Our Nomad Journey So Far!
Here's every place we've lived on our five-year nomad journey. With letter grades!
Almost five years ago, Michael and I left Seattle to continuously travel the world as digital nomads. We’ve now lived in sixteen different countries for at least a month (with shorter stays in dozens of other countries along the way).
People often ask us: which was your favorite destination?
This is a difficult question to answer, because every place has at least one thing we’ve loved, and at least one thing we’re not too crazy about.
Plus, any place can be wonderful when you’re with friends, and we’ve made plenty of those along the way.
When we first left America, I was a bit worried. Were Michael and I going to be lonely? Were we going to feel isolated, always being by ourselves? How would we make friends if we’re always on the go?
It turns out I was wrong to worry. And now, when tasked to “grade” our different nomad destinations, I am realizing that the friends we shared these places with are at least as important as the locations themselves.
We are reader-supported, so please consider joining us with a free or paid subscription.
Miami, Florida (Three Months, 2018)
For our very first digital stop, we deliberately chose a U.S. location, to slowly ease our way into the world of nomading. It was a coliving facility (since closed), at the edge of downtown Miami, about six blocks from Little Havana.
And it was a perfect first stop, as we did learn all about nomading. We also learned how easy it is to make friends, at least in coliving. My first new friend was a French nomad named Xavier.
On the other hand, we were unimpressed by Miami itself; we routinely heard gunfire in our neighborhood. We were even less impressed by the insane congestion and sprawl that makes up Southern Florida.
Birgu, Malta (Two and a Half Months, 2018)
In Miami, we discovered that coliving can be wonderful.
In Malta, we discovered, it can suuuuuuuck.
What’s the difference? Good management and regular housekeeping, for one thing.
That said, Malta itself was fascinating, especially the capital city of Valletta, which was a short ferry or gondola ride from our home inside the ancient, walled city of Birgu. Malta is extremely dry with exactly zero rivers and exactly one human-made lake. But it has lots of lovely yellow limestone, which people have been rearranging into castles and cities for centuries.
All that lovely limestone makes Valletta look especially stunning at sunset.
Matera, Italy (One Month, 2018)
When we first arrived in Matera, we were so underwhelmed that we considered just turning around and leaving. Southern Italy is poorer and dumpier than Northern Italy, and after our experience in Malta, we were wary of another bad coliving experience.
But within twenty-four hours, we discovered this city is home to some massive, ancient ruins called the Sassi di Matera. It’s still the most amazing place we’ve both ever been to that we hadn’t even heard of beforehand — although it has since made an appearance in the James Bond movie, No Time to Die.
Plus, we quickly discovered Casa Netural, our coliving space, which was absolutely wonderful.
Bansko, Bulgaria (Three Months, 2018)
How did we end up in this charming little ski town in the summer off-season — in a former Soviet Bloc country, no less? Because it’s become a year-round “hub” for digital nomads, mostly because of Coworking Bansko, the vibrant coworking facility that started it all.
Come for the nomad community, but stay for the natural beauty and outdoor activities — and the ridiculously cheap cost of living. Our (nice) two-bedroom chalet rented for $300 USD a month. Granted, it had faulty wiring and caught on fire, but hey, you can’t have everything.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Brent and Michael Are Going Places to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.