Digital nomads transfer to Portugal, Bangkok in distant work period

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When you may work from anyplace, why keep house? 

Workers who aren’t tethered to an workplace, who’ve the power to convey their jobs with them world wide, are doing simply that. 

More Americans who aren’t eager on working from their kitchens or dwelling rooms are securing short-term visas that give them the liberty to journey and discover, whereas remaining employed. 

Portugal is one fashionable vacation spot for so-called digital nomads for plenty of causes. For one, it has dependable wi-fi entry, a low value of dwelling, and shut proximity to different European international locations — making facet journeys simple.

After working from house in San Diego, Kendall Lobo, a distant worker for a California-based monetary expertise agency, shortly realized she had the power to do her job from virtually anyplace she needed. 

“I can do the exact same job from a completely different country,” she mentioned.

Surfboard in tow

Now, Lobo’s day-to-day routine consists of spending most mornings on the seaside, and browsing three to 4 occasions per week, earlier than she boots up her laptop computer and reviews for obligation.

She retains California hours, which suggests her workday begins at 3:30 p.m. Lisbon time, and ends at 11:00 p.m.

“I have the morning and the whole day to explore, do whatever. And if I’m traveling, then I’ll take like a morning flight so that by 3 p.m. I can be working,” Lobo mentioned. 

She mentioned there are just a few explanation why she thought it made sense to maintain working for an American agency, even whereas dwelling in Europe. 

“The first one was a lot of people didn’t want to hire an American because of visa issues. The second was the Portuguese salaries are a lot lower than what I could make with the US job,” she mentioned. 


In two months, Lobo was capable of safe a visa that permits her to dwell and work in Portugal, the place she at the moment resides in an Airbnb. 

Exception for her surfboard, she travels mild. 

“The biggest thing that I own is that surfboard over there and I bought that blanket also,” she mentioned. 

She spends a fraction of what she paid in lease in San Diego to dwell in a completely furnished Airbnb unit in Lisbon. That leaves room in her finances for journey, which she could not afford whereas dwelling stateside. 

Her different prices, like public transportation and meals, are additionally decrease. 

Having solely not too long ago moved to the realm and being new to the neighborhood, Lobo says she feels remoted at occasions. But it is good making native and roving mates alike, she mentioned. 

“The thing about being a digital nomad is people come and they go, you know, so it kind of depends what you’re looking for and like when you connect more in the community, then there’s more sense of stability,” she mentioned. “Whereas if you’re looking for a friend for your next adventure, then maybe the nomad community is better.”

Remote work costing Manhattan greater than $12 billion per yr


Veteran nomad

Freelance software program engineer David Tan, who at the moment lives in Bangkok, Thailand, has lengthy loved the perks of having the ability to work from anyplace on the globe for prolonged durations of time. 

“I think for a lot of nomads, the sweet spot is anywhere from 1 to 3 months,” Tan advised CBS News. 

Since 2019, he is been based mostly out of fifteen completely different international locations throughout 5 continents. His travels have allowed him to construct a private {and professional} community that spans the globe. 


“If you were to say to me any city, I could tell you someone that’s there right now,” he mentioned. 

He’s seen extra folks coming to understand the perks of life like his. 

“Before the pandemic, I think being a nomad was more of a fringe thing,” Tan mentioned. “But I think with COVID, it accelerated everything. It’s never been easier to be a nomad just because there’s so many services catered to nomads.”

Tan additionally mentioned he spends much less in lease — not even $500 a month — than he did when he was dwelling in San Francisco, the place he estimates an equal unit may value as much as $4,000 monthly. 

Salary inequality considerations

One concern is that folks incomes U.S. salaries whereas inhabiting cities with a low value of dwelling, like Lisbon or Bangkok, may drive up costs for locals, whose salaries are usually far smaller. 

Portuguese labor historian Raquel Varela is worried about Americans with extra shopping for energy exacerbating points equivalent to housing affordability. She mentioned it is incumbent upon native governments to guard their very own residents whereas encouraging digital nomads to make short-term houses of their international locations, which may profit native economies. 


Overall, she sees the latest infusion of individuals from completely different cultures into her nation and others as a very good factor.

“You want to know other countries, you want to know other people,” Varela mentioned. “This is incredibly positive.”

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