The Internet of Things, People, and Places (it’s a new acronym, let’s make it happen, #IoTPP) has freed many from being chained to a desk at a particular company, in a particular place, and to a particular network of people. It’s within our reach to leave behind the company and the place and, with WiFi as a universal service, be in a position to reach that network from any city in the world.
The option of being a “digital nomad” is open to anyone with a laptop, a plane ticket, some budgeted living expenses and a portable skill. Most of us have got one portable skill whether it’s to teach, write, design, program, engineer, manage, or research. After working up the courage to live the location-agnostic life the next question is: where do I go?
At the Codified office we took inspiration from the data available on nomadlist.io, pooled our experience of being digital nomads and came up with this list that considers where to jet off to as you cost arbitrage your way around the world. The things we considered were the cost of living in a hotel, eating out three times each day, whether there’s ubiquitous and free wifi, and if there were any coworking spaces. We also added some of our bias and some eye-catching photos to make you question what you’re doing with your life.
1. Berlin, Germany
($1,620, 30MBPs, 14 C)
Berlin is the second start up capital of Europe behind London. A city steeped in ancient, modern, and digital history, it’s home to Soundcloud and the oft questionable Samwer brothers of Rocket Internet, it also has the lowest cost of living for a capital city in Western Europe. The drawbacks may be the number of people who moved over when Brooklyn became too expensive, however, you’ll be able to go from your coworking space and grab a Club-Mate on your way to raving the night away without needing to know a word of German.
2. Cartagena, Colombia
($1,598/m, 6MBPs, 31 C)
A bit of disclosure here, we went out to Colombia earlier this year to set up an office in Bogotá. We also popped over to Cartagena, a beautiful town on the Caribbean coast that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The government’s funding of the digital sector, extensive network coverage for mobiles and expanding middle class is accelerating the growth of Colombia into a digital economy, it’s also an excellent point from which to access Latin American markets. Entrepreneurs in Cartagena can go swimming and come back inspired with ideas to help local Colombian infrastructure.
3. Sofia, Bulgaria
($1,152/m, 44MBPs, 21 C)
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, has a good climate, nightlife, and some of the fastest internet in Europe. There are coworking spaces, some venture capital, and a few success stories. The company Telerik, which makes a range of tools including the Nativescript cross platform development environment, was bought by Progress for $260m, impressive given that it was founded in 2002!
4. Phuket, Thailand
($830/m, 14 MBPs, 33 C)
Most of us will think of Phuket as the magnet for Gap Yah tragedians heading over for Full Moon parties and people wanting to imitate Leo DiCaprio in The Beach. These are all still valid reasons to go the “Pearl of Adaman”, an ocean side paradise that has all the promised perfection and beauty spots. It’s great for those who are into acquatics sports, Sino-Portugese architecture, or Buddhism. There are also co-working spaces to meet fellow sun kissed digital nomads.
($1,117/m, 4.6 MBPS, 28 C)
Bali has it all, friendly, English speaking locals, a co-working space, free wifi, even some Venture Capital. This might be a bit of a tourist trap, although might be a good thing as you go about networking and globetrotting. One intrepid programmer has been demonstrating the potential of the digital nomad’s life, Richard Littauer, set up theuserisdrunk.com for drunk User Experience reviews and also wrote a piece about using his digital skills to help a local cab driver. This man is reason enough to visit Bali.