During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to make the switch to working remotely or working from home for the first time in their lives. These opportunities to experience a new style of working have opened the door for many people to get a taste of the digital nomadic lifestyle, and many people don’t want to return to the “old way” of working!
With this understanding in mind, and after experiencing their own digital transformation brought on by the pandemic, there are many companies who don’t mind where their employees work from, as long as the work is getting done and the employees are available as needed. Remote working has become a brand new possibility for many during the pandemic, meaning the office can now be a kitchen table or a sandy beach, or even somewhere on the other side of the world.
Do you currently work remotely, or is it something you’re hoping to make happen in the near future? If so, and if you’re dreaming of traveling to experience new places while working remotely, we’re here to help!
Below are some destinations we recommend that welcome remote workers and have the infrastructure in place to make working remotely from these locations a breeze!
Thanks to its convenient digital nomad visa, fast wireless internet, exciting but safe cities, and a robust expat community, Portugal is a wonderful destination for remote workers looking for a new place to call home!
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa that is made up of four islands. The main island is Madeira, and it is starting to become very popular with expats!
There is indeed a good reason for this, as the government has recently launched a program specifically to attract digital nomads. Here, remote workers can enjoy beaches, mountains and rivers on this beautiful volcanic island. Disconnecting after work is easy, because of the remoteness of the location and the tranquil pace of life enjoyed here.
Lisbon is the perfect place to work remotely if you want to live in an energetic city with close proximity to beautiful and relaxing beaches. It’s the best of both worlds!
Here, expats can enjoy a plethora of activites, such as: exploring the iconic streets of Lisbon, historic ruins, and the winding old town, admiring the colorful architecture adorned with azulejos (Portuguese tiles), relaxing in the great weather, and making friends with the locals. Expats will appreciate the relatively low cost of living and of course, the affordable but high-quality wine. There’s so much to enjoy in Lisbon!
Portugal’s second-largest city is one of the most beautiful. Its riverfront is dotted with colorful houses and restaurants where people sip wine and enjoy fresh, local seafood specialties.
Porto is popular with tourists too, making it quite busy in the summer. But finding hidden gems in the city on your days off and visiting smaller cities in the country is a great way to explore Portugal and also to avoid the mass of tourists when they do appear!
For non-EU citizens, the process for a Portugal visa can be a little complicated. You’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa at your local Portuguese consular office. You’ll need to show the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Proof of health insurance (which provides coverage in Portugal)
- Criminal record
- Proof of income
For more information, visit: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/portugal-visa/
With speedy internet, affordable living conditions and communities full of like-minded friendly people, Bali is an amazing destination to settle down to work remotely, and has a ton of beauty to be explored!
There are many places on this Indonesian island that are hubs for expats and remote workers. Bali is affordable and unbelievably beautiful, the locals are nice, and there are a plethora of things to do when you aren’t working like visiting temples, admiring rice terrace fields and relaxing on one of the many beaches. Your time in Bali will truly be unforgettable.
Canggu, Bali is considered one of the best cities in the world to work for digital nomads. There are so many beautiful things to be said about this location. In Canggu, you’ll find various types of people who call Bali home, from the high-energy of the surf and ocean lovers, the sociable sunset cocktail chasers, the passionate and mindful yogis, and of course, the many remote workers hanging out in cozy cafes.
Don’t forget to make use of your days off to soak up the surf, do some yoga, enjoy the sandy beaches and sunset views from a cozy cocktail bar.
Ubud is located in central Bali and it’s absolutely beautiful, surrounded by rice terraces and jungle. While you can still go out and have fun partying in Ubud, if you’re looking for a more laid-back community this is the place for you.
If you’re looking to deepen your mindfulness practice while working remotely, definitely make sure to check out the many yoga studios and meditation centers in town. Also if you love jungle trekking, waterfalls or rice terraces, don’t forget to take the time to explore the surrounding areas of Ubud!
Uluwatu is the most popular area on the Bukit Peninsula, best known for its Uluwatu Temple. This Hindu temple is situated on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean and is regarded as one of the six most important temples in Bali. Uluwatu features many coworking spaces, perfect for remote workers who are looking for delicious coffee and strong wifi!
