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Digital Nomad: Where the Self-Employed Should Work in 2017 9 min read

January 29, 2021
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Georgia Dolenz

Digital Nomad: Where the Self-Employed Should Work in 2017 9 min read

If you’re a self-employed freelancer and a natural-born nomad, the world can be your oyster and your office! Having the freedom to work remotely means you can work from anywhere… and we mean ANYWHERE! The thought of packing up your stapler and setting sail might seem daunting at first, but once you see what these beautiful cities have to offer, you’ll be knee deep in travel size shampoos and booking flights like a Wall Street floor trader circa 1988. For a glimpse of the lifestyle, check out blogs like Location Rebel or the Digital Nomad community over at Reddit.
For now, check out some of the best locations you can work from according to the folks at Nomad List.

Bangkok, Thailand

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Despite what Leonardo DiCaprio says in his movie The Beach, Thailand has more to offer than just secluded coves and hidden cults led by Tilda Swinton. With a Nomad Score of 8/10, it’s easy to see why Bangkok is becoming a hub for digital nomads and the self-employed. Whether it’s in one of their numerous internet cafes and co-working spaces, or through one of the city’s 23,000 free public wifi hotspots, this capital city has your wifi needs covered. According to Nomad List, the cost of living in Bangkok is roughly $1056/month, which means you can spend more money on getting daily Thai massages at $7-$18 a pop. After a long day hunched over your laptop in your cute little apartment near the Chatuchak market, a quick deep tissue massage will give your shoulders a rest and your mind a break! Bangkok also scores highly within the LGBTQ community, and is considered friendly to women. Startups are welcome and nurtured in the city, making it an easy choice for entrepreneurs and digital nomads to flock South and set up shop amongst the Bodhi trees. Companies such as Bangkok Entrepreneurs are helping to cultivate new talents and encourage the next generation to bring their business to the city. The weather in Bangkok is somewhat ‘toasty’, with an average annual temperature ranging from 79 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the fact that the humidity will make you feel like you’re being covered in a warm, wet blanket, the A/C around the city is second to none. You’ll have to embrace the frizzy hair styles you’ve been suppressing since you were 8 years old, but at least you’ll be in one of the most vibrant cities in the world!

Seoul, South Korea

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South Korea’s spicy neighbor to the North might deter you from considering the South as a forever-home, but we strongly urge you to take a deeper look at what this beautiful country has to offer. According to Nomad List, Seoul is considered a very safe city, as well as friendly to women! And as we all know, women are just as bad-ass as men in the freelancing world, so well done Seoul for recognizing that! If you’re tired of paying extortionate monthly rates for your local co-working offices, you’ll love spots like Venture Space and Peachtree, both of which offer monthly memberships for under $91/month. The popular ride-sharing service, Uber, is active in Seoul, so if you don’t feel like getting behind the wheel on unfamiliar streets, you can hire a friendly neighborhood Uber driver to ferry you between client meetings and cappuccinos! No matter where you live in the world, everyone can agree that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Seoul has a great nightlife and top notch craft beer houses. You can finish up those monthly budget reports and head out for a pint of craft brew at popular watering holes like the Hidden Track bar in Dongdaemun-gu. Just remember that as a major city, Seoul does offer many pricier options that some of the other cities on here won’t. Keep your eye on price tags until you get a lay of your new land.
With that all in mind, you’ll be the life and Seoul of the party! (Too much?)

Las Palmas, Spain

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If you live in a city that’s on an island owned by Spain, and located a few miles off the coast of Morroco, your life is probably going to be pretty awesome! So it’s no surprise that Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, is listed as one of the funnest, safest, and peaceful cities for a digital nomad. The sunny weather, the fresh fish, and the vibrant music, have earned Las Palmas a Nomad List rating of 8.3/10. The beauty of being self-employed is that you can be yourself. For members of the LGBTQ community, or from minority ethnic groups, you can rest assured that you’ll be made to feel welcome and safe in Las Palmas. The city has a good public wifi system, as well as numerous internet cafes and co-working spaces. Island life might seem disconnected at first, but with collaborative office spaces like The House, offering memberships from just $105/month, you’ll be connected to the rest of the world faster than you can say ‘otro cafe por favor!’ As an extra bonus, if you’re trying to escape the dreadful L.A. traffic, or the Evil Kanevil drivers of New York, you can breathe easy knowing that Las Palmas has a great ‘traffic safety’ rating, as well as beautiful beaches at every turn to avoid the jams. Freedom of speech is crucial for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and pretty much anyone in the creative industry, so it’s a relief to see that this island allows you to speak your mind. After you’ve finished exercising your right to free speech, you can head to one of their swanky clubs like
As an extra bonus, if you’re trying to escape the dreadful L.A. traffic, or the Evil Kanevil drivers of New York, you can breathe easy knowing that Las Palmas has a great traffic safety rating, as well as beautiful beaches at every turn to avoid the jams. Freedom of speech is crucial for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and pretty much anyone in the creative industry, so it’s a relief to see that this island allows you to speak your mind. After you’ve finished exercising your right to free speech, you can head to one of their swanky clubs like Las Brujas, a converted manor house from the 15th century!

