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. 

.

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!

Jerusalem – Israel für digitale Nomaden

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Rio de Janeiro – Brasilien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

ITALY
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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

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

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

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

 

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:

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Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

Best Things to Do During a Layover in Dubai

A few decades ago, no one in the tourism industry had heard of Dubai. It was an obscure city; but today, it is one of our world’s most glamorous metropolis with an incomparable futuristic skyline. Nearly 20 million tourists travel to the city every year, whether it is for shopping for some of the best global brands or for business or for sheer entertainment. Dubai is home to some of the best airlines in the world. The Dubai Airport is a class apart, worthy of exploring by itself. People travel through this giant hub every day, and layovers in Dubai offer the perfect chance to explore the city. Here’s what you can do in Dubai if you’re there on a layover.

 

The Grand Mosque: Total Time: 1 Hour

The Grand Mosque of Dubai is located very close to the airport. The building is a magnificent piece of artwork. It can contain about 1200 worshippers at a time. If you are not a Muslim, you won’t be allowed within the mosque, but you can explore the outer section of the mosque and take pictures of the incredible design.

 

Burj Khalifa: Total Time – 4 Hours

The Burj Khalifa should be your first stop. It makes no sense to have a layover in Dubai and not visit the Khalifa. You’re your tickets in advance so that you don’t waste time in the queues. Best to take a taxi straight from the airport to the Khalifa. Be sure to take in the view of the building from the bottom and from the observatory deck on the 124th floor. The views from up there are simply amazing.

Dubai Fountains: Check out the Dubai Fountains, just below the Burj Khalifa, from the observatory deck. The fountains leap up to a height of 152 meters and are very clearly visible from the observatory deck. If you have time, take a walk around the Burj Khalifa to admire the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountains and the Burj Khalifa from the ground.

Dubai Mall: No point in visiting the Burj Khalifa is you don’t check out the Dubai Mall as well. It’s after all the world’s largest shopping mall by area, with more than 1,200 shops. Even if you’re not a great shopper, the sheer grandeur of the Dubai Mall is just not to be missed. The lobby with the fabulous waterfall with its sculptures of divers suspended in their dives is fascinating. There’s an Ice Rink, the VR Park, a 22-theatre multiplex, and the fabulous Underwater Zoo and Aquarium that beg to be explored.

 

Dubai’s Souqs: Total Time – 2 Hours

After admiring the Burj Khalifa, be sure to take a taxi to Dubai’s Souqs. The two main souqs are in Bur Dubai and Deira, which are separated by the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Creek: If you want to enjoy Dubai’s majestic skyline in a completely different way, cross the Dubai Creek. You can do this cheaply on a wooden vessel called the abra. Or, if time permits, you can take a dhow cruise along the Creek, passing under the many bridges and past supertall towers that overlook the water beside beautiful gardens. The creek bustles with locals and tourists and is seamed with a number of eateries, souqs, and vibrant people. If you want to feel the soul of Dubai, visit the Dubai Creek.

Dubai Souqs: The most popular market is the Gold Souk, which is a covered part of the bazaar with many shops selling gold jewelry. You can see the shine of gold from a distance. There’s more gold here than you’ve seen at any one place in your lifetime. If you want to pick up some exotic spices on the cheap, visit the Al Sabkha Souk. You’ll see baskets and baskets of fragrant saffron, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and a horde of other spices. You’ll also find many baskets piled up with the finest nuts. You are allowed to haggle at these souqs. Some of the merchants will quote outlandish prices the moment they realize you’re a foreigner. Be sure to check with a few stalls before you commit to purchasing from one. Enjoy the colors and smells that are sure to take you back to Old Arabia.

 

The Dubai Museum: Total Time – 2 Hours

If you want to understand how Dubai has transformed from being a pearl-diving and fishing village, visit the Dubai Museum. Dubai was once a small Bedouin village but today it is this magnificent entertainment hub that everyone wants to visit. The Dubai Museum is located at the Al-Fahidi Fort that was built during the 17th century. Explore the beautiful gallery of the museum which houses a wide range of military artifacts, a number of clothing and other local antiques of the Arabic culture plus old weaponry. Some of the exhibits are outside, and it is best to visit this museum from August to April, as it can be incredibly hot during other months.

