If you’ve ever wanted to work for yourself, then there’s no better time than now. Self-employment in the 21st century is a much more exciting and reachable option than ever before. Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier than ever to approach potential customers or clients. If you’re a freelancer or small business, then this is great news.
No longer do you need to spend thousands of pounds on local billboard advertising to build your brand. With the internet, you can approach thousands of potential clients with just a few clicks.
As a freelancer, there are numerous benefits you get from working for yourself. You can choose if you want to commute to work or work from home. If you don’t like early morning then you can set your own working hours, and best of all; you can work from wherever you want. As long as it has access to the internet, you can work from whatever country you want. The only problem is: with over 196 countries worldwide, which country do you pick?
Well wonder no more, because we’ve got you covered. Our handy list of the top 6 remote working destinations worldwide will solve your problem. We’ve researched (and visited) all of these countries to find out which is the best.
The best thing is, if you don’t like a country then you can always relocate. That’s just another awesome benefit of working as a freelancer: you aren’t tied down to anything. If most of your clients are based online then you have no excuse to avoid travelling.
This list takes many things into account, but some factors are obviously more important than others. For example, the average internet speed is one of the most important if you’re planning on working online all day. Other factors include the air pollution, the crime rate and, of course, the number of coffee shops available.
Thailand is an exciting destination for tourists from all over the world, but it’s also a wonderful place to work from. It has a warm climate, good quality air, friendly locals and a decent average internet download speed of 19.3 Mbps. We chose to put Thailand on the list because, although it isn’t without its problems, it’s a place which you can certainly feel comfortable.
Let’s be honest, most start-up ventures put you under financial pressure and Thailand is a place where your money will go further. It may be the cheapest place to live on our list, but it’s far from dull and run down. There are moderate problems with crime (mostly pickpockets) and the political situation could be described as unstable. But as long as you follow common sense, it’s not different from Western Europe and the USA. If you like the idea of a warm lifestyle, cheap and tasty food, and fair house prices, then why not consider:
Phuket is located in the southern provinces and is also the largest Island in Thailand. With a small population of just 600,000 people, it’s an ideal place to relax. You could even head down to the local beaches, which are absolutely stunning. The cost of living is also cheap, with 1 bedroom apartment setting you back only $200 a month. We recommend this area for the more quiet worker, as it’s far away from the city. With the area being more remote, air conditioning is not available in all properties so the sun can get very hot during the summer months.
If you prefer the hustle and bustle of city living, then why not consider the countries capital city? You can barely go one street without running into a coffee shop or internet café and the nightlife is known worldwide. Of course, as you would expect, a 1 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre is far more expensive than Phuket ($330). However, it’s the price you pay for the amazing benefits the city has to offer. One of the more unknown benefits of Bangkok is that it actually has a very high physician to population ratio. If you’re looking for cheap medical care whilst working abroad, then make sure you get checked up. If the heat from Phuket sounded too much, then luckily Bangkok has more readily available air-conditioning. This means you can enjoy all the beautiful scenery whilst staying cool.
On the other side of China, near Japan, lives one of the most technologically advanced countries on Earth. Often praised as the home of E-Sports, South Korea is a technophile’s dream. If internet speed is something you live for, then South Korea has an average download speed of 86.7 Mbps! If that wasn’t enough to seal the deal then South Korea also has a very low crime rate. Although South Korea is on the same continent as Thailand, the weather is far more moderate. This means it’s much cooler for those that don’t like the sun.
If you aren’t someone looking for an amazingly fast internet speed, then South Korea still has much to offer you. The public transport there is so cheap that you can actually travel to anywhere in the country, on a bus for only $30. It also has a fast train network with reasonable prices and international airports dotted all over. If you aren’t already convinced, then let’s talk about your stomach. Not only does the country import and sell cheap alcohol, but the Korean diet is one of the tastiest in the world.
Yes, most meals come with rice, but it’s far tastier than having potatoes with every meal. There is enough variation of sauces and meats that you won’t ever get bored. If you miss your western food there are plenty of fast food chains available. There are also so many coffee shops you’ll never get to sleep! Not only is the food tasty, but it’s also cheap. With prices as low as this you’d be crazy not to give it a visit. So where in South Korea do you fancy?
