Is Another Life Possible? – 5 Best Countries for Digital Nomads
We are wired to explore new lands, walking thousands of kilometres, reaching the unknown and what is new. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not know a way of living until agriculture emerged about 12,000 years ago. Then we settled down in tribes, villages and cities. Maybe “stuck” is the correct word to define what we have become.
Now we imitate robots in loops! Every day is the same, while most white-collar employees climb out of bed without a smile, passion or serenity. All they want is to come home as soon as possible and hit the hay again. A scenario written by Victor Hugo and directed by Stephen King.
You are no longer that young person with dreams, targets, and enthusiasm. Evolving into the person you are afraid of is a massive burden. However, realising what you have become, this is a solid thriller for many of us. The deep feeling of being lost, fear of “Is it too late?”, and standing there while the one and only life gifted you rottens at a snail’s pace.
If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree!
Is it how you want to spend your life? What is that dear thing holding you back? Why are we keen on wasting our time more on dreaming but not stepping forward to make them happen? I can hear you saying, “What about the money?”. To be penniless in a world worshipping banknotes, we are all afraid of unemployment.
What if there is a more kaleidoscopic alternative with no obligation to sit in a stuffy office with colleagues you have nothing in common with? Doing your job in that country you have always dreamed of visiting? Be a digital nomad and release yourself from all burdens to meet the real you.
What are Digital Nomads?
In a nutshell, we can define digital nomads as people earning their living in a country they choose to live in instead of a fixed business location. Well, working remotely through the Internet gives them a grand chance of living nomadically. Thanks to the remote nature of their work, these modern wanderers have the delicious freedom and endless flexibility to travel anywhere on the earth – as long as a wifi connection is available.
Our continuously transforming technology allows a plethora of jobs for digital nomads. Programmers, Website or App Developers, SEO Specialists, Social Media Marketers. Digital Entrepreneur, Writers, Language Teachers, Bloggers, Influencers, Designers,
Customer Support Representative, and many more. The sky’s the limit if you look for ways to work as a digital nomad.
Wouldn’t you desire to sip your mastiha cocktail while programming a video game? Or direct your client’s Instagram page to the view of the Amstel River while you are wondering how long it would take by bicycle to reach Rijksmuseum to see the latest exhibition. Just close your eyes and imagine a life you are proud to be a part of.
However, there are two critical conditions to be a digital nomad; a stable internet connection and a working Visa if the destination requires one from your nationality. The first one stands downhill when we consider how prevalent the Internet is in the modern world, while Visa issues can be a limitation for many.
Best Places for Digital Nomads
Although we constantly repeat the world is a global sphere, when we go into details, none of the regions carry the exact similarities. Even two neighbouring countries may have tremendous diversity in politics, language, or bilateral relationships. For instance, France and Germany are entirely two different countries in myriad aspects. Thus, it is a massive advantage to comprehend life anywhere before determining to live there.
We have prepared a list of the most popular digital nomad destinations nowadays to expand your possibilities and meet new astonishing cultures.
- Turkiye: Melting Pot for a Myriad of Cultures!
This profoundly spectacular country connecting Asia content to Europe is one of the most exciting locations you can ever be. Magnificent Istanbul hosts millions of tourists a year with its centuries of civilisation opening and closing periods in human history. The city is famous for its dynamic nightlife, exceptional cuisine, fulfilled four seasons, and endless historical points where you may encounter every corner. If you are a writer, Istanbul will inspire you enormously.
What about other cities? You may be surprised to see Izmir, Antalya, Mugla, and Hatay racing with Istanbul in the rankings. These beautiful cities have a massive plus; cheaper rents and more filtered choices. Izmir, Antalya and Mugla are favoured for their amazing beaches and nature, while Hatay comes with a more traditional lifestyle of multiple religions. Another great spot in Turkiye is to learn how it is achievable to live in harmony with diverse colours of lives.
On the other hand, Turkey has spotless flight connectivity, with major international airport hubs in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Adana and 55 other regional airports with seasonal international flights. Actually, Istanbul Airport is one of the ten most active airports around the globe. Therefore, you can find affordable air ticket prices with multiple flight times.
- Greece: All You Ask for!
Greece can be much more than just a summer getaway if you are freed from location and time. Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, Sirtaki, and losing yourself in the ruins of Ancient Greece. The country welcomes you with its stunning islands, presenting the comfort of the mainland and the Mediterranean’s enchantment. An enduring internet connection, access to excellent health care, relatively more inexpensive rents and utility bills compared to Northern European countries, and of its kind lifestyles.
When the subject is Visa, thanks to EU regulations, the EU, EEA or Swiss citizens have the right to enter and move within Greece. On the flip side, the third-party nationals (non-EU, EEA & Switzerland) will need to get a Digital Nomad Visa allowing them to live and work in Greece. Since this is a legal residence for up to a year at initial application, applicants can go for a Digital Nomad Residence Permit (valid for up to two years and renewable every 2 years) for a more extended stay.
To apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in Greece, you need to guarantee sufficient resources according to the length of your stay or a monthly income of at least €3,500 after taxes. This amount increases by 20% for those with a spouse and 15% for each child.
- Thailand: Always Amazes You!
Thailand has been under the radar of digital nomads flocking to Bangkok or the smaller Northern city of Chiang Mai. Low cost of living compared to European countries, speedy Internet, impressive monuments, delicious Thai kitchen, accessible with excellent flight connections! It is possible to point out a plethora of reasons why Thailand is one of the first spots that spring to mind when the subject is moving abroad as a digital nomad.
Plus, the ones choosing Thailand to reside may smoothly mingle with the digital nomad community in areas like Nimman road. Are you looking for people who are currently there? It is possible to find tens of videos describing how a would-be digital nomad can live on less than $1,000 per month in Chiang Mai.
This intense interest of remote workers worldwide led the Thailand Government to feature an appropriate Digital Nomad Visa to legislative unfolds and announce what processes are waiting for digital nomads in Thailand. Unfortunately, this is a gruelling path for those avoiding a long time of waiting, collecting a pile of documents, and following the entire process closely.
Most digital nomads prefer the 60-day tourist visa instead of Thailand Digital Nomad Visa with grave requirements and extend it for another 30 days to complete it up to 90 days. This is called a “Visa run”. After 90 days are over, when the individual crosses out the Thailand border and returns, another brand new Visa period starts. As straightforward as that!
- Portugal: Europe’s West Coast!
República Portuguesa! Did you know Portugal is the oldest continuously existing nation-state in Iberia and one of the oldest in Europe? As the owner of breathtaking coastlines, splendid Algarve and Lisbon, the city of the Seven Hills offers numerous advantages. This is a bridge between the Atlantic Ocean and Europe. The excellent geopolitical characteristic of Portugal welcomes you with catchy Fado music, iconic yellow trams, tasty Pastel de Nata, and blue Azulejo tiles.
Located in the Iberian Peninsula of Southwestern Europe, the country is a part of the European Union and Schengen Area. Thus, European digital nomads will have a 6 months stay without extra effort. However, for Non-EU residents, an appropriate Schengen Visa for 90 days or The Temporary Stay Visa (up to one year) is required. To be eligible for this temporary Portugal Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must prove their monthly income is a minimum of €635 or more. This is a pretty low amount compared to the Greek Digital Nomad Visa!
Which cities are the best for digital nomads in such a prosperous country? Porto and Lisbon can be more suitable for nightlife, concerts, and international events, while Braga, Coimbra, Peniche and Sagres are magnificent choices whether you are looking for a quieter city, outdoor sports, and more traditional Portuguese style.
Actually, there is an entire digital nomad village on the autonomous island of Madeira! Besides the unique beauty of Ponta do Sol with 8,200 residents, the town hosts up to 2500 remote workers. As a joint initiative organisation between the Government of Madeira and Startup Madeira, you will find special events gathering new people, occasional dinners, and professional assistance for any case. The Digital Nomads Madeira offers anything a digital nomad may need!
- Mexico: Live It to Believe It!
Exquisite landscapes, out-of-this-world beaches, Burritos, ancient Mayan ruins, utterly unique culture and low-cost living! It is not surprising that Mexico has recently become a hub for digital nomads. Especially for US residents! Rents, transportation, food, and utility costs are considerably lower than European countries and the United States.
Another significant plus of Mexico is its simplified Visa regulations for most nationalities. It is possible to stay up to 180 days – six whole months! No obligation to mess with digital nomad visas, restrictions, or documentation. You can experience working remotely lying under a palm tree with your laptop on the beach of Playa del Carmen freely!
The most popular digital nomad cities in Mexico are Tulum, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Merida, and Puerto Vallarta. At this point, we would like to remind you that Mexico City, Merida, and colourful Oaxaca are far better destinations for those desiring to experience Mexican culture closely. However, please note that the language barrier can be a problem in these locations considering English is not spoken as much as in the more touristy cities. You may feel lonely and away from social life, but it depends on what you really want! Right?
Overall, being a digital nomad is a different way of working on your professionality. According to Statista research in 2021, 74% of European white-collars answered “Yes!” in the affirmative to the question “Would you like to keep on performing remotely?”. Thus, the change is up to come for all of us! Sooner or later, offices will take their places on the dusty shelves of history.
Maybe, taking a step forward to live your dream is not as out of the question as you think. Understanding a culture closely, meeting new people, discovering the roads of life, with the chance of running into the real you on the road. And the most satisfactory part is; that you are always gratis to change your location with your laptop. No reason to stay if you prefer not to!