Skip to main content

Why expats favour the digital nomad lifestyle

By September 27, 2018November 23rd, 2023FinGlobal

Why expats favour the digital nomad lifestyle

September 27, 2018


One of the top reasons expats without families give for moving abroad is to travel and experience different cultures and lifestyles. Many of these expats are entrepreneurs who favour the life of the digital nomad – a lifestyle that has been made possible due to the advent of technology and the Internet. Digital nomads fund their desire for adventure and wanderlust by managing their expenses by accumulating money they earn online, either by freelancing or running their own e-commerce businesses.

Digital nomad work skills

If your skills are required by a company and they are happy for you to work remotely – even from another country – then you have the option to be a digital nomad. According to a 2017 report by, a job site specialising in remote, part-time, freelance and flexible-hours positions, the industries offering the greatest possibilities to work remotely include technology, mathematics, art and design, sports, media, personal care and financial services.


The cheapest countries to work as a digital nomad

One of the priorities of most digital nomads is keeping their living expenses low, which is why you will often find them in countries where there is a low cost of living, excellent WiFi and quality of life. Here are some of the top digital nomad destinations:

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is an ancient city in northern Thailand and often tops lists of the ideal place to work remotely due to its low cost of living, great weather, good food and speedy WiFi. It is already home to a large community of remote workers who do business online with companies all over the globe. If you are new to the Digital Nomad lifestyle, it’s the ideal place to find your feet, as there are plenty of support groups and meetups to help new entrepreneurs get their businesses going.

According to Numbeo Chiang Mai’s cost of living is 50 percent lower than New York and you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for as little as $300 per month and keep your other monthly expenses to around $500.

Medellin, Columbia

Medellin is ideal for digital nomads that need to work in the US time zone. It is a city that has plenty of co-working spaces, free WiFi at most cafes and restaurants excellent public transport. Regarded as one of the cheapest places to live in the world, a one-bedroom apartment costs in the region of $700 and other expenses come to around $900. Medellin is also renowned for its welcoming attitude and has sunshine and warm weather almost all year round.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is an extremely affordable city in Europe where you can rent an apartment in the city centre for as little as $500. For digital nomads, there is high-speed Internet, excellent online shopping  – and it’s an airline hub, which makes travel to other destinations extremely easy. Already popular with digital nomads, Budapest is home to many co-working spaces filled with like-minded people.

If you are a South African living and working abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration from South Africa, cashing in your South African retirement annuity and our tax solutions for South African expatriates around the world, contact FinGlobal today.


Leave a Reply