Just head to Heathrow, and buy your ticket
In today’s always-on, ultra-connected world, you are never going to be able to “get away from it all”
But if you are going to have to deal with everything life throws at you, and deal with it the best you can, why not do it from a place you have fallen in love with?
That may be London. It may be Paris, or Berlin. But for some of us, the so-called digital nomads of this world, nothing beats the thrill of a far-flung island paradise, where you take the tuk tuk into work instead of the tube, swap one-to-ones in faceless corporate meeting rooms for Skype and Facetime, and where, the odd tropical storm aside, the sun shines all year round.
Here’s our current top five – in no particular order.
Have your own suggestions? Email us or use the comments section below.
1/ Bali, Indonesia
Everyone has heard of Bali, many have spent time on the Indonesian island, but opinion is still divided about whether Bali constitutes the ultimate digital getaway.
The island is big, so you can travel around, which helps beat boredom, and the surf, allegedly, is to die for if that’s your thing.
Even better, enclaves of digital nomads have sprung up, such as Lineup Hub, Hubud and The Dojo.
But some say that internet in Bali is too precious a commodity – it’s the one thing nomads can’t be without; and others that the island is becoming too commercialised, expensive, and crowded.
Still, if you are the sociable type, and don’t need to be connected 24/7, or if you spend your time at a co-working space, you will meet and befriend people from all over the world (which could be great for business), and can you ever get tired of year-round gorgeous weather?
2/ Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington scores a hefty 80% on nomadlist.com, and particularly highly in terms of liveability, safety, quality of life and happiness.
New Zealand, the “land of the long white cloud”, is a popular destination for backpackers and its credentials as the ultimate remote working getaway have recently been enhanced, with the likes of PayPal and Palantir founder Peter Thiel buying up huge properties and surrounding farmland in the country (although this may dis-incentivise many digerati).
Wellington stands out because of its fast and reliable internet connections, forward thinking tech startup community, which attracts top tech talent, and on the lifestyle side of things the city has more cafes, bars and restaurants per person than New York!
Go for the experience, stay for the well paid and challenging freelancer contracts.
3/ Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a first world city and as such the cost of living is more expensive than, say, a beach hideaway in Thailand, but there are places where you can hole up for a few weeks or even months while you bring yourself up to speed.
Speed is not something Cape Town’s Wi-Fi is renowned for, unless you want to pay for better service, but in Woodstock, one of the cities suburbs, co-working spaces, like TwentyFifty, are beginning to spring up.
Cape Town has high levels of crime if you find yourself in the wrong areas, but the city is like no other, with stunning beaches, centuries old wine estates, and a summer that lasts from October to March!
Word of warning, outstaying your VISA results in a year-long ban from South Africa, so make sure you’re super well organised before you make the trip.
4/ Tulum, Mexico
You won’t regret a stay in Tulum – this is genuinely one of the world’s beauty spots, with ancient Aztec ruins, sandy white beaches and skies and seas in one thousand shades of blue.
On the downside, Tulum wasn’t built for great Wi-Fi connections – rumour has it that 4G is hard to come by, although telecommunications company Telcel are trying to change this.
Tulum is not as cheap as many parts in Mexico, and can get touristy, but on the flipside, an experienced Airbnb user should be able to rent a small slice of paradise for a sum that would drop jaws in London and any other big city.
Tulum even has its own co-working space, KARMA Tulum, the locals are friendly, the food some of the best you will find anywhere in Mexico, and if you’re into ‘blue-skying’ – well, it doesn’t get much better than this!
5/ Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Welcome to paradise! Las Terrenas is one of very, very few places in the world that is nearly untouched. A small fishing village, visitors from overseas, France in particular, began to arrive in the 1970’s but the still small amount of foreign influence has not altered the wonderful pace of life, the swaying palm trees, the stretches of shoreline, with endless beaches and hardly a soul in site.
Find the right places, and the Wi-Fi is more than acceptable – the electricity can go out from time to time, but never for more five minutes, and most places have their own generators.
Locals mingle happily with ex-pats, in epic guest houses like Dan & Manty’s, and at nights people dine on the beach with the ocean lapping at their feet. There’s kite surfing, diving, boat trips, and the most glorious natural waterfalls to explore.
The annual Semana Santa festival has to be seen to be believed; the weather, despite the occasional tropical shower, is as good as you will find anywhere, and – well, this is the Caribbean – and if you haven’t been before – what are you waiting for?
One for the true digital nomad – a chance to be a part of the community in a very special place. And part of its future.