Digital Nomad Life

George Harrap
9 min readAug 9, 2022


I made a post recently on my social media (in response to recent OFAC banning tornadocash discussions on CT) and it got a lot more interest than I thought it would- that of living by your principles by living a digital nomad life. It seemed from some responses that people might be interested to hear some more long form thoughts on this so here we are!

The best place to start as with all important decisions is from the foundations, the philosophical principles. I always like to start that way when explaining crypto to people and also this is where we should start this journey.

Personally I believe in the sovereignty of the individual and that we are all born free and should be responsible for ourselves and the primacy of life, liberty and private property

This is a broad summary of a lot of things I tried to capture in one sentence but I think it put things on a good footing. Personal choice, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours and the non aggression principle could all be other filler phrases for this. They’re all in depth topics themselves so I’ll let you research those at your own volition.

These are the guiding principles that I value and therefore I should ensure actions I take in life are in accordance with the principles, if they’re not then I would be a hypocrite and not just that I would living a life of falsehood. In my opinion the meaning of life is to find truth and meaning- for example it would be detrimental to my existence if I thought the sky was full of rocks about to fall on me or if an elephant is a donkey. Those would be untruths that would impact the way I live, the opinions I hold, the people I meet or the things I say would be quite different if I assumed these falsehoods to be true. Humans cannot live productive, meaningful lives if we value falsehood as evolutionarily speaking, if I thought the deer in the woods was a tiger I might run away, have no food and starve and die. Our ancestors had to analyse the situation and make decisions based on what our brains deduced was truthful and it is for that reason we are here today. So approaching truth is important and perhaps the way we do that is by applying wisdom to discern some principles from the universe.

Nation states are just logos and flags

Now back to nomadding. The modern nation state is only about 200–300 years old for the most part its proven to be a somewhat effective means for organising humans to do things. For better or for worse of course, nations go to wars and kill each other and they also create laws to ensure some order to peoples lives. Sometimes the laws they make can be ‘good’, sometimes they can be ‘bad’ and all of the time Its enforced by the threat of force as only the nation state has that universal power.

There are over 200 countries in the world, some of them have good laws and some have bad laws. Good and bad can be discussed endlessly here but let us refer back to my original principles as the reference point and compare nations based on their adherence to them. Nowhere is perfect but some are probably less worse than others. For example we can probably agree living in North Korea is probably worse than living in Switzerland for a variety of reasons.

So a lot of these countries fall on some spectrum which only YOU can rank.

What do you find more important to your way of life? Somewhere you can drive a car? No tax? Close to family? Speaks the same language? All of these conclusions will be unique to you but we can at least compare the 200 or so countries and make a list of what places may adhere best to them and then we investigate visiting there and living for a time, essentially creating a hypothesis and conducting an experiment.

  • Start by ranking countries according to your preferences, lots of research needed
  • Investigate the options for travel/living
  • Create an action plan to visit there

Nomad Locations of the World

It turns out that a lot of people generally converge on a bunch of common preferences, there are hundreds of thousands of digital nomads around the world at any one time living remotely as a resident of nowhere just going place to place as they see fit. Tropical islands, European cities, Asian metropolises etc. That’s obviously easier for some people to do than others for reasons like the passport they have or the money they have or can generate, regardless lots of people do it now.

Chiang Mai, Bali, Lisbon are all popular locations for nomads and if you go to those cities you are probably going to run into them. Often the key features are: low cost of living, sunny weather, beaches, cool culture etc. Conferences of thousands of nomads happen every year too.

There’s also many countries offering digital nomad specific visas, a quick google turns up this list of 44 countries I’ve used a few of these but for the most part in some countries, like Georgia they offer 1yr tourist visas to 130 countries so you can just stay longer term on tourist visas anyway. Many countries also wave taxes you earn in the country for the duration of the program or some places don’t even have taxes in the first place, probably most suitable for most crypto people in that case.

Cost of living is another big one, Airbnb is a good choice for getting started I prefer to only use places with at least 5 reviews over 4.5 stars and if you really like a place then maybe its worth looking for longer term accomodation in a lease for some part of the year anyway or a custom deal with the airbnb owner.

Banking and money can be different in various countries, some places cash is king and you need to have a stash with you at all times to pay for things, in others you can get by with just a card. I tend to keep both and multiple backups of bank cards anyway incase one doesn’t work for some reason (which happens often).

