In recent years, I have observed many changes and novelties in our lifestyle. Technology has become an important part of it and will remain so with increasing preponderance. One of these novelties is a trend as far as work is concerned, and it was the birth and development of the so-called Digital Nomad Expat.
But What Is a Digital Nomad Expat?
First, let’s define the term. A Digital Nomad Expat is a person who uses the Internet to develop his or her occupation, either working as a freelancer or selling his services online and working abroad. It is a socio-economic movement that started in the first years of this century. More than a profession, we can look at it as a novel, contemporary lifestyle. The groups that most identify with this modality are the Millennials, basically because of their taste for technology and jobs related to this area.
Tools of the Trade
The basic tools you need are a computer and internet access. This way, no matter where you are, you can do your work from any country and any place (beach, mountain, hotel, coworking space, etc.). Just be sure you have access to reliable Internet service.
Is It Possible to Work in Costa Rica as a Digital Nomad Expat?
Definitely, yes. Costa Rica is a delightful destination for that kind of work. Its natural beauty, friendly people, and climate are part of what make this country attractive. The lodging offer is extremely varied, both in prices and location. You can choose between a cabin in a jungle area, a room on the beach, or an apartment in the city. What are the pros and cons of working as a Digital Nomad Expat?
The offer of coworking space is increasing in the country. While most are in San Jose, you can find more and more offers in beach towns like Quepos, Jaco, Samara, Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo, Santa Teresa, Manuel Antonio, among others. Selina, The Train, Sand and Surf Coworking, Skyloft, GuanaWork, WorkHub, are companies offering these spaces.
- Internet access is available in most bars or cafes, and in public spaces. There are also 61 public libraries and 419 squares and parks where you will find free WiFi. Find these locations on sutel.go.cr.
- You can kook for house-sitting options, where you have free board and breakfast for helping with three to four hours of housework a day. These offers exist in beaches, mountains, and even jungle villages. Most places have a reliable internet connection.
- A tourist visa is valid for three months. If you are going to stay longer, you can pay for a three-month extension. Some also go for a couple of days to Nicaragua or Panama and re-enter Costa Rica for another three-month stay.
- You do not have to pay taxes if your income comes from outside the country.
- Costa Rica has a well-established democracy that is politically stable.
- There are options for all budgets.
- It is not possible to work on a tourist visa in the country. But if your source of income is outside Costa Rica, then you will have no problem.
- Personal security has deteriorated somewhat in the country, especially for women traveling alone. Be vigilant!
- Internet coverage can be deficient in some locations. Find out well before you settle in.
- Costa Rica is the most expensive country in Central America.
- The rainy season REALLY is a rainy season.
- Roads and public transportation are somewhat deficient.
Digital Nomad Expats aren’t people who work all day lying on a hammock at the beach, drinking Piña Coladas.
They’re flexible workers who have commitments and responsibilities like any other office worker but aren’t tied to a desk under a roof.
Their office can be anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
In short, Costa Rica is a superb destination for Digital Nomads. If you fancy working as a Digital Nomad Expat, we here at TCI will gladly offer you practical and up-to-date information. Dare to change, and maybe you will never need to work from a regular office again.
by: Román Vergara