What is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who moves around from place to place and doesn’t put any roots in the ground. He is free to come and go as he pleases and has no ties to any location and no strong relationships with anyone. When he gets bored of a place or feels like it is time to move on then he puts his things in his bag and heads off to his next destination.
Digital nomads can support themselves through various online work that allows them the freedom to live where they want. The pay is not great but the freedom that it allows makes up for it. There is no boss telling me what to do, and no schedule I must attend to. If I want to work I do, if I don’t, then I don’t.
See the more eloquent definition on Wikipedia.
What is a digital nomad doing in the Philippines?
I had my heart set on the Philippines before I ever moved to Asia for a few main reasons. The cost of living is low here, but that is the same with many Asian countries. The main thing that really sets the Philippines apart from the others are that there is lots of English spoken here so you don’t need to learn another language.
The people are very kind and open to foreigners. You can make friends with anyone just by being polite and striking up a conversation. They might be a bit shy at first because they may be unfamiliar with expats, but eventually they will open up. I don’t feel they have the same ‘Land of Smiles’ fake smiles that you get in Thailand, or at least not to as big of an extent.
Another big plus about the Philippines is the visa situation. You only have to leave the country once every three years. As someone who really hates to travel and doesn’t like to be forced to do things I couldn’t imagine living in Thailand and taking visa runs every three months.
The visas were a bit easier in Cambodia, but they really aren’t an issue at all in the Philippines.
Granted the Philippines is not a perfect place and has some negatives. The internet is not as reliable as it is in Thailand which can make things hard for a digital nomad from time to time. You can eventually get things worked out over time, but there have definitely been some frustrating days that came from bad internet.
The price for accommodation in the Philippines is really out of whack with the rest of the cost of living. In Thailand you get much better value for your money when renting an apartment or a hotel. But despite these negatives I still think the positives definitely outweigh them and that the Philippines is the best place for me.