Let’s face it, winter will soon be upon us, and it’s already getting cold. Or at least it is here in Portland. While personally I’m pretty pumped to get some ski days in this year, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be a bit of a Snowbird here in the next few months and try and spend a little time some place warm.
Part of the beauty of location independence is being able to leave the cold and rain behind whenever it becomes too much and go some place warmer, and more importantly, cheaper. For those of you who are looking for a good place to sit on a beach and get some work done in the process, here are five of my favorite winter location independent destinations.
1) Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand. This was my destination of choice for the winter of 2010. I spent a good portion of last January here, and I gotta say, there aren’t many better destinations to be location independent in the world, just ask Cody Mckibben and Brooke Ferguson who are currently making Ao Nang their home. Reliable internet is relatively easy to find, the outdoor activities are second to none, and the place is really cheap as far as beach towns go. You also have unparalleled access to other world class destinations like Railay, Phi Phi, and Phuket.
2) Puerto Galera, Philippines. This is probably the most remote location independent location on the list, but it may very well represent the best opportunity out there right now for those of you looking for a little adventure. I was in Puerto Galera back in May with Dan Andrews, and it’s not only beautiful, but has the perfect setup for those who want the true tropical island feel.
The guys over at Badladz Dive Resort have put together a hell of deal for entrepreneurs who want to spend some time there. For $1,000 a month, you get a room, two meals a day, all the coffee you want, wifi, AND a free open water dive course. I won’t lie, I’m seriously considering spending a month out there early next year. It’s exotic, has a small community of entrepreneurs already there, and has some of the best diving in the world. What’s not to love?
3) Bali, Indonesia. Despite what modern media may have you believe, Bali can be cheap. Really cheap. Just a month after Puerto Galera, I was able to spend some time down in Bali, and I gotta say, the place lives up to its reputation as the ultimate island destination. It doesn’t matter what you want, total seclusion, party scene, beach front living, or a mountain retreat – Bali has something for you. I had no problems finding decent wifi in both Kuta and Ubud. So if you’re looking for a destination with a little bit of everything, I can’t recommend Bali highly enough.
4) Utila, Honduras. This is another destination I’m thinking of heading to early next year – and the only place on the list I haven’t been. Utila is a very small island off the coast of Honduras near Roatan that’s known very well known as being one of the cheapest places to scuba dive in the world. Relatively speaking, living expenses are pretty cheap, and the scenery is gorgeous. Utila can be a bit of a pain to get to, but now with Continental becoming part of Star Alliance, it’s much easier to get close using frequent flyer miles should you happen to be a member of Star Alliance. I’ve heard of individual dives being as cheap as 10 bucks with open water certification being a mere 200 bucks.
5) Buzios, Brazil. Of all the places I’ve been in my life, Buzios definitely ranks pretty high on the list. A short 2 hour bus ride from Rio de Janeiro, Buzios is everything a beach town should be. It has a wildly diverse range of beaches, from the party scene to the desolate, and the weather is amazing. If you’re lucky enough to be there over carnival in February, you can count on a bunch of crazy parties and a LOT more people. During a normal time period though, there are few places I’d rather be than hanging out in Buzios. It’s also known as the St. Tropez of South America – but without the St. Tropez prices. This place isn’t going to be quite as inexpensive as some of these other destinations, but if you’re used to US prices, this will be a welcome break.
So there you go, whether you’re location independent or merely looking for a little winter getaway, any of these places are guaranteed to impress.
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