It’s always nice to see outsiders and turists appreciate such a great city Lisbon is (where I currently live) 🙂
Finding the best city to live in as a digital nomad can take a while. In our globalized world, countries can differ vastly from individual cities with regard to opportunities and level of development. In many countries the cities are entities by themselves contrasting with their host countries. The cities are internationally connected while rural areas are not. Good examples of this are Buenos Aires in contrast to Argentina; Bangkok in contrast to Thailand; or Shanghai in contrast to rural China. Come to think of it, in the western world the same thing occurs as well, for instance, with Paris and France.
For those interested in the location independent lifestyle these cities can be interesting to live in. They can provide best of both worlds. On one hand there is the immersive cultural experience which will enrich your life experiences and will inspire you. Not to mention the good food. On the other hand there is the accessibility to the internet, modern living standards, and the general ease of doing business from that country.
Below is a list of great cities to live as a digital nomad, according to my experience. As a measuring stick I used the same principles as for evaluating countries. These are: quality of living (relative to cost), internet speed and quality, infrastructure and freedom of movement, the visa regime, ease of adapting to the cultural norms, and general attitude of locals to foreigners.
As I write this post I am sitting in the Caltrain, passing through various suburbs of the San Francisco Bay peninsula on my way to the city. It’s comforting to be surrounded by so many familiar sites once again.
My wife and I have had quite a journey: 17 countries, dozens of cities, and countless airports/train stations/bus stations. We’ve witnessed both staggeringly beautiful phenomena (Northern Lights in the Yukon Territories) and horrifying moments (a mob beating up some dude in the streets of Istanbul) along the way. Fortunately, my wife and I came out the other end of our trip completely safe and with a lifetime of memories.
I’ve delayed writing this post as long as I could; it’s been taking me a while to process what I’ve learned from this trip. The short answer is: a lot.
I may not be able to cover all the lessons I’ve learned…
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If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere for a living (as some ‘digital nomads’ do), taking a break to travel, or engaged in other activities that let you explore new places, then a new website which ranks cities based on their ease of working might be worth your attention.
The site itself is simple enough. It uses an up-voting system (like Hacker News, Product Hunt and others) to rank cities based on votes from visitors to the site.
The list view shows basic details about each location — temperature, internet speed and estimated cost of living — and there’s more information if you click on a particular city.
It will be interesting to see how the rankings change as word of the website gets out and more people from across the world weigh in with votes and opinions. Regardless of the positions, there’s plenty of interesting data for anyone who is considering relocating or traveling across the world — enough to give you a basic idea and motivate further research.