 

Jumeirah Beach: Total Time – 2 Hours

Get to the Jumeirah beach next, from where you can enjoy the most magnificent views of the Burj al Arab hotel in the background. This is the world’s tallest and the only seven-star hotel. You cannot go inside the Burj al Arab unless you are a hotel guest or you have booked a table in one of the restaurants. If you are able to do that in advance, nothing like it. For now, enjoy the terrific views and be sure to take pictures of yourself against the backdrop of the Burj al Arab. The Jumeirah beach is best relegated to the last part of your day, so you can enjoy the sunset with the Burj al Arab in the background, before returning to the airport. Also check out the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with its iconic wave-like design.

 

Some Tips

  • It takes about an hour and a half to be done with immigration and customs, so take this delay into consideration.
  • We suggest you use the taxi system and forget the Metro, in the interest of saving time.
  • For a short layover, you don’t need to book into a hotel. Just store your luggage at the Dubai airport luggage storage facility for up to 12 hours at terminal 1 & 3.
  • At the airport, be sure to obtain your transit visa for Dubai so that you are able to sightsee.

 

Conclusion

If you are a frequent traveler who’s passing through Dubai on business or pleasure, be sure to factor in layover time whenever possible. This will allow you to formulate itineraries that’ll help you see a bit more of Dubai each time you travel. It’s a great way to see everything this grand city has to offer, in bits and pieces.

About the Author

An avid trekker, explorer and a true foodie; Neha finds happiness in small endeavors of life and loves to pen them down as a cherished memory. A firm believer that “we have just one life to live and so much to do”, Neha lives every moment to the fullest.

The Dubai Guide for Digital Nomads

Dubai 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 Dubai!

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!

MIDDLE EAST

RENTAL CAR IN DUBAI

MIDDLE EAST

THE SHEIKH ZAYED MOSQUE

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RAS AL KHAIMAH

The Digital Nomad Life in New Caledonia – Combining Work and Travel in Oceania

The Digital Nomad Life in New Caledonia – Combining Work and Travel in Oceania

GUEST POST ABOUT LIVING THE DIGITAL NOMAD LIFE IN NEW CALEDONIA BY MARIE NIEVES 

Few professional endeavors can compare to the beauty of immersing yourself into an entirely different, exotic culture while you do what you love. For brave souls among you who decided to put their nine-to-five into the column of “past experiences”, heading to a remote, enchanting location such as New Caledonia will be the journey of a lifetime. However, it takes self-discipline paired with planning to stick to your professional responsibilities while you cross off one bucket-list item at a time in this South Pacific slice of heaven.

Before you book your first flight out, make sure you take a look at the following guide. It aims to help you strike the right balance between work and pleasure, sightseeing and professional accomplishments, and it gives you tips on the best ways to make your trip a smooth one, with no Wi-Fi troubles or culinary crises to tackle.

 

Go prepared: prices can be high

If you want to experience all that New Caledonia has to offer, you need to brace yourself for a hefty price tag that comes with the territory. As a frame of reference, living in Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, can be about 12% pricier than living in Melbourne, but roughly the same as living in Sydney. With that in mind, you will want to make sure that you have a steady influx of money coming your way before you plan your stay there.

That said, explore various online options that can be flexible enough for your schedule, and still reliable to meet your financial needs. For native English speakers, teaching English online is a viable opportunity, aside from your projects that you can take on as a freelancer on numerous platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer. That way, you can have a schedule of work responsibilities with plenty of time at your disposal to explore the region, but without the fear of breaking the bank!

