Tips + Trends

Want to Live Like a Freelifer? These 5 Hot Spots Are a Digital Nomad’s Dream

If your entire life is online — including your job — why not take full advantage of your location independence by working from somewhere that inspires you? Working remotely isn’t all about capturing the ultimate laptop selfie (although that’s kinda part of it).

Around the world, scores of digital nomads are creating their own offices in tropical jungles, scenic mountain towns and historic European cities for their chance at creating a better life while they master the art of the humblebrag.

Here are five popular bases for digital nomads and why they’re ideal for remote workers.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Most people wouldn’t expect to find a lively entrepreneurial hub hiding in a river basin set against the mountain ranges of Thailand’s Northern Highlands. Yet that’s exactly what makes Chiang Mai so great for digital nomads.

In this small, cultural city, there are nomad-led events almost every day of the week. It’s not all business, though. Chiang Mai’s favorable climate and exchange rate make it the best place in winter for road warriors to eat their weight in pad thai while soaking up the sun.

Plus, you’ll finally find that work-life balance you crave by taking meditation classes at a local temple like Wat Suan Dok.

nomad life
Work away from “home.” (Photo: Getty Images)

Bali, Indonesia

When it comes to working remotely, Bali can seem about as remote as it gets. From the beaches of Canggu to the lush jungles of Ubud, this speck on the map is full of idyllic settings where you can get your reports done. And it’s home to some pretty slick workspaces.

Jaw-dropping office amenities like the plunge pool at Dojo Bali and views of vibrant rice paddies like those at Hubud Coworking are a real thing. Also, where else on earth could you work from and say you had monkeys running around your desk?

You might encounter difficulties staying focused when island hopping, hiking active volcanoes and surfing are at the ready — but try to save those activities for the weekend.

Medellín, Colombia

It could be the allure of salsa dancing, the robust coffee or the melodic charm of the Colombian accent, but one thing’s certain: For many reasons, freelifers are headed en masse to Medellín.

Second in size to Colombia’s densely populated Bogotá, the city of eternal spring is full of local and international entrepreneurs. Night owls will thrive in this highly social culture, where dinner is typically served around 10 p.m., just in time to hit up a networking event before you eat and go dancing after.

Whether you’re nurturing your startup at a tech incubator or feeding your belly with empanadas, Medellín has the ingredients for a full life.

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The world awaits. (Photo: Getty Images)

Berlin, Germany

If you’re ready to think differently about work, you’ll feel right at home in Germany’s capital of cool. Berlin is where creativity is fueled not just by caffeine, but also by the city’s progressive spirit.

It’s not uncommon to overhear a CEO hosting a meeting from upcycled chairs in third-wave coffee shops in eclectic neighborhoods like Neukölln. Meanwhile, converted factory offices like KAOS Berlin on the River Spree host space for artists, designers and laptop workers alike.

Plus, life here could work out long-term. Self-employed nomads can apply for either Germany’s artist or work freelance visas, which make it possible to stay beyond the three-month tourist limit.

Budapest, Hungary

The hardest part about settling in Budapest? Choosing which World Heritage Site makes the best backdrop for your ultimate laptop selfie. The struggle is real. Being your own boss doesn’t get any better than posting up in Eastern Europe’s old darling on the Danube.

Nomads fuel themselves on goulash at bohemian hangouts on either the Buda or Pest side of town before soothing work woes at ruin pubs or thermal baths. If anything, commuting via the oldest electric underground railway system in continental Europe beats sitting in traffic any day.