Jeju is an Island just south of the mainland and it’s absolutely stunning. Since this is a list of remote working destinations, it would be cruel to include only cities. Luckily this Island is perfect for anyone looking for a more natural location. Like Phuket, Jeju Island has got well-known beaches, a quiet nightlife and lots of beautiful views. It’s also home to the tallest mountain in South Korea. This is the place to go to take a long break from your busy lifestyle and live peacefully as a digital nomad. It’s also the cheaper option if you are worried about cash, a one bedroom apartment will set you back only $383 a month.
Seoul is the heart and soul of South Korea. Most of the above points apply to the capital. It has a fantastic nightlife, rows of internet cafés and very friendly locals. In addition to this, Seoul also has good safety and stability, without being too expensive. It’s slightly more expensive than Bangkok at $561 a month for a one bedroom apartment. However, it’s well worth it to live in a place with so much to offer.
As the coldest place on the list and the most expensive, Iceland is for those that love nature. The low crime rate (5th lowest in the world) make this a very safe country to live in. Although the language can be difficult to learn, it isn’t too much of a big deal. The language isn’t too much of a problem as most of the population in Reykjavik speak English.
However, if you are a budding self-author it could be really useful to translate your book into Icelandic, especially since they read the most books in the world. Full of internet cafés, the country has a good internet speed at 41.2 Mbps. However, the air quality here slightly lets it down, mostly due to Eyjafjallajökull releasing lots of sulphur dioxide. Don’t let this get you down too much though, the locals are some of the happiest people on Earth, but with views of the aurora borealis how could you not smile?
If there is one thing about Reykjavik that could put you off, it’s the average cost of living. A 1 bedroom apartment outside the city centre will cost you $750 a month. But it’s not all bad news, you’ll get the added excitement of a colourful roof! The temperature for Reykjavik is actually rather moderate, with the average during winter being around 1oC and summer around 12oC. The city its self is very safe, friendly and full of yummy coffee shops (a must have for remote working). Despite being a city Reykjavik is a perfect place for those that don’t like lots of people. The current population is only around 118,000 people.
When you aren’t working the city offers lots of to offer. With museums, rafting, the famous Harpa concert hall and the blue lagoon, you’ll definitely find somewhere to relax. When the sun sets (which it doesn’t during summer) the nightlife takes over with countless cafés, pubs and clubs. But what about food? Well the food is pretty tasty but also adventurous, including rotten shark meat and reindeer (sorry Santa).Dont let those put you off those, there is plenty of “normal” food to eat too!
Reunified in only 1990 Germany is now a fantastic example of what a country should be. Their crime rate is low, their human rights are fantastic and it’s a safe place to live. Best of all you can drive on the motorway at whatever speed you like. If you prefer to have two wheels instead of four then the cycle lanes connect most of the country. This gives you a fantastic route around on your bicycle, and the public transport is fantastic with most of Europe being easily reachable by train. The country is also quite large, (over 350,000 km) which means it covers lots of terrain. This is a country which is perfect for travelling and visiting famous spots. It’s also great for experiencing different sports including snow sports in the south and eating the fantastic food.
If you decide to travel on the public transport network you won’t have to worry about delays. The country is so efficient they boast an average 35 hour work week while still getting everything done. The internet speed is an unexciting 30 Mbps, but it is almost always activated within a week of choosing. If you don’t get internet as quickly as you would like, you can always hang out in the many Wi-Fi enabled coffee shops. While the whole of Germany is a place of exciting history and gorgeous food, we suggest you plan a trip to the following cities. Just don’t do it on a Sunday because nothing is open.
Although Cologne doesn’t sound very exciting, it’s a beautiful place to walk around. The Cologne cathedral offers beautiful views over the river Rhine and if you love your beer then you are in the right place. Visit a local brewery and you’ll be able to taste the local beer, which can be followed by eating some of the local food. Cologne also has good networks to most of Europe, museums which will entertain you for some time and a well-known nightlife with festivals during some months. It’s a similar price to South Korea at $510 rent which is well worth it.
