What It’s Like to Live In An RV As A Digital Nomad

What It’s Like to Live In An RV As A Digital Nomad

GUEST POST BY BILL WIDMER FROM THE WANDERING RV

So you’re interested in living in an RV and becoming a digital nomad?

Awesome! It’s an incredible lifestyle. You get to travel anywhere you want, have amazing backyards (beaches, mountains, deserts, you name it!), and work anywhere with an internet connection.

But it definitely has its cons and it isn’t for everyone.

This article will share mine and Kayla’s experience living and working as RVing digital nomads, the pros and cons, and how you can test this lifestyle for yourself without buying an RV and committing. Let’s dive in!

What Is The RV Lifestyle Like?

Living in an RV is awesome. Don’t like where you’re living? Pick up and move!

There’s always something to new to see and a new adventure to be had. But it can also be highly stressful, and it definitely isn’t for everyone.

We lived in an RV for 6 months, working from our laptops. We even tried our hand at work-camping, where we worked for the RV park owners in exchange for a free stay on their campground.

What We Liked

We really enjoyed the freedom. Every move was a new chance for a fun adventure. Seeing new sights was exhilarating, and it brought us closer as a couple.

My personal favorite parts where kayaking in far-away rivers and visiting national parks like Acadia, where I actually proposed to Kayla.

We also saved a good chunk of money. Your only required expenses are campground fees, the RV cost, and the usual costs like our phones, insurance, and food. Most campgrounds don’t make you pay for utilities like internet, TV, water, etc.

You can save even more money by buying your RV outright (no interest payments every month) and by boondocking (staying on public land out in the woods or mountains instead of on a campground). How would you like to stay here?

What We Didn’t Like

Of course, there’s also the bad side of RVing.

While the experience truly helped us grow, both individually and together, at times it felt like a nightmare. For example, our scooter once broke down over 50 miles from our campground, and we needed to have some people we just met on the campground come pick us up. Thank God they did!

There were unexpected maintenance problems (you should ALWAYS budget for unexpected maintenance) and setting up and taking down your RV every time you move can be very tiring. It’s a lot of work.

The limited space is also an issue. Especially the kitchen (Kayla loves to cook and even has a food blog called The Fantasy Kitchen). The small space is easy to clutter, and you REALLY have to think about what you want to keep vs what you want to get rid of.

But that’s probably easy for someone like you who has an interest in being a nomad, right?

The last thing I want to mention is that the hardest part of this lifestyle is actually funding it. We were lucky in that we had some passive income coming from our travel blog, and we had clients we could work with from anywhere. But getting started wasn’t easy!

Here’s a recap on our opinion of the pros and cons:

Pros of Living In An RV:

  • Adventure! There’s always new things to see.
  • Travel. If you love moving around, you’ll probably love RVing.
  • If you don’t like where you’re staying, you can just pack up and leave.
  • You can travel the country with your belongings and even your pets!
  • Possible to save money compared to living in a house.

Us taking our adventure cat Luna for a walk!

Cons of Living In An RV:

  • Can be stressful at times. You can and probably will be tested.
  • Things break. Your house experiences an earthquake every time you go on the highway!
  • Wi-fi is a real issue at campgrounds. This is getting easier with the unlimited data plans, but it’s still an issue. Campground wi-fi often sucks.
  • You’re at mercy to the weather. If it’s cold outside, it will probably be cold inside. Same thing with heat. A/C and heaters help, but RVs don’t have the best insulation.
  • Your space is limited. You probably won’t be able to bring all of your possessions.

Overall, we enjoyed it but it also tested our patience and forced us to grow. We do plan on doing it again for a few months while our home is being built later this year, so we definitely don’t think it’s a terrible lifestyle!

So now you’re probably wondering…

How Much Does It Cost?

We ran some numbers for how much it costs to live in an RV. We compared our own personal expenses to some other popular full-time RVers who also blog about living in an RV.

