out Travel Blogger
Pros: Chiang Mai is the very definition of chilled out and is well set up for travel bloggers. Its plethora of coffee shops and co-working spaces make it easy get work done and the weather never gets too cold.
It is also a great springboard for exploring other parts of northern Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam when you have a few spare days.
Oh, and Thai food is a real winner.
Cons: There isn’t a raucous nightlife here (if this is what you’re looking for, head to Bangkok) and the air pollution can get pretty bad at times.
2. Cusco, Peru — For the Spiritual Travel Blogger
Pros: With the Sacred Valley as a backdrop, Cusco is unfathomably picturesque. The city is home to yogis and spiritual wanderers from all over the world exploring the healing powers of ayahuasca and connecting with Pacha Mama.
One of Cusco’s main selling points is that it is really, really cheap. There are two big markets that serve delicious food for just a dollar or two.
Cons: The WiFi in Cusco can be unreliable and the altitude (3,300m) can cause problems at the start for some people.
3. Budapest, Hungary — For the Cosmopolitan Travel Blogger
Pros: If you want to work abroad somewhere that still has all the comforts you are used to at home then Budapest could be the one. It is a modern, bustling city, steeped in history and boasting spectacular architecture.
Budapest is also incredibly affordable, with beer costing a dollar and a decent meal around $5-7.
Cons: As a Schengen zone country, there are some bureaucratic hurdles you need to jump over if you want to live and work abroad here.
4. Ubud, Bali — For the Healthy Travel Blogger
Pros: With lush rice paddies and never-ending sunshine, Ubud is a dream come true for nature loving digital nomads and travel bloggers. It is the perfect venue for jogging or yoga outside and the food is as healthy as the layout. Expect lots of light, delicious, and, most importantly, cheap food while you're here.
Cons: The WiFi isn’t the best here and there are LOTS of tourists.
5. Berlin, Germany: For the Hipster Travel Blogger
Pros: It doesn’t get edgier than Berlin. There’s a new art exhibition or artisanal coffee house on every corner and the young people all dress in black and look mysterious. It’s cooler than cool and has everything you would expect from a capital city.
Despite being a capital with a great buzz, sensational nightlife and plethora of eateries, the living cost in Berlin can be delightfully low if you know how to look for rentals. That's because rents are government-controlled to make them affordable for the struggling artists Berlin attracts. It's quite common to be able to find a flat (with flatmates) in the 300-400 Euro range.
Cons: Although cheaper than London or Paris, Berlin is expensive compared with Asia or Latin America. Also, for some, German food doesn’t win much praise.
We second Jeremy's citation of Chiang Mai. It is reputed to be the home of the most travel bloggers on the planet! We lived there off and on for 2.5-years. Chiang Mai meets our price/performance (bang for the buck) ratio for excellence and is a great place to live. See our story below for more information.
There are lots of spots around town with pretty good Wi-Fi for the aspiring blogger! If you like banging away at your computer among crowds while you shop, stop by the Promenda Mall. On the top floor you'll find a coffee shop and a semi-conference room size open area with bay seating at tables. That's one place where you'll find groups of bloggers in Chiang Mai. The mall is home to some great restaurants and on the border of the most upscale area in town — Neimenheimen. And while you're there, if you need to do so, you can update your visa with immigration.
You can read more of Jeremy's adventures on his travel site: TravelFreak.net