Uluwatu is home to some of Bali’s most scenic luxury villas, beach resorts, and restaurants on towering cliffs that offer incredible sunsets over the ocean. Search out hidden beaches and amazing surf breaks. If you’re looking for a peaceful spot in Bali away from the crowded party towns, Uluwatu is the perfect place for you.
Remote workers from Canada can enter Bali visa-free for stays of up to 30 days. If you want to stay longer, Bali is hoping to attract more remote workers with a new five-year visa.
Back in 2021, Indonesia’s government announced that it will grant 5-year visas with no taxation to digital nomads who have foreign-sourced income. The country’s economy has been devastated ever since the start of the pandemic and Indonesia hopes this plan will help recover local tourism!
For more information, visit: https://bali.com/bali/bali-visa-indonesia-entry-regulations/
Spain has passed a new law that will allow visitors to live and work there for up to 3 years. If you’ve been thinking about getting away from your desk and taking off to remotely work somewhere far from home, then Spain might the perfect destination for you.
Has living on a tropical island always seemed like an unachievable dream? Well, we’re here to inform you that it’s absolutely possible, especially if you’re thinking about Tenerife, Spain!
There are very few bad things to be said about this island. You can spend your days working from a cafe with good Wifi, go swimming in beautiful blue waters, and get ready to party during the night. There also are mountains (and a dormant volcano) to hike up if you want to enjoy the lovely nature of the island. Tenerife is known for its natural beauty and its party atmosphere!
Barcelona is beautiful and full of history, with plenty of parks, beaches, and great food. It’s no mystery why people love living here!
Barcelona has many lovely qualities, but it does become very busy with tourists and can be expensive. However, with fast internet and tons to do, it still makes for a great home base for your remote working lifestyle.
Plus, the Catalonian nightlife (which doesn’t start until around midnight) is famous for good reason and something everyone should experience at least once in their life!
This small village in the heart of Genal Valley has less than 500 residents! It is perched on the slopes of Sierra Bermeja, a volcanic mountain range known for Spanish fir trees, hiking trails, driving roads and summit views. It’s location is not far from the sea, and its natural beauty has been popular with art lovers for generations.
The good air quality and low noise pollution make this an appealing choice for anyone looking to escape busy city life. The village is part of the National Network of Welcoming Villages for Remote Workers, with the goal to encourage digital nomads to visit. All the villages on the list have less than 5000 residents and are planning to attract new residents to repopulate their streets!
With the rise of remote working, Spain is planning to introduce a digital nomad visa that will allow you to stay and work for a maximum of 12 months with an option for the visa to be extended up to two times.
Due to a lack of job opportunities in rural Spain, many small towns and villages have dwindling populations, making these destinations more than ready to welcome remote workers!
Around 30 towns and villages across Spain have decided to join the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo (or National Network of Welcoming Villages for Remote Workers) to encourage digital nomads to come to visit and work.
For more information, visit: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/spain-visa/
Thailand is a country on many bucket lists, not only due to its pristine beaches, but also because of its rich history, lovely sights, and tasty food! It’s also relatively easy to get tourist visa extensions without much hassle if you decide to stay longer.
Thailand is now not only popular among tourists; it is also a favorite country of digital nomads who come there to take advantage of the sun, comfortable life, and affordability. Thailand offers foreigners the chance to live in the country for up to one year to learn an aspect of Thai culture, such as the language.
Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan is a perfect island getaway for young nomads who want to work hard and play hard! The island is known for its Full Moon parties, which attract backpackers every month.
If you love a good party, you will definitely have fun while enjoying a very low cost of living on Ko Pha Ngan. But when you aren’t partying, there is actually a big community of remote workers, plenty of cafes where you can work from, and great internet speed! As a bonus, you’ll get to relax at the beach whenever you want.
Chiang Mai is another popular digital nomad city in Thailand. This northern city is where people who want to get away from the congested capital come. However, Chiang Mai is a cosmopolitan hub surrounded by mountains, so it is still very easy to get yourself to stunning natural surroundings to immerse yourself in!
There are plenty of cafes in Chiang Mai, finding a flat is easy, and the cost of living is lower than in Bangkok. Also, the city has a really great atmosphere! Visiting temples is a pastime that could easily consume a lot of your free time (Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the most popular one).
