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Where Should I Go? Choosing a Work Location as a Digital Nomad

Here’s a guest post with a few great tips for choosing a work location as a digital nomad (after you’ve discovered a career that gives you that flexibility). Thank you JD for your contribution.

Digital nomads are people capable of making a living from anywhere in the world. All they need is a laptop and internet connection to get their work done.

Digital nomads get to enjoy a sense a freedom that many other workers envy. They are free to explore the world at their leisure. Of course, it’s not all fun and games. They must learn to balance several hours of work with traveling, finding lodging, and taking in the sights of a new location.

Finding a new location to visit can be one of the tougher aspects – after securing a career that can support the digital nomad lifestyle. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration, such as:

  • Internet Connectivity
  • Scenic Surroundings
  • Cost of Living
  • Crime Rate
  • Spoken Language

Following is a closer look at a few things to consider when choosing a work location as a digital nomad.

Are you able to connect?

Working as a digital nomad requires a stable internet connection. Just as the traditional worker requires gas to commute to work, the digital worker requires a connection to the internet to get to their job. Internet connections are more widely available than ever before, but finding a stable connection can be surprisingly difficult at times.

A digital nomad should not make the assumption that just because a region is heavily populated that capable internet connections will be readily available. Researching the local area before traveling should yield details regarding internet availability.

An even better solution is to bring a mobile SIM device that connects to the computer via USB. The ITU states that more than 95 percent of the global population now has basic mobile-cellular service. This can be used for an internet connection with a USB dongle when Wi-Fi is not available.

Is the scenery inspirational?

Many digital nomads work in creative positions such as writers, photographers, web designers, and graphic artists. Even those who don’t work in a field that relies heavily on creativity still benefit from sources of inspiration. One of the great things about traveling abroad is seeing new and beautiful scenery that can lead to motivation and inspiration.

Inspiration might be hard to find for the nomad tucked away in a hostel without much beauty nearby. They may choose to stay at a certain place because of the competitive pricing only to realize that their lack of inspiration is costing them money because it is slowing them down.

Digital nomads should take a moment to look at pictures of the general location, places they might be staying, and to check the weather for that period of time. Such beautiful scenery might not help much if they are trapped inside because of heavy rains.

Will communication be difficult?

Chances are, a digital nomad will visit quite a few countries where they do not speak the local language. This itself is not a bad thing, but it can certainly slow things down and make it difficult to stay for any extended period of time.

A little bit of research can reveal the primary languages of the region. For English speaking nomads, there are plenty of foreign countries where English is a primary language. For example, Belize is a country in Central America where English is one of the primary languages. This also offers an opportunity to learn additional languages spoken in the same region without entirely leaving your comfort zone.

What else should you consider?

The cost of living and the safety of a particular area should both be considered before choosing your next location. Many foreign countries have a lower cost of living than America, but only if the nomad lives somewhat according to the lifestyle of the locals. Buying goods that need to be imported will spike up the bill considerably.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, a digital nomad can find the ideal location for the next visit. A place where they can be connected to the internet, where they can enjoy some communication with the locals, and where they can draw inspiration from their surroundings.

Guest post by JD Stratis, a debt-reduction specialist and successful business operator. He owns a site, WillowbrookCredit.ca  which is dedicated to finding solutions for people experiencing credit problems.

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Rob

Rob is enthusiastic about everything related to money and investing. A financial analyst and instructor, he enjoys using what he’s learned from 10 years of studying business and money to help others achieve financial stability. He founded Money Nomad in 2014!

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14 Comments

  1. Rob,

    great points. I would add “Visa”.

    Some country will let you stay one month, some 3 months and some even 6 months with some US$50.

    Moving too much can take you away from your tasks.

    1. That’s a great point to add! Visas can play a key role in determining where you will stay and for how long. I made the mistake of booking airfare to Costa Rica 97 days apart, when the limit to be in the country is 90. So, we have to make a 3 day escape to Panama in order to make sure that we keep ourselves legal.

  2. Aside from the ones indicated above, I say food is something that digital nomads need to consider especially if they travel to another country where what they usually eat aren’t present. I really don’t mind eating delicacies and I will entertain foods that I don’t usually come across with.

    1. You’re right Alan. I’ve definitely learned that the hard way – even though I’m not a hardcore foodie. However, if you have refined tastes or a need for variety, a little research is important! I spent a year in the Marshall Islands and we certainly didn’t have a lot of variety (on our budgets). Thanks for sharing!

    1. It can definitely make it tricky. However, most places these days have internet and phone connectivity. What I’ve realized works well is to stick to a location longer-term. Rather than trying to be in a new city every couple of days, spend a couple of weeks, or even months somewhere. This allows you to really integrate, experience the tourist activities, and still have time to work!

  3. If I had that kind a job, I would travel all around the world and, eventually decide where I’ve liked it the best, of all the places I’ve visited 😀
    But, a true nomad never settles down 😉

  4. I like your tips on picking up on the opportunities. I enjoy reading most of your posts, and thank you for bringing them to us.

    1. Thanks Jerry! It’s great having readers who enjoy the content and are as involved as you. Feel free to reach out if there’s any specific questions you may have on the digital nomad lifestyle.

      Enjoy your day!

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