The way that we work is changing rapidly in the twenty-first century. The digital revolution has brought millions the possibility of liberation from the grind of the 9-to-5 by working in remote freelance roles. People who have made the choice to work in this way are known as “digital nomads”. One of the main advantages of being a digital nomad is the chance to work while traveling from one country to the next in far-flung corners of the globe.
A majority of digital nomads elect to live and travel countries in Asia and Latin America. This makes good financial sense since remote freelance work is usually paid in one of the world’s major currencies and money goes much further in countries where the cost of living is low. Recently, however, a growing number of people are starting to recognize the potential of the United States as having the right conditions for a few months of nomadic living. There are some great cities with low rent, reliable internet and lively art and cultures scenes, and Europeans automatically qualify for a three-month stay under the ESTA visa waiver scheme (if you want more information on how to apply, consult this quality ESTA guide). If you are considering the US for your next stop, read on for a list of the eight best cities to live for the perfect balance between cost of living and quality of life.
1. Austin, TX
Austin is renowned as a fertile ground for tech startups, and its high number of co-working spaces make it a great place for networking with other like-minded lovers of the nomadic lifestyle. The cost of living is not unreasonably high considering Austin’s trendy reputation and its thriving art and music scene.
2. Boulder, CO
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a great choice for people who are looking to spend time in a place that offers ample opportunities to spend time in the great outdoors. Boulder is a hotbed for forward-thinking young professionals, making it the perfect temporary home for nomadic workers.
3. Detroit, MI
If it is bang for your buck that you are after, look no further than Detroit, probably the cheapest city on this list. The city has risen like a phoenix the flames after decades of economic decline. The green shoots of recovery are there for all to see, and new business opportunities have fostered an emerging entrepreneurial spirit.
4. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is positively busting with culture and creativity. The cost of living is reasonable, and the city’s famous bohemian vibe make for a stimulating environment in which to work and live. The great weather and unique local cuisine place New Orleans deservedly near the top of this list.
5. Santa Monica, CA
There is much more to Santa Monica than its admittedly fantastic beach, restaurants and nightlife. The city plays host to a fertile breeding ground for innovative tech startups, making it one of the most exciting places to live for networking if you work in the tech industry.
6. Seattle, WA
The weather may not be as agreeable as in some of the other cities on this list, but when the sun is out Seattle and surrounding area is one of the most naturally beautiful in the US. The city is generally safe, and the economy has been booming in the last few years, with tons of exciting work opportunities for remote working.
7. Tucson, AZ
If you can avoid the extreme heat of the summer, Tucson is a fantastic place to live and work for a few months. Rents even in the downtown area are ridiculously cheap, and there are plenty of fun cultural activities. The city is full of diverse bars and restaurants and the surrounding area does not lack opportunities for outdoor pursuits.
8. Dallas, TX
The second city from Texas on this list is Dallas. Rents and the cost of living are affordable, and Dallas is full of fantastic co-working space. One of the great things about Dallas is that it is comparatively pedestrian-friendly, and you can walk most places without needing a car to get around. Apart from the practicalities, the people of Dallas are famously hospitable, and the city is very safe.
It would be a mistake to overlook the huge potential of the US for the nomadic lifestyle. Hopefully, this list has given you the ideas and motivation to make one of the cities above your home for a period in the future.