If you’re looking for big-city comforts, amenities, and entertainment but don’t want the incredibly high cost of living found in other big cities, then living in Bangkok while working remotely could be the perfect fit for you!
The Thai capital is definitely busy and can sometimes be too much stimulus for some people, but if you like a busy city, a nightlife that thrives every day of the week, and a never-ending list of things to do, we highly recommend checking out Bangkok! In between working, visiting temples and riding boats on the river, you can indulge in some of the most delicious food in the world.
If you want to stay in the Land of Smiles for a couple of months, then the best option is to opt for a 3 or 6-month visa. The 3-month visa only allows you to enter the country once in 3 months. The 6-month “multiple entry” visa is more expensive, but with this visa, you can go in and out of the country multiple times if you have to.
Great news – Thailand is currently working on releasing a 5-year visa for remote professionals that will be categorized under a long-term residence visa!
For more information, visit: https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand-visa/thailand-tourist-visa
If you choose to move to South Africa, know that you l experience an amazing new lifestyle. South Africa is home to many different nationalities and is a melting pot of culture, which can be seen in its cuisine, architecture, places of worship, and of course, its people!
Relax on beaches, go on a safari, sip wine on a vineyard, enjoy the amazing scenery, and explore caves and marine life. There’s never a dull moment in South Africa.
According to a study by the global housing rental platform, Nestpick, Cape Town has been ranked as one of the best cities in the world for people who work remotely!
Cape Town is an incredible and interesting city with a huge flat-topped mountain located right next to the ocean! But Cape Town has lots more to offer than just epic mountains and sandy beaches. Cape Town also boasts friendly locals, several museums for art and history lovers, delicious South African wine,affordable living, trendy bars, and cafes, and immersive African culture. Cape Town is definitely a city worth visiting, or even living in!
In February 2021, South Africa discussed introducing a ‘Remote Working Visa’. The City of Cape Town, which has been voted as one of the “Best Places for Remote Working in 2021”, has even made a comprehensive plan to attract even more digital nomads!
There are no concrete details yet, but through an online application, they plan for the visa to be available to all nationalities with a length of stay being anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.
For more information, visit: https://www.gov.za/services/temporary-residence/visa
Mexico has a variety of everything you could ask for, from amazing weather and delicious food to big cities, mountains and chill beach towns. Mexico is a large and diverse country, and a perfect destination to work remotely.
Cancun and Mexico City are both huge international travel hubs, which make exploring easy with affordable domestic flights. Plus, it’s fairly easy to get a visa! Over the last decade, Mexico has become popular for digital nomads looking for affordable lifestyles, new cultures to explore, and friendly neighbors to practice Spanish with.
Playa Del Carmen
A lot of people who are working remotely in Mexico end up in Playa del Carmen. It is geographically located in between Cancun and Tulum. It is not a giant resort town like Cancun, but it’s still located right on the beach, which is a huge draw for many expats!
Playa del Carmen has a huge expat community, boasting fantastic weather year-round and strong Wifi. Playa Del Carmen is a great hub to start your Yucatan adventures, such as exploring gorgeous ruins like Chichen Itza.
Merida is the largest city in the Yucatan and it is an excellent home base for working remotely, while still offering plenty of things to see and do. Merida is also widely believed to be the safest city in Mexico!
If you want real, authentic Mexico without sacrificing your peace of mind, Merida is a great destination. You will be able to find a community of digital nomads pretty easily here. It has become a popular place for remote workers due to its affordability, beauty, and excellent nearby location for exploring.
Merida serves as a convenient base for day trips to the region’s UNESCO-listed archaeological sites, nature reserves with diverse wildlife, and treasured villages. Make sure to visit the ruins of Uxmal while you’re in the area!
Puerto Escondido translates to “hidden port”, and this is the perfect name for this tranquil surf town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Unlike destinations like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, Puerto Escondido is a laid-back town that doesn’t see nearly as much tourism.
Many of the tourists you’ll find here are likely remote workers and expats, too. You’ll find good Wifi in cafes and co-working spaces. Puerto Escondido is also known for its many beaches and buzzing nightlife. Explore the town’s gorgeous central Principal Beach lined with palm trees and thatch-roofed bars after a day at work in your beautiful new office!
