Dateline: Bogota, Columbia
I recently gave some thought to the question: What would I do if I had to start over with nothing and only had $1,000 per month to live on as a nomad capitalist — where would I live and why?
I like to think about this every once in a while because we’ve talked about ideas such as the lifetime emergency fund. This is when you put your money in offshore banks at higher interest rates that kick off at least $1,000 a month in interest that you could go and live on.
And during a pandemic, this is a great question to ponder again. After all, you never know what could happen.
There are places in the world that aren’t too bad where you could actually go and do that. As someone who’s been an entrepreneur my entire life, I like to make sure that I’m not going to go back to the beginning and that’s dictated my relatively risk-free, or lower-risk, philosophy in life.
Whether you invest in a way that you can live off $1,000 of interest a month or you truly get to a point that you have to start over, I’m going to share with you some of the best places that I would live if I had to do it on $1,000 per month.
First, I’ll give you my number one choice. Then I’m going to give you other options that you might want to think about.
After that, we’ll ask our subscribers. And get ready – they chimed in with an abundance of recommendations.
MY TOP PICK
My number one place to live if I had only $1,000 a month would be Tbilisi, Georgia.
At Nomad Capitalist, we’ve been talking about Georgia for many years and I think a lot of nomads have started to go to Georgia as a result of our channel.
Tbilisi is Georgia’s largest and capital city. Located in the eastern part of the country, on a riverbank, and against the backdrop of a valley, this city is sure to charm anyone who visits.
It is also known to have a new bohemian scene.
From nightclubs to speakeasies, to wine factories and underground bread shops, there are a lot of fascinating gems to find in this city. There is even a flourishing café scene.
And if you love architecture, the city features art-nouveau and Soviet-era buildings. There are several buildings with breathtaking interior and exterior designs.
Tbilisi also has many mosaics, monuments, and historic churches to visit. They even have a fortress.
And if you want to discover somewhere truly interesting, you can venture just outside of the city center and see the secret location of Joseph Stalin’s underground printing house.
You definitely won’t have a chance to get bored in this city.
It’s also a very affordable place to live, and I would personally choose it as my number one location for several reasons.
First, I think the people are extremely friendly. I’ve built a lot of lasting friendships with people that I’ve worked with and they’ve also introduced me to other people with whom I become friends. Georgia, as a whole, is a very hospitable nation and when you need something, people are there to help you.
Often, there’s the spirit of friendship that I think people are looking for. If you had to spend your time in one place, then Georgia is a very, very good choice.
I happen to own a home there, so for me, $1,000 per month could go entirely to food, entertainment, and the cost of maintaining a house. Though, I recently shared the cost of maintaining my homes and the utility bills in Georgia are extremely cheap, even when you’re living there. And the country is opening up to the idea of cryptocurrencies if that’s your thing.
But the cost of groceries has gone up in the last year or two, yet they are still pretty cheap. Plus, there’s plenty of local produce.
You could also buy some land. If you save up and buy land somewhere in the country for a couple of thousand dollars, you could grow your own vegetables. There’s great soil in Georgia, so you can even have a backyard garden which goes well with Georgia’s large organically, locally produced meats.
Even if you owned a home, you could still go out and have nice dinners a couple of nights a week with drinks on a budget of $1,000 per month.
And they really do have some of the best wines. When I think about sitting in my home, in front of the fireplace with a glass of Georgian wine, it’s just spectacular.
If you had to rent though, you could still rent relatively affordably, cover your utilities, enjoy Georgian life and still stay within your budget. It would probably mean fewer dinners out, but Georgia would still be a great place to live.
I also think having four seasons is attractive to a lot of people. It doesn’t get super cold in the winter, but it does get chilly. And in a couple of the summer months it gets relatively warm. But you’ve got all four seasons and you could potentially take someday or weekend trips.
These reasons, and so many more, are why Georgia is my #1 choice.
All right, now onto the rest of the list.
Before we get started, let’s establish some criteria. Certainly, there are a lot of places in the world where you could go and live in some far-flung village and raise your own goats to live on $1,000 a month. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about larger towns up to mega-cities, or somewhere in between.
Another important factor to consider is if you can immigrate there. Unless you’re from one of these countries, you need to be able to stay there.
If you constantly have to rely on 30-day tourist visas — and you can only get two of those a year — that’s not going to work.
So, I’m looking at countries where you can easily get immigration through a residence permit or extended tourist visa. In Georgia, many people can go for 360 days on just a tourist visa or by getting a residence permit.
My second place to consider is Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul is in a very strategic location, straddling the two continents of Europe and Asia. It should come as no surprise then that it has drawn many different empires over the centuries, which have all influenced the cultural diversity found in Istanbul today.
Luckily, many historical buildings from these different eras are still intact. For example, you can see a mosque and a Greek Orthodox church both in the same area.
Reportedly, Istanbul’s cuisine is delicious too.
If you’re looking for a big city, then Istanbul is a great option. And living on $1,000 a month is possible thanks to the decline of the Turkish lira against the dollar, the euro, and pretty much everything else.
Rent isn’t super cheap, but food and tea are. Not to worry though, you can still find a relatively affordable place in a nice area of Istanbul.
There’s also a lot going on — you have water and that big city vibe — but you also have residential neighborhoods that are very welcoming. Though more expensive, some of the best neighborhoods are Nisantasi, Taksim, Karakoy, and Cihangir— at least for real estate.
Overall, I think you could live a pretty affordable lifestyle in Istanbul, given the decline of the lira. So, if you’re looking for a huge city, I would choose Istanbul.
Plus, it’s well-connected.
And if you love it so much that you end up wanting to invest there long-term, Istanbul’s real estate options are quite attractive too. In fact, they are surprisingly cheap.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Now, let’s say you want to live in Asia.
I know a lot of people look at cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Thailand. Those are affordable and you could probably do it on $1,000 a month.
For me, I’m less interested in Thailand. There’s nothing wrong with Thailand, but I would go to Malaysia for a more laid-back Asian vibe. Though, not Kuala Lumpur and probably not even Penang, as both of those cities are going to be too expensive.
But I think you could probably pull it off in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; otherwise known as KK.
KK is on the island of Borneo and is partially surrounded by a rainforest. Known for its markets and beaches, this city also offers several natural attractions.
Plus, it has many activities to keep you busy. From climbing Mt. Kinabalu, to exploring local cuisine, to visiting the many landmarks, there is plenty to do. You can even take a short trip to other nearby islands.
And KK has more of that laid-back Asian vibe that people might like about other parts of Southeast Asia.
Here, you would have all the benefits of the beautiful Malaysian people and a pretty easy immigration process too. They let pretty much anybody come in for numerous residence permits or through tourist visas.
It really is a great place to live.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
If you want a larger city in Asia, it gets a bit more challenging because a lot of the larger cities in Asia are expensive. Especially if you want to be on the beach.
Most cities in Southeast Asia aren’t going to work, including Kuala Lumpur.
But if you’re like me and would still like a bit bigger city in Asia, I would think about Hanoi, Vietnam. Though, I feel that being able to stay in Vietnam would be a challenge for most people.
In that case, I would probably go to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. You can get a business visa that you can renew every year there. It’s definitely becoming more difficult but is still doable.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and sits on the southern side of the country. While the city is known to be busy, for some travelers, that is also the allure.
While Phnom Penh has also drawn many expats and digital nomads, parts of the city can be a bit rough. That’s why you should always take extra precautions to ensure your safety.
Though, with growing nightlife and an active food scene, it will hopefully still make you want to live there.
And while Cambodia uses the US dollar and that can make some things more expensive, I think you could still get by with $1,000 a month. Renting something would be relatively cheap as there are still a good number of rentals.
I think any city in Asia might be tough to live on $1,000 a month, but it should be possible in Phnom Penh. It’s also likely in Hanoi, with the caveat that it’s a bit more difficult to get in and to stay there.
Let’s say you want to leave near a beach in Europe.
There are probably some small towns in the Algarve region where you could really stretch your money. Yet, the problem is that the euro is gaining against the dollar and Portugal is becoming more expensive.
But you might be able to sell your plasma and pull it off in some tiny town of the Algarve in Portugal. Located in the southern part of the country, this region is safe and has several beautiful beaches and amenities.
Though, I think the better bet would be Antalya, Turkey.
This Turkish city is resort-like and known as the “Turquoise Coast” due to the color of the Mediterranean sea that graces its shores.
While Antalya is rapidly being developed, you can also see artifacts from historic ruin in the archaeological museum. There are also beautiful natural attractions to be discovered, such as waterfalls, mountains, and beaches.
Again, due to the decline of the lira, you could probably pull something off in Antalya. Especially if you sign a year-round lease and lived there for $1,000 a month.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Where would I choose in Latin America?
Some of the big cities might be tough.
But if I’m only living on $1,000 a month, I wouldn’t be as concerned about taxes. So, a place like Bogota, Colombia could be on the list.
Given the same concept as the Turkish lira decline, your best bet would be to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You would have a great quality of life and the constant financial chaos probably wouldn’t bother you that much. In fact, it would benefit you because your dollar would go even further as the peso declines.
Known as the “Paris of South America,” it is vibrant with a lot going on in a beautiful city. That would be convincing enough for me because it has become more affordable as the currency has declined.
Plus, the food scene is insanely good and the nightlife…well, it never ends. You can stay out doing everything in Buenos Aires later than in other cities.
And if you like tango, they have that too. In fact, they perfected it.
Buenos Aires is certainly not as expensive as Mexico City. And I think you could probably squeak something out in a place like Buenos Aires for $1,000.
Obviously, you wouldn’t be living high in the hog in any of these places; with the exception perhaps of Tbilisi, depending on where you choose to rent. You can take the metro there for 15 cents, get any kind of meal for $1–$2, cook at home for basically nothing, and they make wine for incredibly cheap.
I imagine there are parts of Spain where you could do that as well.
But with all that said, for me, Tbilisi is number one and these other cities would just be considerations.
ASK THE AUDIENCE
I’m sure that many of you have your own considerations for the best places to live on $1,000 per month. That’s why I wanted to ask my audience of 270,000 people what they thought.
I asked them, “What city would you choose to live in if you had $1,000 USD a month?” and here’s what they said.
CHEAPEST PLACES TO LIVE IN ASIA
- Some bloggers report that Siem Reap, Cambodia is a charming city to live in. Located in the northwestern part of Cambodia, this city hosts many ancient ruins that are known as the Angkor Archaeological Park. Many tourists are drawn to the country to visit this expansive 150-square-mile park, including the famous Angkor Wat Temple. As the city has reinvented itself over time, it can cater to both backpackers and the chic alike.
- Many bloggers also recommend the beach haven of Goa, India. With both Indian and Portuguese influence, the city is known for its hippie vibe and beautiful beaches. Situated on India’s western coast, this city offers ample choices for things to do. You will find many museums, art galleries, and libraries to explore when you need a break from basking in the sun.
- Our YouTube subscriber, Yasir, recommends both Jakarta, Indonesia and Bandun, Indonesia for living under $1,000 a month. Jakarta is a major metropolitan city and you never know if you’re going to be on a wide boulevard or squeezed into a small street with other cars. If you choose Jakarta, you better invest in a GPS system. As for Bandung, Yasir suggests that it is very nice. Here, you will find more of a resort vibe and fabulous food. Even many from Jakarta vacation here since it is only a 2.5 hours’ drive away.
- Another YouTube subscriber, Jalil Sarkis, instead recommends Sarawak City, Malaysia and Koto Kinabalu, Malaysia. Though the Sarawak state is known for being less-travelled, Miller claims that it is quite pleasant as Sarawak City still offers a combination of city amenities and small-town charm. As for Koto Kinabalu, he recommends it for its beachside manner. However, you should make sure to check current safety concerns before moving there.
- Our YouTube subscribers are well-travelled, as we have another recommendation from one of them. Curtis Albrecht has been living in the Philippines for nearly three years and recommends Mabalacat, Philippines. So far, his average budget there has been $500 a month, which leaves room for weekend travel or splurging at your favorite restaurant. And with attractions such as Subic Bay, leisure parks, and a nearby volcano, I’m sure there will be plenty to splurge on.
- Dumaguete, Philippines is also a recommended destination. Dumaguete is located on one of the country’s southern islands, Negros. Known for its kind-hearted people, this city is laid-back and offers a range of activities to meet the needs of both an adventurous or relaxing day. If you’re looking for an inexpensive coastal city that allows you to take daily trips to the beach or as a possible retirement destination, this might be your city.
- YouTube subscriber, Yasir, has another recommendation — this time in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sitting on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Colombo is Sri Lanka’s largest city and its financial capital. Yet, Yasir claims that you can live here on less than $1,000 a month, and that includes renting a 3- to 4-bedroom luxury apartment. And if that isn’t motivation enough, the city also has a plethora of things to do and see, such as seeing historical sites, riding in a tuk-tuk, or attending a tea tasting.
- Many bloggers recommend Thailand, and there is an abundance of options. One recommendation is Chiang Rai, Thailand, which is a small city in the northern part of Thailand close to the borders of Myanmar and Laos. Although a point of transit, the city maintains a relaxed atmosphere with fine local food and accommodations at a good rate. Heading down to the gulf coast, you will find another recommended city with beaches and royal summer palaces in Hua Hin, Thailand. If you’re looking for a tropical resort feel, you will find it in this laid-back city full of hospitality.
- Turning to upcountry Thailand, you can find another recommended city in Isaan, Thailand, which is in a part of the country that is considered to share a culture and language closer to that of Laos. Known mostly for its agricultural products, if you’re looking for a region that’s off the beaten path, this is the one. Or if you’re looking for something more vibrant, you can head to Pattaya, Thailand where the nightlife scene is booming — from the beaches to the bars.
- Two of our YouTube subscribers, Roger Samuel and Vintagerahul, recommend Taiwan. They claim that in both New Taipei City, Taiwan and Taichung, Taiwan you can live for under $1,000 a month. Though, they also think that almost anywhere in Taiwan is doable on that amount. New Taipei City is the largest city in Taiwan and located on the northern coast. And it has everything – from historic sites, coastlines, temples, and hot springs. Taichung is considered an international city and is the second largest city in Taiwan. With a pleasant climate throughout the year, it is easy to enjoy the many activities that this city offers. From lavender farms, night markets, museums, national parks, and the Rainbow Village, you should be able to find something for everyone.
- Another YouTube subscriber, Online IELTS Tutor, recommends Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Currently living there, this subscriber claims that it does not cost much to live comfortably. With their employer covering rent expenses, they can even save 90% of their income and live well on just $300 a month! Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and known for its array of museums. You can also find many contradictions in this city, with both modern and Soviet-era architecture, farmers and city-goers, and both Uzbek and Russian being spoken. How fascinating!
- Some bloggers also recommend Da Nang, Vietnam. This city is located right in the middle of Vietnam. While many people go here to enjoy the beaches, the neon lights, street-food scene, and nightlife are also worth checking out. And don’t forget to see the stunning bridges.
CHEAPEST PLACES TO LIVE IN AFRICA
- Some bloggers recommend Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Located in the Great Rift Valley, this city serves as the capital of Ethiopia. With several options for public transportation, it will be easy for you to get out and see the sites here. Addis Ababa has many museums, landmarks, and an abundance of delicious food. But a word to the wise — while it’s sunny the majority of the year, you might want to plan your trip outside of the rainy season.
- Other bloggers recommend Mombasa, Kenya and Nairobi, Kenya. Mombasa sits on the coast of the Indian Ocean and is known as Kenya’s oldest city. With white-sand beaches, wildlife parks, and national reserves, this diverse city has a lot to explore. Far more inland, you will find Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and city that never seems to sleep. With both wildlife and nightlife options at your fingertips, you should never get bored in this city. And if you need to work, Nairobi has one of the best co-working spaces in Africa.
- Yet other bloggers recommend Rabat, Morocco and Casablanca, Morocco. Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and is located on the northwest coast. With a past that blends Islam and French-colonialism, you can find many historic sites that speak to each. And don’t forget the Atlantic coast beaches and exotic gardens that can also be found in Rabat. Famous for an iconic film with the same name, Casablanca is the commercial hub of Morocco. Lined with Moorish and art deco architecture, there is a lot to explore in this city — including nearby camel rides.
- Our YouTube subscriber, Dercio Bene, recommends Maputo, Mozambique. Bene lives on $600 a month, and that includes a good apartment, driving a decent car, and eating in restaurants every day. With $1,000, Bene expects that you could also hire live-in maids and more. As for the city itself, it is host to 2.5 million people. Famous for its peri-peri sauce, you can also find plenty of bars, beaches, and wildlife reserves here.
- More bloggers recommend Windhoek, Namibia and Swakopmund, Namibia. Windhoek is Namibia’s largest city and located in the center of the country. Known to have the best beer in Africa, some may argue that this is the influence of a German colonial past. It is also the main point of transit in Namibia and where one can find the start of most safari excursions. Swakopmund is the biggest coastal town in the country and often a vacation spot for locals. Though, if you’re interested in the history of Namibia, it’s documented here in the Swakopmund Museum.
- Our YouTube subscriber, Vaughan Adlem, recommends Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With the rand being weak against the dollar, you should be able to get by on $1,000 a month in this low-cost coastal city. Known as the “Friendly City,” Port Elizabeth is host to several stunning beaches, water sports, and wildlife attractions. And there are designer suburbs and historical villages to visit nearby too.
CHEAPEST PLACES TO LIVE IN EUROPE
- Vlora, Albania and Saranda, Albania are two other recommended cities. Originally founded by ancient Greeks, Vlora sits on the southwest part of Albania and makes up almost a third of Albania’s entire coastline. Known for its olive oil trademark, you can also find a taste of Italian cuisine, beautiful beaches, and historical insights in this city. Head further south and you’ll find the charming city of Saranda, where most people visit for the beaches. Though, it is also known for its nightlife scene and historic monasteries.
- Another blogger recommended the eastern European city of Minsk, Belarus. Once an impressive city in the Soviet Union, Minsk is now the capital of Belarus. While much of the city was destroyed in WWII, you can now find post-war brutalist structures. If you’re an architecture aficionado, you might just love this city. It’s also reported that they have amazing hospitality and food, and several things to do for the younger crowd.
- Some bloggers have also recommended both Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and Varna, Bulgaria. Plovdiv is often right behind Sofia for vacation destinations, but Plovdiv happens to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. Nestled between mountain ranges, this city is both romantic and ancient. It also has a creative flair and several museums and galleries. On the east side of the country, you can instead find Varna, a resort city on Bulgaria’s Black Sea. Famous for the “Gold of Varna” antique jewelry, this city also offers breathtaking landmarks, royal palaces, the “Bulgarian Amazon,” music, ballet, local produce, and much, much more.
- Many bloggers recommend various cities in Croatia. One of these is Rijeka, Croatia, a port city on the Adriatic Sea. While it is mostly industrial, Rijeka was voted as a European Capital of Culture in 2020. With stunning views, a vibrant carnival festival, and Hapsburg-era buildings, this city has more to offer than just work. Another city is Pula, Croatia, which is one of the 20 safest countries in the world and is reportedly perfectly livable on $1,000 a month. It is known for winemaking, shipbuilding, and a temperate climate. And you can keep yourself busy looking at its natural beauty, sea, and Roman buildings. Located on the Dalmatian coast, Zadar, Croatia, is a less populated coastal city than Dubrovnik – which means you can enjoy the city without crowds. Known for its beautiful sunsets, it also has a solar-powered public dancefloor, music festivals galore, and nearby natural wonders.
- Our YouTube subscriber, Thomas S., recommends Thessaloniki, Greece as he has lived there for 7.5 years. He claims that it is incredibly affordable and that you can get a job teaching English anywhere in the country. With vast sea views, a vibrant nightlife, diverse neighborhoods, historic buildings, and culinary delights, I can’t see how you could go wrong.
- Other bloggers recommended Klaipeda, Lithuania. Looking at the buildings in this city, it is apparent that it was once a part of Germany. With the only seaport in the country, this city has an important job to do connecting to the Baltic Sea. It is also close to the Curonian Spit, which is known to be one of the most beautiful areas in the Baltics. The city also has theaters, museums, sculptures, and monuments to enjoy. In fact, there is one sculpture known as the “Klaipeda Black Ghost” that is thought to have once saved the people of the city.
- Yet another recommended city is Chisinau, Moldova. With ample natural spaces, it is no wonder that this city has one of the highest numbers of lakes, parks, and wildlife in Europe. While one blogger thought it would end up being the most boring city in Europe, she found that she still enjoyed Chisinau. If you like Soviet-realist architecture, wine tours, cognac, beer, or natural attractions, you might not find the city boring at all.
- Another recommended city is Skopje, North Macedonia. In 2018, it was rated as the cheapest city in Europe. Add to that a mountainous skyline, amazing food, and the most beautiful natural attractions and you can see the draw to this city. Additionally, Skopje holds a rich history. From archaeological sites, architecture, monuments, a fortress, and tombs — it definitely sounds like a city worth seeing.
- Many bloggers also recommend Portugal. Coimbra, Portugal was specifically suggested as it is less expensive than Porto. Once the former capital city, Coimbra still maintains its medieval old town and the country’s oldest university. While the university’s students add energy to the city and nightlife, you can also find a fado performance and authentic Portuguese meals on the streets of Coimbra.
- Someone also recommended St. Petersburg, Russia. This city borders the Baltic Sea and is known as Russia’s cultural center with its world-renowned performances and museums. It has even been compared to Venice with similar canals and waterways. Once the imperial capital of the country, it is told that this city still reflects Peter the Great’s vision for Russia’s world status. While some claim that winter is the best time to visit for the night markets, others claim that you should have repeated visits all year.
- Some bloggers recommend Belgrade, Serbia and Novi Sad, Serbia. Apparently in Belgrade, people take their coffee and their partying seriously. You can find bars almost anywhere and they are usually packed. There are also some traditional cafes, called kafana, that are more or less now an institution. You will also find distinct areas of the city, split by the rivers, that offer different architecture from past empires. And since Serbia’s currency is valued lower than the euro or dollar, you can live in Belgrade on a low budget. With a vibrant and youthful art and music scene, you could say that people in Novi Sad are also serious about partying, even though, the city also offers more than that. It has gorgeous architecture, a fortress, and a mountain. And it’s only an hour away from Belgrade.
- Another recommended city is Alicante, Spain, located on the southeastern coast. Here you can definitely soak up the sun, but with less crowds than other destinations in Spain. And with warm temperatures and little rain you can do this year-round. In Alicante, you can also find fresh seafood, basilicas, beaches, an old town, and several nearby day-trip locations.
- In addition to the cities that I recommended in Turkey, other bloggers also recommend Izmir, Turkey and Trabzon, Turkey. Izmir is one of the oldest cities in Turkey and located on the western coast. As a manufacturing hub, it creates several exports for the country. With many historical buildings, great views, and amazing food options, this less-known city is worth discovering. Going much further east in Turkey, you can also find Trabzon, which is the largest city in this region of Turkey. While it has functioned as an independent state at various times throughout the county’s history, you can see that it still has a bit of its own culture. With historic sites, a monastery, and national parks, this city might be worth checking out too.
- Some bloggers have also recommended both Odessa, Ukraine and Chernihiv, Ukraine. Odessa sits on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine and one blogger thinks it reminds her of old Tbilisi. Though distinct in its own right, it is known for its beaches and architecture. With a resort vibe, warm weather, and really low prices, it could be an ideal summer location. On the opposite side of the country sits Chernihiv, in the north. As one of the oldest cities in the country, Chernihiv has several churches and was one a frequent locale for royalty in centuries. And if you’re looking for day trips from here, Chornobyl and Kiev are only a few hours away.
CHEAPEST PLACES TO LIVE IN LATIN AMERICA
- Our YouTube subscriber, Daniel Medina, likes Cordoba, Argentina, and lives there on $250 a month since the local currency has declined a lot. Nestled among the mountains, this area is sprinkled with small towns that have vibrant communities and host diverse outdoor activities. You can choose to live on a large property with no surrounding neighbors or in a small house within one of the towns.
- Another recommended city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia – often referred to as just Santa Cruz. While this is Bolivia’s largest city, it has managed to retain a small-town feel. Located on the Pirai River, it is known as the country’s trade and transport hub. Though, with a relaxed tropical atmosphere, you can often find locals sitting on the streets to watch the world go by. And shops still close for siestas each day, to boot.
- Florianopolis, Brazil is also on the list. Mostly situated on Santa Catarina Island in southern Brazil, this city is also known as “Ilha da Magia” (the Magic Island) since its beauty and charm conquer whoever steps foot on its soil. Years-old stories reflect tales of witches and sorcerers that cast spells and curses on the local population. One legend even tells that the boulders off of the beach of Praia de Itaguaçu were once witches before they were turned to stone.
- Many bloggers purport that Chile ranks among the best countries to live in on less than $1,000 a month. Naming both Valparaiso, Chile, and Santiago, Chile as their cities of choice, it will come down to which kind of vibe you’re looking for. Santiago is a capital city located about an hour inland. Known for its diversity, many expats will also tell you how clean, modern, and efficient the city is. In fact, their public transportation is so efficient that you won’t even need a car there. In contrast, Valparaiso is located right on the coast and known for its bohemian charm. The internet connection and cost of living are also reportedly good, which is usually a must-have for any nomad. While you won’t necessarily need a car here either, you may want to live within walking distance to the beach.
- While there are a few recommended cities in Colombia, there is one known for its salsa dancing. If that sounds like your flavor, then you should consider Cali, Colombia. Located in the southwest region of the country and near the Andes Mountains, it is an area with warm weather, a low cost of living, and vibrant nightlife. Additionally, you can reach the beach by car within a couple of hours, making it a very attractive option.
- Or, if you prefer a city directly on the beach, then you may want to look at Santa Marta, Colombia. By offering much more than just a beachside lifestyle, the city is also known for many cultural events. Sought-after by both tourists and retirees alike, the International Theatre Festival, Sea Festival, beauty pageant, or Cumbia folklore dance presentations might just add to your appreciation of this city.
- Other recommended cities in Colombia include Bucaramanga, Colombia, and Medellin, Colombia. Bucaramanga sits on a plateau in the Andes Mountains near Venezuela and is one of Colombia’s oldest cities. With 160 parks scattered throughout the city, it is known as the “The City of Parks” and “Colombia’s Beautiful City.” And Medellin comes recommended by our YouTube subscriber, Jason Smith, who lived there on only $600 a month – noting how much he enjoyed the food, weather, and people there. Medellin is also home to some tech-related start-up companies.
- One of our other YouTube subscribers, Chifrijo Jones, instead advocates for Costa Rica. By obtaining the Pensionado visa, you only need to prove a $1,000 a month income. And the tax system is designed to be easier on lower incomes. Add to that a socialized universal health care system, price controls on food staples, and a great climate and you’re set. There is also a plethora of natural beauty in Costa Rica, creating several low-cost or free entertainment options.
- Some bloggers also recommend Ecuador as one of the least expensive countries to live in. In most cities, you can take public transportation for well under $1, the healthcare is great, and rent is relatively cheap. Plus, you can usually eat in world-class restaurants for less than $50 per couple. And Manta, Ecuador is a good city to know on the central coast as it is the most popular beach location in the country.
- Our YouTube subscriber, Roberto Manz, highly recommends Guadalajara, Mexico. He spends much less than $1,000 per month as rent and services run under $250, groceries cost about $100, and quality healthcare is extremely cheap. Though, he warns that finding these kinds of prices means going off of the “tourist trails” and speaking Spanish well. Guadalajara is known as Mexico’s Silicon Valley and is host to many tech companies. While Manz describes the city’s climate as a plus, he also conveys that there are noise issues – expect it to be loud!
- In addition to Guadalajara, many other cities in Mexico may strike your fancy and have been recommended for various reasons. For example, Queretaro, Mexico is known to have it all. From a city center that is a UNESCO World Heritage site to modern malls, medical facilities, museums, and universities, you will find a very sophisticated destination. Merida, Mexico boasts high-speed internet that is readily available, and it is well-connected to other parts of Mexico. If you’re looking for a city that you can easily work in and still enjoy nature in your free time, Merida might be worth considering. If you’re instead looking for higher education, then Puebla, Mexico might be your best bet. It hosts 35 universities, which is only second to the number of institutions in Mexico City. Or there is also Mazatlán, Mexico, where you will feel like you live at a beach resort while you enjoy good beaches, food, weather, and music.
- Another recommended city is Estelí, Nicaragua. Located on the northwestern side of Nicaragua, this city is famous for its tobacco production of high-quality cigars. It also has active museums and cultural and business centers. Additionally, it is said to have many bars and clubs with a good ambiance.
- Some bloggers also recommend Sacred Valley, Peru, which is one of the most visited locations in the whole country. While this region is host to famous cities such as Machu Picchu, the whole area is what formed the Inca Empire. Known for its beauty, ancient ruins, and the Urubamba River, it is hard to beat!
- Piriapolis, Uruguay is also on the list. Located on Uruguay’s Atlantic coast, this city has all the elements of a beach resort. Yet, it still maintains a small-town feel. There are also stores that provide everything for your daily needs and an ample amount of healthcare facilities.
Overall, you have many, many choices to explore for living on $1,000 a month!
From the friendliness of Tbilisi to riding in a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, to working for a tech company in Colombia, to going on a safari in Kenya, there are a plethora of possibilities.
So, take it from me and go to Georgia or take it from the multiple YouTube subscribers that shared their experiences from across the globe.
Either way, you’ve got options.
And if you’re a nomad, maybe you want to explore multiple options. Just don’t forget to save some of that “splurge” money for a flight.
And who knows, living in one of these cities may even lead to citizenship one day.