We live in a global community. Now more than ever before, it’s possible to pack up your life, get on a plane and jet off to live in a completely different country. Travellers are finding more innovative ways to support themselves while on the road, from securing remote positions in international companies to finding freelance clients online.
Remote working refers to any job where you can complete your assigned tasks while away from a conventional work environment and with the rise of the internet has become a fantastic option for those of us who live with incurable wanderlust.
These five countries are some of the best worldwide that offer a booming expat community and are great places for nomads of all kinds to lay down their hat for a while.
This wonderfully unique island has been attracting backpackers, wanderers and travellers of every type for a long time. Offering spectacular scenery and endless opportunities to get out and explore the famed outback and Australian bush, the country’s many vibrant cities are a fantastic choice for digital nomads.
While this is by far the most expensive option on the list, one benefit is Australia is an English-speaking country, so it’s easy to find additional work. Many bars offer one-off shift work to travellers, or you can get involved in the country’s massive agricultural scene by doing some farm work and really explore the most rural reaches of this vast landmass. The latter is now a requirement for those wanting to apply for their second-year visa while living there.
China is one of the few countries on our planet that hasn’t been completely overrun with the tourist trade yet. The hardiest of travellers often opt to settle down in this exotic and unique country when deciding to live abroad. If you’re a cultural traveller, this is definitely one for you. The Chinese way of life is so detached from anything in the West that living here can sometimes make you feel like you’re on a whole other planet.
There is a word of warning if you’re planning to work online in China however. The Communist government puts strict restrictions on their internet, meaning very few social media or news sites can be accessed. You can easily get around this, like most of the population does, by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), but it’s a good thing to know before arriving.
Long been a favourite for retirees from further north in Europe, Spain’s expat scene is becoming younger and more hip with every day that passes. For those who love a good night out, almost nowhere on the planet beats the party islands such as Ibiza or Magaluf, and Spain’s late-night lifestyle is perfect for sociable travellers.
Barcelona is becoming a favourite with young nomads, with low rent and cost of living, great weather and a beach in walking distance more than fulfilling the requirements for most. Or for those looking for a more culturally authentic experience, heading down south to Andalucía offers picturesque countryside, quaint villages and a real taste of Spain.
One of the biggest backpacking hotspots in the world right now is Bangkok, Thailand. It is a doorway to Southeast Asia, and endless young travellers touch down here every day to begin their adventure. Because of this, the city has developed one of the most thriving and relevant digital nomad communities anywhere in the world.
It’s a great place to meet like-minded people who are pursuing the same lifestyle and with whom you can share tips on how to get work and support yourself on the road. To help with this, there’s a fantastic web resource called Find a Nomad that lets you link up with fellow remote workers nearby. Alongside this, the many famed Thai islands, such as Koh Tao and Koh Phi, offer the perfect respite trips for your downtime.
Eastern Europe is quickly rising to international fame as one of the best up-and-coming destinations around. Budapest has seen a massive hike in tourism over recent years and for good reason. The city oozes history, culture and life, and the Hungarian people are some of the most hospitable I’ve ever come across.
Enjoying this place before mass tourism takes over is truly a must. Before long, Budapest is bound to lose its authentic charm and become overrun with eager holidaymakers. As it stands, the cost of living is still fantastically low, and it’s easy to find somewhere to stay for a reasonable price. There is a considerable lack of free WiFi spots in the city, but this just means you’ll have to spend more time working at home and focus on soaking up the experience when out and about.
These are five of my favourite countries to be a nomad, but the beauty of travelling is about uncovering hidden gems you don’t know about. So if you can think of any other places that deserve a spot on this list, then please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas!
About the Author: Cassie is a digital nomad and writer who is proud to combine her two greatest loves: travel and technology. She enjoys writing about how technology makes her life as a remote worker and traveller easier. She hopes these remote worker-friendly countries will inspire you to take the plunge into the digital nomad life.