Is a great lifestyle if you like the outdoors whiles giving access to a major city. I used to live in Sydney but couldnt buy a farm without being 2+ hours commute to CBD.
The blend of being on the keyboard most of the day but jumping on the tractor/motorbike/chainsaw etc at the end of a day gives a feeling of balance. Its hard work and takes over your life with animals, but if you like this stuff is really wholesome living.
And good to find out it's an Australia centric expression. Thanks.
Personally, I like cities with lots of nature in or around it, with low people density (not crowded), with a creative culture (like art, but also startups), in mild climates (like 20'C - 30'C, 68'F - 86'F), where it's not humid (so between 30% and 65% humidity).
If you don't care about humidity, the usual nomad hot spots come up like Chiang Mai, Ubud etc.
If you don't care about humidity and don't care about it being a bit crowded, you also get Canggu (which can be busy now), Bangkok, Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Asia is just very humid.
My personal challenge is that I don't like sweating all day, even if A/C is available. I want to live somewhere where it's moderately mild/warm and where you can walk outside without getting drenched in sweat.
There seems to be an inverse (I guess pretty unsurprising) relationship between being decent and being cheap. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be 1 to 1. But almost everywhere attractive in Europe is now very expensive. Cities like Berlin, or even Lisbon, are pricing themselves out of the race. The US doesn't seem to be worth it anymore overall for Europeans.
So what I have managed to find on paper is Slovenia which supposedly has low taxes and decent quality of life but is tiny, relatively inaccessible and still a bit expensive. Another option seems to be something like a second tier city of a bigger country. Like Porto, Valencia and Montpellier and maybe Hamburg.
What sort of surprises me is that I haven't really been able to find any, at least not European, city which seem to want to attract people based on quality of life. All these "next silicon valley" type statements always only talks about things that largely doesn't matter. Not how to live there for 1 week, 1 month or 1 year. Have you noticed any city, or even region, doing better in this regard?
One thing though: I think many cities as you say are now overpriced. Even with all the qualities of expensive cities like London, you get very little for what you pay for. That means there's an (economic) information lag where many people don't realize this yet. I hope my site helps reduce that information lag.
I think cities attracting people will happen organically as it's mostly always has been. People go to cheaper/better places to save money, then those places develop, get expensive/crowded etc.
In terms of non-organic ways of attracting people, I know governments in Spain, Ireland, France, Georgia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and a few more countries where ministries (eg of tourism) are actively aware of remote work, nomads and wanting to attract them.
The challenge is that the things remote workers are attracted by in a city are either fixed (weather) or slow to change (internet speeds, infrastructure, safety).
Places that have become hotspots for nomads like Chiang Mai and Bali mostly did because they already had a giant tourism industry and supply of (cheap) accomodation, were relatively safe and had usable internet. It "happened" to them, not the other way around.
I think the key for those places wanting to attract people is to not be beholden to overall developments. On the one hand they can't rely on large changes because they take too much time and often are marginal. Instead of making the Internet better overall (which of course be the ideal thing) they could make sure that hotels in one area have good Internet, and that there is for example a lesser tax rate for monthly stays. On the other hand they also need to offset local changes, like the area becoming expensive, to keep the ball rolling.
I think that is partly why these places became hotspots. Because as you said they already had the backpackers, expats, surfers or fighters, and therefor the facilities. But also because when things got popular, they just move down the road and open up another place. And it seems that places like Lisbon can't really compete in that way. When it gets more popular it gets less accessible and more expensive a lot faster than opportunities to for example stay longer. So they end up in the same place as somewhere like London, but on a smaller scale.
I guess they would see it as a good thing as it makes more money, but it also hiders the "catalyst" or the further development, which should be their ultimate goal. At least that is my current impressions, but maybe that is just the way of the world and part of the fun. It just seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity. I guess I will know a bit more when I travel again in the autumn.
Cable is probably confined to the biggest towns.
