So, you can work remotely and you want to go overseas and enjoy the opportunity, but you’re not sure where to start?
We’ve all been there but we’ve got some good news.
The Modern Worker team has been on the road now for more than 4 decades, combined, and we can help point you to some of the best places to live when you work remotely.
Please note, none of these places are in the United States.
If you want to work remotely in America, we’ve got a list of the best American locations to work remotely too.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
We’re not biased here at Modern Worker but we’ve all spent some time in Chiang Mai in Thailand and can heartily recommend it to anyone.
This Northern City may have no beach, but it has a very low cost of living married to a high standard of living.
The food is excellent, the Wi-Fi is super reliable (and fast), and the locals are famous for their friendliness.
It also has one of the largest “digital nomad communities” of any city in the world, which means it’s super easy to make friends in too.
Da Nang, Vietnam
On the other side of Indochina, the sleeping giant of Vietnam is awakening and if you want the absolute lowest cost of living on our list, you’ll find it in Da Nang.
This doesn’t mean compromising the quality of your life. You can get a beach front apartment for less than $400 a month including bills!
There are restaurants, bars, museums, and much more and even a few imported goods stores so you can get the taste of home.
In 10 years time, everyone will be going to Vietnam, so get there first before it loses its charm.
The Canary Islands, Spain
Ignore the fear mongering headlines about The Canary Islands dropping into the sea, it’s not going to happen in our lifetimes or even in a hundred lifetimes.
What you do have is sun, sea, sand and surf for a surprisingly affordable price for Europe. It’s for this reason that Las Palmas, the capital, is now firmly on the digital nomad hub list.
So, you should have no issues finding fellow remote workers to talk to.
Estonia has an actual digital nomad visa and e-residency program. So, if you like low stress environments (and if you do, see our wellness tips for remote workers too), it could be a great place to start.
It’s a beautiful city and while it’s not the cheapest destination on our list, we would note that compared to its Scandinavian neighbors it’s a bargain destination.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
South America is often seen as a challenging destination to work remotely from, but Argentina is trying to make it easier.
You’ll find plenty of easy visa options and the capital is seriously affordable with plenty of remote workers and startups to be found.
The only real downside? The lousy internet speeds which tend to cap out at 20mbps. So, videographers, etc. might want to choose somewhere else.
Mexico City, Mexico
During the recent Coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions, one country resisted them all and stayed open and free, Mexico.
Mexico City is affordable and offers a very high quality of life. Sure, you need to be careful about which neighborhood you move into but assuming you aim for “expat friendly”, you’ll be fine.
It also offers super reliable internet and there’s a ton of things to see and do in the city, so you'll never be bored.
Cape Town, South Africa
It’s not all roses in Cape Town but we’d point out that it’s one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth and it has a ton of atmosphere.
However, Wi-Fi is not super reliable, so if “always on” is essential to you, you won’t find it in Cape Town
The environment is great for getting some outdoor exercise in though (and if you can’t get out – we’ve got some great exercises for remote workers to do at home too).
The length of a continent away from Cape Town, you’ll find Marrakech nestled in North Africa and it’s one of the most diverse and charming cities on the planet.
It’s not expensive to live there, visas are ridiculously easy to come by and digital nomads love the place (and other Moroccan cities).
After work, head out to a souk and grab a shisha or two with friends and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get here sooner.
Barbados was the first country to announce a 1-year remote worker visa which allows you to stay far longer than you can on a tourist visa.
While we’re a bit iffy about this style of visa (you don’t want to end up owing taxes in two places), there’s no doubt that it can be handy if you want a low-hassle life.
This is the ideal destination for those who love to surf in style though we would note, it’s not at all cheap and you’ll need to be among the better heeled digital nomads to spend a year in Barbados.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Yes, Israel. While you may have visions of heading towards Jerusalem or Bethlehem on the back of a donkey, Tel Aviv is one of the world’s most modern and vibrant cities.
They have a high standard of living, a relatively low cost of living (for a highly developed nation) and so much to see and do that you could never be bored.
English is also widely spoken in much of Israel which makes getting around super easy.
Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Live And Work Remotely
There are so many places on the planet to live and work remotely that we could turn this into a top 100 or even top 1,000 list without much effort.
However, we think that this list of the best places to live and work remotely offers a wide-range of choices that should suit every remote worker looking for that first taste of freedom from the office.