What you will learn
- What you should look for when picking a host country to work online
- Different digital nomad favorable options across the world
What to look for in a host country
As an entrepreneur, you have to be cost sensitive. The less you spend on sustaining yourself, the more you can spend on your business.
The main costs to look at are:
- Apartments, you want to make sure your rent will be low, the disparity of rent prices around the world is stagering and this alone could be enough of a motivation to move abroad for a few years.
- Food costs – You can’t skip food, prices greatly vary between countries as well. Make sure you can eat western food at a decent price too, you will get sick of asian ;).
- Entertainment – You have one life, might as well have fun
- Travel costs
- Internet & mobile plans
Check Numbeo.com for basic life costs in different places
While the world is relatively open these days, there are still some legalities to go through before you set shop in any country. A little due dilligence.
First of all, most countries will require visas depending on your nationality. Check Visa HQ to find out if you need a visa.
Then you want to check how long you can legally stay, how easy it is to find a place and if the place is safe.
But you are there to work so you need to make sure you will be able to be productive there. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How good is the internet?
- How good/easy/expensive is the 3/4 g?
- Are there other digital nomads in the area?
- Can I work in a coworking space?
And finally because you need to enjoy life (that’s why you’re doing this no?) ask yourself the following questions:
- How is t he weather? Any winter? Wet season?
- How is the party / festive scene, can you go out at night and have fun?
- Are there some cool things to do around? Yoga, massage, cool restaurants etc.
- What are the travel options from there?
Most of these options are taken from nomadlist.com and discussed inside the podcast episode. Enjoy the pictures!
Austin Texas – More Info
Playa del Carmen (Mexico) – More Info
Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica) – More Info
Panama City (Panama) – More Info
Buenos Aires (Argentina) – More Info
Santiago de Chille – More Info
Medellin (Columbia) – More Info
Quito (Ecuator) – More Info
Barcelona (Spain) – More Info
Budapest (Hungary) – More Info
Tallinn (Estonia) – More Info
Chiang Mai (Thailand) – More Info
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) – More Info
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – More Info
Singapore – More Info
Rest of the world
Sydney (Australia) – More Info
Christ Church (New Zeland) – More Info
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
Welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast, the place to learn field tested, no BS tactics to grow hack your online business, and finally, live life on your own terms. Now, you host, Gael and Mark.
Gael: Hey guys, welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast. Today I have Mark with me as usual, how is it going Mark?
Mark: It’s going good.
Gael: Cool. And today, we are going to talk about the better countries to live in as an online entrepreneur. Now, this is something that we talked a little bit about when we talked about making a lifestyle changes to actually set yourself up for success and actually, on the way back to gym today, I was calculating how much living in Budapest costs me, and that is living in 3 bedroom apartment in the city center plus having a private chef plus having a private trainer at the gym, etc, so having a pretty cool lifestyle. And, actually with my girlfriend and I, so both of us, food for both of us and training for both and the apartment, in total we come just a little under $2,000 a month, I think it’s like $1,897 for everything. And if you wanted to get the same thing in say like New York or Paris, I think the cost would be way above like $6,000, $7,000, $8,000 a month to get the exact same thing that we are getting.
Mark: Yeah, like 4, 5 times a price.
Gael: I think it’s really interesting thing to talk about, in terms of picking a country that obviously applies to people when they have the mobility, so hopefully, they are not with someone who has a job or if they are with somebody who actually is willing to try to make an online income with them. Which is what happened with my girlfriend actually, she just graduated and we figured it out for her and I think there should be a podcast episode about that at some point. But, it is something that will make you have a much nicer lifestyle without necessary spending a lot of money without spending all the money you are making form your sites, and in that case, our cost of living, because we split the cost is like, for me, I could cover my costs with like half of what one affiliate program makes us per month. It is a pretty good place to be in. When people actually pick a different country to live in, and we are going to go into the actual countries, but let’s just talk about what to look for, like what should people look for when they have to, at least when they want to pick another country or a cheaper place to live in and have a good lifestyle.