The top ones however would be in the order from least to most recommended: Ann Arbour (MI), Bari (IT) and my absolute Italian gem: Macerata. It's a 4k people historic city filled mostly with students. People rarely speak English and it doesn't make it any harder to make friends. Everyone welcomes you with his arms wide open and the city is lively. The food is absolutely amazing but that's Italy for you in general.
As a side note I'm Polish and in my mid twenties, I was born in Kraków so I skipped this city as it'd be hard for me to be objective about it.
We enjoy Pittsburgh, big city feel (not massive though), decent public transit, gigabit ethernet.
Decent airport (well kinda we have to do a lot of connections when flying to SF or Europe). Easy to get to DC, NYC though via plane or car. Everyone is pretty nice here (bias I did grow up around here, though I can tell you driving has gotten worse..still far better than DC).
Edit: Given the chance to live anywhere we'd probably go back to Europe, lived there for about 4 years with my previous job. It fit our lifestyle a bit better than the US does. Probably pick a place like Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam-area.
Pittsburgh would not work with a lightrail the city is a triangle with crazy ass intersections and "tiny" streets, not a grid. A lightrail would be very ineffective (see Baltimore's that just runs pretty much one line in the city to the airport), or would require the city to pretty much destroy all existing streets and try again.
I'm often wishing New Orleans had a bigger tech scene, it's a beautiful town.
I'll have to take a look at newport beach sometime, thanks for the tip :)
* Lower cost of living
* Close to other cities
* I walk almost every where. Groceries are the exception once a week for a 20 minute subway ride.
* A lot to do and see here. Admittedly I'm biased of all the cities I've been it's my favorite.
* Transit. I visit other cities (NYC primarily). Buses are under 10, and most trips are two hours or so.
* Decent tech scene, and start up scene.
The biggest con as a remote employee. Is Comcast, their internet leaves a lot to be desired.
I've been working remote here for a few years and have had a different experience. Verizon cell phone coverage is fine for me here (tho it was terrible on AT&T). Agree that broadband access can be really spotty, but if you live in town the options are ok. We have 250Mbps at the house, and Comcast says they offer gigabit, but I haven't tried it. Anyway, it's possible things have gotten better, or else it just depends a lot on the available infrastructure where you live/work.
I'm working on moving there to do not-remote development at the moment, incidentally.
Fast growing 400k people city in Transylvania.
Moved here almost four years ago from western Europe. Romanian people are very warm and friendly. Cluj grows and develops at an astonishing rate. Summers are nice and warm, but not too warm. Winters are cold, but not too cold.
Cost of living is high for the average Romanian. However, salaries for software engineers are at least two or three times the average and if you're a little better, it's five or six times more.
All you have to do is get over the fact that it's an ex-communist country. Behind on infrastructure development with a corrupt national government. Local government in Cluj is actually really nice and develops like crazy.
Great small town, 30 minute scenic drive down to Costco/Trader Joes in Carson City. Reno airport is 1 hour away.
There are tech meetups here and tech community at the local CoWork Tahoe co-working space is thriving.
Winters are epic: take a long lunch, do a few laps up at Heavenly, be back in time for a 2pm call. Do a late start every other week and get a half-day in down at Kirkwood.
Summers are crowded but once you get on a trail there's nobody around.
Spring and Fall are quiet and you feel like you have the place to yourself.
Only down side is still paying CA taxes, stings more when Nevada is 2 miles from my house...
My current job is fully remote... I live in the San Francisco Bay area, am I doing this wrong?
I did got through the hassle and setting up a Thai company. This gives me a 1 year multiple entry visa and a work permit. Cost around 2.000 USD. An agency will handle the paper work for you.
It is a hassle no matter if you choose to do what i did or if you do the tourist visa, but it certainly is possible to stay and work for years in Thailand and many do although it is getting more difficult.
