Picture a digital nomad: do you see a happy traveler typing away on their laptop by a beach in Bali? Or perhaps a backpacker lounging up against a famous historical landmark in any of Europe’s picture-perfect digital nomad cities?
Well, you would be right. Digital nomads work while they travel, and travel while they work. A study on SpringerLink notes that many choose their travel destinations based on the leisure and lifestyle habits.
Note from Kayla: This post on digital nomad cities in the US was written by Mollie Russel! Guest posts on Writing From Nowhere help offer a well-rounded perspective. If you’d like to write something, float your ideas on over here!
This is opposed to traveling businessmen and women, who have to travel for their work. If this sounds appealing to you, then keep reading, because we’ll be listing five great digital nomad cities where you can start your nomadic journey.
What Makes A Great Digital Nomad City?
While the most popular destinations are found in exotic countries, it would be a mistake to leave out the U.S. And for those starting out, it’s best to begin somewhere a bit closer to home.
The United States is home to fantastic vacation destinations — many of which are also bustling cities. But before we get into the specifics, here’s something to consider: the 3 C’s of great digital nomad cities.
You can’t be a digital nomad without a reliable internet connection. This is a crucial point to consider when traveling anywhere.
Camping in one of the country’s national parks is all well and good, but not if you have a deadline on the same day.
As much as possible, choose destinations where you’re sure to have access to the internet, so income doesn’t have to grind to a halt.
Budget is a purely subjective matter, dependent on the amount you make. If you’re starting out and yet to hit a six-figure salary, you might want to avoid cities like Manhattan or Seattle.
Focus on building your revenue streams before traveling to the pricier locations. This is important for the last C.
Last, but not least, you need to find a place where you’re comfortable. Productivity and inspiration don’t just fall from the sky.
So, it’s part of your job to find a place that you’re comfortable enough to work in. Because trust us — it isn’t fun to force yourself to work in a dirty café.
5 Digital Nomad Cities In The US Worth Your Consideration
With gorgeous beaches and vibrant nightlife, Miami is an excellent choice for tourists. But it’s especially appealing to digital nomads because of its co-living culture. In 2016, a Miami startup launched Roam — a company that featured co-living arrangements specifically designed for digital nomads.
It provides affordable accommodation options and includes co-working spaces where you can network with fellow digital nomads. Doing so is a great way to make new connections and combat any feelings of loneliness. While Roam has since expanded to San Francisco, Bali, and even Tokyo, its presence is still felt in its home city.
Austin is a hotspot for tech startups and the home base of big companies like Apple and Google. That means there’s a good chance of finding work in the area.
Pair that with the relatively low (at least compared to other tech hubs on the West Coast) cost of living and the thriving cultural scene, and you’ve got a great digital nomad city. During your downtime, you can head to one of the many music venues or escape to one of the city’s nature parks.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City is an emerging tech hub that’s very welcoming to digital nomads. There are more than 30 coworking spaces in Utah, with the majority based in the city. Plus, the state government provides plenty of support for the entrepreneurially minded.
ZenBusiness’s guide to starting a Utah-based LLC points out that the state offers free one-on-one consulting on business and management. Aside from this service provided by the Small Business Development Center, high quality of life and great economic climate have made The Beehive State one of the best places to start a business.
So, if you’re looking to increase your income, this could be the place to start!
San Diego, California
Here’s another coastal city to visit. San Diego accommodation might be a little on the pricier side, but they’re definitely worth it for the view of the nearby ocean. The city has plenty of locally-owned coworking spaces, and a wide array of companies looking for remote workers.
To add to that, they have an event called the San Diego Coworking Week, which features workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs, networking events, and more!
The Final Digital Nomad City: Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City has a lot of things going for it, but affordable rent, high-speed internet, and the local barbecue scene top that list. In fact, Flatland Magazine shares that Missouri’s internet speed has increased by 31% since the pandemic began.
Local internet providers have been improving their networks to cater to the increased internet use due to remote workers — a big plus for digital nomads!
Additionally, with plenty of coworking spaces, it’ll be easy to make connections then invite them to a good ol’ fashioned barbecue after. Side note: The Kansas City Barbeque Society would be more than happy to welcome you and your new friends.
Digital Nomad Cities In The US Worth Your Consideration Conclusion
So wherever life takes you, be sure to keep these 3 C’s and 5 great cities in mind when starting your journey as a digital nomad! If you want to learn more about the remote working life, check out our list of Remote Work Habits Learned as a Digital Nomad, where we share more tips for surviving the work/travel lifestyle.
Note from Kayla: What do you think about these digital nomad cities? Kansas City was a plot twist but it has a compelling case! My personal favorite of these digital nomad cities is Salt Lake City. Where would you go first?