Top 10 Places to Travel and Work as a Freelancer
Free public Wi-Fi, telecommuting, and an abundance of online job sites have rendered freelancing a viable option for countless young entrepreneurs looking to break the office-chain and go out on their own. Finding the right freelance fit can certainly be tough. Then again, so is longingly gazing out your office window to see a gorgeous day going to waste.
Not only is freelancing a fantastic way to make a living, but it also allows for an incredible level of personal freedom. As long as you have a laptop and a stable internet connection, you can pull up your anchor and travel anywhere you could possibly want. While the possibilities are seemingly endless, there are certainly a few reliable mainstay locales that are worth an in-depth look.
First stop, Melbourne. The capital of Australia has been a mainstay on top livable cities lists for decades. It’s modern, accessible, culturally diverse, and full of fun stuff to do when you’re not slaving away on your computer.
The city has been coaxing working tourists to its shores for quite a while now. As a result, Melbourne has developed an abundance of affordable, short-term living and office spaces. If renting an office in a foreign country isn’t your style, you’ll surely find a healthy dose of Wi-Fi friendly coffee shops and restaurants to help keep you plugged in.
Native English speakers concerned about a potential language barrier can also rest easy knowing that they won’t have to write “learn a new language” to their to-do list. It may seem like a tiny perk, that is, until you find yourself trying to mime the word “wi-fi” to a stranger with a concerned look on their face.
The capital and largest city of Germany is a fantastic place for a freelancer to earn a healthy living and enjoy a healthy amount of fun, too.
It’s been a long road, but since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German economy has restructured itself and flourished on the international stage. Today, Berlin is seen as Europe’s technological darling — and for good reason. Many of the EU’s most profitable tech business call Berlin home and even more flock to the capital for international conferences year-round.
Berlin has much more to offer aspiring freelancers than a booming economy. Music, food, art, festivals, beer — it’s all here and all in abundance.
Berlin’s transportation system is complex and efficient. This makes traveling to the countryside or a neighboring country easier than ever. In Berlin, you’re always just a train ride away from an entirely new adventure.
Austin, Texas has earned itself quite the reputation over the years.
What sort of reputation is that? Austin has a reputation for being progressive, both technologically and politically. It’s a city on the cutting edge of everything that makes living in modern America great. Austin is bursting at the seams with new tech, green, and art start-ups. Tor a hungry freelancer such as yourself, this means lots of opportunities.
Culturally, it doesn’t get much better than Austin. Between food, arts, music, and fashion, it’s safe to say that if it’s trendy back home then it probably passed through Austin two-years ago.
Ah, Lisbon. The second oldest capital city in Europe is the theoretical sweet spot for freelance travelers. The city is full of history, food, natural landmarks, and fantastic weather. If you like beaches, then you’ll love Lisbon. Lisbon is well connected to the rest of Portugal and Europe. This makes it incredibly easy to pack up and go whenever you’re traveling shoes start getting antsy.
Lisbon is a very technologically savvy city. With fast internet, communal workspaces, and cafes, it truly does have everything that a freelancer may need. If things couldn’t get any sweeter, it’s relatively inexpensive on the cost of living scale.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, the largest city in the northern part of Thailand, offers up the perfect balance between work, play, and relaxation. The city is modern with Wi-Fi, internet cafes, and the like. Thanks to the rolling, grass-lined hills, an abundance of wildlife, and weather that people sing songs about, the city is gorgeous. The food, the nightlife, the people — I could go on and on.
The truth is, and freelancers listen up, the cost of living is incredibly low. The low cost of living paired with the magnificently high quality of life equals substantially more value for your freelancing dollar.
Chiang Mai truly is the paradise that freelancers write so much about.
I’d have to use my fingers and my toes to count the number of friends that journeyed out to Vancouver to freelance “for a couple of months” and never came back. And I can’t blame them.
Vancouver is rich with culture, modern, trendy, and ripe with opportunity for the eager freelancer. From tech to the arts, the local economy certainly lends itself well to a freelancer on the grind. And trust me, you’ll need to be on your grind.
While Vancouver can be an expensive place to lay your roots down, your larger rent budget won’t go unrewarded. After all, is there anything better than craft beer, world-class java, and unfettered access to the coastal magnificence of the Pacific?
Seoul, South Korea
If freelancing has afforded you the opportunity to set your sails for something different, you can do far worse than South Korea’s capital and largest metropolis. Seoul is a city of the future with lightning-fast internet speeds, jaw-dropping cultural diversity, technologically superior infrastructure, and Wi-Fi for days. Seriously, you can even check e-mails and balance your budget on the subway!
As far as the quality of life is concerned, Seoul truly does have it all. Majestic mountain ranges, public beaches, serene countryside, and even a relatively affordable cost of living. If that’s not enough, denizens of Seoul and expats alike know how to party, especially geek-culture. There are e-sports festivals, world-class cosplay, and more.
Lying on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia and the surrounding area boasts a population of around 1.5-million people. Outlined by the Mediterranean Sea, this waterside paradise perfectly balances a rich, ancient history with a modern, bustling economy.
Newly settled freelancers can spend their time bumming around on the beaches, taste testing craft beer, gorging on world-class cuisine, or sipping some of the finest coffee in the world. Valencia is well connected, too. Just hop on the metro and see the sites of Spain or hop on a train and explore Europe for the weekend.
On the business side, Valencia is much like the other cities on our list. It has an abundance of Wi-Fi hotspots, an affordable cost of living, and an easy-going living style that lends itself well to getting work things done.
Auckland, New Zealand
When considering new locales to set up shop as a freelancer, the quality of living is king. Consider New Zealand’s largest urban area, Auckland. The city is an outdoorsperson’s paradise with temperate weather all year round, an abundance of natural wonders, and an international reputation for extreme sports.
Auckland is a cosmopolitan city that’s firmly planted on the right side of the modern technological revolution. The city has fast internet, an abundance of Wi-Fi hotspots, and culturally diverse food and art scene that compliments the city’s natural splendor quite well.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, the coastal marvel of South Africa, is a political, multicultural, and economic powerhouse. The city is slowly becoming a large player on the international tech map, earning the nickname Silicon Cape on the world stage.
For freelancers looking to book a new, local gig, there are a bunch of online resources specific to Cape Town. And, as with many of the other cities on our list, Wi-Fi, temporary workspaces, and inspirational destinations are everywhere.
As far as the quality of life is concerned, Cape Town has that front covered as well. There’s plenty of outdoor adventures, delicious food, and the unique cultural underpinnings that can only come from a long, storied history of multiculturalism.
For those of you that are uneasy about possible language barriers, Cape Town has eleven official languages. Now if that doesn’t scream multicultural, I don’t know what does.