The beauty of the digital nomad lifestyle is that you can choose anywhere in the world to call home. Of course, that means there are literally endless opportunities and destinations. If you’re just setting out on your nomadic adventure, it might be hard to narrow down cities.
What makes a city the perfect place for a digital nomad? Many elements play in, and each individual person will have their own preferences. But in general, there are a few key things that make a city a great place for a digital nomad. Consider what will make your life more convenient or simple, and what you need in order to do your job. Make a list of your top requirements, and if you know other travelers, ask them for their recommendations.
As a digital nomad, the ability to work efficiently is absolutely essential. For most workers, that starts with WiFi. Look for cities that have speedy internet, but also where it’s easy to access. Think about whether you’ll want to work from a coffee shop every day, or if you’ll rent a spot in a coworking space. Is fast WiFi expensive in the city you’re moving to? And what speed do you need? Think about whether you’ll be on video calls regularly, or if you can work primarily offline.
As a digital nomad, finances are likely to be one of your top considerations. Choosing a city will probably include determining how much it will cost to live there. Most digital nomads opt for affordable cities, where food and lodging are fairly cheap. Think about how much you earn each month, and what your major expenses will be. If you can afford a higher rent, but at the expense of extensive travel, consider whether the trade-off is worth it.
Community is a very important element of life as a digital nomad. Get to know the digital nomad community in a city before you move – check out Facebook pages and other online groups. Find out whether there are other people in your situation. You’ll easily find people with similar interests, but keep an eye out for those with similar work schedules and budgets. Of course, if you already know people in a specific city, it might be a great place to start!
If you’re traveling around the world, working out of coffee shops, you probably won’t have a car. You might have a bike, but even so, it’s important to consider public transport in the city you’re planning to live in. Cities that are great for digital nomads tend to have high liveability rates. One of the primary elements of that is ease of transport around the city. Find out about buses, bike lanes, and metro systems. How will you get from where you’re staying to the coffee shop where you want to work? How will you get to the airport? How much will all of that cost? These are key questions to keep in mind.
Finally, depending on your work situation, it may be important to consider time zones. If you have daily meetings with a team based on the other side of the world, you probably don’t want to be signing in to Zoom at 4am. Think about cities that will allow for a comfortable, if not convenient, work schedule.