In this article I want to cover some of the best countries for digital nomads to live in. Of course, this subject is debatable as it depends on your personal preferences. However, I believe that one can rank countries objectively to some degree; from the ease of living location independently to the general attitude to foreigners. The factors I take into consideration are:
> The relative cost and quality of living
> The internet quality and speed
> The state of infrastructure and freedom of movement
> The visa regime
> The general attitude to foreigners
> The ease of adapting to the country
Of course, depending on your characteristics, other factors are important too. For example, in case you would like to engage in local joint ventures or partnerships, you will need a strong local business environment suited to your niche.
Cost and Quality of Living
In my opinion you cannot view the cost of living and quality of living separately. You could attain a high quality lifestyle almost everywhere in most high income countries but you will need to pay big bucks for it. And some countries can be really cheap but there the quality of living cannot be raised to an acceptable level. I mean, certain African countries can be extremely cheap to live in, but good luck in finding a good safe and high quality accommodation at those places. And if you are able to get that kind of home, the bubble in which you will be living is extremely small. Hence cost and quality should be combined when looking at live-worthy countries.
Internet Quality and Speed
Internet is the lifeblood of every digital nomad. Thus, good internet quality and internet speed are extremely important. I might even say that this is really the only factor that can rule out some areas for the a digital nomad to live in. Personally I always check before I visit a place what kind of internet there is, if WIFI is abundant, and what measures could I take when internet at my accommodation is blacking out. I personally find internet quality and speed more important than any government firewalls and controls, as you can bypass the latter with a good VPN. So in this regard China is for instance much better than Peru.
Infrastructure and Freedom of Movement
A good infrastructure is vital for being able to move around the country (and to other countries) and being an effective travelling entrepreneur. While some will revel in bad country infrastructure, as this keeps most tourists out of the country (thus not “spoiling” the country), for me this has more downsides than upsides. I like to move around easily and swiftly, and not lose too much time with being stuck in traffic jams and having to take a long detour because a road from A to B does not exist.