My husband and I started our digital nomad adventure in the fall of 2016. After backpacking around the world for more than a year, we were heading out on our first journey of working & traveling. This had been our dream since we had started traveling together 5 years earlier, and we could not have been more excited!
Our first destination was Asia. We already knew that Southeast Asia was an affordable region to live in, and like most new digital nomads, we had heard that Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Bali, Indonesia were the places to be.
We spent almost a year working and traveling in Asia before heading back home to Canada, and while we loved every minute (well, almost every minute) of our digital nomad adventure in Asia, we were ready to change a few things up.
We wanted to base ourselves somewhere that we could stay longer than 30-90 days at a time (this is one of the biggest challenges of living and working in Asia as Canadians) and we wanted to be somewhere where the time zone was a bit easier for working with clients in Canada and the U.S.
This is where Mexico comes in
I had been to Mexico before on a number of family and friend vacations, and I had never thought for a second that Mexico might be a good place to work and travel. For me, it was entirely a beach vacation destination.
A number of our other nomad friends had been raving about Mexico and how amazing it was for the digital nomad lifestyle. After doing some research, we realized that we could stay in Mexico for 6 months at a time and it was centered on the North American time zones. On top of that, the cost of living is very affordable, so we figured we’d give it a shot!
In the fall of 2017, we moved to Mexico City. Within a few days of arriving there, we knew we’d struck gold. Mexico City is one of the most amazing cities in the world for culture, food, and things to see and do, and on top of that, it’s an incredible city for nomads.
It gets better though
Throughout our first year living in Mexico City, we traveled around the country a ton. As it turns out, not only is Mexico City an amazing digital nomad hub, but there are tons of other cities that are ideal for this lifestyle.
Guadalajara, Puebla, and Queretaro feel like big cities, while Merida and Oaxaca give you small-town charm with all the amenities that a digital nomad could want. Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Escondido allow you to live on some of the most stunning beaches in the world, while Guanajuato and San Miguel feel like you’re making a living within the day-in day-out of a fairytale. And if none of those cities sound up your alley, there are many other amazing Mexican cities that you could base yourself in.
Whether you prefer beaches, mountains, big cities, or rural destinations, Mexico really has something for everyone!
Since 2017, we have spent more than half of each year in Mexico exploring different locations and have completely fallen in love with the country. If I haven’t convinced you already, here are my top reasons (on top of what I already mentioned) why Mexico is the perfect digital nomad destination.
1) The people are friendly & welcoming
Mexico has been a top destination for years and the economy thrives off tourism, creating a very welcoming air among the people towards foreigners.
There’s nothing more distressing than arriving in a foreign country and feeling like the locals don’t want you there, but we have never experienced this in Mexico. As long as you’re polite and respectful to the local people and their culture, they are very friendly and welcoming to you.
You’ll feel like you fit in with the locals in no-time and if you stay long enough, you may even make some local friends. This makes it an amazing country to live in for a longer period of time.
2) The food is amazing
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food, and if you’re a fan of guacamole and pico in your home country, you’re going to love it straight from the source.
The traditional food in Mexico is different from region to region and it’s so fun to arrive in a new place and try whatever incredible local dish they are serving up. We eat Mexican food pretty much every day and we are yet to get sick of it.
3) The cost of living is affordable
Mexico is an affordable country to live in and how. While popular places like Tulum will have prices closer to the U.S., the most popular nomad destinations like Merida, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Mexico City could all be versions of a kind of home base.
Coming from one of the most expensive countries in the world, it was amazing to be able to live in Mexico and support the local economy while building up our businesses and freelance work as nomads.
4) There is a never-ending list of things to see & do
We arrived in Mexico with a pretty hearty bucketlist of things we wanted to see and do, and over the last few years, it’s just gotten longer and longer. Mexico truly has something for everyone, whether it’s picturesque cities to explore, Pueblos Magicos through which to stroll, colorful markets to eat street tacos in, stunning beaches on which to lounge, or the endless rotating list of events to attend. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever tire of exploring this country, and that’s saying a lot!
Mexico also has a few domestic airlines that offer up really affordable flights around the country, so even if you are basing yourself in one part of Mexico, you can easily explore the country on weekends and time off from work.
5) There is a great nomad community
Mexico is catching on with the digital nomad community. There are pockets of nomads around Mexico, which means that everywhere you go you can find co-working spaces, nomad-friendly cafes with fast WiFi, and communities of like-minded people!
This was one of the reasons we started our nomad journey in Southeast Asia – we wanted to meet kindred-spirits doing what we were doing. Now you can find that all over Mexico, which makes it the perfect place to base yourself for a few months.
Be warned – it’s not uncommon for someone to travel to Mexico to try it out for a week or so and never leave.