Decision-making can be tough when you can work from anywhere. In fact it is easy to spend far too much time deciding where to go instead of actually taking action.
Sometimes even choosing your next destination can seem daunting – so how do you decide where to go next?
That’s why it helps to set priorities when choosing your next work and travel destination.
The following criteria will get you started:
Cost of living
Depending on your budget, the cost of living can be one of the most important criteria. There are amazing places around the world where you can live very comfortably for around $1000 a month. You are most likely to get the best value for money in South East Asia.
Ever heard the saying “The people make the place”? This is even truer when you travel. Think about the culture you will be visiting and the kind of people who will be at the destination you visit. Adventure towns, student cities, package tourist destinations or popular hubs for digital nomads – you can have it all. People are different in each destination and if you choose wisely you have a greater chance of meeting like-minded people.
The same goes with choosing which suburb to live in when you move to a big city.
Work Environment & Internet Connection
Your work requirements will play a major role in deciding your next destination. High-speed Internet connections are the norm these days in most urban centers, wherever you are in the world, but many Islands in Thailand for example offer broadband internet too, enabling you to enjoy beach life while continuing to contribute to your travelling funds.
If high-speed broadband is important to you however, it is always worth taking the time to do an up-to-date web search as well as checking with individual hotels or landlords before you commit.
Using Coworking Spaces is a good way to stay productive, so do take this into consideration when deciding where to spend your time.
The ability to communicate effectively is key, wherever you are. If you already speak a string of foreign languages, you will be well placed to live and work in many different locations. Bear in mind that in countries such as China and even more remote areas, there are many situations where you will need a smattering of the local language to get by.
While not being able to speak Spanish should not prevent you from heading to South and Central America, it is advisable do a language course at the beginning of your trip in order to arm you with the basics.
Places such as Sucre in Bolivia, Córdoba in Argentina and San Pedro La Laguna in Guatemala all offer good-value Spanish language courses and make great places in which to start your Latin American adventure.
If you are heading to tourist regions in South America or Europe you should not have any problems getting by in English.
Safety and Security
Always check the political stability of your next destination and check for up-to-date news. Don’t over-analyse the news though, and seek the opinions of other travellers who are currently on location in your chosen destination have to say about the situation. You will generally find that most “dangerous destinations” turn out to be much safer than you think.
Weather & Climate
Consider overall climate and seasonal variations to help you make your decisions about where to go when.
Visiting in low season is a great way to save some money in many places but keep in mind that there might be nothing going on and you could be the only tourist.
Remember, too, that working in a hot environment can sometimes be tough if you are not used to it, but one way to help you cope is to always seek cafes and accommodation with air con or simply spend most of your time in places with higher elevation.
Things to do
For most of us our motivation for travelling is to experience the destination. Think about all the great things you could do in amazing destinations. Want to climb volcanos or learn surfing, diving or a new language? Use reasons such as these to help you decide where to go next.
Do consider time zones, especially if you have client commitments that require regular contact or delivery of a service at a certain time of day. Choosing the right time zone can also be a great advantage. If you head to South East Asia for example your day starts eight hours earlier than in Europe, meaning that you can work productively in the mornings while everyone in Europe is asleep, with no need for live communications. From my own experience, however, I would recommend, where possible, that your time zone overlaps with your clients for at least three hours of the day.
Visa restrictions change all the time. If you have a European passport you will be able to stay in most countries around the world for between one and three months and often receive your visa on arrival.
Getting an extension for a further three months is usually also quite easy, without the need to fly home in between. Most countries in South East Asia usually only offer a 30-day visa, but these are easy to extend by simply doing a visa run.
All these restrictions depend on your own nationality however, which is why it is so important to do your research thoroughly in advance.
As you see there are many factors to consider when choosing your destination.
However – don’t waste too much time deciding where to go next. Chances are that wherever you choose you are sure to have a great time regardless and if not you can always change your plans and move on if you find yourself in a place you don’t like.
The most important thing is to take action in the first place and book your plane ticket.