What did we find?

It costs between $1,400 to $3,000 per month to live in an RV, depending on the RV you buy, where you stay, your food budget, etc..

How Can You Test The RV Lifestyle Without Buying An RV?

Are you interested in living in an RV but don’t want to spend $10,000+ on a new camper?

I TOTALLY understand. It’s a huge commitment, and jumping in to it like Kayla and I did can lead to regret. Particularly if you don’t like the type of RV you bought or if you find out you just plain don’t like it.

But there’s an easy way to test the RV lifestyle to see if you like it before you fully commit. We highly recommend getting a long-term RV rental in the model you’re thinking about buying. That way, you can spend a month or more in an RV to get a taste and test different types and models of RVs before you buy!

You can get a month-long RV rental for as little as $50 per night, depending on the model, location, and time of year. So the test would cost you between $1,500 to $3,000 for the rental, plus another $400 to $1,000 for the campground (if you stay in one spot).

You can often negotiate deals with both RV rentals and campgrounds for a lower rate when you stay for a long time, since it helps them guarantee the spot will be filled.

Our preferred way to rent an RV is through a peer-to-peer rental company like Outdoorsy or RVshare. They have RVs for rent by other RV owners, rather than having their own fleet of RVs. They’re cheaper, more reliable, and easier to use than going through an RV dealership.

We compared the best RV rental companies and found Outdoorsy to be the best. They’re the only rental company we found with an A+ rating on the Better Business Buraeu site and they have perks like free roadside assistance and insurance.

So what do you think? Will you try the RV lifestyle as a digital nomad? Let us know in the comments! And feel free to ask us any questions you have, too! :)

About the Author

Bill Widmer is a former full-time RVer and blogs about RV travels with his fiance Kayla at The Wandering RV. He’s also an avid gamer, ukulelist, and general lover of being outside. 

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Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Judean Desert Jeep Tour – A Day Trip to the Israeli Desert

Judean Desert Jeep Tour – A Day Trip to the Israeli Desert

I already traveled to Israel three times to explore these extraordinary lands. On my last visit, I was traveling with Abraham Hostel to write a City Guide about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Since I also write about tourist destinations, I knew I had to explore Israel a little more. A day trip to the Israeli Desert was on the top of my bucket list, since I did not manage to do it on my previous travels.

 

The Israeli Judean Desert

Between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea lies the Judean Desert. Theoretically, it is just a semidesert, since it has greater precipitation than a desert. Terraces and steep cliffs lead up to the Jordan Valley and 600 meter deep Wadis (dry river beds) make their way from west to east through this fascinating landscape.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

The Judean Desert lies in the rain shadow of Jerusalem’s mountains. That means that clouds, coming from the Mediterranean Sea going east, rain on the windward slope of the mountain – and, therefore, the desert only receives little rainfall. This geological constellation benefits the creation of a desert. However, according to the University of Jerusalem, there is a huge reservoir of water below the Judean Desert, creating oases such as Ein Gedi.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

Bedouin tribes live here with camels, kids and everything else. They do not live in tents, however, as you might imagine at the moment. Since they are not nomadic anymore, there is no need to be able to pack up your belongings in order to move on. They currently live in accommodations that I would describe as barracks. Walls and roofs are mostly of metal sheets or other light materials. Sometimes even blankets are used.

 

Mount Asasel and the Scapegoat

Did you ever wonder why someone is called a scapegoat when he gets blamed for the misdeeds of others? It is because once upon a time people symbolically transferred the entirety of their sins to a goat and then threw it down a mountain as sacrifice. This mountain is called Asasel and lies in the Judean Desert. It is also the name of the demon that the goat was sacrificed to. Asasel is mentioned in the Bible and is known as a demon or even the devil.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

We stand on Mount Asasel and listen to the wind. Nothing else disturbs us. The Bedouins living in the surroundings are invisible from up here. An old well, however, that is still in use, gives away their presence.

We use this stop for a hot tea. With herbs and a lot of sugar. As is the custom of the Bedouins.

 

Mar Saba – One of the Oldest Continiously Inhabited Monasteries in the World

We go on. Up and down through the Wadis. I see nothing but barren desert landscape. It is beautiful, but at the same time gloomy. I cannot help but think what would happen if we had our car breaking down here and I’m glad our guide is driving a brand new Jeep.

And then, it appears between the rocks – the monastery Mar Saba. It was founded over 1500 years ago and has been inhabited ever since. This is remarkable and only very few other monasteries can claim the same.

Mar Saba

Mar Saba

Only men are allowed to enter the Mar Saba, so I make a joke about our tour guide distracting the monks while us women explore the monastery. We laugh as we return to the car and go for our lunch break.

 

Ein Prat

Feeling good after our lunch we move on to the last stop – the oasis Ein Prat at the Wadi Qelt. I already knew this kind of oasis from my trip to Masada, where we explored Ein Gedi. Simply amazing, how a little stream of water turns the otherwise barren desert into a small paradise. Parents sit on rocks in the shadows and watch their children playing happily in the waters.

Ein Prat

Also the girls of our group are happy for the refreshment. I normally avoid cold waters and after checking the temperature with my pinky toe I decide to not make an exception this time. Instead, I take my camera, leave my backpack with the group and go exploring. A small trail leads me to old ruins.

Ein Prat

Ein Prat

Remains of settlements, monasteries and palaces await the daring explorer, that battles the heat and traverses the trail. The ascend to the Faran monastery, originally founded by Haritoun monks in the 3rd century, takes 10 to 15 minutes. It is said to be the first monastery in the Judean Desert. Close to Jerusalem, monks had been looking for a remote and quiet location. The oasis with its natural caves, springs and abandoned strongholds was perfect.

Barbara in Ein Prat

Nowadays, the area is a popular recreational area, ideal for hiking, picnics and swimming in the natural pools.

 

Accommodation in Jerusalem

Point of departure for the Jeep tour to the Judaean desert is normally Jerusalem. Here you can find numerous accommodations for every budget.

I was in Israel because I followed the invitation of Abraham Hostels. I stayed at Abraham Hostels in Jerusalem first and then moved to Tel Aviv and Nazareth. I lived in private rooms. For my vacation and for exploring Jerusalem and the surroundings, the hostel was perfect.

For digital nomads who plan to stay longer I recommend the Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv, as the facilities and the whole modern interior and exterior is simply better suited. In Jerusalem for example, I did not have a wardrobe or had to set a timer for the water heater in the shower and then wait before actually showering. For me personally, this is not a viable solution if a digital nomad wants to stay in a place for longer.

 

Conclusion

The Jeep tour in the Judean Desert was one of my highlights of the Israel trip in 2018. On top of that our tour guide was very knowledgeable and even combined rather boring facts with a few jokes and made everybody laugh. I would love to take the tour again, as I almost can’t remember all the interesting details.

 

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to the Jeep tour. I did not get paid and my opinion was in no way affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in the Middle East? You should check out Tel Aviv!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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MIDDLE EAST
NABLUS AND JENIN
Masada
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Petra and Jerash – A Trip from Israel to Jordan

Petra and Jerash – A Trip from Israel to Jordan

Petra is one of the Seven World Wonders and is located in the south of Jordan. On my first visit to Israel, I already wanted to make a quick trip to its neighbor Jordan. However, it did not work out due to my scheduling. In the following year, I had more luck. With Abraham Hostel, I now made a trip to Jordan with an overnight stay in a Bedouin Camp.

A little advice before I start… should you decide to begin this trip from Jerusalem, be prepared for a totally different climate and temperature. Keep in mind to bring sunscreen, a hat and clothes that protect you from the sun even if you’re cold in Jerusalem.

