10 UP AND COMING DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
As the world of digital nomadism continues to boom, more and more suitable destinations for the globetrotting worker are becoming available. Putting the usual haunts of location independent folk – Berlin, Chiang Mai, Bali - aside for a moment, this list of 10 upcoming destinations for digital nomads has everything from roaring surf to buzzing post-industrial bars. Which will you choose?
With eastern Europe's sluggish internet now totally revamped to high-speed, lightning-fast mega connections, and better low-cost flight routes out to the far-flung Baltic corners of the continent, it's hardly surprising that more and more digital nomads are making Tallinn their next destination of choice. With UNESCO-tagged medieval architecture, one chocolate box of an Old Town area, and a buzzing, bohemian character running through it's swish post-industrial bars, there's plenty on the plus side. Add to that a super-low cost of living, an abundance of great short-term flat rentals and even weekend ferries across the sea to Finland, and this one's hard to resist!
With its tentative access to the European Union and those endless coastlines of glowing white marble that cascades down to the sky-blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, it's fair to say that Croatia is one of the most enticing yet unknown destinations for digi nomads. Cities like Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Rovinj offer a taste of the Balkans and great internet access besides. Then there's the capital at Zagreb, which is fast becoming a hub for startups and digital entrepreneurs.
If it's the salty spray of the Pacific Ocean, the tropical temperatures of Central America, and laid-back living you're after, then there's arguably no better destination than Nicaragua. Beloved of adventure travellers and backpackers for its smoking volcanos and wild jungles, its enthralling colonial cities and vast backcountry of sloth-spotted woods, the place is also slowly becoming a top digital nomad hotspot. LBW chose it as the home for our nomad.life getaway, where plush rooms and high-speed web connections combine with the beauty of handsome San Juan del Sur to make for the perfect working-travel base.
The travel world seems abuzz with chatter about Portugal's rejuvenated, revived capital these days. The hype's not unjustified though. Thanks to its rich history and enchanting Alfama district, where winding lanes clamber up steep hills and trams rattle past coffee-scented artisan cafes, its gorgeous location on the edge of the Atlantic (think surfing spots in Guincho and beaches aplenty in Cascais), the al fresco street parties of the Bairro Alto, and oodles more besides, it's become a hotbed for young, entrepreneurial types in recent years. May the rise continue!
While it's fair to say that manic Manilla has been attracting international workers for some years now, it seems the time has come for the other great cities of the Philippines to shine too. There's Cebu, where good tech mixes with cheap rents and the enticing beaches and isles of the gorgeous Central Visayas. There's Bohol with its wild backcountry and great hiking opportunities. There's Samal, where shimmering lagoons and crystal-clear SCUBA sites await close by.
If you simply can't stand risking being away from the internet for even a moment, but also want a taste of the Far East on your travel-working holiday, then perhaps the uber-hi-tech reaches of South Korea are for you. In the capital, Seoul, WiFi and cloud connections are everywhere, each lightning fast and ready for whatever project you can throw at them. And while rent's never going to be as cheap here as places like Bali or Thailand, the food courts and low-cost transportation network means it's easy to keep other costs down.
Sat right in the middle of central Europe, bridging the gap between east and west, Hungary is much larger than many of its neighbours. That said, most of the life here carries on in the bustling capital of Budapest, where bubbling Art Deco bathhouses from the 19th century meet raucous ruin bars that pulse with action until sunup. For digital nomads, the benefits are clear: low rents, cheap booze, bargain food, oodles of history and plenty of travellers passing through for company. Oh, and there are now great train and bus connections to other top destinations on the continent, from Croatia to Poland.
The last few decades have been a real rollercoaster for Colombia. Back in the 90s, the cities of Medellin and Cartagena were hotbeds of cartels al la Escobar and revolutionary communist guerillas. Today, those conflicts are winding down and this cut-out of South America is entering a new stage of life. Cue the high-tech, modern industries of cities like Bogota and Bucaramanga, which have brought nifty internet connections and an international crowd to the nation for the first time in a while. Oh, and there's no shortage of awesome attractions for the evenings and weekends either: the shimmering bays of Caribbean Tayrona; the soaring Andes; the enthralling Coffee Valley.
Away from the wild eastern reaches of this colossal country on the divide between Europe and Asia, the gorgeous Turquoise Coast and the riviera of Bodrum and Marmaris invites travellers with its handsome, whitewashed fishing towns and lively nightlife. One of the real bonuses is that the weather stays good in these parts well into autumn, while prices for rentals drop considerably when the yachts go away. It's the perfect low-season nomad location, perhaps?
Gone are the days when Romania was considered the wild, vampire-infested east of Europe; the province where no backpacker would venture for fear of bug-infested hostels and angry communist polizei. Today, the wonderful Carpathian mountains, cities like Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca (with their burgeoning art galleries and cool bars), and even the sprawling capital of Bucharest have plenty to offer would-be traveling workers.
Are you a seasoned location independent person who's traveled and worked on the go? Can you think of any more awesome up-coming destinations for digital nomads that are worth a look in? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if Nica's taken your fancy with its rolling surf and smoking volcanos, be sure to check out LBW's nomad.life.