 

Accommodation options

Thanks to its well-developed tourism and friendly locals, more digital nomads are flocking to taste the island life on this South Pacific gem. You have many traditional options at your disposal, from hotel rooms, all the way to resort-style accommodation. However, the best way to pick the safest and most affordable option is to go through a reliable agency such as New Caledonia Travel Connection, as they can give you suggestions based on your preferences and financial means.

By far the best place to stay for longer than a week-long vacation is Noumea. It’s brimming with options, and the Wi-Fi connection is the most reliable precisely in the capital. You’ll come across numerous cafés and restaurants, as well as free hotspots such as the Art Centre in the Latin Quarter. These free varieties may not be as stable as your hotel connection, but always make sure to inquire before you choose your best work location.

 

Plan for those excursions

Yes, some of them might be pricey, but rest assured they are worth your while and your wallet! New Caledonia is filled with natural gems, marine life waiting for your curious eye, and local culture that’s an eclectic mix of colonial influences and indigenous legacy. Make sure to hop over to the Isle of Pines, where you can snorkel in the tranquil lagoon, hike through the rainforest, and climb the famous N’ga peak, which means you might want to take a day off or visit the isle for more than one day!

Then, for the clever birds among you staying in Noumea, book a boat ride to Amedee Island. There, you should prepare for 247 challenging steps to climb the well-known lighthouse tower, where you’ll be whisked away by a breathtaking panorama ahead. After that, you can relax on the beach as a reward for all of your hard work in your digital ventures!

 

Treat your taste-buds

Hard work requires plenty of energy, and what better way to refuel for your brain work than to feast on the local delicacies in this remote little haven? Even if you’re not a “foodie” at the beginning of this journey, chances are you’ll become one as soon as you take your first, creamy bite of their dessert by the name of “poe” – made of coconut cream generously mixed with a banana or some pumpkin, it makes for every sweet-lover’s dream come true.

As a French territory, you can expect a wide range of fusion meals that have European tastes blended with island gastronomy. From escargots found only on the Isle of Pines, all the way to the locally produced wine, the menu of New Caledonia alone will be enough to motivate you to wrap up those tasks faster and more efficiently than ever. Not to mention the knowledge of basking on a honey-hued beach right after your meal with a fresh cocktail in your hand.

Soon enough, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to stay for more than a few months of digital escapism. New Caledonia truly does mix the best of both the urban and the slow-paced beach world, making it a new digital destination for eager explorers who want to venture outside of the urban bustle of the world’s famous metropolises. Just make sure your self-discipline is ready to do some serious work, and you’ll have an adventure of your life in this tropical, secluded paradise.

About the Author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author for She Roams Solo. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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!

Jerusalem – Israel für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

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Rio de Janeiro – Brasilien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

TARIFA

Spanien für digitale Nomaden

DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

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Israel for Digital Nomads

Israel for Digital Nomads

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Facts About the Israel

Israel lies on the Mediterranean Sea and borders Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. It was proclaimed a representative democracy in 1948. Geographically it belongs to the Middle East, while geologically it is still part of Africa. There are different classifications of the regions of Israel, but my information, which comes from the Israeli Tourism Board, is: There are eight regions, namely (1) the Golan Heights, (2) the Galilee, (3) Haifa & the north coast, (4) Tel Aviv, (5) Jerusalem, (6) the Dead Sea, (7) the Negev desert and (8) Eilat. Israel is undoubtedly a great country. Although I have often read that it is a good country to start with for backpackers, I wouldn’t agree with that 100%. What makes traveling difficult, for example, is that not everything is always written in English on the signs. One is therefore dependent on asking, since no dictionary helps with Hebrew writing. Fortunately, almost everyone here speaks English. I also find it quite intimidating for a start that all the young people are walking around in military uniforms and many even have their machine guns with them. In addition, the infrastructure is fine, but not necessarily well suited for backpackers. You have to change trains or buses often and have to deal with long waiting times, where you have the problem with the Hebrew characters again. For digital nomads, however, who stay in one place as soon as they feel comfortable somewhere, it’s different though. I can very well imagine enjoying the inspiring Golan Heights for weeks or even months, strolling through the multicultural city of Jerusalem every day, or finding my place in the heat of the desert.

