Work Abroad

Where to Live and Telecommute?

So where should you go and live to be a freelancer abroad?

The main thing is to find somewhere cheap to live where you can still work efficiently. That rules out a hut in the jungle, for instance.


Freelancing in Brazil

The robust economy is making Brazil a little more expensive to live these days but you can still live well in villages in the North East of Brazil like Jericocoara for about $500 a month. There are internet connections but they may be limited to the local internet café. In places like Rio de Janeiro you can live a great lifestyle but you’ll be spending around $1000 without even trying.

In the cities the infrastructure is good, in the villages it can be a little hit and miss but it’s always warm and there are plenty of other foreigners who have come to forget the first world.

Foreigners are only allowed to stay in Brazil for 180 days each calendar year. But if you overstay all you have do is pay a fine of a few hundred bucks.

Try the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba or Floreanopolis in the south, beaches in Bahia like Trancoso and Ariel d’ajuda for a traveler feel, or bohemian beaches like Pipa, Canoa Quebrada or Jericocoara in the north east of Brazil.

For more on work in Brazil

For more on work in Rio de Janeiro

 

Freelancing in Colombia

Few travelers would consider Colombia their dream destination but provided you speak some Spanish, this can be a really fun place to live and work. You can live in the cities for $400-600 a month and still go out drinking every night.

It can be dangerous if you flash your wealth around and don’t take local advice but the people are educated and smart and it can be a good place to find local talent, albeit in Espanol.

Try Try Bogota for an urban vibe, Medellin and Cali for something a bit wilder, and Santa Marta or Cartagena for Caribbean beaches – though not quite as idyllic as elsewhere in the turquoise waters.

 

Freelancing in India

There are few countries in the world cheaper than India to live. You can get by in the Himalayas or the beaches with as little as $300-500 a month. Rents in cities or Goa can be around $250-400 a month and food costs next to nothing if you cook for yourself.

India suffers from power cuts and whilst the internet is practically everywhere, the endemic corruption in Indian infrastructure ensures it can be pretty frustrating at times to get anything done. Still, there’s a huge, English-speaking talent base here that you can work with and there are a wide variety of foreigner scenes in India.

The monsoon makes it tricky to live and work from late June to September when the rains pound the country mercilessly. The Himalayas in particular often end up without power for days. The heat can cripple other parts.

Tourist visas last 6 months and then you have to leave the country in order to get a new visa and return.

Try the beaches of Goa or Kerala in the south, the cities of Pune or Varanasi, or Dharamsala in the Himalayas. Kathmandu in Nepal is another stable option with much the same conditions described above.

Read more about work in India.

Freelancing in Mexico

In the land of the siesta, you’ll be out of place if you’re seen to be working too hard. You’ll soon adapt to the local rhythm though and you’re both near and far away enough from the US for comfort.

Net connections are good, the weather is warm, you can live in mountains, desert or beaches and get by comfortably on $400-700 a month, depending on whether you go. Rents are pretty low in the towns but can reach $200 when you get to the Caribbean – and the latter can be inconvenient in the autumn hurricane season.

There are plenty of ex-pat communities and traveler hangouts and the standard of living is high. Try Tulum & Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean side, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas in the south, and the beaches along from Puerto Angel on the Pacific.

You typically get 90 days stamped in your passport when you arrive and can then extend for another 90 at an immigration office.

Check out the Mexico Travel Guide

 

Freelancing in Thailand

Although things are cheap in Thailand, things actually work. The infrastructure is good, the people are friendly and there are loads of expatriates living and working there. Few people speak English well, which can be a drawback but you can get by on around $500-800 a month and enjoy a good lifestyle year round. The heat is terrific but you can always work at night and sleep late.

With the new military government visas have become a problem. In the past you had to make a border run each month but now they’re limiting that option to a maximum of 3 months. Check out enrolling in Thai language schools to get yourself a student visa.

Try Bangkok if you like a city vibe, Chiang Mai for something a bit quieter and there’s an easy life waiting down at the large collection of islands that draw so many travelers to Thailand.

Read some stories about travel in Thailand

Or more about Jobs in Bangkok