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Sunday, 01 September 2019

Top Six Affordable Places for Digital Nomads to Live and Work Overseas

Written by Kat Kalashian
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With the global boom in internet access throughout the last couple of decades, the world’s job industries have been reinvented. No longer are we tied to desks—or even cities.
Digital nomads (DNs) are limited only by their own imagination and work ethic. A good living can be made doing any number of things in the online world, including writing, graphic design, accounting, photography, marketing, advertising, social media management, and so much more.

But being a DN is so much more than just a way to make money, it’s a lifestyle in itself. We revel in our freedom, are subject to no dress code, office politics, work hours, or even work days. If we want to take a Monday off to go surfing or visit a museum, we can. Fixed schedules mean nothing, so long as the work gets done. Plus, many are able to leverage a time difference in their favor, thanks to employer and employee working in different time zones, which is often the case.

Global connectivity means that many careers have become untethered and many of us can now work from anywhere in the world no matter what it is we do… internet access providing.
Of course, internet speed shouldn’t be all you look for… Affordability of lifestyle is another factor to keep in mind. There is no shortage of cheap places to live in the world… but many don’t offer the level of infrastructure and serviced needed to maintain an online work life or comfortable home life.

So how do we digital nomads go about finding a new home that suits our needs—namely a decent infrastructure and a desirable lifestyle at a cost that isn’t prohibitive?

The best places for a digital nomad have a few things in common… paramount, of course, is a fast and stable internet network. Low cost of living, cultural attractions, good weather (whatever that is for you), and availability of co-working spaces also top the list for most.

The following destinations offer a high quality of life—similar to or even better than “back home,” and, more importantly, boast the infrastructure needed for a DN to get their work done without missing a beat.

1. Portugal

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The cost of living has prevented most European locations from becoming true digital nomad havens. Despite the fast internet, beautiful buildings, and vibrant nightlife, prices have kept the nomads away.

Portugal, however, bucks the trend. The country manages to combine affordable cost of living with an excellent Old World lifestyle. With tons of history, beautiful architecture, delectable Mediterranean cuisine, and fast internet, this is quickly becoming a DN haven.

Lisbon in particular has an active nomad community, with an abundance of bustling co-working spaces (many of which offer the first day free). Here, you’ll need about $1,500 per month to live a basic but comfortable life. With an extra $500 a month, you’d be living quite well.

Restaurants aren’t expensive and there is lots of fresh seafood available year-round. Grab a coffee for under 60 cents and the famous pasteis de nata (a custard pastry) for a euro and you’re set for breakfast.

Rental apartments can be found for under 500 euros a month, but alternative housing is gaining popularity quickly throughout Portugal. The northern city of Porto has come up with a concept called islhas (islands). A courtyard space will have several small houses, all with the same main entrance door, usually in the back of the house conglomeration—known as palacetes, house palaces. These are super affordable, often just a couple hundred euros a month.

One of Lisbon’s many claims to fame is having one of the best climates in Europe. The “White City” benefits from more hours of sunshine than most of Europe’s other major cities, and when things get too hot, you can always rely on a cooling Atlantic breeze. Temperatures fall during the winter but still remain mild.

You’ll never run out of things to do in Lisbon… restaurants to discover down every quiet street… a thriving cultural scene with opera houses and theaters… live music across the city… quirky bars… historic monuments…

With beaches close to the city center, nomads can take full advantage of their time off (and, unlike many city beaches, these are award-winningly clean and unpolluted).

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Last modified on Friday, 06 September 2019

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