Best Cities to Live in as a Digital Nomad

by Anna Kane , 4 months ago

Digital nomads… Two words that seem to contradict each other, don’t they? How can you be nomadic and digital at the same time? Travelling digitally? No, not exactly. Yes, there’s a lot of travelling involved, but there’s nothing digital about the travels-it’s the same as an individual boarding a plane and flying to another country.

The difference between normal travelers and digital nomads is the reason for the journey. Most people go on holiday while some travel for work, but digital nomads work while travelling. That’s what sets a digital nomad apart. Relying on a means of sustenance while constantly on the move.

This is only made possible because of telecommunication technologies like the internet. The internet permits digital nomads to earn a living outside they’re host countries. With access to it, digital nomads can easily work from anywhere in world remotely.


The Lifestyle of the Digital Nomad

The digital nomad’s way of living is quickly being adopted by many people. It is really gaining momentum, and two reason for this are advancement in technology and the pervasiveness of internet connectivity the world over. The fact that remote work contracts between freelancers, business men and even corporations is now becoming staple is also a factor that has contributed to the rise and consolidation of digital nomads.

Living in such a style warrants flexibility. There’s no room for digital nomads to be tied down because their work demands they keep moving around. As such, digital nomads rarely stay in a single place for little more than one to three months. They prefer urban as against rural locations too. The former will provide them with the necessary infrastructure to get work done, but the latter may not always be a conducive environment for such things.

Perhaps one of the best things about being a digital nomad is the opportunity it presents you to live a more than comfortable life. Since digital nomads mostly target developing countries to serve as their host countries, it means they can get better value from earnings. And the reason for this? Cost arbitrage. Digital nomads work remotely for clients in more developed and affluent countries, meaning their earnings will have more value in their host countries due to the low cost of living.

And another thin: A digital nomad is technically still a tourist since he’s not a permanent resident of his host country, but hardly will anyone ever know this. They assimilate with the people and adapt to the environment so easily they become part of the locals.


The Best Cities for a Digital Nomad

It’s one thing to be a digital nomad, but knowing where to head to in pursuit of a digital career is something on its own. Not every city can provide digital nomads with what they need. Luckily, there are still many cities perfect for them. Even better, such cities can be found in every continent and every part of the world. All that’s left is to choose the best ones.

 In Europe – Berlin, Germany

In North America – Austin, Texas

In Africa – Cape Town, South Africa

In Asia – Bangkok, Thailand

In Australia – Sydney, Australia

The things is, each of these countries boast facilities and infrastructure that cater to the needs of the digital nomad. Choosing one or all of them will yield different experiences but ultimately, the goal of the digital nomad will still be reached.


Berlin, Germany

pexels-photo-776109.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

Berlin’s relatively low cost of living is one of the major reasons it attracts digital nomads. It goes without saying that being the capital of Germany, it’s an urban and advanced city. The myriad of co-working spaces is what every digital nomad needs: Launch/CO, House of Clouds, Alte Kantine and Betahaus are just a few of them.

When it comes to comfort, the nightlife in Berlin is sure to satiate even the hardest, party-going digital nomads. Techno clubs dot so many places in it. And these nightclubs are just one of the many attractions.

 

North America, Austin Texas

pexels-photo-273204.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

Texas is a place that gives birth to technological and business startups. This city is very colorful, and it accommodates a diverse range of cultures. Artistic and musical organizations are only two things that add life to this city that perpetually shines with bright lights.

Digital nomads should feel right at home here, because few cities can rival Texas in terms of comfort and exotic experiences. The digital nomad is all about work and adventure, and he can find both in Texas.

 

Cape Town, South Africa

pexels-photo-373912.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

If you’re a digital nomad and you don’t mind living in place defined by ancient culture, dance, music and food, then Cape Town should be your next stop. More than work, travelling to such a place will enlighten and educate you about an ancient people. Such a thing can only, truly be experienced in person.

In terms of work, Cape Town is one of those cities in Africa where strong, 4g internet is accessible. The co-working spaces are not limited in number either. And the abundance of startups there is just another attractive feature for the digital nomad. There’s even a Silicone Cape initiative in the city that has had people dubbing Cape Town as the Silicon Valley of Africa.

 

Bangkok, Asia

pexels-photo-708764.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

Bangkok might even rival Berlin in terms of cost of living. With as little as-or even less than-$300 per month for rent, finding a great and comfortable accommodation shouldn’t prove too much of a hassle. Food is great and comes in exotic tastes and flavors; and the transport system is fluid and functional-uber taxis, metro systems, etc.

Cafes are in abundance too, so the digital nomad can easily go there with nothing but his laptop. Free Wi-Fi is not unheard of too, so working in this city will be made much easier because of the comforts mitigating it.