 

Departure from Jerusalem and Crossing the Border to Jordan

Precisely at 7am, the tour starts from Jerusalem to Jordan. The highlight of the tour is one of the Seven World Wonders, Petra. Two more stops are on our list, Jerash and Amman. We drive for around two hours until we reach the Jordan River Border Crossing. Here you will have to pay, as the border crossing fees are not included in the tour.

Exit fee for Israel: 107 ILS (around 25 Euro) and you can pay in ILS, USD or EUR

Entry fee to Jordan: 40 JOD (around 50 EUR) and you can only pay in JOD

The process at the border is a little non-transparent and no one exactly knows where to go. Even though there are only a few travelers, every process takes forever and you have to wait a long time at the check points. It takes us more than an hour until we are finally back in the van and heading to Jerash.

 

Jerash

Jerash is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. This antique city, named Gerasa in ancient times, is located on a plane, surrounded by hilly wood areas. In 63 AD, it was conquered by General Pompejus, got under Roman rule and was one of the 10 big roman cities of the Dekapolis – a union of 10 cities that were built according to Greek model in the time after Alexander the Great. Getting conquered by the Roman Empire ushered in a golden age. This excavation site is one of the best preserved provincial Roman cities in the world.

Jerash

We enter the excavation site through the pompous Hadrian Arc. This arc was meant to be the new city gate, but after a couple of years the project was dismissed due to a lack of financing. Nowadays, it impresses with a height of 21 meters. At the end of the 2000’s it was rebuilt with original rocks from the surrounding area.

Hadrian Bogen Jerash Hadrian Door

Jerash

Temple of Zeus Jerash

Theater Jerash

Jerash

The paved main road, Cardo Maximus, is 800 meters long and connects the market and the northern city gates. Even today, 500 of the pillars that lined the street are still intact and in good condition.


Kardo Jerash

Jerash

Temple Jerash

Temple of Zeus Jerash

Temple of Zeus Jerash

While I was freezing in Jerusalem, the heat here is overwhelming. I’m glad the tour goes on.

Next stop – the Jordan capital.

Amman

Our next destination is the citadel of Jordan’s capital Amman. It is only a short stop, however, it is not included in every tour. Depending on when the group leaves from Jerash, the citadel might be visited or not. 

We are late, since we took so long at the border, but it is enough for a short visit.

At sundown we walk through the elevated temple complex and enjoy our view overlooking the city.

Citadelle Amman

The hill has already been inhabited during the early Bronze Age. The fortifications in the south east are the oldest and have been built around 1500 AD. In the fourth century before Christ, the Greeks held dominion over this area for about 100 years. During this period, the city was called Philadelphia. Afterwards, it was taken over by the Romans and later by the Arabs in 661 AD.

Citadelle Amman

Sunset Amman

Next to the excavation site, the archaeological museum is waiting. Everyone who likes to get lost in details and loves vases and ancient sculptures will feel right at home. We can’t spend a lot of time here, as the museum closes shortly after our arrival. But we are able to get a short glimpse.

Citadelle Amman Jordan Archeological Museum

Sunset Amman

Soon after the sun sets, we make our way back to the mini van, as there are still three hours of driving ahead of us.

 

One Night in a Bedouin Camp

We made our way to the Bedouin camp Seven Wonders close to Petra. Tired and hungry we are welcomed by a traditional meal and sit down at a bonfire until midnight. The atmosphere is breathtaking and especially the surrounding hills, illuminated by uncountable candles, are an absolute highlight. An unforgettable evening.

Seven Wonders Camp

In the morning, we have a local breakfast buffet and then continue our trip. There is not a lot of time to explore the Wadi surrounding the camp, as our next destination awaits us. 

 

Petra

Even though we arrive early in the morning, the sun is already burning mercilessly. Our tour guide picks up the tickets that are included in the tour price, and we begin our excursion.

