Last night I was at a roof top party in a Spain, with a group of amazing entrepreneurs and digital nomads from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Italy & France.
We had a beautiful BBQ overlooking the Atlantic, drank way too much rum and started a really interesting discussion on the best places in the world for location independent entrepreneurs to work from.
We swapped places we had visited and over the course of the evening we figured out the criteria needed to find a great co-working space for digital nomad types:
1. Great internet access.
There’s nothing worse that being somewhere beautiful and stressing out because you haven’t been in contact with your team in 3 days and you KNOW it’s costing you money & slowing down your business.
Internet access in Europe is a lot cheaper than the US and I’ve never had too much hassle getting great wifi.
2. Nice weather.
OK listen, I live in Ireland. I love it – in the summer In the winter it gets pretty dark, grey, wet & miserable for a few months, and its not a whole lot of fun. Escaping the winter and living somewhere else for those few months at the least, is a dream that I think nearly everyone has, whether they are self-employed or working for a company. Add in a pool or a sea-side location for bonus points.
In the winter, there are a secret number of small islands off the coast of Africa. In the past, these were the refuge of towel hugging Germans, Spanish natives and sun burnt English, but in recent years these have started to become winter refuges for digital nomads from all over Europe.
3. Access to a community of people who are running successful businesses.
This is the real value I think. I won’t mention names, but I know at least one major city that runs a lot of start-up / business / entrepreneur events. They make me cry.
Everyone is enthusiastic and excited (great). But no one has earned any money from what they are discussing, and there is not a lot of proven knowledge about. The old saying ‘if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room’ applies. I would love to hear your top places in Europe for meeting & having a beer with other successful entrepreneurs. Let me know in the comments below.
4. No / limited visa problems.
Ah Visas Possibly the bane of every digital nomads life. You can only stay in Bali for 30 days unless you jump through a lot of hoops. Australia will kick you out after 3 months. America? Those dudes require your whole identify before they even let you step into the country & they don’t like to see you too often either.
Based on your nationality, being able to stay somewhere without the headaches is pretty major. If you are European (or have an Irish great grandmother – check it out & get your Irish passport!), literally you have a magical continent on your doorstep waiting to be explored.
5. Just cos it’s the cheapest doesn’t mean it’s the best.
Asia is great, and I know some people love it. Google digital nomads and you’ll see lots of people singing the virtues of how you can live on $2 or similar a day and work from paradise. Yeah I get it. Earn $2000 per month in dollars, and live like a king while spending bahts.
But there’s downsides too. Parts of Asia can be incredibly crowded & polluted. Traffic can be nuts! The humidity and bugs can be manic and its a long way from home for longer term stays. If you love it, great. But I’d argue that Europe has a lot to offer as well for digital nomands.
6. Visit beautiful inspiring places..
Forgive my bias but I think Europe is one of the prettiest places in the world.
Over to you…
So.. I’d love to hear from people who have worked in Europe running a location independent business.. what places do you recommend?
Do you have any travel hack tips for share (like how to get compensation on delayed flights?). Let me know in the comments.