 

Information About Entry and Departure

Israel has an agreement with many countries for visa exemption. Check on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs whether your country has one, too. If you are exempt, you’re allowed to stay in the country for 90 days. Please note that you will get an arrival card, which needs to be returned when leaving and which states that you’re not allowed to work. Furthermore, you will have to show it when checking in at a hotel. At least that’s what I had to do at Abraham Hostel. Just a few words regarding immigration: I’ve been three times to Israel now and, to be honest, they gave me hard time every single time. And it’s not getting better but worse. So be prepared to have several checks of your backs, to take out everything, to find your checked back being opened, and lastly being interrogated for up to three hours. I’m not going to lie: It’s no fun. So, maybe it’s wise to plan longer trips only that compensate the effort of getting in the country in the first place. If the country where your passport was issued has no exemption agreement with Israel, there are several other possibilities. The most probable one is for you to get a so-called visitor’s visa.

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Safety

During my whole time in Israel I felt always safe and comfortable. but I don’t want to conceil that it it can become dangerous in some way. 

In the south you should keep away from the border to Gaza. There the rocket attacks become more frequent. Due to the good missile defense system some people even live there.

 

Money

The currency in Israel is the Shekel (NIS). The abbreviation NIS is derived from New Israeli Shekel. 1 Euro is about 4.3 shekels. One shekel is divided into 100 agorot. I’ve heard that there are 1 and 5 agorot but the only thing you see all the time is the 10 agorot coin. Pretty much every ATM accepts withdrawal by credit card. Normally, you’ll have to pay a fee, in most cases, maximum 10 Shekel.

WI-FI

Although I found several sources saying that internet in Israel is 30 Mbits download speed on average, I can’t confirm that from my experience. Maybe this is for internet via cable only. The fastest Wi-Fi I have tested in Tel Aviv, for example, was 28 Mbits download. But I have to admit that in terms of availability, Israel is showing best practice. There are free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the cities, almost every café offers free internet access, and on the trains, there is Wi-Fi, too.

Mobile Internet

There are three historical network operators in Israel that offer prepaid:

  • Cellcom
  • Partner (formerly Orange)
  • Pelephone

In addition, there are 5 MVNOs offering prepaid options:

  • Hot Mobile (rebranding in Altice)
  • 019
  • Rami Levy
  • Golan Telecom
  • 012 Mobile

Hot Mobile and 019 are longer part of the market and therefore easier to find. I had Cellcom during my first two stays in Israel and have 019 at the moment. I paid 83 Shekels for unlimited calls, SMS, and 20 GB of data. The speed test is showing me around 30 Mbits for download as well as for upload speed. But to be honest, Youtube videos are very often not loading and calls over WhatsApp are not the best. As for now, I would be hesitant to recommend this place for somebody who is dependent on very fast and stable internet.

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 Israel as a Digital Nomad

I spent most of my time in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Both locations are great for digital nomads who are looking for a good infrastructure, prefer to work in coworking spaces or want to go to a different café with Wi-Fi every day. Other places are definitely no less beautiful, but often offer little or no opportunities to bring variety into the home office or the work-life balance.

Coworking Spaces

There are numerous coworking spaces in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Chains like Mind Space and We Work have settled here and offer you a workplace in the heart of these exciting places.

Blog Posts About Israel

I have been to Israel three times now and have visited almost all the well-known places from north to south. 

Eine Rundreise durch Israel

Eine Rundreise durch Israel

Im Januar und Februar habe ich eine Rundreise durch Israel gemacht. Ein atemberaubendes Land, das mich mit seiner landschaftlichen Schönheit, mit seinen wundervollen und offenen Menschen und aufgrund seiner traurigen Geschichte in seinen Bann gezogen hat. Meine ersten...

12 important words/sentences in Hebrew:

HelloShalom (on Fridays and Saturdays: Shabbat Shalom)
YesKen
NoLo
Thank you!Tudah!
You’re welcomeBewakascha
Excuse me…

Slicha...

