Working freelance means that you are free to manage your own time and your own workload. For those working in freelance jobs that can be done remotely – such as professional freelance translators – it also means that you can choose the location in which you work.
Translators have a particular advantage when it comes to working in a new country, as they can use their linguistic abilities to offer language lessons as a source of additional income.
Of course, before making any firm decision to move abroad, be sure to check out the residency and visa requirements, taxation system and other legal factors of your intended destination, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises after you arrive there.
Once you’ve done your research, whether you’re planning a permanent relocation or just a few months experiencing a new culture, it’s time to pack your bags!
Thailand – cheap rent and wonderful scenery
Thailand is one of the best places in the world for living at low cost. Rent is low and the local cuisine is both healthy and incredibly cheap. Combine this with incredible beaches and wonderful weather and you have a picture-perfect destination that is the country of choice for many freelancers.
But Thailand’s advantages actually run deeper than great food and year-round swimming in the ocean. The country’s healthcare system, for example, is very good value when compared with systems in places such as the US, with world-class hospitals in major cities, where the staff have the time to be as attentive as you would wish.
The low crime rate is another attraction for freelancers considering relocating to Thailand, as is the low cost of transportation and telecommunications. The latter is particularly important for those who need to communicate regularly with clients in other countries for work purposes. Between Skype and the low cost of calls and data in Thailand, $25 per month should be sufficient for all your electronic communication needs.
Spain – history, culture and tradition
Within Europe, Spain is an excellent choice for freelancers, particularly for EU citizens, who can live and work there with minimal hassle in terms of residency permits and visas. The cost of living is low, the food is fantastic and the laid back culture is sure to be a hit with freelancers looking for a better work/life balance.
Though Spain’s economy undoubtedly has its issues, the Iberian country’s financial situation can actually be advantageous to freelancers who live there but earn their money from elsewhere. Property prices have tumbled in recent years and there are some real bargains available for those looking to make a permanent move, or even just to have a holiday home there that they use part time.
As with Thailand, the climate in Spain – especially in the southern parts of the country – is delightful almost year-round. The country’s culture promotes outdoor living and healthy eating and family values are important, making Spain an attractive place in which to settle for freelancers of all ages.
Ukraine – oDesk’s top European freelancing country
For those seeking the dynamism of city life, but still in a low-cost country, Ukraine is a great option. With a business-minded ethos that freelancers will find refreshing, Ukraine can provide a wonderful experience for those wishing to work there while experiencing its interesting culture and fascinating sights.
The low cost of living means that freelancers settling in Ukraine may well be able to afford to drop the rates that they charge while still maintaining a high standard of living. Obviously this opens up the possibility of expanding your client base through more competitive rates.
In fact, Ukraine has become so popular with freelancers it topped the list of European suppliers for online freelancing site oDesk during the second quarter of 2013. Official data released by oDesk showed that some $8 million had been earned by Ukraine-based freelancers during the quarter.
Rents and property prices in Ukraine are low, as are electricity and telecommunication costs, which make it an ideal venue from which to work from home. For freelancers looking to live in Ukraine longer term, becoming a resident means and entitlement to free medical care (though medicines still need to be paid for), which is an important consideration for older freelancers or those looking to start a family in Ukraine.
Still not sure where is the best place for you? Maybe this fun quiz will help.
Which country have you chosen to be based in and why? Tell us about your decision using the comment box.