 

Sydney, Australia

pexels-photo-635628.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=750&w=1260

Sydney is a large, bustling metropolis. Perfect for a digital nomad. There are no shortages of co-working spaces, with Tank Stream Lab, Fishburners and Hub Sydney being three of the most popular ones. At 35mbps, the internet speed is more than decent too.

When the digital nomad is not working, he can find rest and relaxation in Sydney’s popular beaches. Come to think of it, he can even work while relaxing at the beaches. That alone is enough reason to head to Sydney, not to mention other attractions like the Opera House.

Living cost in the city can be quite expensive though, but still not expensive enough to dissuade any digital nomad from the more pleasant aspects of the city and the opportunities it presents.

           

So the choice is left to the digital nomad. He can travel anywhere in this world and still find work. He has no restrictions save those he puts on himself. In the end, it’s all about flexibility while working, and no other profession can grant you these two things as being a digital nomad does.

Register and post a comment

Latest articles

Queuing emails in Laravel with Background Jobs

So most of the web apps nowadays are featuring email notifications, newsletters and all kinds of different email implementations.  Laravel eases up the process a lot with its suit of tools that allows you to send email via any driver you wish, template and customize your emails and even queue them for later execution.


The queue functionality comes in handy in particular when you want to speed up up your application by not having to wait for server response when doing requests that are sending emails. This basically allows emails to be sent asynced on the server side. Couple examples of use cases:


  • When for example pressing on the register button, the UI won’t have to wait for the server response, while the server is sending the email.
  • When your server / service sends your email to slow.
  • When sending large number of emails, maybe even bypassing Mailgun’s 100 emails / hour limit.


But enough with the long talk and let’s get to business. For this particular example, I have used Laravel 5.4, but this should be pretty much the same on newer and even older versions. Let's get started!

Step 1. For easier to edit code in the future, we will use a Service provider to easily dispatch email actions across our controllers. To get the based of your provider, you can run the following command

php artisan make:provider EmailProvider

After the base file has been created, make sure it looks something like this

<?php
namespace App\Providers;
use App\Jobs\SendEmail;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;
class EmailProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
    /**
     * Bootstrap the application services.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function boot()
    {
        //
    }

    /**
     *
     * Generic email template method
     *
     * @param $email
     * @param $header
     * @param $content
     */
    public static function sendEmail($subject, $title, $content){
        dispatch(new SendEmail($subject,$title,$content));
    }

    /**
     * Register the application services.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function register()
    {
        //
    }
}

Step 2. Create a Laravel Job

php artisan make:job SendEmail

After the base file has been created, make sure it looks something like this

<?php
namespace App\Jobs;
use App\Mail\GenericEmail;
use Carbon\Carbon;
use Illuminate\Bus\Queueable;
use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;
use Illuminate\Queue\InteractsWithQueue;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Queue\ShouldQueue;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Bus\Dispatchable;
use Mail;
class SendEmail implements ShouldQueue
{
    use Dispatchable, InteractsWithQueue, Queueable, SerializesModels;
    public $emailSubject,$emailTitle,$emailContent;
    /**
     * Create a new job instance.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function __construct($emailSubject,$emailTitle,$emailContent)
    {
        //
        $this->emailSubject = $emailSubject;
        $this->emailTitle = $emailTitle;
        $this->emailContent = $emailContent;
    }
    /**
     * Execute the job.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function handle()
    {
        //
        Mail::to($user->email)->later(Carbon::now()->addMinute(1), new GenericEmail($this->emailSubject,$this->emailTitle,$this->emailContent));
    }
}

Step 3. Create a Mailable Class

php artisan make:mail GenericEmail


<?php
namespace App\Mail;
use Illuminate\Bus\Queueable;
use Illuminate\Mail\Mailable;
use Illuminate\Queue\SerializesModels;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Queue\ShouldQueue;
class GenericEmail2 extends Mailable
{
    use Queueable, SerializesModels;
    public $subject = 'Mass email';
    public $title = 'Email header';
    public $content = 'Email content';
    /**
     * Create a new message instance.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function __construct($emailTitle,$emailTitle,$emailContent)
    {
        //
        $this->subject = $emailTitle;
        $this->title = $emailTitle;
        $this->content = $emailContent;
    }
    /**
     * Build the message.
     *
     * @return $this
     */
    public function build()
    {
        return $this
            ->subject($this->subject)
            ->view('emails.template');
    }
}

Step 4. Create an email template file in a directory like resources/views/emails/template.blade.php with a content like


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" style="font-size: 100%; font-family: 'Avenir Next', 'Helvetica Neue', 'Helvetica', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.65; margin: 0; padding: 0;">
  <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />
<!-- For development, pass document through inliner -->
  </head>
  <body style="font-size: 100%; font-family: 'Avenir Next', 'Helvetica Neue', 'Helvetica', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.65; width: 100% !important; height: 100%; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; background: #efefef; margin: 0; padding: 0;">
  <h2>{!!$emailTitle!!}</h2>
  <p>{!!$content!!}</p>
  </body>
</html>

Now you should be be able to send queued emails from wherever you want in your app with something like

EmailProvider::sendGlobal(‘This is a test email’,’Welcome friend’,’Just testin things around’);


But before actually sending the emails, we will need to configure laravel and our server to run the service worker continuously and send actually send the previously queued emails.
Now, there are many options you can chose from when it comes to service worker drivers, including self hosted worker, AWS or Redis.