If you want to explore Petra by yourself, be prepared to pay around 65 EUR entry for one day and 5 EUR more for every following day. Therefore, a prolonged trip is definitely worth it, not only from a financial perspective. Actually, one day in Petra is far too short.

Welcome To Petra

From the entrance to the actual red rock city, you have to cross the Siq. The Siq is a deep rock valley created by a natural geological split and smoothed out by water over hundreds of years. The Nabataeans that built Petra redirected the water of the river, in order to create a safe passage and to avoid getting flooded. 

The gorge is 70 meters deep and 1.5 kilometers long. I choose to walk the distance. Theoretically, there are carriages. However, I cannot recommend them as the horses are not treated decently and I cannot condone this kind of practice. But this is my personal opinion and in the end, it is up to you, your consciousness, and the overall situation.

Roman Street Remains Siq

And after countless curves in this winding valley I arrived – to Petra. The Treasury is the first thing you see when you arrive at the rock city.

The Treasurey

Kamele in Petra

It feels a bit like time traveling. Sadly, this day trip leaves little time for extensive exploring. I had to make a quick decision – I could either climb the hill in front of The Treasury and take pictures from above. Or traverse the valley, climb the other side and explore the second highlight – The Monastery. I choose quantity over quality, as I wanted to see more of the red city. 

The following pictures show the highlights of the ascend – the holy graves, the grand boulevard with its numerous pillars and the theater.

Petra

Street Petra

Theater Petra

City Gate Petra

Then, we start to go uphill and an exhausting ascend begins. After a while, we aren’t alone anymore. The Bedouins that still seem to live in the rock city open their stalls. They sell cheap souvenirs, but also actual treasures such as old coins or ceramics. Sadly, non-professionals have a hard time telling the difference. Of course, you can also buy beverages so you don’t need to worry about getting dehydrated.

Stairs Petra

Stairs With Bedouins Petra

Selling Bedouins Petra

View Petra

Once you reach the top, a bar selling snacks and drinks awaits you. If you have more time to spend than me, you should take in the phenomenal view for a little while!

Bar Monastery

The Monastry Petra

Barbara Monastery Petra

I really have to hurry back though, as we have to make our way back to Jerusalem in the afternoon already. Or at least, the rest of the group goes back. I talked to the tour guide beforehand and they will let me out in Amman. I spend another night in the Jordan capital and go to the airport the next morning, from where I go on to Dubai for my first House Sit.

 

Conclusion

Petra is really a magical place. Looking back, I only regret not staying longer. At least two full days at Petra and one more at the Wadi Rum should be a good start to explore the area a little. I’d also love to visit Little Petra, another Nabataean city close to Petra, entry-free (!) and an “off-the-beaten-path” secret with less tourists. And my heart is bleeding, because I missed the light show at Petra. On several evenings a week, the main building, The Treasury, gets surrounded by candles and the resulting play of light is said do cause goosebumps. 

So – I was there, but Petra still remains on my list. On my second visit I will take more time!

Have you been to Petra? How many of the Seven World Wonders have you visited already? Leave a comment!

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to the tour. I paid 50% of the cost by myself. I did not get paid and my opinion was in no way affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in the Middle East? You should check out Tel Aviv!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

Nablus und Jenin Tour
MIDDLE EAST
NABLUS AND JENIN
Masada
MIDDLE EAST
MASADA
MIDDLE EAST
BEST OF THE WESTBANK

Road Tripping in Germany – My Cross-country Adventure

Road Tripping in Germany – My Cross-country Adventure

Being able to travel and make a living in the process is a blessing I vowed to nurture. A blessing I vowed never to let go to waste. And so, from the sunny, honey-hued beaches of New Caledonia, all across Indochina and the Far East, I made my way to one of the cultural hubs of Europe – Germany.

