The world is a big place and your office can be pretty much anywhere you want it to be. Here are five locations that I have been to that I can heartedly recommend based on my own experience.
1. Bali, Indonesia
Beautiful Bali…somewhere very close to my heart. For the technomad who enjoys wild nights, great surfing thats all on a budget then few places can match the Island of Bali. Friendly locals, usually friendly package tourists and the full diverse range of travellers make this place an ideal base.
Staying in resort can work out very cheap, as can renting a villa if you are planning on staying long term. Eating out is cheap and good quality as is the nightlife which suits all tastes.
Internet access; well if Bali has a minus point then this could be it. The 3G infrastructure is creaking at times and occasional power and broadband outages can hinder productivity.
+ cheap, great climate for most of the year, outdoor activities, lots of other solo travelers, friendly locals, anything goes appeal
– indonesian visas, corruption, terrorism target, unreliable internet, long way from Europe/North America
2. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is the queen of Thai tourism and the destination for many overseas package holiday sun seekers. This is not all bad as with package tourism comes modern development and infrastructure.
Phuket is blessed with great beaches, wild nightlife, anything goes attitiude and modern facilities such as hospitals, good roads and familiar things from home.
Internet access is good and while Phuket might not be the cheapest destination in the land of smiles, it is still affordable, particularly since the Tsunami and other issues Thailand has had to face recently.
+ good infrastructure, many expats, good food and nightlife, decent broadband
– still very much a package destination so the solo technomad might find it hard to meet like minded folk, short visas
3. Goa, India
The jewel of the Indian crown or an ex-hippy, increasingly upmarket tourist trap? Whatever your opinion of Goa, it still rates as a great location to hang out with your laptop.
Internet access is pretty good and improving in India, and Goa is no exception. Accommodation is plentiful and longer term apartments are pretty straight forward to rent. Food is excellent and beer is cheap.
There is an interesting mix of other travellers, from hippies who are still living in the 20th century to the modern backpacker armed with an ipod and crisp Lonely Planet.
+ Still cheap, although not compared to the rest of India, easy access from Asia and Europe, lots of places to stay, many expats, fairly modern facilities, good internet
– Becoming expensive, not entirely safe these days, long wet season
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The capital of Malaysia might not strike you as a somewhere to hang out with your ibook but there is plenty to keep you otherwise occupied and most importantly you have access to the whole of Asia being at the hub of Air Asia.
Free wifi is everywhere, well everywhere you can buy coffee anyway and is fast for the region. Malaysians are friendly and this nation is pretty progressive and young which can make for a stimulating environment to work in.
It is not that cheap for hotels, hostels etc but if you plan to stay a while then apartments are good value and there are generous visa lengths help too.
+ lots of free wifi, friendly locals, lots of expats, nice climate, still cheap by western standards, excellent base to get around and see the rest of the region
– very expensive for beer and short term accommodation, can be humid, not near to a decent beach, terrible traffic and pollution
5. San Diego, CA
Yes this might seem a bit random after the other four Asian destination but I believe the Southern most city of California has big potential as a nomad destination. It’s almost as much about the location as the city itself, being right next to Mexico gives you great opportunities to escape once in a while.
San Diego is blessed with a great climate and had lots of outdoor activities to get you away from the keyboard. Wifi is available everywhere and is always fast and often free.
Accommodation is affordable by US standard and there are one or two great hostels in the city which are good for meeting other folks.
+ visa length available, access to Mexico, affordable by US standards, bohemian coolness in many beachside suburbs
– expensive by world standards, not much of an adventure for US citizens
Look out for my next technomad location list, where I will be featuring such places as Buenos Airies, Auckland, Sydney, Manilla. If you have any ideas for the next list then please leave your ideas.