Where is …?Eifo …?
My name is …Kor-im li …
I don’t speak Hebrew.Ani lo modvr / modvrt evrit.
I’m German.Ani esrach germani.
I need … Ani rutseh bewakascha / ani rutsah bewakascha …
How much is this?Kam auleh?

 

The Numbers in Hebrew

1akhat
2shtaym
3shalosh
4arba
5khamesh

 

6shesh
7sheva
8shmunhy
9teysha
10eshir

 

Have you been to Israel? If not, it should definitely be on your bucket list. The country is really breathtakingly beautiful and offers a lot for nature lovers as well as for culture fans. I fell in love with this country and I will surely come back and stay longer…

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Du suchst noch nach einem coolen Spot für digitale Nomaden im Nahen Osten? Dann solltest du dir Tel Aviv nicht entgehen lassen!

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!

These blog posts could also be interesting for you:

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

Germany for Digital Nomads

Germany for Digital Nomads

With a German father, I grew up in Germany and spent most of my life in and around Frankfurt. That’s why I was always more attracted to foreign countries and I didn’t write a single blog post about my home country for the first 4 years as a blogger. Then, I started writing about Frankfurt and a little bit about Berlin and published the Frankfurt Guide for Digital Nomads.

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Facts About Germany

Germany has the largest population of any country in western Europe and also the largest economy. 

Berlin is the country’s capital city and seat of government. As a federal republic, Germany is divided into 16 federal states. Each state is responsible for setting its own policies and laws in specific fields, such as education and culture.

Germany has nine direct neighbours: Denmark to the north, the Netherlands and Belgium to the northwest, France and Luxembourg to the west, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and the Czech Republic and Poland to the east.

The country is well known for automobiles, cultural museums, world’s best beer varieties and large number of varieties in breads.

Information About Entry and Departure

Entering Germany is usually a very straightforward procedure. If you’re from any other Schengen country you can simply enter with your ID card.

If you’re coming in from non-Schengen countries, full border procedures apply. In case you have a passport from a non-Schengen country you will need to apply for a Schengen visa. The shortest one allows you to stay in the Schengen area for three months over a period of 180 days. After that, you will have to leave the Schengen area for three months before you will be able to apply for another Schengen visa.

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Safety

Worrying about safety and crime in Germany is a natural concern for digital nomads who are unfamiliar with the country. Germany is generally a safe country, and while crime in Germany exists, it is rather low-scale.

Money

Germany’s currency is the Euro. One Euro is divided into 100 Eurocents or simply Cents. The exchange rate fluctuates constantly, but at the moment, 1,15 Euro is worth about 1 US Dollar.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in Germany. You can also use American Express and Diners Club credit cards; however, they’re accepted in fewer locations. While Germany ranks highly in Europe for the acceptance of new technology like contactless and mobile payments, it’s still a cash economy and you will probably notice that many businesses do not accept credit cards.

WI-FI

Germany offers the average Internet speed of 18.8Mbps. Free Wi-Fi access is a bit more complicated. There was a law called Störerhaftung that said that any Wi-Fi network provider is liable for all the illegal activity taking place on the network. Although this law is no longer active it still significantly limits open wireless networks in cafés and coffee shops. With that said, there are over 33,000 Wi-Fi hotspots spread across 300 German cities provided by decentralised organisations.

Mobile Internet

There are three main phone service providers in Germany, and who you choose depends on what you’re planning to do, where you’re planning to go, and your budget. These three companies are Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and O2.

As part of the activation process, customers are now required to provide an ID for all prepaid SIM registrations.

The cost of a SIM card can be as little or as much as you’d like to pay, depending on the number of calls and data you need. “All-Net-Flat” packages cost around 20 Euros and allow unlimited calls within Germany, 5GB of data (including LTE) and free EU Roaming. 