This place is something truly special. I can’t say that I would make a permanent base here, simply because I’m more of a lay-on-the-beach with a margarita in my hand kind a gal, but I will say that my German escapade was an amazing experience, and definitely one of the best digital nomad destinations I’ve had the pleasure to visit. Without further ado, here’s my month-long adventure in Germany.

It all began in Berlin

Ah, Berlin. The party central of Europe, or so I’ve heard. Naturally, my adventure began with a gentle touchdown at Berlin Tegel Airport, from which I took a shuttle to the metro station. From the very first moment, I could tell that this place was a digital nomad wonderland.

Everyone and everything here is high-tech, even the centuries-old heritage buildings and the historic museums scattered around the city center – or Mitte, as it’s called. Although the city is rich with amazing hotels and hostels, I chose to book an Airbnb in the Kreuzberg district as a spur-of the moment decision. The next week was all about exploration, so if you want to follow in my footsteps, be sure to hit the Museum of Technology and the entire Museum Island. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the expansive Tiergarten – a huge part that’s home to the Berlin Zoo.

Dresden – a museum in the open

Germany is a big country, but I wouldn’t consider myself a traveler if I simply flew everywhere, so naturally, I rented a car (I felt obligated to choose an eco-vehicle in such a clean country), and headed south towards Dresden.

I must say, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer and unencumbered beauty of the setting I was driving into. Everything here is Old Town, every building is of historic significance, and every cobble-stoned street has a story to tell. Well, naturally I went to all the museums, and so should you, but I also spent my time wandering around, soaking in the magnificence of its architecture. Be sure to climb to the top of Frauenkirche for some spectacular views of the city.

Off to Munich!

Nope, I didn’t stick around for too long in Dresden, I figured that a couple of days were enough to experience most of its vibrant essence. And besides, Munich was the city I was most eager to visit, and spend most of my time in. For two whole weeks I planned to wander around this multicultural gem, and I was not disappointed in my decision.

Now, I feel it’s important that I mention that you need to come prepared when you’re staying this long in a European country. You will need to communicate with the outside world and it’s important to have a sim card in your phone or use a MiFi device in order to avoid outrageous charges and effectively assimilate yourself in the community. This is not only important for getting around Munich and Germany but the European Union in general.

Now that that’s out of the way, you can enjoy Munich for all it’s worth. I suggest finding a comfy working spot – this can be a pub or a coworking space, whichever you’re most comfortable with. I will say this, though, pubs in Munich are constantly bustling with cheer and excitement, so you might have a difficult time concentrating. I know I did.

For the most part, I worked in my Airbnb. As for sightseeing, you’ve got a long stroll ahead of you. Visit the Alte Pinakothek as well as the Naue Pinakothek, and then make your way to the Neues Rathaus. If you’re a nature lover like myself, then you’ll want to take an entire day to explore the expansive Englischer Garten Park.

Frankfurt and its unique modern feel

I could talk about Munich for hours and hours, but let’s wrap it up with my last destination of this grand escapade – the bustling modern city of Frankfurt. Home to the European Central Bank (so ugly you need to see it for yourself) and the birthplace of Goethe, Frankfurt is definitely a place that can appeal to all types of travelers.

It’s especially appealing to digital nomads, as they’re not only flocking to this technological gem of a city from around the world, but again, everything is so connected and futuristic here. Aesthetically, I prefer traditional architecture, but when we are talking about functionality, Frankfurt may very well be the digital nomad hub of Europe. You’re bound to have an amazing time here with some of the sharpest minds hailing from every industry, so don’t be afraid to seek them out at coworking spaces, nomad hubs, and of course, conferences and meetups.

 

A few parting words

Germany is a digital nomad wonderland. It’s definitely one of the most diverse cultural settings I’ve ever been in, and the architectural wonders I’ve laid my eyes on are something I’ll never forget. I encourage you to put Germany high on your travel bucket list, and even follow in my footsteps if you’re in search of some urban adventures.