Mark: Ok, so there is various things to look for, in general the two main things are enjoyment and cost. But there is a few sort of nuances in there so I’ll just go through them one by one. Definitely the first one, certainly if you are starting out is going to be cost. You can as you said before, you can save a lot of money, like seriously a lot of money by living somewhere much cheaper, living abroad, if you are currently living in the United States or somewhere in Western Europe, as I guess most of our, not all, but most of our listeners are, then you are paying like 3, 4 times the price for most things than you can pay in other locations. Now, that’s not to say that if you move to Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia, or South America, or some of these places that you are going to save- your cost will instantly be 3 or 4 times lower. It doesn’t quite work like that, and it depends on so many different factors, but just know that in general, there is a lot of money that can be saved. And there is a really good site that is called Numbio.com, we’ll post a link in the show notes, and it basically has, I think they have like sort of user data and they can pair a various costs of living points on different cities around the world, but they compare like lots of different things, like the cost of an imported beer or the average cost of buying like an apartment in the city center, they have all these different comparison points, so it gives you quite a good feel, I would say it’s not completely accurate-
Gael: It’s a bit outdated most of the time.
Mark: Yeah, it does give you a good feel for what things going to be like though in general I think. So yeah, in general, the expensive places around the world are The United States, Canada, Western Europe, including the UK, and then the far east like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and then Australia. There are other places which are very expensive, like Luanda in Africa, but I don’t think too many people would go there.
Gael: Yeah, it’s not where most people that listen to us are, if you are, feel free to drop a comment, and by the way, you can find the show notes on authorityhacker.com/17 which is the number of this episode, it is going to redirect you to the show notes.
Mark: The first thing you want to look for in terms of cost is how much is your combination going to cost, so you need to stay in an apartment that could be sort of AirbnB style, a lot of AirBnB landlords offer monthly rates so if you contact them-
Gael: You can negotiate a lot, yeah.
Mark: Offer monthly rates, yeah.
Gael: Just for that, it’s like I actually contacted like the guy that we rented like our villa in Phuket before we went there and actually managed to save 40% just by asking, so it’s worth when you are going to stay for 4 weeks or more send them a message and try to get a discount because it’s very easy to get a big cut in the prices, and that becomes quite competitive, so it’s just a little tip here.
Mark: Yeah. You could also find- usually, actually the best place to find the accommodation is actually once you get there, rather than online, and just speaking to other people who like other sort of online entrepreneurs or digital nomads whatever you want to call them who are living there will be able to put you in touch with the best places, because it can very difficult to find a good place, remotely online, you usually get overcharged and you will never really know how good it is.
Gael: Yeah, I think one thing as well is you don’t know which districts are cool, and not cool, and where you want to actually be, because it’s like one of the perks of going into a city is to be a walking distance from everywhere, and not having to take metro for half an hour or something. And usually, you don’t know these things until you actually know the city, so I would recommend you take like a cheap hotel or something for like a week and then like figure it out, that’s the best way.
Mark: Yeah, so the other cost points you need to consider are how much is your food going to cost, it can be a bit difficult to figure out remotely, and there is other things, the food which you eat there may not be what you are used to, so if you go to Wallmart and buy microwave lasagna every day and most likely you are not going to get the same kind of food-
Gael: You may die much sooner as well.
Mark: Yeah. I mean, I have a few examples here as well, so the food in Thailand is very cheap, however the cheap food is the Asian food, so if you are not into spicy chicken and curries and rice and this kind of stuff, then you may actually be paying a bit more for your food.
Gael: Quite a lot more, like double or triple I would say. And one thing I want to say is like, it sound fun to say I am going to eat Thai every day, but after 2 or 3 months it gets really tiring actually, and I actually see our cost going up quite a bit.
