The internet has made it possible for freelancers, remote workers, and digital nomads of all stripes to work from anywhere in the world. Since working remotely means you’re not chained to the office and can work on your tasks from wherever, it’s easier than ever before to pack up and go anywhere you like, as long as there’s a good internet connection and something to do on the weekends.
You could be home today, in Australia next week, and then in China next month – kind of like a working holiday. So, if you’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug, why not take advantage of this incredible opportunity and travel to your heart’s content, while working on the go?
There are plenty of places in the world that are very freelancer-friendly, so you’ll not only find reliable Wi-Fi, but also a community of like-minded individuals. These seven 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.
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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.
If you do a quick search on the best places to live in as a remote worker, you’ll notice that list after list gushes about Indonesia, and for very good reasons. Indonesia is breathtakingly beautiful, and for someone who wants to feel like they’re on holiday while they’re working, this may just be the ideal location. The waters are blue, the weather is gorgeous, the food is interesting, and it’s got a suitably low cost of living to make it feasible for a traveller to settle here for a while.
Indonesia is an amazing pick, because it not only offers exquisite sights for everyday living and working, but also some pretty special weekend attractions, as well – temples, statues, beaches, and wildlife spotting are just a few of the things you can enjoy in your free time. The internet speed isn’t shabby either, and there’s a larger digital nomad community here than you’d think, so you’re all set.
There’s more to Mexico than just going to Tijuana for a bachelor party or visiting on holiday. It’s an expansive, beautiful country with a great nightlife and plenty to offer a young digital nomad, from the most delicious street food anyone’s ever tasted to lively music, welcoming people and a great attitude towards life.
In fact, factoring in all that, the excellent internet speed, the weather, plus the incredibly low cost of living, it’s really surprising that more remote workers aren’t flocking to Mexico, especially from the United States. Where else can one find better, more authentic Tequila? Not to mention the incredible history and culture Mexico has to offer – Mayan ruins and temples are just the start of it. Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn, so download Duolingo and start practicing if you think Mexico sounds like your kind of place.
These are just seven of the most nomad-friendly countries in the world. We’re in a privileged position where we can work from anywhere, so why not take advantage and travel to the most exotic and amazing places? It’s an excellent opportunity to discover new and exciting places and have some unique experiences. But these are far from being the only places where it’s worth stopping, 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.