Digital nomads are all around us, and with services such as Live Lingua making it incredibly easy to learn foreign languages, there’s no reason not to try it yourself if your work situation allows it. But even if you do want to do something like this, whether it’s a long term living situation, or just for a few months, there’s a big question to be asked – where?
Below we’ll take a look at 5 of the best countries for digital nomads in 2020 (and their main digital nomad hub). We’ll discuss why you should add them to your list of options when you’re considering moving somewhere. Without wasting any more of your time, let’s go.
Even though some just consider it an exotic destination and not much more, Thailand has been considered the spiritual home for digital nomads for a good while. It’s an excellent place if you’re starting out and destinations such as Chiang Mai are very popular with remote workers with the cost of living still extremely low by global standards. While not the absolute cheapest place to live in Asia, it compares favourably to most Asian cities.
Since the city is a popular location for expats, you will find that an international community is well established, so people coming as digital nomads won’t feel like total strangers. The internet speeds are fast, and the service is pretty cheap, and you also get access to quite a lot of Wi-Fi hotspots all over the city. When you’re walking the streets, you’re rarely without a connection.
Another good option is Colombia and Medellin to be more specific, which is now on a lot of lists of places digital nomads enjoy. Even though there are around 3 million people in Medellin, the vibe is very relaxed. In the past couple of decades, it is one of the most progressive cities in the world, and it’s won quite a few design and innovation awards.
Even though the entire city is full of publicly-available Wi-Fi, there are plenty of cafes that will actually get you much faster speeds. If you’re there short term, an Airbnb rental will also offer pretty good speeds, and there’s a host of co-working spaces around the city for you to choose from. It’s a great place for digital nomads.
Being so close to the US, North American digital nomads seldom look at Mexico as a good place to change things up in their lives. However, it has many places, most notable of which is Mexico City, that allow a great change of pace and a different working environment to what you’re used to.
Even though the city is pretty massive, you will find that all the digital nomads and expats, as well as the startups in the capital (of which there are over 1,200), are situated in a couple of central districts. The city has many pleasant, inviting neighbourhoods with plenty of coffee shops to work from and co-working spaces to enjoy.
Mexico City isn’t the only place for digital nomads in Mexico, but it’s by far the most popular and well established one. If you’re looking to start things out somewhere, it’s a great pick.
When you’re a digital nomad, there’s that beauty of not being confined to a single space. You can go to one place during the winter, and move to another for the summer. Estonia is one of those summer-oriented places that are perfect for digital nomads when the temperatures are good. We wouldn’t recommend it during the winter, because the temperatures can go as low as -20 F, and there’s heavy snow.
You will find the second-fastest public wifi in the world, and everything is done online making the country a regular feature in many a digital nomad guide. Estonia has also recently introduced an official visa for digital nomads, which entitles them to 365 days of working in the country. It also includes 90 days of travel in the Schengen area, which is great.
If you’re looking at a not-so-exotic destinations for digital nomads, Estonia, and especially Tallinn, is hard to beat. Read our Tallinn backpackers guide to find out more about the Estonian capital.
Last but certainly not least, we must mention Portugal. The country is one of the warmest, most pleasant countries in Europe to live in, and with cities such as Lisbon, it’s also a paradise for digital nomads. From cosy cafes and co-working spaces that have very fast internet to the creative talent available, digital nomads are bound to love it.
You’ll have the pleasure of living in one of the most welcoming digital nomad scenes in the world, as well as the friendliest country in the world for expats, which does say a lot. With quite a lot of digital nomad meetups on a weekly basis, you’ll enjoy every minute of your experience in Portugal.
If you want to get a taster for a country before committing to a longer stay, Worldpackers can be one good option and they offer a host of short-term work exchange opportunities around the world. Read our Worldpackers review to find out more.
This guest post was published in January 2020