Mark: Yeah, and you will also get quite fat because it’s quite heavy food. So aside from that, other cost facts are entertainment, so what are you actually going to do when you are not working, you are going to travel around the place, are you going to go shopping, to the cinema, to the beach, drinking, like what are all these things and how much are they going to cost, you need to factor those things in, travel around the area is one thing, not just within the city, like whether you take public transport, Uber, take taxis, I mean, some countries, like Thailand, it’s cheaper to take a taxi than it is to take public transport in London, just to put that into perspective.
Gael: Uber makes it cheap in many places as well.
Mark: Yeah, it’s really inexpensive, so taxis can actually be very affordable in some parts of the world, not to mention get you there much faster in some cases. Travel, so this is in Europe and in Asia and I think in South America now as well, you can get really inexpensive flights on these budget airlines, like Wizz Air, or Air Asia, Ryan Air, these kind of airlines. In some cases under $50 for like an international flight, so that can be a huge saving if you do plan on traveling around while you are there. And one of the most important things is communication, so how much is your internet going to cost, you need to buy 3G cards to supplement it, these kinds of things.
Gael: Yeah, how often is it going to drop off.
Mark: Yeah. Internet speeds in some parts of the world, you would be surprised, they are usually better than they are in Western Europe at least. I hear the internet is pretty bad in most parts of the US as well, but in Budapest where we are now for example, for 5 years I’ve had a 120 MB connection and it’s like $30 a month.
Gael: I actually pay $10 all that as well now.
Mark: Yeah, you can get like a gigabyte connections now here, no problem, so not everyone has it obviously, but it’s very inexpensive, I think just because the infrastructure has been built a lot later, so it’s much more modern or something like that I am not quite sure.
Gael: Yeah, that’s what it is.
Mark: So once you sort of figure out cost, you need to sort of do your own budget, how much savings you have, what are you going to make, how much it’s going to cost you, all that kind of stuff, but like plan a monthly budget plus emergencies for extras you need to make sure you have travel insurance, and medical insurance and all these stuff which you need, you don’t want to be left with a $30,000 medical bill if you break your arm or something that’s not cool. So just be careful with that. But you need to consider, I guess it’s called like accessibility, so this has more to do with like visas and passports and that kind of stuff, so again, it depends entirely where you are from and what passport you hold. If you are American, you can stay in Europe for three months out of every six months, but that’s it, then you’ve got to leave. Now, that being said, many Americans can actually get citizenship and passports in many European countries, it really depends like on your ancestory and each country has its own weird set of rules but if you investigate, it’s not actually that difficult and even if you don’t have any sort of European ancestors to get what you call it like a residence permit, not permit of residency, but a two year residence permit, it’s pretty straight forward, in Eastern Europe in like Hungary and some of these countries. I know a lot of people who do this for example you can claim to be studying the language and then there is also dodgy things over here for example like you pay one of the language schools like a $100 and they will give you a form saying you are going to study there for two years or something like that, and I am British, I don’t need to do any of these stuff but-
Gael: This is central Europe, you can still bribe your way around a little bit.
Mark: These things happen a lot in these kind of countries, you would be amazed. Even when you are trying to do stuff legally, like acquire a copy of your grandfather’s birth certificate, like more often than not you will have to pay someone off just to get it real quickly. All sorts of crazy stuff happen here.
Gael: Basically like a formal way of tipping.
Mark: Yeah, generally you can actually get stuff done though, it’s not too bad. In places like Thailand and South East Asia, there is a lot of options there for sort of extended visa and generally if you are the kind of person that is going to be coming there you are not going to be working, i.e. you are not going to be taking a job from a local person, you are working online which actually in Thailand the government said they are cool with that, you can do that on the tourist visa. You are spending money in their country, it’s a good thing, you are there, you are a bonus to the economy, so generally, a lot of countries will make it easy or provide options for you to stay for longer. So, you just really need to do a bit of research online and ask the other people in similar situations how they sort of overcame it. And you will find that in almost every country there is a way for you to stay there for a long time. So you just go to do your research. One other thing to consider as well if you are a woman is how female friendly the country is. This can be a bit tricky, in some places, so I wouldn’t for example recommend you go to Saudi Arabia, that would be, I don’t even think you would be allowed to go there, as a single women, because they’re like fucked up or whatever, I don’t know, but like-
Gael: There goes our rating.
Mark: Really, you’ve got to be careful with this a little bit, I am obviously not a female so I haven’t really experienced these things, but in general, the world is a very safe place, but just ask other people what their thoughts are and like look for a sort of information about the place you are going. As I said, the world is generally a safe place and you won’t have generally you won’t have too much problems, you just take like the basic precautions. I know that nomadlist.com which is a really good site for sort of evaluating the best cities to go for has like a filter where it shows you like how female friendly it is, I am not sure what that is based on, what statistics-
Gael: The feedback I think.
Mark: Yeah, it can be helpful anyway. So be sure to check that out. The other thing is how easy it is to get there and to get back, so or to get around to other places, so again, if you want to go to Hawaii or something it’s pretty easy to get to but once you are there, like it’s far away, you can’t really do much while you are there, whereas if you come to Barcelona in Spain, there is like 15 other countries within like a 1 hour or 2 hours flight from where you are so think of that as well. Next factor is work environment, so this is what you are going to be- you are going to be working online for most of the day, most days per week.
Gael: You have to work, people forget sometimes when they travel.
Mark: Yeah, it’s not a holiday. So, you need good internet, it’s essential. Some places just have terrible internet like don’t go to Cuba, they don’t really have internet there, or it’s very expensive and restricted, so Google apps doesn’t work there for example. And there is bunch of countries, I think like Iran as well is another one where Google apps do not work, it’s something to do with-
Gael: Even China, I mean think about China and Google.
Mark: China is actually probably the best example like Facebook doesn’t work in China, even like Twitter.
Gael: Twitter is blocked in Turkey for example as well.
Gael: Yeah, they blocked it because politicians didn’t like what people said about them.
Mark: It’s crazy, I didn’t even know that, but like check these kinds of, I am going to Turkey next week. You’ve got to check these kinds of things, before you go. In many cases, there are workarounds, like using VPN and stuff, but my experience using VPN in China hasn’t been that good, it tend to be quite unreliable, and like if they worked, they are pretty slow and that kind of stuff.
Gael: I mean it’s pretty known it’s not exactly work of science what a VPN is and it’s China they can spend quite a bit of money figuring it out.
Mark: Yeah, so just do your research on these kinds of things before you go. How good the internet is, how fast the internet, is, again, nomadlist.com has a good sort of average internet speed.
Gael: Yeah, the problem is like when you land in a hotel and they have like a 2MB per second internet speed, when the average in the country is like 50, that does happen a lot. So, what I would recommend as well is that you check for like kind of like co-working spaces around where you are staying, because there is a good chance, that especially if you are doing short term accommodation, they have a terrible internet.
Mark: Yeah. Always before you stay somewhere on AirBnb or anywhere really, any hotel, I always email them and ask them how good is your internet. And I ask them to do like a speedtest.net scan just to evaluate their internet.
Gael: Yes, and send screenshot.
Mark: And send screenshot. And if they don’t do that, maybe they’ve got something to hide but most AirBnb hosts will be more than willing to do that, if you explain them. In fact, it’s so weird AirBnb needs to have like a field in their-
Gael: Actually just to plug the API in and give the internet speed in the place. They would make so many more sales.
Mark: Yeah, so anyway there is internet speed, you also need to look at 3G speed as well, or 4G depending on where you are, because it’s been my experience in Thailand especially, the internet in some of these islands can be a bit sort of ropey shall we say, you have a few hours blackouts every now and then.
Gael: Even in the cities.
Mark: Yeah, although not so much these days but yeah, it can happen. But with internet, a lot of these countries have very good 3G and 4G and you can, as soon as you arrive at the airport you can get a sim card for like a few dollars, like when I went to Kiev in Ukraine a few weeks ago and I bought a sim card with 1GB of data, and it was like $2,5, it’s ridiculous. It’s just very cool to be able to jump on 3G if you are in the middle of Skype call and your internet drops. In terms of working environment, look for other digital nomads, or other sort of online entrepreneurs, and you can find this communities all over the place in certain forums, Facebook, even places like couch surfing-
Gael: Normally this has a chatting as well, you can actually join a chat and connect with people actually.
Mark: Cool, I’ve seen them on forums as well.
Gael: They have it on Slack actually, you can actually join in and connect with people there. It’s also like just fun to just go to a place and meet people who do something you are doing there and you are going to make a lot of connections and they are going to show you around, it’s kind of cool.
Mark: Yeah, also look for co-working spaces, even if you don’t intend to work in a co-working space, you tend to work in an apartment or whatever, coworking space can be really good for meeting other people and they be an indicator of the big community of people out there so places like Chiang Mai in Thailand have dozens of these, just because there is so many of like online entrepreneurs working in Chiang Mai in Thailand. Look for these as an indicator of where people might be hanging out. And the final thing really is kind of down to you, like look for enjoyment or fun like what are you looking for in your life, like besides somewhere cheap and perhaps warm- oh yeah, there is another thing- check the weather before you go, but like what are you looking for besides somewhere cheap to live. Do you want to sort of live on a beach, like a tropical island kind of thing, good for you, are you looking to party, maybe in that case like a city would be better or one of these like Thai beaches as all these full moon parties going on. Or, are you looking for something more relaxing, like quality of life, like meditation or getting a massage every day, this kind of thing, in that case some places in Asia can be really good for you. Or, are you looking to travel a lot while you are there and just explore the world, in which case pick somewhere which has cheap flights around the region, around the continent and you enjoy that a lot more. But this whole bit is really down to you, I mean, if there is somewhere you just always kind of wanted to go, like follow that instinct and figure that out. And, usually you will have a good time there. That pretty much covers it, in terms of like what to look for, is there anything else you can think of Gael?
Gael: Not really, I just want to like ask a quick question which is like how productive can you be when you travel like that?
Mark: It really depends on the individual, I find them less productive, because I don’t have my routine, an my desktop computer and all these kind of things, but it’s not much less productive, it’s like I don’t know- 75% of what it would be otherwise. I also find that like I feel much more relaxed.
Gael: I think it’s an anti burnout thing. You give up a bit of productivity for a bit, but in the exchange you make your life interesting and you give sense to what you are doing and why you are working so hard, and when you go back home, it’s easy, it’s motivating.
Mark: Yeah, you kind of, you want to get, when you come back, you are like motivated to really get back into it and like do lots of work. Because, we live in Budapest when if we go travel somewhere, it’s actually more expensive to go travel but if we were living London say, it would be cheaper for us to travel.
Gael: We would probably move out if we lived in London, but yeah.
Mark: Yeah, exactly.
Gael: Cool, let’s talk about actual countries like where do people go? Let’s talk about choosing options and I think you want to start talking with nomad list, right?
Mark: Yes. Again, this nomadlist.com is a really good place to go to sort of figure out places to live. There is lots of people who have input lots of data into it and it can give you lots of ideas, don’t just base your entire decision on this but use as a sort of starter. And obviously, do your research beyond that. But I will just sort of go through the continents and talk about of the different places. Let’s start with North America. Actually, it might surprise you but there are some places in the US which are actually ok for this kind of thing, Fort Lauderdale in Florida is actually rated #10 on Nomad list. I’ve never been there, so I couldn’t really comment on it, but apparently it’s relatively affordable, for the US at least, it has lots of other cool factors, good weather, good internet, that kind of stuff. But, if you are looking to move- most likely you will be looking to move out of the US, if you are from there, and the closest country is probably somewhere like Mexico, and you can go somewhere like- I would avoid Cancun but go somewhere like Playa Del Carmen, or I mean there is a bunch of cities in Mexico which are pretty safe actually, despite what you may have read on Fox news about drug lords and cartels and that kind of stuff, but-
Gael: According to Fox news France is also a no-go.
Mark: Yeah, London too, so…
Gael: So it’s ok.
Mark: Consider these kind of places, I’ve been to Playa Del Carmen, it’s really nice town, I know someone who spends a lot of time there every year, in the sort of Caribbean Costa Rica is rated quite highly, I haven’t been there, I’ve heard it’s super cheap there. There is a lot of expats there, a lot of people actually from the US kind of retire there or semi-retire there, I’ve heard very good things about that.
Gael: My friend actually lives in Costa Rica, he really likes it.
Mark: Ok, cool. And is there like a big community out there would you know?
Gael: I mean, it’s not nearly as big as like Asia, or even here, but the thing is like it’s just spread out and people rent big villas in the middle of nowhere. But, yeah, I heard it’s pretty good.
Mark: Ok. In terms of South America, the places to- generally, I’ve heard to avoid Brazil, or most places in Brazil, certainly Rio is very expensive apparently, I haven’t been there. I’ve heard Argentina and Chile are really good, Buenos Aires and Santiago are awesome places, again, very, very cheap to live in. Argentina had a particularly bad economic run recently.
Gael: Yeah, one of our Authority Hacker Pro members Josh from Expert photography was posting these amazing stuff, and just saying it cost him $7. It’s like- it looked amazing, so, I kind of want to go now.
Mark: Yeah, and the thing to remember with like the southern hemisphere is when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, so when it’s winter in Europe or the US, it’s summer down there. You can actually if you are going there for a few months you can actually avoid winter, by just perpetually traveling. That is something to think about as well. I know a lot of people who have been to Medellin in Columbia, which is apparently very safe now, nothing like it used to be in Pablo Escobar days.
Gael: I literally watched the TV show so it makes me laugh actually.
Mark: It’s also very affordable. Very cheap. And the other one is Quito in Ecuador I think it is, which I’ve heard is also very good.
Gael: It’s also only $1,100 per month for digital nomad right here. Which is pretty cheap, but they actually rate the safety as like average, so, I mean it looks cheap, but it’s Latin America.
Mark: To put into perspective, like the safety’s rate as average I am still good, because actually most cities in the US are rated as below average.
Gael: Yeah, that’s true too, but actually I am just seeing the Hong Kong is also average when it’s like super safe.
Gael: So, fair enough, it’s probably safe.
Mark: Yeah. Moving over to Europe. Europe can get cold in the winter, so unless you are living somewhere long term like we are, then you might want to be spending like summers in Europe.
Gael: Yeah, but if you go to like Greece or something I guess it’s not so bad.
Mark: It’s snowing there now, so.
Gael: Ok, well, ok, I take it back.
Mark: In terms of Europe, I would generally suggest southern Europe, like Spain and Portugal, very nice and in the summer- gorgeous weather. Very cheap and it’s quite sort of modern, but it has lots of like very good food and wine and lots of culture there, and it’s-
Gael: Yeah, that’s the thing with Europe, there is two things with Europe, first- food is amazing, and second- the ratio of US dollar to Euro is the best it has ever been in the history of Euro existing. Now, it’s like 1 euro = 1 dollar, so you get like 30% more in euro than you used to get like 2 years ago or something. So you should take advantage of that if you are from the US.