So yeah, it is possible to try to live here for a year on tourist visa, and if you fall in love with the place as I did, you have options in regards to make a life time stay and to get that work permit so you are legit.
I have been working remote from here for 6 years so far and counting )))
Big tech community, events every night, cheap delicious food, nice people, I like the weather, and more
Is it a safe city?
Can you walk in random directions without fear?
How difficult is to get visa?
Do they speak English?
What kind of expenses are you looking at monthly?
As someone with fully remote job, I am wondering whether I should go couple of months there. I am on the verge about it.
English is spoken almost everywhere, at least basics. 35m+ people travel to Bangkok every year and the tourist industry here is large.
I spend about $800/mo on rent but I have a very nice condo with gym + pool within 5 minutes walking to the sky train close to the center of downtown. I also do month to month with no contract, if you do a 6 month contract you can find a studio for $200/mo ~15 mins walking to the train - I just prefer convenience and luckily make enough income to cover the costs. Maybe spend another $500-700 a month on food and transportation.
Going out to eat is about the same cost and buying food/cooking and the food delivery services here are great (either free delivery or 50 cents for delivery). Most my meals average $5 usd but I usually eat at higher end place, you can do $1-2/meal if you want but it's lower quality food and ingredients typically. I like to go out, but don't drink often so alcohol isn't a big cost in my budget. Beer is usually $3-5 a bottle at most bars compared to somewhere like Vietnam where everywhere has beer for $1.
I initially went for 1 month (1 week in BKK -> 1 week in chiang mai -> 1 week in Koh Lanta -> back to BKK) and ended up staying for 5 months total the first year while traveling to Cambodia and Vietnam for visa runs. I definitely recommend 3-4 weeks your first time to see if it's for you with a similar route to me to get a feel of the different cities. I liked chiang mai more at first but grew to love Bangkok the most now.
Don't worry about booking much accommodation far in advance as there's much readily available. I just like to book a nice place for my first week to recover from jetlag before I head out and play the rest by ear.
Hope that helps!
Random walking is my all time favourite thing to do in Bangkok. Although I'd recommend getting out of the CBD. Yes, tech events are great, but I prefer the slower, quiet pace of somewhere like Southern Phuket, or the diving in Koh Tao.
Visa is trivial, English is everywhere, if you're splurging, you could spend however much you want, but it's easy to live cheaply. Rent is something like USD500-800 for the month if you don't even shop around. Food is pretty cheap that I'm not even sure how much stuff costs. A 1 hour massage is about USD10, although you could splurge to about USD20 if you really want to.
That said, while I love Thailand, I'd have to say that Vietnam is still my all-time favourite SEA country to visit... but Thailand does keep drawing me back. I have a favourite beach spot and Kana Moo Grob really hits the spot.
Why Sacramento? 1) Wife and I still have family members in the bay area and we'd like to stay within driving distance, 2) Still get to enjoy California weather, without the possibility of a 8.0+ earthquake looming over our heads, 3) Better school for our kid while spending less than half the amount to buy a house vs similarly good school districts in the bay area, 4) I'm not very into snow, which eliminates much of the northern half of the country as candidate cities to choose. If I'd also like to avoid hurricanes, tornadoes, and huge earthquakes, that eliminates most of the country. The Greater Sacramento area actually fits that bill.
I'm headed to Austin for a month today, hoping to try Vegas later this year as well.
I'll let you all know when I figure this one out...
Are there any Austinites that can comment on this?
The cost of living is okay, though we're one of the fastest growing cities so rents are going up. Right now 2/1 homes built in the 40s and on flood plains will run you over 300k. It's about 200k for a small condo or 500k minimum for a small family home.
While it doesn't feel crowded due to everything being so spread out, the traffic is an absolute bear. My old commute was 3.9 miles and usually took between 45 minutes to an hour by car. I've since moved and started using public transportation (it's fine, but nothing to write home about, though our commuter train is a joke) and it takes as long but at least I can get plenty of reading in. The city is really not friendly to bikers either outside of a few very select areas.