Canggu, Indonesia

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Sometimes, it takes a village. The village of Canggu, situated on the South coast of Bali in Indonesia not only has idyllic views, but is a hidden gem for self-employed nomads looking for inspiration! For those in the freelance community who aren’t worried about huge amounts of bandwidth, Canggu can offer you great quality of life. The weather is beautiful and the surrounding landscapes are a playground for freelance artists and photographers. Nomad List has rated Canggu highly when it comes to racial tolerance and being female friendly. If the novelty of the breathtaking beaches starts to rub off, you can hop into your local co-working space for some laptop time. The coastal village has a great selection of shared offices such as the
For those in the freelance community who aren’t worried about huge amounts of bandwidth, Canggu can offer you a great quality of life. The weather is beautiful and the surrounding landscapes are a playground for freelance artists and photographers. Nomad List rated Canggu highly when it came to racial tolerance and being female friendly. If the novelty of the breathtaking beaches starts to rub off, you can hop into your local co-working space for some laptop time. The coastal village has a great selection of shared offices such as the Canggu Co-Working Space, which offers memberships starting from just $37/month! When all of your friends and family visit you, you can set them up in a local Airbnb and get them jealous of your self-employed Bali lifestyle! Village living also offers better air. Running your own company is stressful and the last thing you need to be doing is sucking down city air and filling your lungs with car fumes. Canggu is only a few kilometers from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s main cities, so civilization isn’t too far away. The
Village living also offers better air. Running your own company is stressful and the last thing you need to be doing is sucking down smog-filled city air and filling your lungs with car fumes. Canggu is only a few kilometers from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s main cities, so civilization isn’t too far away. The Nirvana Bali Golf Course is roughly 20 minutes north in Tanah Lot, so for those of you can work remotely but still like to close deals on a golf course, you can do so nearby. It’s win/win.

Taipei, Taiwan

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Not everything is made in Taiwan, but you can sure as hell make a living there. Taipei has far more to offer then just those little stickers you find on the bottom of rubber ducks and candle holders. According to Nomad List, the city is friendly to women, foreigners, and the LGBTQ community. For all of those digital nomads looking for a fun, vibrant change, Taipei might be the answer. Working from an entirely different country is the ultimate in ‘working remotely’, which is why Taipei’s great public wifi system and vast collection of co-working spaces has made it an attractive draw for digital nomads over recent years. The
According to Nomad List, the city is friendly to women, foreigners, and the LGBTQ community. For all of those digital nomads looking for a fun, vibrant change, Taipei might be the answer. Working from an entirely different country is the ultimate in ‘working remotely’, which is why Taipei’s great public wifi system and vast collection of co-working spaces has made it an attractive draw for digital nomads over recent years. The Little Sunshine Co-Working Space offers monthly memberships at just $94/month, and offers free coffee, printer, projector, mail service, and lockers! The city’s great public wifi system means your company’s social media efforts don’t have to live within the confides of your apartment or local cafe. You can connect with clients on Linkedin and Tweet about a new project as you wander through the Daan Forest Park.  Taipei is also considered a great city for nightlife. You can treat yourself to a pint of beer (at an average cost of just $1.88!!) and wind down after a long day at the local pub. Perfect!

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Georgia Dolenz

Georgia is a writer and actress based in Los Angeles. She originally hails from England, where she gained a degree in Theatre and an accent. Georgia has been known to write sketch comedy, online blogs, animated shorts and sarcasm. She is currently writing and performing in the Sunday Company at the Groundlings, and can weld if need be.
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