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 Germany as a Digital Nomad

Compared to other Western European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are basically in line with the EU average. The largest expense is your monthly rent, which can be relatively high when you want to stay in the hotspots Berlin, Hamburg, Munich or Frankfurt

In Germany’s urban areas and along railroad lines which connect bigger cities, public transport is a quite comprehensive and efficient system. Because even smaller towns are connected quite well to public transport, you might even be able to do without a car. Public transport in Germany usually includes trams, buses, underground trains, and suburban express trains in large urban areas. Note that there are specific networks or associations for the public transport network, called Verkehrsverbund, that take care of the infrastructure and also the ticketing. If you want to get the app to buy tickets or check the timetable you need the app of the specific network of the area you’re at. For Frankfurt and surroundings, it’s the RMV, for Berlin it’s the BVG.

Germans love a good night out, and if you’re in any major city you won’t struggle to find a club. Berlin is considered by many to be the best clubbing city in Europe. The best-known club in the city is the Berghain & Panorama Bar, fitted with an incredible sound system and using it to blast the finest techno all night long. It attracts top DJs every weekend. Salon zur Wilden Renate is like a hedonistic circus, with multiple dance floors and a full-size labyrinth, and Stattbad combines partying with art exhibitions and other cultural displays.

Coworking Spaces

Weserland: Located in wonderful Neukölln, Weserland is a creative, active and collaborative shared space. For those seeking a unique coworking space, Weserland is where it’s at. Open 24/7 throughout the whole year, they simply do not have a restrictive opening or closing time.

Betahaus Hamburg: Slightly hidden away in the beautiful district of St. Pauli, you will find the Betahaus Hamburg. The space opened in July of 2010, right next to the “Schilleroper”, and it is the second Betahaus that was built after it’s comrade in Berlin.

Co-work & Play: Co-work & Play is a creative space located in the far east end of Frankfurt. While the day rate is a lot higher than some other spaces, the space offers over 70 flex-desks for customers to choose from and with so many work stations it is easy to find availability.

Blog Posts About Germany

I Being German, I have been to quite a lot of places in the country. But I haven’t written about many of them. In fact, I have only blog posts about my home town Frankfurt, the surrounding area of the Rhine Main Area, and about the Vienna House Andel’s in Berlin.

The Vienna House Easy Berlin

The Vienna House Easy Berlin

This year, I went for the fourth time to ITB – the International Tourism Fair & Exhibition in Berlin. After testing the Vienna House Andel's Berlin last year, it was now its little sister's turn – the Vienna House Easy. I came directly from an event in Sweden to...

20 Useful Words / Phrases for Digital Nomads in Germany

HelloHallo
YesJa
NoNein
Thank you!Danke!
PleaseBitte
Excuse me…Entschuldigung…
Where is …?Wo ist….?
My name is …?Ich heiße ….?
I don’t speak GermanIch spreche kein Deutsch.
Do you speak English?Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

 

I’m not from Germany.Ich bin nicht aus Deutschland.
Could you help me?Könnten Sie mir helfen?
I need …Ich brauche ….
HungryHunger
ThirstyDurst
WaterWasser
How much is this?Wie viel kostet das?
BeachStrand
MallEinkaufszentrum
HospitalKrankenhaus

 

The Numbers in Germany 

1eins
2zwei
3drei
4vier
5fünf
6sechs
7sieben
8acht
9neun
10zehn
11elf
12zwölf
13dreizehn
14vierzehn
15fünfzehn

 

16sechszehn
17siebzehn
18achtzehn
19neunzehn
20zwanzig
30dreißig
40vierzig
50fünfzig
60sechzig
70siebzig
80achtzig
90neunzig
100hundert
1.000tausend
1.000.000eine Millionen

 

Want to Learn German?

Would you like to learn German to get around more easily? Get in touch and take private lessons with me!

If you want to learn more than 20 sentences or word plus some numbers, you can book a customized language course with me. I will teach you everything you want to know in a personalized skype course.

The Frankfurt Guide for Digital Nomads

Frankfurt Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in Europe? You should check out Frankfurt in Germany!

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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