I should also note that North and South Austin do not mix. We're South Dallas to them and they're North Mexico to us. Because of the aforementioned traffic and sprawl you tend to stick to your side of the river. Oh, and because of all the events and conventions that happen here there are just random weeks where everything is confusingly crowded.
That said I do love this city. Tons of culture and awesome food. My partner is always surprised at the variety of things we can do, whether it's queer-friendly indie wrestling matches, or one-off rap musicals, or interactive pop-up art exhibits or boozy morning goat yoga.
If you have to commute it might be tough (number of people here is growing faster than number of roads), but for remote work it's perfectly fine. And when I want to get to downtown, it takes me about the same time it would've taken me in San Jose (and I lived in SJ itself), but unlike SJ there's actually something to do in Austin.
It certainly does get hot here in the summer, but I like that there are seasons here.
Cost of living is significantly better than the Bay Area (and I would argue the quality of life isn't any worse either). And salaries, unless you're aiming for top position at a FANG aren't that much worse.
Also, people are much nicer around here.
You never run out of things to do. The only downside is the traffic going north to south - if you find a place to live close to work you're fine. If you get a house, then later work at the other side of town, you might have to put up with a 1hr commute.
Many people who joined our company moved because we were 100% remote until a couple years ago when we were acquired. I'd say more than half picked some small town. The specific small town varies greatly, depending on what you like to do and who/where your family is.
I'd be in Boise, near family, nature, isolation....
I personally enjoy emerging economies - money goes far, people are fun, and you could loop yourself into a fun investment or two.
Tokyo/Japan is not emerging, but the language, culture and identity are fun parallels.
China is a maybe, even now, I would love to go to a Confucius Instuite and pick up Chinese.
Rent/mortgage/utility is likely a far bigger overall concern than state income tax in the bigger picture.
The Bad: Very long winters with lots and lots of snow. Not a whole lot of economic opportunity if you're not in healthcare.
1. The most beautiful Spring/Summer/Fall seasons I have ever seen, and I've been lucky enough to see a good portion of the world.
2. Vibrant and walk-able downtown area. Arts/Culture/Music are taken very seriously there.
3. A ton of affordable yet beautiful housing in mostly desirable areas. Low cost of living in general.
4. Close proximity to beautiful countryside and the criminally underrated Finger Lakes (which are home to some of the best wineries in the USA).
5. Rochester Public Market. Think a farmers market that exclusively sells "ugly" produce for bottom dollar cheap. It's huge and quite fun to go to on the weekends.
The TL;DR I usually give people is that it's a Portland, OR that no one really knows about. It's the third largest city in New York State behind Buffalo and NYC. It's not a perfect place and it has its fair share of problems, but it is a great place to live. Assuming a decent tech salary, one could live very well there.
Polish city - so living is way way cheaper compered to the western Europe, while the city itself is neat and offers high standard of living.
Utrecht for the crowd, Tokyo for the food.
Want to try: Auckland, Singapore, Vancouver.
From Sognefjord in the north to Kungsbacka in the south it's generally easy to choose the kind of weather you want, depending on how much work you have to get done :)
Society in the region is great, friendly people, internet coverage is good, industry is strong, education is very good.
But for winter I prefer Switzerland.
The problem is both Ibiza and Formentera are fully booked for summer season and, unless you by a property there, rent in July-September will be prohibitive.
Valencia is much cheaper than Barcelona but doesn't have a big airport nor as many good restaurants.
As for the best and worst things, I think they're valid for both Barcelona and Valencia:
The best thing is actually a combination of many: excellent weather conditions, relatively cheap cost of life, great food, access to the beach, overall good quality of life.
The worst things are the noise (cars and people) and communication.
- Los Angeles
in the descending order of preference!
There's good amount of filters to make it work for you.
I know that Medellin is said to be popular with nomads but I honestly have no idea why.