What about bringing my family? How to meet people?

A lot of people ask this and Its going to depend on your particular situation. I have friends who bring their entire family with them and this is how they live. That doesn’t mean living in a backpacker hostel every night with 2 kids it means longer term accomodations for multiple months at a time in nicer low cost locations. You can get a nice villa on the beach for 3–4 months in Bali or Thailand then move to a cosy old town place is Lisbon or the big city full of apple stores and iPhones in Dubai for a period. Its up to you how you structure it

Community and friendship is another thing I’ve found very important if not the most important thing to maintain. While yes there is a ‘nomad community’ it might not be your vibe (isnt for me) so its important to identify areas or people which are your vibe and get acquainted. It means you actually have to get off your ass and do something though so it does take effort but its totally worth it. Never know what random cool people you may meet. Check for local meetups online in your city or location, often youll find other nomads in the same shoes as you with shared interests.

If you have the means the optimal setup I think is to pick 3 places a year you like spending time in, then buy your own place there and rotate accordingly 1/3 the year in each (resident of none perhaps, just on tourist visas and not tax resident). Maybe a citizen of neither, maybe resident of none but its your place that you know and like to come back to every time. I prefer this now, nothing worse than exiting a midnight flight then needing to find a taxi only to find the sim card store isnt open and your airbnb isnt answering. But I would not have identified the places to go to that were my preference if I didn’t first do the exploration for a few years.

Keep in mind a property in Georgia is like 80k for a nice apartment, 200–250k for a nice villa in Portugal, rentals in dubai is optimal for 1yr leases not much more than a few thousand a month if that, Bali same deal rentals for 1000 usd a month in an amazing spot etc.

Is it easy? Of course not. There will need to be sacrifices to how you or your family operate currently. Maybe those sacrifices aren’t worth it for you, ok cool nomadding isn’t for you then. But some people might be interested to try it out.

If hard things were easy we would all do it :)

So where do I go?

As I said its up to you to tailor a custom plan for places with align with you. I would checkout on the list though: Portugal, Georgia, Dubai, Montenegro, Cost Rica, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia (KL, Penang, Langkawi), various carribean islands, portugese/spanish offshore island territories, turkey, Bulgaria to name a few. All have pros and cons and reasons why you might wanna go there. Those are all popular nomad locations popular with crypto peeps. Checkout the nomad visa options linked above and investigate those countries.

How do payments work?

As I said some places its good to hold cash and some you can get away with using a card. For the most part have backups of both. In some countries you can get a local bank account as a tourist, just turn up and show them passport and a phone number (like Georgia). In others you can visit the local cash crypto OTC shop and setup something there either walk in and do an exchange every so often for cash (the other day I just walked in to OTC shop and walked out a few mins later with 450 USD cash I can then convert to local currency down the street which is living expenses for 4 weeks) other places various P2P marketplaces might be optimal like Paxful etc but in general the hierarchy of best setup is:

  1. Local bank acct + Local crypto exchange instant fiat in out in a country
  2. OTC cash shop walk in
  3. Intl wires to another bank account you have somewhere and is attached to your card in your wallet then use card or ATM as needed.

What are the cons?

Something I’ve come to appreciate is online shopping with delivery, when youre on the road doing such things are impossible pretty much. I did get a DHL delivery a few times when I lived in longer term places but in general its not ideal. Finding the right community is also important, social interaction is key- I’m more of an introvert anyway but generally I have a few good friends to hangout with in various cities in the world which is fun.

Optimising your travel baggage is another thing Ive got pretty good at, only carry what is absolutely necessary but buy really good quality stuff that will last.


Being a digital nomad is not for everyone, but hopefully this quickly done blog is helpful to some people and a bit of a long form way to how I see things. This post all came about because of recent sanctions and censorship of some ethereum addresses/contracts and I made the point that your geography does matter and being ungovernable is the best way to be immune to such things. I believe in being a customer of a country not a member of it and by that I mean pick and choose the best places to live on what they offer and if things change then you can always leave no strings attached. Dont like the recent laws? No worries, theres 200 other countries out there no doubt some are better to your suiting. You dont have to tolerate dumb laws just because you happened to be born on a specific patch and dirt and lived there all your life.

So it comes down to having the ability to be mobile being key to individual sovereignty, something I value and I think many others in the crypto ecosystem do too. Hope this was helpful :).