The Visa Regime
Every country has a different visa regime, which makes it a factor to look into before you travel. Most countries that are attractive for digital nomads have a limited visa regime – ranging between a month and 3 months on a tourist visa. What makes it sometimes more complicated is that you can get some visas on arrival while for some countries you will have to arrange your visa beforehand. Clearly, a stringent visa regime will make a country less attractive to visit for digital nomads, at least for those who like to travel on a whim. It can make sense to check out some countries on a tourist visa first and then check for a business or similar visa in case you would like to stay for a longer period.
General Attitude to Foreigners
If the quality of life is good, the country is cheap and there is freedom abound, it can still be nuisance when the local populace is very xenophobic or anti-foreigner. Of course, you can decide to ignore and live on – which some expats do – but in the end it is bound to decrease the pleasure of living in that country. For instance, a country as Russia would not be the first choice for some, as it is not so keen on foreign tourists/expats in the first place (the only exception would be the ultra-rich). Also, when a country has a stringent political climate this can become a problem in the long run. The political climate will always have some effect on the local atmosphere through the behavior of locals.
Ease of Adapting
If you plan to stay for the long term, the ease with which you can adapt to your new host country can become an important factor. For instance, learning Thai is much more difficult for the average westerner than learning Spanish. Of course when the other perks of the country are very good, this factor should be surmountable. The ease of adapting can also be influenced by the amount for which you might want to have some western comfort from time to time.
In my opinion, these factors mix in how attractive the country is on the whole for the average digital nomad.
Great Country Possibilities
When looking at the factors above some countries spring into mind:
An obvious choice, but at the moment perhaps the location independent capital of the world. There are many digital nomads currently living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and in the countryside – from the islands to the mountains in the northeast. Its main attraction is the possibility to live for cheap while still having the possibility of western perks (i.e. food and accommodation) and the local population being friendly and hospitable on average – especially if they know you are an expat and not just a common tourist to shake down for extra money. The only big downside of Thailand is that internet (outside Bangkok) can be of low quality. And some might find the climate too hot and too sunny at times. In case you live in Thailand for long-term learning the language can be a problem.