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Six Perfect Escapes for Digital Nomads

Six Perfect Escapes for Digital Nomads
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Thanks to technological breakthroughs in communications and internet access, working remotely has become a fairly accepted practice in many workplaces both in the United States and globally. Virtual offices are no longer associated with progressive startups. A variety of traditional employers are now offering flexible work arrangements in their quest to retain top talent that is increasingly attracted to flexibility rather than traditional corporate roles that they may find too stifling.

Nomadic remote workers and freelancers have been looking for new bases. While some turn to coffee shops or co-working spaces, more and more individuals want to see the world while employed and productive and search for travel destinations, where sunny weather and fast Wi-Fi can allow to combine work and pool time.

No matter what you job situation is, whether you are trading cryptocurrency or writing a blog on blockchain technology, if you are sitting on your couch with a cup of coffee and your laptop but long for exciting experiences and far-away destinations, our list of places where to live abroad is definitely for you.

COSTA RICA

Why it is Great

One of the longest running democracies in Latin America, Costa Rica with its laid-back lifestyle and dedication to “pura vida” (pure life) is an easy choice for US and other Western expatriates, seeking safety and stability. Costa Rica has a warm climate year round allowing for a variety of outdoor activities, from horse riding and hiking to sailing and surfing. This tropical Central American country boasts pristine sandy beaches, think forests and majestic volcanos, and is home to the greatest biodiversity in the world. Costa Rica’s commitment to ecotourism has turned into the country’s competitive advantage and is appealing to those who are interested in sustainability.

Diverse wildlife is one of Costa Rica’s attractions. Image: Peninsula Papagayo

Where to Go

About 50,000 North American expats live in Costa Rica permanently. These expat communities are the strongest in the Central Valley, Gold Coast and a little in the Southern Zone. Towns like Jacó, Tamarindo, Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal, Escazu, Atenas, Grecia, and Puerto Viejo are most popular.

Cost of Living

Costa Rica is quite affordable, but can fluctuate based on one’s lifestyle. Many American, Canadian and European expats spend much less there on day-to-day expenses than they do at home. A single person can live on $1,400-$1,700 a month. This includes housing, food, transportation, medical care, utilities, and entertainment. Unless you want a luxury residence on Peninsula Papagayo, real estate is generally more affordable in Costa Rica compared to the same style homes in North America.

COLOMBIA

What Makes It Great

Medellin’s new stylish and affordable metrocables integrated the city’s poorest neighborhoods with its wealthier commercial center. Image credit: Procolombia

While many people still associate Colombia with drug lords and crime, its turbulent past is best left to history. Today’s Colombia is a heaven for expats. One of the main attractions is excellent and affordable healthcare, including Colombia’s specialty – world-famous plastic and regenerative surgeries. Lifestyle in Colombia is slower-paced and more fun than in countries like the United States. Famous for dancing and partying a lot, Colombian people are warm and welcoming.   

Where to Go

If you like warm spring-like weather year round, Medellin is a place to go. This sophisticated city is famous for its innovative and sustainable urban design, museums, delicious food, and booming fashion industry. Medellin is located in the valley surrounded by green mountain scenery. Considered one of the economic centers of the country, it is also home to key regional events such as ColombiaModa and Feria de Flores.

Every August, Feria de Las Flores (Flower Festival) in Medellin hosts a week of festivities including the famous parade of silleteros. Image: www.feriadeflores.com

Cost of Living

It is possible to live quite a lavish lifestyle in Medellin on a budget ranging from $1,200 to 1,600 a month. It is quite affordable to live in one of the top neighborhoods in the city, eat out, and have a cleaning lady.

PORTUGAL

Porto, Portugal old town skyline from Dom Luis bridge on the Douro River.

What Makes It Great

Portugal has been on every adventurous traveler’s list for at least a decade. This small European country is famous for its scenic coastline and historical heritage. Portugal’s moderate climate makes it a year-round vacation destination. The country has good healthcare and offers low-cost old-world living. The locals are friendly and welcoming.

Where to Go

Depending on one’s taste, Lisbon is a great place with all that a big European city has to offer. There are plenty of other places to pick in Portugal, from Porto in the North to little low-key towns next to surfing beach destinations.

Cost of Living

Portugal is probably the most reasonably priced Western European country and it offers comfortable living standards to expats. Rents can start as long as $375 a month for a one or even a two-bedroom apartment. Groceries and eating out is cheap. A couple can live comfortable in Portugal’s smaller cities from about $1,700 a month, including rent. It’s a little more expensive to live in Lisbon: a couple’s budget here starts at about $2,200 a month and of course you can easily spend more. If you are single, think 2/3 of this budget.

THAILAND

Wat Mahathat Temple in the precinct of Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand.

What Makes It Great

Thailand has plenty to offer to visitors and expats alike. The country has gorgeous beaches and diving spots, wildlife, and lots of exciting daytime adventures and fun nightlife. The food is delicious and diverse, with cuisine changing as visitors venture from one city to the next. There is something about Thai people that visitors find endearing: it could be the nation’s overall chill and friendly vibe. Thailand’s hospitals are considered to be best in the region. Travel in the country is cheap and different modes of transportation are readily available. Thailand is also a major travel hub for the region, allowing to explore Southeast Asia.

Where to Go

There are many places in Thailand that expats choose to call home, from Bangkok – a big bustling city –  to smaller places and communities. Places like Chiang Mai offer a low cost of living paired with culture and amazing food.

Cost of Living

Thailand has a vibrant expat community, but it differs from city to city along with cost of living. The digital nomads can live on about $600 a month in Chiang Mai. Many people move to Thailand because they need to lower their cost of living to match their spending with their online income.

SPAIN

Spanish cities boast beautiful architecture, from Gothic to Modernista style like Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. Image: architecturedigest.com

What Makes It Great

Spain is a comfortable place to move to: the weather is great, beaches are beautiful and the living standards are high. As a western European country it offers comfort and ease of getting things done, and a good healthcare system. Foodies love it in Spain, because food is fresh, delicious and inexpensive.

Where to Go

Spain is full of incredible places to live. Many are attracted by the warm South and settle in places like Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso. Others stick to bigger Spanish cities with vibrant culture and arts scene.

Cost of Living

Depending on your lifestyle, a couple could live on $20,000 per year. Eating out is very affordable. One could easily live off tasty local beer and tapas – little snacks which can be anything from olives to sliders.

REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA

Skyline of Tbilisi and Narikala Castle, Republic of Georgia

What Makes It Great

Republic of Georgia is a small mountainous country next to the Black Sea neighboring Russia. Georgia prides itself on its reputation of a democratic nation with progressive, western values. Indeed, it is one of the few democracies in the post-Soviet space and has recently elected a female president – first country to do so in the Caucasus region. The country’s government has been very supportive of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Georgia is also famous for its high-quality wines and local hospitality. The food here is delicious, from pies filled with cheese to dumplings and grilled meats.

Where to Move

Tbilisi, the capital and the largest city of Georgia, attracts many visitors and expats. While it may be attractive to live in an older apartment reminiscent of the Soviet times, it is a good idea to rent an apartment in a newly built apartment complex for convenience. Weekend getaways can allow one to travel all around the country and the region.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Georgia is relatively low and can range from $900 a month to $1,500 a month for those staying short-term and mostly eating out. Georgian food is affordable and the wine, considered a staple by Georgians, is cheap.

Maria Birger