Mexico has a temporary resident visa that foreigners can apply for if they want to stay for more than 180 days. As long as you can work remotely and have no Mexican clients, this visa will work perfectly for you. This Visa is also fairly easy to obtain! You can also consider applying for a temporary resident visa. With that visa, you are given the ability to live in the country from 6 months to up to 4 years!
For more information, visit: https://visacentral.ca/destination/mex/mexico-visa
Australia is a land of wide variety, where you can ski and surf on the same day!
Aussie culture is so much more than just beer, barbecues, and hot weather (although there is indeed also a lot of that). Everything from the wildlife to the weather here is colorful, exciting, and can be ever-so-slightly dangerous. No two experiences in Australia are the same, but whatever it may be, it is definitely an experience worth having!
When people think of Australia, Sydney is usually their first thought. However, Melbourne is where a lot of people choose to live. Walkable, vibrant, and green, this city has everything you could want!
You will find a diverse population, and a food scene that reflects this diversity of the city! It is also known for its eclectic arts scene, amazingly quaint alleyways, and café culture.
If you’re into sports, you’ll fit right in with the locals who are obsessed with catching every sporting event. Plus, working here is easy with coworking spaces, good internet, and like-minded people.
The only thing that keeps the city from ranking higher is its location, which can make it difficult for people to travel to other countries, plus Melbourne has a higher cost of living.
Just an hour south of Sydney lies the seaside city of Wollongong. This Australian city is perfect for entrepreneurs and digital nomads who are looking for a smaller community of like-minded individuals.
Despite being small, this community is definitely not lagging behind in terms of innovation! You can swim and surf basically all year round here. Make sure to visit the infamous Sea Cliff Bridge or head further south to explore smaller coastal towns.
The cost of living in Wollongong can be pretty affordable and with good internet speeds and coworking spaces, it is a great choice for remote workers wanting to live near the beach!
Long golden beaches, surfable waves, and an abundance of nature usually come to mind hearing the words ‘Gold Coast’. Well, we’re here to tell you that this location definitely has all that, plus a lot more!
The Gold Coast is a wonderful place for budding entrepreneurs and digital nomads. It is teeming with excellent collaborative workspaces. Does living close to the beach and enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle sound like a great quality of life to you? Australia’s Gold Coast might be your perfect new home to work remotely from!
The most appropriate visa for a remote worker here would be a Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (subclass 482). This requires sponsorship from an employer (which can be an overseas business), and the employer does not need to have any operations or links to Australia to sponsor an employee to work in Australia.
For more information, visit: https://www.australia.com/en-ca/facts-and-planning/useful-tips/australia-visa-and-entry-requirements-faqs.html
Explore the new life that you and your family could enjoy in New Zealand. New Zealand is known for its great weather, unbelievable beauty and high quality of life. Not to mention, its famous work-life balance!
Kiwis believe life is for living, and balancing a good day’s work with time for family and friends is very important here! If this sounds like a perfect match for you, then New Zealand is an amazing destination to work from remotely.
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, with about 1.65 million people. Regardless of its smaller population for a metropolitan city, Auckland is big on the excitement!
The city easily attracts remote workers with a love for the outdoors and extreme sports. Skydiving has been a popular pastime for decades.
With a year-round temperate climate, you can almost always hike or picnic in Auckland Domain, a park that has been built around an extinct volcano. You’ll also be close to the bay, which offers beautiful views and exciting watersports.
When it comes to working, the internet is fast, there are many cafes, the city is expensive but it has so much to offer.
If vacationing will be your main activity throughout your time in New Zealand, it will not be an issue to work remotely from time to time in relation to your usual overseas employment while holding the standard visitor visa. A visitor visa will allow you to stay in New Zealand for up to nine months. If you wish to stay longer than your visitor visa allows, you may be able to apply for a further three months’ stay.
Working holiday visas are also available to young people, usually aged 18 to 30. This visa lets you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 23 months.
For more information, visit: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas
South Korea is quickly becoming one of the most popular digital nomad destinations! While living expenses can be a bit expensive, it is well worth it for all that South Korea has to offer.
South Korea has incredibly fast Wifi (that can be found and accessed almost everywhere) and countless coffee shops to work from, plus you can find cute and quirky stationery on every corner making work even more fun.