Mark: Yeah, and the euro is like doing pretty badly right now, so even if you are from the UK or somewhere else then think about moving to Europe. Yeah, I really like Barcelona, although, there seems to be a lot of pick pockets there but as a city, it’s like a huge city on the beach which very rarely happens anywhere in the world, besides Miami, so it has-
Gael: Buenos Aires?
Mark: Buenos Aires is not on the beach.
Gael: It’s on the sea.
Mark: Isn’t it?
Gael: Yeah man.
Mark: I actually do not know about that, I am checking this right now.
Gael: Alright guys, hold on, Mark is googling stuff.
Mark: Wow, I had no idea.
Gael: Well, everyone learned something today.
Mark: Interesting. I used to be very good at geography. So anyway, in terms of the rest of Europe, looking more like, you want to avoid North and North West Europe, so like France, UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, these places can be quite expensive.
Gael: Netherlands also.
Mark: Netherlands is a nice place, but super expensive. Yeah.
Gael: I love it, but it’s like you need like 3,000 or 4,000 euros a month.
Mark: Yeah, so in terms of East, think of Prague, Budapest, Tallinn in Estonia and Kiev in Ukraine. Kiev is by far the cheapest of those, Budapest is probably the second cheapest and then Tallinn and Prague are a little bit more expensive, but still, very affordable. The weather in winter in all these places gets pretty damn cold, it’s like -15C in Kiev right now.
Gael: It’s -5C here right now as well.
Mark: Yeah, and that is Celsius, so it’s pretty damn cold.
Gael: If it was Fahrenheit, we would be in deep shit right now.
Mark: But in the summer, these places are absolutely gorgeous, it’s very easy to get by with just English, especially in Budapest, Prague, and Tallinn, even Kiev is not that difficult. And, yeah, you can have a really good lifestyle here. Parties are awesome as well if you are into that kind of things, there is a lot of music festivals around here, so…
Gael: It’s really what you want to make of it, right, it’s like you can party but you can also live a very healthy lifestyle, there is like all these parks, and thermal cities etc, there is like- you really make what you want of it and you make what you want of it for very cheap, as I said earlier, like my personal cost to live for two people is like $1,800 and that’s like an upgraded lifestyle, so it’s pretty cheap.
Mark: Yeah. And then, in, it’s not really Europe but you can kind of count it it’s close by, is Morocco, in North Africa, I’ve been there, it’s amazing, really cool place to visit, I know that there is quite a lot of people who spend a few months there at a time, doing like the nomad lifestyle kind of thing. Yet it’s very affordable and apparently, they have a very good internet there as well, so yeah.
Gael: There is a lot of startups there, yeah.
Mark: And then, in Asia, this is probably the most popular place to go to, Thailand, interesting fact but after Spain, Thailand has the second most amount of British tourists every year, considering it’s like a 14 hour flight from the UK, that kind of puts it into perspective.
Gael: Yeah, there is a lot of tourism there. One thing I want to say as well is for having been in both places a lot, I actually find Budapest pretty much cheaper than Thailand at this point.
Mark: Oh, definitely, yeah.
Gael: It’s like people imagine that Europe is- like the Thailand is the cheapest place etc, because it was for a while, right, but because of currencies moving and the country developing and a lot of inflation in Asia, it’s actually like Central and Eastern Europe is actually cheaper than Asia in most cases.
Mark: I think it was cheaper than Bangkok, but if you live in Chiang Mai long term, then it’s going to be cheaper.
Gael: Yeah, maybe a little bit, not a lot.
Mark: Let’s say like 30%, 40% cheaper. If you are living there long term.
Gael: You can have a rent at like $250 here.
Mark: But if you are renting somewhere- in Chiang Mai you can get somewhere nice for that money. You don’t get somewhere nice here. For 12 month contract, I looked at it, trust me.
Gael: Ok. fair enough.
