Digital Nomad – Best Places to Live & Work Remotely
I’ve reached 4 years living as a Digital Nomad Videographer. I thought it would be a great time to share my the best places to live & work remotely as a Digital nomad. Most of these locations I have lived for a month or longer shooting footage, living as a local, and working out of co-work spaces. Let’s begin.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a great starting point for many digital nomads. The blend of affordability, hot weather, the friendly and open nomad community, fun factor, friendly thai people, ease of finding accommodation and places to work, and entrepreneurial spirit are the ingredients for the digital nomad to start and take it to the next level. It’s why I’ve made Chiang Mai my home for the past 2 years. However, its great to experience other destinations. The burning season in February – April is a good chance to do that. What are some other locations beyond Chiang Mai to live as a digital nomad. Find out more
tip: Avoid February – April just before the Songkran water festival to avoid the burning season
Penang, Malaysia is known as a food paradise and with the opening of @Cat co-work space it now has all the ingredients to give Chiang Mai a run for it’s money. It is offers a friendly 3 tourist month visa, fresh ocean air, a better and cheaper co-work space than Chiang Mai, amazing food diversity, safety, and the interesting heritage area of Georgetown. Learn more about Penang
tip: Bring a friend or 2 along to share the cost of a 2 or 3 bedroom condo and hang out with. It’s a bit harder to meet like-minded people .
Canggu, Bali is a developing surfer beach town and Digital nomad hub with a young surfer and hipster crowd. If you’re tired of the Northern Sausage party of nomads in Chiang Mai it will be a refreshing change to see a large population of female digital nomads in Canggu. The scene centers around the beautiful Dojo co-work space at echo beach. Bali is a beautiful place to live as a digital nomad with beautiful people, inspiring nature, and awesome healthy western food and an ocean lifestyle.
Taipei is an overlooked gem in Asia, but I’m a gem hunter and I’ve fortunate to have lived in Taipei for 2 years learning chinese and getting my online business off the ground. It is one of the more developed cities on this list, but still offers affordability. The Asian food is some of the best in the world especially the dumplings and beef noodles, Internet and transport infrastructure is world class, there is lots to do, and it’s a great travel hub into Japan and Korea. Read more about it here.
Many people overlook Bangkok as a place to live as a local. Once you change your mindset from a tourist to a digital nomad and armed with some local insider information Bangkok is a very livable city for the Digital nomad. If offers probably the best selection of world-class co-work spaces I’ve seen anywhere in the world at lower prices than Chiang Mai. It offers a public train system, modern shopping malls, cheap massages, great food, many events, and a happening night life. Find out more here
Capetown, South Africa
South Africa is where I grew up so I always have a connection to the country. For the Digital nomad Capetown is a a beautiful destination in South Africa and a bit safer than Johannesburg. Capetown is blessed with beautiful beachs and the mountain backdrop of Table Mountain and Signal hill. The western food, wines and indulgences are world class and affordable. I recommend trying the beef Biltong, visiting Camps Bay beach, and the wineries of Constantia. The co-work space scene and Internet situation does not compare to Asia in terms of reliability and affordability, but there is a space called Workshop 17 at the V & A waterfront if you want to try the experience. I wrote a book on my Travel filming adventure “A tourist in my Motherland”in Johannesburg, Capetown, and Kruger National Park. It’s filled with gems and travel tips and is a great read for the plane if you plan to visit South Africa.
How do you become a digital nomad?
rganic communities are the strongest and the environment is most favorable to meeting other like-minded people at co-work spaces or events. Good wifi, cheap costs, and weather and all of those things are on the https://nomadlist.com/. If you can consistently earn $1000-2000 US a month while living in Thailand you are on your way. After you gain more momentum it is safer to explore and venture out to more destinations.
How much does a digital nomad make
It is hard to say. You could be doing remote work as a programmer for a western company earning 50-100k US. Especially when you are starting out and relying on some savings it is normal to start from ground zero. If you are relying on passive income it can be unstable and take time to build up. Stock footage earnings & online instructors can range from $100 US to $6000 US. If you are freelancing for clients you can earn from $400-5000 US per client depending on the project and the type of work you are doing, but then you need to find the next client. To be realistic your early years you could be earning from $100-$5k US, Year 2 could be from 10-20k, year 3 could be 20-50k. It's really up to the individual as there are no salary limitations. I've found through through time you increase your knowledge, skills, and the pattern has been increased earnings. There isn't the stability of a job if unless you have a retainer or are remote working for a company. There are also a lot of hidden expenses that come with travel. If you're a programmer It would be out of the ordinary to earn $100,000 US
Where do digital nomads live?
Chiang Mai Thailand and Bali Indonesia have the strongest organic communities, but as you gain more experience you may learn about other suitable locations such as Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, and Danang Vietnam.
What do digital nomads pack?
A laptop, backpack, passport with lots of pages and smartphone are bare essentials. As a Creator Videographer I pack a lot more gear for videography such as a drone, camera, lenses, audio gear, and tripod. I also like my comforts so I pack a coffee travel french press, several types of shoes, shirts, tennis racket and more. It's up to the individual at that point.
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