In this example we will work with a self hosted worker, so let’s start by creating the tables it needs to store the tables.

php artisan queue:table
php artisan migrate


Then open up your dot env file and make sure the following entry is present
QUEUE_DRIVER=database

Bonus: Installing service supervisor

Now, in real life usage, on sites with decent amounts of traffic the service is very likely to fail from time to time, so Supervisor makes sure the worker gets restarted if this happens.

This time I am using a Centos system, but the commands should be relatively similar on *nix systems.

easy_install supervisor
yum install supervisor
echo_supervisord_conf > /etc/supervisord.conf
nano /etc/supervisord.conf

And add following content:

[program:laravel-worker]
process_name=%(program_name)s_%(process_num)02d
command=/usr/bin/php /var/www/html/artisan queue:work --sleep=3 --tries=3 --daemon
autostart=true
autorestart=true
numprocs=2

Create log file

sudo mkdir -p /var/log/supervisor/laravel/
sudo touch /var/log/supervisor/laravel/worker.log

Start the service

sudo service supervisord start
sudo supervisorctl reload

And enable it at system start

systemctl enable supervisord

If you have config changes

supervisorctl reread
supervisorctl update
supervisorctl restart all

That’s it for this tutorial! If everything went well, then your Laravel email setup should be able to handle all the emails you need.

If you are having any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me via a comment!

What is dev burnout and how to overcome it

The job description of a developer goes beyond writing codes. We also look after databases and monitor sever-based systems; these are time demanding tasks that most of us have little to no private life. Although it looks like we have our lives after work but in reality our job goes beyond office hours. Most of us have an IT setup in our homes where we spend the supposed free time working tirelessly on virtualizing servers, programming language, designing theories or testing out new database. We virtually do nothing else than stare at the computer day and night. No wonder burnout is common amongst dedicated programmers even at young age.

Developer’s burnout is basically that point in a programmer’s career where he gets exhausted and wishes to do just about anything other than his job. Yes I love my job, but there are times I wish I was not a programmer.


Causes of Burnout

Burn out is caused by several reasons but the most common of these reasons is prolonged state of intense stress from a ‘death march task’ ( a high-stake task that requires large amount of personal sacrifice and seem impossible to complete). It tends to grow gradually; one step at a time till you lost all of the passion you have for your job and start contemplating on quitting. Some other causes of burnout include;


  • Doing same task over and over without a break, from month to month and year to year. This can become very tiresome and boring leading to lost of passion and zealousness for your job.
  • Mental fatigue can also be a cause as programming is highly cognitive, stressful and intense. 
  • Working constantly to tight deadlines is another reason for burnout. Everything is a rush. As programmers, we often have more than one deadlines approaching and all you can think of is how to quickly finish up so you beat the deadline. This is unhealthy and can lead to a mental breakdown
  • Working long hours on end for months or maybe years. Work tends to invade our private lives, no night rest or weekend breaks. This eventually leads to overbearing stress that makes you seek anything but your job.


How to Avoid Burnout


  • Do not Overwork: The first and most important tip on overcoming burnout is ‘do not overwork’. Avoid it like a plague. Generally, productivity decreases as the time spent on a task increases. Why then do we spend all those hours overworking our brains? You end up doing more harm than good. Quit overworking.
  • Pomodoro Technique: This involves taking a break at intervals while working, say 25 minutes of focused work then 5 minutes of rest. By doing so, you ease yourself of built up tension and become more productive even.
  • Exercises: Yes the job is tasking and demanding but you do not have to stay glued to your computer all day. Do a work out, it must not necessarily involve going to the gym. You could do pushups, sit ups, weight lifting, take a walk, anything, just stay active and keep moving.
  • As programmers it helps to take a break from work and experiment or play on other work related stuffs that does not involve fear of failure. You end up learning something new and resting at same time. 
  • You could also attend conferences and meetups. You gain a lot by just listening to other programmers talk. Hearing others experiences helps motivate you and increases your focus on your job.
  • Endeavour to take breaks and indulge in other passions. Programming is not your only passion; indulge in others so you do not get bored of work.
  • Working on same tech or project over and over can become tiring and boring, as such, take up new projects, anything to help rejuvenate you.