Mark: Thailand has a lot of places, like Bangkok is a massive city, it’s quite expensive, relatively speaking, still way cheaper than anywhere in the US and you will think it like everything is free if you go there for the first time, there is also like a lot of the islands in the south like Phuket, Koh- Samui, Koh-Phagnan, and these places, very nice places to live very nice weather, just generally awesome places and I highly recommend checking some of those out. Outside of Thailand, Vietnam is a very popular place, it’s a lot cheaper and it’s a bit more sort of like busy-
Gael: It’s rough on the edges I would say.
Mark: Yeah. But there are, I mean, you can get some very affordable places there, to stay and the cost of living there is really, it’s nothing.
Gael: And the internet is surprisingly good actually, I went there like a yeah and a half ago, I was very surprised with the internet, it was very good. Everywhere, I could just use internet no problem.
Mark: Yeah, we have quite a few Authority Hacker Pro members in Vietnam at the moment, some who live there permanently and some who sort of spend six months of the year there, but I’ve only heard good things about the place, I’ve been there on holiday a couple of times myself. Yeah, that’s one to check out. Further around South East Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia are interesting options. Malaysia is quite well developed, so it can be a little bit more expensive, depending on where you stay. Indonesia can be very cheap depending on which part or also very expensive depending on which part you are staying. You might have to contend with a lot of drunk Australian tourists in certain parts of Bali, but if you choose the right area, it’s nice.
Gael: Yeah, they are Muslim countries as well, it’s something to note. The laws are a little bit different and alcohol is more expensive, mostly.
Mark: They are Muslim countries but they are not like Saudi Arabia.
Gael: No, they are tourist friendly.
Mark: You can still pretty much do what you want there and you can buy alcohol and it’s not a problem.
Gael: It’s just more expensive.
Mark: There is an infidel tax I think they call it. So further in Asia, still you have like Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, these are essentially first world cities they are sort of the same prices as London or New York.
Gael: Yeah, Singapore is very expensive.
Mark: Yeah, it’s like $20 for a bottle in Heineken in the club in Singapore, accommodation is like you are spending 3, 4 times more.
Gael: it’s the same as London, Singapore.
Mark: I think it’s more expensive than London.
Gael: It’s very safe, like I must say it’s a very safe city, if you are making a lot of money and you want a cool place in Asia to stay, and you don’t care about dropping 4,000, 5,000 dollars a month for your cost of living, it’s not a bad choice, because you can travel around and have these adventures, but then have very safe and productive environment, but yeah it is very expensive, it is basically first world.
Mark: Yeah, and then the rest of the world, really, I mean, Africa is not really the pace to go, there are a few options but honestly, I just don’t know enough about, I have only been to Morocco and South Africa, so I can’t really comment on that, and I don’t see too many African cities on nomad list.
Gael: It’s probably something that is going to come up in the next like ten years or something.
Mark: Yeah. But Australia and New Zealand and sort of around that part of the world, are worth considering. Australia is quite expensive, like really actually very expensive, but it’s also you have a lot of very nice cities, and the beaches and kind of good sort of lifestyle, if you can afford it. New Zealand is actually surprisingly cheap, surprisingly affordable, and it’s very similar to- it’s like the UK in terms of like the landscape and the weather, and everyone speaks English, and it can be quite-
Gael: If it’s like the UK I am not going.
Mark: Yeah, well- yeah. [laugh] It does rain a lot there.
Mark: But I mean, you’ve seen New Zealand if you’ve seen Lord Of The Rings, it’s quite nice place. That’s pretty much it for places to live. As I said, these are just ideas you’ve got to do a lot of-
Gael: Let’s just give one place per continent. Like, where would you go if you lived in North America?
North America- Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
South America- Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Europe- Budapest, Hungary.
Asia- Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Rest of the world- Christchurch, New Zealand.
Gael: Yeah, ok, well that’s where you guys should go. Cool, well, guys, thank you for listening to this podcast, and if you want to have the show notes and all the sites we talked about, you go on authorityhacker.com/17 and you will find everything there, and we’ll see you guys in the next episode. Have a good day.