"How did you choose your next destination?" – This is one recurrent question that our entourage always asks us. Some digital nomads are more flexible than others, as this is part of the charm of having a nomadic lifestyle. Max and I are often talking about "where to go next" and in some ways, I find it extremely exciting - maybe even is the best part of being a digital nomad. But we cannot live everywhere. This is the big difference between "going" and "living". There are lots of places where we would love to travel to but when it comes to choosing our next place to live in, there are many criteria that we have to take into consideration.
Max regularly checks out NomadList, a fantastic community that features the best cities to live in and work from as a Digital Nomad, based on cost of living, internet speed, weather and many many more metrics.
I always prefer to explore a country I have never been to before. But if I had to go back to the same country, I'd much rather prefer to choose a new city or region. We are more inclined to travel to places we've loved but discovering a new one can be incredibly exciting.
Max and I both have bucket lists and travel dreams we would love to fulfil. Those go from shark cage diving in Australia to exploring Antartica or riding a motorcycle through the Mongolian desert. However, unfortunately none of those travel dreams can truly be combined with the nomad lifestyle. Well, at least not whilst working full-time like we do. But it is still possible to get closer to those.
Having lived in Europe for a very long time, we know the seasons: from the rainy ones to the cold ones, and of course the sunny evenings. I never thought I'd be affected by the weather. But hey, life under the sun is much more beautiful and enjoyable.
It might be obvious but it’s rule number one for any digital nomad: the internet connection must be working reliably. You’ll be surprised to know that whilst internet in Nepal was fairly cheap, it was quite expensive in Australia. Then some the Philippines are better to be avoided if like us you're relying on a constantly working connection to the world wide web.
It goes without saying that if your travel destination is low cost, your quality of life often gets better. We believe that the more time you are going to stay in the place you've chosen, the better it is to choose a low cost one. Asia is definitely one great destination as the average living costs for digital nomads are clearly cheaper but if you’re more into Europe, you might definitely want to look into countries such as Portugal, Spain, Greece, Croatia and Hungary.
One important criteria for me when choosing a destination is wether I can walk the city by myself. I want to live in a place where I feel like home and am free to move around as I please. I need to feel secure. There are quite a few countries I’d love to discover and live in but feel it would be difficult as a woman. So don't only choose a destination because of the beautiful photos you've seen online, make sure to look into things such as the geopolitical situation of a country.
Some countries require more bureaucracy than others, and some allow you to stay longer than others too. Choose wisely. Checking out the working and holidays visas might be a good option if you want to work and travel in the country within a period of time no longer than 12 months. Canada for example offered it and the country is huge enough to be able to change location every two months.
Digital Nomad Scene
We have no problems talking to people and making new friends in a coffee shop, a fitness club, or language courses… But beyond that, being in a location that’s known to host digital nomad meetups helps a lot.
So check out the digital hubs before making a decision. There are more and more co-working and co-living spaces such as Roam or WeWork popping up around the world. And those places are simply great for making new friends, talk projects and business.
It's always worth checking out Workfrom.co as those guys make it incredibly easy to find new spots to… you guessed it, work from.
Max has this thing for finding the perfect gem on Airbnb. He has a list of many places we would love to stay at. Quite the opposite of me, he would loves to stay in a remote place, somewhere in the woods or in the middle of rice fields as long as the place is well-designed and pleasant to work from.
As mentioned above, internet connectivity is always the #1 criteria for us. If a place doesn't have a working internet connection, it unfortunately simply is a no-go for us.
In terms of finding the places we stay at, about 90% of the time, on Airbnb. Sometimes also on Booking.com, but that usually best for our weekend getaways when we head out exploring and take a break from work. If we head over to a place like Bali, we often book an Airbnb for the first month and then look for a place on-site.
Long story short
Let's face it, it isn't always easy to find the right destination nor place but that's simply part of the exciting adventure of being a digital nomad!