How do digital nomads choose where to work from?

With the whole world as an option, I’ve often wondered how people who work location-independently make the decision to work in a particular country or continent. From reading the blogs I have reviewed for this site and many others, as with most things, there are some limitations which means that certain areas are better suited to internet-based work than others.

Cost of living

Asia, in particular, Southeast Asia, is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads at the moment. In a large part, this is down to the relatively low cost of living, when compared to the UK or the USA. Although, I’m sure the warm climate, clear air, peaceful beaches, and beautiful landscapes also have some appeal too.

In countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia, the cost of living for digital nomads starts from approximately $970 per month according to Nomad List, which is currently around £657 per month. Compare this to the average cost of living in the UK, which was £517 per WEEK in 2013 according to the Office for National Statistics.

Internet access

In the UK and the USA, the cost of living is much higher but (generally speaking) access to more reliable internet is more widely available. This is clearly a major factor since without the internet digital nomads would not be able to work and ultimately not be able to earn a living to sustain long-term travel.

Prague has one of the highest ratings for wifi on Nomad List and the cost of living is estimated at $974 per month (£660 per month), which surprised me. I expected this figure to be much higher considering Prague is a popular tourist destination.

Where you want to go/stay –

I suppose this is an obvious factor – but can be easily overlooked. It would clearly not be worth changing your entire life, the way you work, the people you meet if you didn’t actually like the place you ended up. The advantage of being able to work from anywhere is that if you want to go somewhere else, for whatever reason, you can!

Many travelers seem to find an area of the world which they love and focus on that region. For example – Y Travel Blog has 346 posts just on destinations in Australia and the South Pacific. Wandering Earl has been to 88 countries but seems to focus on India, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe now.

I have briefly mentioned countries we would like to travel to in a previous post. When it comes down to it though, we want to see as much of the world as possible. The purpose of changing our lifestyle in this way is for our work online to support our worldwide travel – working to live rather than living to work.

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