About the Author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger and adventure enthusiast who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She has always loved to travel, and she loves to talk about her experiences. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and loves to surf the Internet. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and regular author on several blogs.

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

You could also be interested in the following destinations for digital nomads:

Jerusalem – Israel für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

VIETNAM
Rio de Janeiro – Brasilien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

SINGAPORE
Spanien für digitale Nomaden
DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
MALAYSIA

Brazil for Digital Nomads

Brazil for Digital Nomads

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Facts about Brazil

Brazil is a great country for digital nomads and long-term travelers. On the one hand, there is so much to see here that you are really busy for a long time if you want to get to know the country properly. On the other hand, the infrastructure and the price-performance ratio are quite good by Latin American standards. Nevertheless, Brazil is not yet flooded with tourists (tourism accounts for only 0.5 percent of the gross national product), so you can still enjoy the many breathtaking places without crowds.

The country has 200 million inhabitants and an area of over 8 million square kilometers. It is the fifth largest country in the world (both in terms of area and population density). With the exception of Chile and Ecuador, it has a border with every country in South America and occupies almost 50 percent of the entire continent.

It is the only country in the region where Portuguese is the national language. However, Brazilian Portuguese differs from European Portuguese in pronunciation, grammar and spelling. Although there are almost 200 languages in Brazil, Portuguese is the only official language.

Much of the country is covered with rainforest, the beating heart of which is the Amazon, which has the greatest biodiversity in the world. However, most people live along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.

Information About Entry and Departure

Passport

German citizens can simply enter Brazil with a passport valid for at least six months and stay in the country for up to three months.

Immigration Card

Before arrival, an immigration card must be completed, which can be obtained on board of the means of entry (plane, ship, bus). This card must be kept for the duration of the stay and returned on departure. If you lose your card, you will be fined. If you are staying for more than three months, you must apply for a visa.

Vaccinations

In general, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute. Yellow fever vaccinations are not required if you are coming from Germany, but may be required by third countries if you have entered yellow fever areas (especially around the Amazon) during your stay in Brazil.

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Safety in Brazil

Brazil is by far not as safe as Western Europe. Crime is particularly high in the large cities of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Fortaleza, and especially in the favelas, the slums, there are frequent attacks and assaults. That does not mean that it is dangerous everywhere! There are even favelas that are safe to enter. In Rio, my hostel was in a slum and I didn’t even notice it. However, increased vigilance is appropriate throughout Brazil – this is also recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – and you should try not to have all your valuables with you or not to show them. So you should avoid walking around with your mobile phone in your hand.

Money and Currency in Brazil

The currency is the Brazilian Real (BRL). In December 2015, 1 euro was worth 4.3 real. The current exchange rate can be easily checked online. I use an app called XE Currency.

The best bank to withdraw money from is Banco do Brasil. It accepts all major credit cards. However, it is advisable to have credit cards from different providers in Brazil, as not every bank accepts every card. I often had problems withdrawing money with VISA and had to use my Mastercard.

WiFi

I won’t lie to you: The WiFi speed in Brazil is very patchy! If you have projects where you have large uploads or downloads, you should be prepared to create a hotspot with your mobile phone. In Recife, I stayed at a friend’s house where at least the download speed was acceptable. In hotels, hostels and other places you can’t necessarily assume that. If you find a place where you can work well, I advise you: Stay there ;) At the next place it can be quite different again…

Mobile Internet

The mobile network in Brazil is organized by state. So if you arrive in Salvador like me on my second trip, then you travel on to Recife, you are in another state and there are always extra charges for calls and SMS. If you only need your SIM card for data volume, this does not apply to you.

There are different networks. The best known providers are Oí, Vivo and Tim (note: the Brazilian pronunciation is “Chim”). The easiest way to get a SIM card is to go to a shop in a shopping mall. If you’re lucky, it works just like that. However, if you are unlucky, you will be asked for the so-called CPF. This is the Brazilian tax number that only Brazilians and foreigners with a visa have. However, they are very open about it here and a polite request with a nice smile can actually lead to a Brazilian – even if you don’t know him or her – giving you his CPF number.