The South Korean capital is a fast-paced city that often gets overlooked by digital nomads, but it is a worthy candidate to consider when looking for the perfect destination for you to work remotely.
Seoul has fast, reliable internet and a widespread cafe and internet culture that makes it easy to find somewhere to work. The city is clean and efficient and so is the country’s rail system, which makes it easy to use your weekends and vacations to explore the country.
Few cities in the world can beat Seoul when it comes to nightlife. With gigantic nightclubs, large party districts and singing rooms, you’ll have many memorable nights out on the town in Seoul. This is also one of the safest places you’ll ever travel to and you’ll definitely enjoy the amazing.
There is no specific digital nomad visa for South Korea. If your digital nomad stint in Seoul is less than 180 days, then no visa is required for Canadian citizens. All that you need is a valid passport.
If you wish to stay longer, then you will need to go through the process to acquire a work visa and permit in Seoul.
For more information, visit: https://www.visa.go.kr/openPage.do?LLANG=EN&MENU_ID=10105
Relocating to a picturesque Italian village sounds like a dream, but did you know some destinations in Italy are actually offering to pay workers who make the move?!
Applicants must have an “active” job, even if they can do it in front of a laptop on a panoramic terrace overlooking olive groves while sipping a glass of red wine. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, as long as you’re tech-savvy enough to do it anywhere!
Santa Fiora, Tuscany
Santa Fiora is an idyllic Tuscan hilltop village where nature and art are perfectly combined. There are towers, fountains, panoramic piazzas overlooking the hilly landscape, museums, and works of Renaissance artists.
The village has barely 2,500 residents and the mayor of the town believes that virtual work can revolutionize the future of his hometown! Remote workers who are willing to relocate and rent a house under the Tuscan sun will be given up to €200, or 50% of the total rent for long-term stays of between two and six months. Accommodation options include cozy stone cottages in the historical center or little villas in the surrounding green rolling hills.
Some of the top outdoor activities include horseback riding, biking and trekking along mountain trails. Explore the rivers, forests, waterfalls, gardens, lavish palazzos and even a castle in the area! Santa Fiora has a popular international music festival in summer and regular food fairs starring local mushrooms, onions, and chestnuts.
For those who’d rather be closer to Rome, the stunning city Rieti offers a similar deal but for a minimum of a three month stay. This hidden gem destination is definitely worth seeing.
Even though Rieti has about 50,000 inhabitants and is one of the largest cities in the Lazio region, its population isn’t growing. Young people often choose to move to Rome in search of work so the city is searching out remote workers who will turn Rieti into their office to revitalize the city!
Within the medieval walls and turrets along the pristine Velino river, Rieti is locally known as “the freshwater Venice” for its network of streams, ponds, springs, and lakes. It’s a mix of medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modern architecture where monumental piazzas and aristocratic palaces are connected by narrow and beautiful alleys.
Foodies will love trying out the local food specialties like Fregnacce alla reatina, a diamond-shaped pasta with a tasty sauce of softened lard, celery, onion, chopped tomatoes, salt and chili. Pizzicotti are ‘pinched’ gnocchi served with a spicy tomato, garlic and olive oil sauce. Stracciatella are eggs cooked in veal broth while spaghetti alla carrettiera are made with seasoned pecorino cheese and chili pepper.
If you are looking for more of a cosmopolitan experience, then Milan is ideal for you. As Italy’s fashion capital, Milan is a large center of commerce, finance, and technology.
When it comes to working, take advantage of co-working spaces, cafés, and libraries to work from across the city, and to relax. Milan is also well known for football (soccer), shopping, and nightlife. It is well connected at an international, domestic, and city level. You’ll be spoiled by everything you can see and do in Milan.
Away from the modern urban side of Milan, there’s a lot of history and culture to enjoy on your days off. From the historical quarter with its palazzi and dreamy courtyards, to art galleries, museums, and churches, there is plenty to explore. You’ll even be able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “The Last Supper” at Santa Maria Delle Grazie refectory.
An Italian visa for digital nomads has yet to be announced; non-EU nationals who wish to work remotely from Italy are able to apply for a self-employment visa. This visa type is valid for 2 years from the date of issue, but it is also possible to obtain an extension once it expires.
For more information, visit: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/italy-visa/
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“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous