Looking for the best country to live in as a location-independent professional or to work in as a freelance translator? There’s a big wide world out there, and more and more people are deciding to transition to working remotely in order to explore it without giving up on their professional careers.
Being free to work from anywhere is a dream many aspire to. But once you have taken the plunge, decided to leave your 9-5, and are free to live and work anywhere, how do you choose which are the best travel destinations to suit your digital nomad lifestyle? Being spoilt for choice is hardly the worst position to be in, but with so many different paradise locations to choose from it can be a little overwhelming. We’ve rounded up some of the most appealing spots to start your new life.
Checklist of requirements for the location-independent professional
Everybody’s dream of the location-independent lifestyle is different. Perhaps you imagine yourself exploring cobbled streets and eating freshly baked croissants in small French villages, or dream of rolling from your desk onto a tropical beach for surf and sun, or maybe you fantasise about exploring Norwegian fjords or the rainforests of South America. There are, however, some common criteria that many people look for in their travel locations. Let’s take a look at the most popular:
- sunshine; ideally temperatures averaging above 23 degrees year round
- sand, sea, and surf or luscious views and clean country air
- a low cost of living, to be able to cover food, drink, board, and bills for under £1000 per month
- a strong Wi-Fi connection
- a telecommuter community, co-working spaces, or cafes where you will find other location-independent workers
Extra attractions that might entice you
As if you needed any more convincing to take the leap, these are some other factors that remote workers claim are some of the highlights of their job:
- access to watersports and other outdoor activities
- opportunities to learn new skills, like yoga or cooking in stunning locations
- new cultures and delicious food to explore
- mind-opening adventures with friendly locals and like-minded travellers
- the chance to learn (and practise) a new language
Narrowing down your priorities will help you decide on the best location for you, but let us give you a bit more inspiration…
Our selection of the best spots for location-independent workers
We’ve selected eight stunning locations that will inspire anyone to take up the remote-working lifestyle, take a look:
1. Mexico – Puerto Escondido
If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, Puerto Escondido, which translates as ‘Hidden Port’, lives up to its name as it is largely undiscovered by outsiders. With a relaxed vibe, this stunning surf spot is well equipped to support the needs of location-independent workers who crave an active lifestyle and time on the beach.
2. Columbia – Medellín
Dubbed ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, Medellín boasts a very desirable climate. This vibrant city offers the best of both worlds; due to its popularity among digital nomads it’s equipped with all the facilities you will need, such as co-working spaces, but it also offers opportunities to explore its history, mingle with locals and expats alike, and sample the wonderful local culture.
3. Thailand – Chiang Mai
With its many islands and tempting beaches, it’s difficult to choose just one area of Thailand to recommend but there’s no doubt that Chiang Mai is a favourite amongst location-independent professionals the world over. With a cheap cost of living, delicious food, and fast internet speeds, you’ll want for nothing during your time there. The city is also surrounded by mountains and greenery with easy access to beaches; what more could you ask for?!
4. Philippines – Cebu
For English speakers, Cebu is a great option as English is one of the official languages. Surrounded by idyllic beaches, offering wonderful trekking opportunities and with great nightlife with the famously friendly locals, Cebu is the gift that keeps on giving.
5. Malaysia – Penang
Penang is the perfect spot for all the foodies out there. Offering a wide variety of cultural influences from surrounding countries, and a good selection of cafes with free Wi-Fi to work from, as well as well-equipped co-working spaces, Penang has become popular among the digital nomad set, and for good reason.
6. Indonesia – Bali – Ubud
Ubud’s affordability is certainly one of its main attractions, allowing many remote workers to live in the kind of places they could only dream of in their own country. But this town has so much more to give. With stunning scenery, fascinating local culture, and delicious dishes to try, it’s no wonder it’s a popular spot for relocation. Although internet connections are not always strong in public places, fibre optic is pretty common in homes and phone data plans are cheap enough to make tethering a realistic option for when you’re out and about.
7. Ecuador – Quito
With an idyllic year-round climate and incredible views within the city itself (not surprising considering that it’s the highest capital city in the world and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!), Quito is certainly worthy of a place on this list. The city is one of the most affordable capitals in South America and has that all-important reliable internet connection.
Known as the Adventure Sports Capital of the Caribbean, Cabarete is the ideal island if you have a love of surfing, kitesurfing, or scuba diving. With a variety of yoga classes and cafes to work from, all directly on the beautiful beach – which lights up at night for dinner and music – living and working in Cabarete really feels like a dream come true.
Take that leap, you won’t regret it
We hope that this shortlist had given you some inspiration for your new life. Have you got any hot tips about these destinations or suggestions for other locations we should check out? Let us know!
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