Hannover is known as the greenest big city in Germany and is world renowned for its technology from the University. At $369 it’s a cheaper option than cologne, but you certainly won’t get less for your money. It’s a peaceful place with a mild climate and lots of green land to help you relax your mind. It’s also centrally located meaning that it’s easy to travel to Berlin (1.5 hours by train). If Berlin isn’t for you then, the city of Hamburg (2 hours by train). This is a perfect base of operations to create your own company which tends to the whole of the country. And in your time off you can learn the ‘purest form of German’ which is native to the city.
Keeping in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean diet is world known for its high life expectancy and tasty meals. Spain is a place where your money will go much further than most places. The internet speed is also nothing to worry about at an unimpressive (but decent) 28.2 Mbps download speed. As it’s in mainland Europe there really isn’t much to pollute the air, so the air quality is good. You are probably aware that Spain is not in the best financial shape right now, but that doesn’t mean that there is much crime there. In fact, there is very little as Spain has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.
This also means that house prices are really low and your money will go a lot further than it would in most of the other western world. The locals are also quite friendly and most of them speak English meaning you won’t struggle to communicate, although Spanish classes are very easy to find and it’s a fun and useful language to learn. As with Germany the country is very large and so it covers a lot of the climate but it is a relatively hot place to live. If you are after a milder climate the other places on the list are possibly better for you, especially if you don’t want to nap during the afternoon because it’s so hot.
Sitting in north Spain this is a place of beautiful beaches, exciting history, lots of sun and affordable wine. At $342 dollars a month (one bed apartment outside the city centre) this is an affordable destination for new remote workers. If you are a fan of La Liga (soccer) there is a professional football team present for you to watch, and there is plenty of museums for you to visit in your leisure time. If you would prefer a more relaxed environment there are plenty of cafés available and the beach is a fantastic place for you to sit down with your laptop and get some work done. Spain also has one of the best train networks in Europe so meeting clients won’t be a problem.
At the other side of Spain are the canary islands, an important one is Gran Canaria. This is an island which, weirdly, is known for it’s cloud formations. During the summer months the strange winds create clouds known as ‘mar de nubes’ which are beautiful to look at. This is also a place of marine life with turtles a common sighting, and of course it’s full of beautiful Spanish beaches. Even though it’s a small island with a population of only 830,000 it’s a safe place with a good internet connection and warm weather. It’s also full of cafés and you are never too far from a Spanish restaurant either.
If mountains are more your thing the nearby island of Tenerife is home to the highest mountain in Spain, and the temperature rarely falls below 20oC average throughout the year. It’s also full of beautiful scenery and has lots of mountain trails for you to follow, or you could climb the waves in surrounding ocean by surfing. Although not on the mainland, the food is very Spanish and there is a lot of Spanish wine to enjoy. This place sounds exciting but the best part is the price. At only $318 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre this is a perfect place to work part time or start up your new idea.
As the newest country on the list the Czech Republic is a place where you should aim to visit at least once in your life. Although the country lacks any access to the sea and isn’t as English speaking friendly as the other countries on the list, it’s one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. It’s captivating natural beauties and reserves will help distress you after even the worst day of work. The locals and traditions are fun and friendly and the Czech beer is world famous. The internet speed may only be 28.2 Mbps but this isn’t a problem.
The air is also quite clean across most of the country (avoiding the east) and crime is not a problem if you follow common sense. The country offers great value for money (Although it’s better if you can speak the language), a thriving social scene and boasts a good public transport network. If you prefer to drive it’s not as easy as the other countries and getting a driving licence is difficult if you can’t speak the native tongue. The healthcare is also good and inexpensive, but a lot of medical staff don’t speak English and long queues are common.
If you like jazz, Prague is a place for you. Its nightlife provides many modern clubs, older pubs and jazz bars all with cheap famous Czech beer. Prague is also known for its shopping scene meaning you’ll have lots of goods to spend your hard earned money on. Speaking of money the country is relatively well priced at only $352 a month (1 bedroom outside city centre) so you’ll certainly have lots spare. If you would rather save your cash there are plenty of free attractions too, including street performers, choirs, museums, cheap day trips and fantastic music. If you stay all year you’ll also experience the seasonal events of the city and the yearly markets giving you a taste of Czech culture. Oh and in case you were wondering, Prague is also full of delicious coffee shops.