Work From Anywhere: Choosing Your Next Place to Live
by Thom Brown
Digital nomads and remote workers have the ability to jump from place to place. Have you ever wondered how they make their decisions? When you can work from anywhere, your options seem practically endless. This guide exists to help you narrow them down and find a perfect new home as a remote worker.
Narrow Down By Living Costs
There are 195 countries in the world; you need to start scaling the list down quickly. The first and easiest step is to check living costs. You might be dreaming of living in Stockholm or Dubai but can you really afford to?
Don’t feel bad about opting for a country with lower living costs. That’s your right as a digital nomad. You’ve worked hard to create a remote income so why would you choose to live somewhere unaffordable? To live the lifestyle you dream of, it might be worth seeking out the most wallet-friendly destinations.
You might already have an idea of where you want to live. For instance, you could be looking at Europe. In which case, avoid northern and western Europe. The cheapest places are the likes of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Latvia.
Or if you’re interested in Asia, look into Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. If Latin America is more your vibe, then few places are as cheap as Costa Rica. By focusing on the most low-cost countries, you’ve instantly cut your list in half. Then, you can look at other factors.
Consider the Weather
Weather affects productivity but perhaps not in the way you might expect. You need to think carefully about the pros and cons of different weather conditions and choose a country accordingly. You may opt for a country with a lot of sunshine because you know it puts you in a good mood. However, research suggests that workers get more done when it’s gray and rainy.
This makes sense. When it’s sunny, you want to be outdoors enjoying it, not stuck in your office. However, if you live in a place with year-round sun, this novelty wears off. You’ll be less likely to get distracted if the sunshine is a daily occurrence.
Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference. Some people prefer the cold, others need heat. You do you. Just be aware of how a country’s weather conditions may affect you. If you can’t work in stifling heat, then avoid tropical countries unless you can find an office with exceptional air conditioning. Likewise, if the darkness makes you sad, avoid Scandinavia in winter.
Research Infrastructure and Amenities
Traveling for work is very different from being a tourist. You need a certain level of infrastructure to do your job. Before you choose a new home, make sure you’ll have access to fast and reliable internet. Be sure you have somewhere to work and that you have all you need to be successful.
Places like South Africa may be appealing for their incredible wildlife but can you deal with the regular blackouts? Maybe you can but you just have to plan ahead, perhaps by investing in mobile WiFi or an external power generator.
If your plan is to set up a business, then you’ll also need to look into the local regulations. Are you moving to a place that encourages free enterprise or will you be bogged down by red tape? These are all questions you need to ask yourself in order to come to the right decision.
Look into the Local Culture and Politics
Finally, it’s important to explore the local culture. You’ll want to feel a sense of belonging and make sure that you fit into the community in your destination. Perhaps you like the fiercely pro-business culture of a city like Tallinn or maybe you prefer the laid-back, creative vibe of Mexico City.
You might be seeking a progressive, LGBTQ+ vibe in a city like Brighton or prefer a city with more socially conservative attitudes. The point is that every destination has its own unique culture, politics, and outlook. Your new home should have a space for someone with your personality and worldview.
Of course, cities are incredibly diverse, meaning that there will always be people of all types. Before you head to one, though, check if there’s already a thriving community you can fit into. Many digital nomads opt for cities that already have a remote work scene. These help you find that sense of camaraderie and belonging that travelers often lack. You’ll be able to make long-lasting friends, build professional relationships, and enjoy a more balanced, happy life.
Book Your Apartment
Once you’ve done all this research, there’s only one thing left to do: book your apartment. It’s at this point that your plans might have to change. Even once you’ve found a destination that’s affordable, with good infrastructure, and an ideal local culture, you may find that you simply can’t find the right apartment.
Perhaps you’re looking for something with the quality of an Anyplace Select apartment but can’t find somewhere adequate in your chosen destination. If so, don’t worry. There are bound to be loads of places that match your criteria. Create a shortlist and then compare your options for accommodation.
It may be that one place has a beautiful, well-located apartment, with incredible office space, and the most amazing views. If so, then you should probably opt for that one. Let your research make the decision for you.
Remote workers have the benefit of flexibility so don’t get caught up in your own stubbornness. Be open-minded and keep your options open. Over time, you can narrow down your options using the suggestions above. Once you move into your new home, it may not be perfect. Don’t worry, though. As a nomad, you can always move on to bigger and better things.
Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.
Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.