Imagine a world where offices have no cubicles and board rooms. The world is your office. With the ability to pack up and make their office anywhere in the world, remote worker have a lot of perks… especially for those of us who have a passion for travel. For Dame Travelers who are dreaming of adopting the nomadic lifestyle, we’ve collected a list of eleven things to look for when deciding your home-base as a digital nomad (or at least, “home” for a little while!)
Finding your dream home-base location but then finding out you can only stay a week or two is the worst! So, be sure to look into visa options. After all, it won’t help to make a dream-list of locations to live in when you’re completely unable to get a visa. For some nationalities, this is not the easiest to attain… and for others, it’s as simple as pie.
Check online consulate and see if you are required to apply for a specific visa and how long you are able to stay. Look into other ex-pats and digital nomad’s experiences getting visas for the area. Some other things to keep in mind… are you allowed to have multiple entries? Will you need to leave the area and return at a later date? It may not be the most dreamy aspect of relocating, but it is critical!
Digital nomads rely heavily on the first word of their title – digital. Most remote workers will tell you, having internet to reliable and fast internet is crucial. Being able to stay connected and communicate with team members is negotiable. When it comes time to deciding your home-base as a digital nomad, invest in quality, reliable wifi.
Cost Of Living
Digital nomads should remember to stay smart with their expenses! If possible, let the dollar exchange amount work in your favor. Choosing a destination based on the cost of living is incredibly important… especially starting out. Don’t forget, a huge perk of working remotely is the option of being able to go exploring at the drop of a hat. And – spoiler alert – you’re probably going to need some extra cash to make that happen! Affordable accommodations cannot be overlooked.
Many Southeast Asian countries are well known to be affordable options for those looking for low cost of living expenses, as are South and Central America and Eastern European countries. However, don’t forget to keep it real when it comes to your needs, your expectations and your own standards of living.
When deciding your home-base as a digital nomad, don’t forget to look into the ex-pat culture of the area. Do fellow expatriots feel comfortable and welcomed? What area are they living? It’s always nice to know that there are fellow digital nomads nearby, especially when feeling a little homesick. So, do your research!
Dame Travelers will tell you, being safe relies on being educated and alert. When determining where you want to call home for a bit, make sure you feel comfortable and supported when it comes to your wellbeing.
Research what neighborhoods rank highest for safety. Save emergency phone numbers to have on hand, just in case. Determining the safety of the location you want to call home is a make or break decision! After all, there’s no point in living in fear in your home.
A huge perk most 9-5 workers wish they could take part in, is deciding the daily climate of their work’s location. Imagine working on a tropical island in the dead of winter! Or experiencing the chill of a northern wind in the steamy, humidity of summer.
Climate can be a very important criteria to base your home-base decisions on. Don’t forget to also get informed on yearly climate traditions. Some areas of the world have a standard “monsoon season” to avoid, others have “hurricane season” and many more. Seasonal living might be right up your alley if you love to experience the best weather around the year.
Culture & Entertainment
Having a long list of cultural and entertainment options is a huge perk of working remotely! A nice bar or two to make your own, a trendy restaurant that brings a sparkle to your eye, a few museums to stroll through all bring huge benefits to a place to call home.
When you’re deciding your home-base as a digital nomad, keep in mind your passions and interests outside of work. Are you a total foodie? Maybe you should base yourself in the heart of Italy’s culinary culture. Do you crave the great outdoors and hiking? Look into locations with great trails and close proximity to national parks. Always keep in mind what you are most passionate about!
Although having a room to call your own is a dream come true for most travelers, working from home may not be! Subscribing to a monthly membership to a co-working space is a great option for those that tire of working solo. It’s a great way to boost productivity and build a professional network. If you’re someone who craves occasional chats during your workday, look into the co-working spaces that are available in your home-base’s general area.
Co-working spaces provide a community for those looking for friends and professional relationships. It’s amazing to be surrounded in a business-savvy environment, especially starting out. It’s a supportive place to learn, grow and give support.
Ah yes, healthcare. Even if you are the healthiest specimen of human kind, it’s undeniable that accidents happen. That being said, being educated on the healthcare system can determine where your home-base should be.
If you suffer from a condition or require medications and regular examinations, ask yourself where you can receive appropriate (and affordable) care in the world. Is it relatively easy to attain a prescription drug or visit a pharmacy? Is healthcare free or will you have to pay out of pocket. Again, not the most glamorous side of remote work, but very, very important. Better safe than sorry!
Looking to buff up on your Japanese? Fluent in Spanish? Or completely lost on any language other than your own? Check in with yourself. Ask yourself – are you willing to overcome a language barrier, or are you craving a location that will allow you to speak your native language? It’s an important decision.
Unless you plan on buying a car or motorbike, look into what public transportation is available in your area. Many large cities boast easy transportation throughout their area… but, be sure to see how you specifically will manage to maneuver around. This also comes into play when finding an apartment or place to live! Will you be able to walk around the area? Or will you need to rent or buy a car to travel freely? Be sure to research what other digital nomads’ and ex-pats’ experiences have been! They can be very, very enlightening.