Conclusion

Leading a healthy work life as programmers takes a lot of commitment and conscious efforts. I advice we quit this cult of ‘overworking’. Not spending all day on coding and work related things does not make you the least dedicated in your organization. Let’s strive to strike a balance between our work and our private life. Truth is, when you involve yourself in other activities you learn better from real life and incorporate these experiences into your inventions. Don not kill your passion for coding by overworking yourself. Say no to over working, eat and sleep well, lead a healthy life style and you will have no burn out experience. 


Most important SEO factors of 2018 for beginners

Introduction


When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, there isn’t an exact recipe, as the ranking signals are now probably in the rage of thousands, we can’t pretend we know exactly what they are.  What we know though, is how much of an impact optimizing the most important SEO factors has ( in the real world ).

This article’s goal is to walk you trough what we consider to be some of the most important SEO ranking factors in 2018.

While reading along, you will hear us mentioning about SEO ranking factors as being on-page and of-page. Difference between them is:

  •  On-page SEO refers to factors taking place on your actual site, like content, urls and code.
  •  Off-page SEO refers to actions taken to improve your site ranking and trustworthiness by building the right inbound links network  and social signals.

On-page SEO factors

·    Content, Content, Content

Now, high quality content is maybe the most important factor when it comes to on-page SEO.  Try to keep your content lengthy, useful and unique. Updated content is also liked by Google, but try to make low magnitude changes when updating.

§  Site title

Make sure to contain your keyword, be relatable to page’s content and be brief and descriptive. As for the actual length, keeping it around ~60 chars is idea.

§  Site URL

Make sure to contain your keyword and match your page title. It should be human readable and words should be separated by hyphens while stop words and punctuation should be avoided.  Ideal URL length is around ~60 characters, but everything under 100 characters is okay.

§  Site meta description

Although meta description is not that important as it used to, it can offer you a lot of control over your indexed pages. It should contain your keyword and be around 150 characters long, as Google’s May update truncates everything above that.

§ Keyword in important HTML tags

Make sure your keyword is present in important tags, like H1, H2, H3, bold and italic

§ Images

Your images should have suggestive file names, alt descriptions even captions and descriptions

§  Sitemap AND/OR Solid Internal Links Structure

Make sure not to have broken links and avoid redirects. If you are not using a sitemap, your internal links structure should be well balanced and avoid excessive internal links.

§ Robots txt

Make sure your robots.txt file is not disallowing search engines to crawl any important sections of your website, while keeping private internal stuff.

§  HTTPS

Make sure your site is protected by SSL encryption. You can now get free certificates using something like Let's Encrypt and Certbot.

§  Mobile friendly

Mobile friendliness is again one of the most important factors of on-page SEO. Make sure your website is looking good on all mobile devices.

§  Page speed

Page speed is an important factor because it denotes the usability of the site, just as the mobile optimizations.

§ Contact us, TOS and Privacy pages

The pages mentioned above also denotes credibility not only for your users but also for Search engines.


Off-page SEO factors

§ Links, Links, Links

Backlinks are the most important SEO factor, both on and off page. However, your links must be high quality, from high authority domains, relevant and similar websites links and also diverse links.

§  Domain age

It is a common fact among SEO gurus that domain age and sometimes even registration length makes your website look better for search engines. Also a clean domain history is required for successful projects.  Keyword present in the domain is also a plus, but websites with keyword in domain and thin content might get penalized.

§  Server location, IP History

According to some experts, search engines tends to boost the ranking of websites based on their server location and IP history, which should be clean and with no spam antecedents. Also, keep in mind shared hosting servers are a bit more risky than VPS/dedicated servers.

·   Social signals and Social usage

How many times your site or page has been shared on Facebook and Twitter might actually make a difference, as social signals are always to keep in mind when optimizing your SEO. As a starting pack, websites with Facebook pages that has a lot of likes or a Twitter profile with many followers might just get you the boost you are looking for. Also, as most of the real world business are on LinkedIn, a profile on it might help you too.

 

Bonus: To Avoid ( Penalties )

§  Keyword stuffing in title / meta description

Using excessive keywords in your content, title, meta description or URLs might get you penalized. You can use them multiple times in your content, but just make sure they’re usage is in context and not forced.

·   Paid / Low quality / Spammy Links

There aren’t many things Google hates more than paid or spammy links. Make sure your link building strategy is clean and safe.

·    Pure / User-generated Spam

Google doesn’t like spam, so try to stay in the safe zone as much as possible.

§  Duplicate content / pages

Google doesn’t like duplicate content, so avoid penalizations by not duplicating content or pages. Use canonical tags when needed.

§ Sneaky Redirects / Doorway pages

§  Getting hacked / hosting malicious pages or hosting piracy content

§  Hiding text

§  Popups


That's it for now guys! If you think I've skipped something important, let me know ;)

Take care and don't let your SEO go wild.