Normally, the SIM card including one gigabyte of data volume should not cost you more than 50 BRL, so depending on the exchange rate a maximum of 12 euros.

MiFi

Another possibility for mobile internet access is a MiFi device, which creates a WiFi network for you. I have tested the GlocalMe device and think it’s a really useful addition of my travel equipment. You can either use it as an ordinary wireless router with up to two SIM cards (very useful if you work with mobile TANs, you want to be available on your local number or if you want to use the social networks with a 2-factor authentication) but you can also use it without a physical SIM card but with the built in cloudSIM technology (which is of course more expensive) in over 100 countries worldwide. Apart from that it’s also a 6000 mAh powerbank, which is never bad to have with you.

Living in Brazil as a Digital Nomad

Airbnb*, Hostels* and Hotelsare all great options for short term stays. Prices vary based on amenities and location. You can get a hostel dorm bed, even in places like Rio de Janeiro for less than 10 Euro.

In general, I think Brazil is a great place of you’re looking for a perfect work-life-balance. It offers you the possibility to enjoy the beach and do watersports every day, go hiking in breathtaking nature escapes as often as you want, explore remote areas like the Amazon, and still have communities of other nomads around you so you get work done.

Blog Posts About Brazil

I have been to Brazil three times so far. Unfortunately, it was before I started writing in English, which is why the posts that I wrote are all in German only:

Morro de São Paulo

Morro de São Paulo... Bei den Worten mag so mancher an die anonyme Großstadt São Paulo denken, die das erste Ziel meiner Weltreise war, die ich im November 2014 angetreten habe. Aber weit gefehlt! Denn Morro de São Paulo hat nichts mit der Stadt im Süden Brasiliens zu...

Gruß aus Pipa

Letzte Woche ist einer meiner größten Träume wahr geworden: In Pipa bin ich mit frei lebenden Delfinen geschwommen! Nicht umsonst stand das auch ganz oben auf meiner Bucket List... Pipa ist ein zuckersüßes Örtchen etwa 80 Kilometer südlich von Natal im tropischen...

Gruß aus Rio

Rio raubt Dir den Atem!   Obwohl Rio de Janeiro eine echte Großstadt ist, hatte ich nicht wirklich das Gefühl in einer zu sein. Es gibt so viele Grünflächen, so viele grüne Hügel und so viel Sand, Strand und Meer. Die Copacabana Die Copacabana ist einer der...

20 Useful Words / Phrases in Portuguese

Hello
YesSim
NoNão
Thanks

Obrigado (Men)/Obrigada (Women)

PleasePor favor
Excuse meDesculpa
Where is …?

Onde é ….?

My name is …?

O meu nome é ….?

I don’t speak PortugueseEu (não) falo português. 
Do you speak English?Você fala inglês?  
I’m from Germany.Sou da Alemanha.
Could you help me?

Você pode me ajudar.

I need …Eu preciso ….
HungryFome
ThirstySede
WaterÁgua
How much is this?

Quanto é isso? / Qual é o preço? / Quanto custa?

BeachA Praia
Shopping mallO shopping
HospitalHospital

The Numbers 

1um/uma
2dois/duas
3três
4quatro
5cinco
6seis
7sete
8oito
9nove
10dez
11onze
12doze
13treze
14catorze
15quinze

 

16dezesseis
17dezessete
18dezoito
19dezenove
20vinte
30trinta
40quarenta
50cinquenta
60sessenta
70settenta
80oitenta
90noventa
100cem / cento
1.000mil
1.000.000um milhão

 

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You could also be interested in the following destinations for digital nomads:

Jerusalem – Israel für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

VIETNAM

Rio de Janeiro – Brasilien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

SINGAPORE

Spanien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

MALAYSIA