View of the New York Skyline.

United States

Land of the free

Embark on an odyssey across the sprawling canvas of the United States, a land tailor-made for the digital nomad seeking diversity in both workspace and play. Venture through the bustling corridors of innovation in Silicon Valley, where coffee shops double as boardrooms and ideas take flight amidst the clatter of keyboards.

Wander through the historic heart of Boston, where cobblestone streets lead to cozy nooks ideal for firing off emails in the shadow of American history. Let the neon lights of Las Vegas inspire late-night projects, or find tranquility in the vast expanse of Montana’s Big Sky country, where the horizon stretches as wide as your entrepreneurial spirit.

The United States offers a seamless blend of urban and rural retreats for the tech-savvy explorer. Indulge in the culinary delights of New Orleans’ French Quarter, a sensory feast to fuel your creative fires, or breathe in the tech-forward air of Seattle, a city where innovation is as natural as the rain.

For the nature-loving nomad, the national parks offer a respite from screen time, with landscapes that range from the otherworldly formations in Utah’s Arches to the awe-inspiring vistas of the Grand Canyon. Whether it’s the sultry rhythms of Miami Beach or the serene heights of the Colorado Rockies, the United States is an endless tapestry of experiences, each destination a unique chapter in your digital nomad diary.

Wherever your journey takes you, the United States stands as a beacon of possibility, a place where work and wanderlust meet against a backdrop of endless potential. This is a place where every corner holds a new adventure, every city a different vibe, and every encounter a story waiting to be written.

I. The basics

Cost of living

The cost of living for digital nomads in the United States can be as varied as the country’s landscapes. From the dense urban jungles of New York City to the sprawling, sun-soaked boulevards of Los Angeles, and the quaint, cobbled streets of Savannah, the expenses of daily life swing widely. Accommodation is typically the heftiest outlay, with the coasts boasting the highest price tags, while the heartland offers more wallet-friendly options.

  1. Housing: Varies greatly. Major cities like New York or San Francisco can be extremely expensive, with rents for a one-bedroom apartment ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 per month. Smaller cities or rural areas can be significantly cheaper.
  2. Food: Average monthly grocery bill is around $300 to $600. Dining out regularly will increase expenses, with meals in mid-range restaurants costing $15 to $30 per person.
  3. Transportation: Depends on location. In cities with robust public transit, monthly passes range from $70 to $120. Car ownership includes costs like insurance, gas, and maintenance, averaging around $500 to $800 per month.
  4. Utilities: Monthly utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for an 85 m² apartment range from $100 to $200, depending on location and usage.
  5. Internet: Typically $50 to $100 per month for high-speed internet, with variations based on service providers and plan specifics.

Connectivity and infrastructure

In the realm of connectivity and infrastructure, the United States stands as a bastion of technological prowess. Cities glitter with the promise of high-speed internet, making the life of a digital nomad as seamless as streaming your favorite show. Co-working spaces proliferate, providing a smorgasbord of options from the hum of a busy office environment to the solitude of a private desk, each equipped with the tools of the trade. Even as the urban centers cater to every digital need, smaller towns are not left in the digital dark ages, with public libraries and cafes extending the lifeline of Wi-Fi to all who enter.


Healthcare is where the U.S. presents a complex picture. Quality is high, but so are the costs, making health insurance not just a necessity but a crucial investment. Urban areas flaunt their medical facilities, offering state-of-the-art care, while more remote regions may require a trek to reach a clinic or hospital. The advice for the prudent nomad is clear: secure a robust health insurance plan that travels with you, ensuring peace of mind as you journey from the redwoods of California to the high rises of Manhattan.


Safety, a top priority for any traveler, varies across this vast nation. Big cities, with their dense populations, present a spectrum of security challenges, though most are as safe as they are exciting, provided you exercise urban savvy. Natural disasters are part of the national narrative, with the geography dictating the drama, be it hurricanes in the Gulf or blizzards in the North. Staying informed and prepared allows the digital nomad to navigate the United States safely, enjoying the freedom that this country, so emblematic of liberty, has to offer.

II. Living in the United States as a digital nomad


Living as a digital nomad in the United States, one can experience a vast array of climates that cater to every preference. If you chase eternal summer, states like Florida or Southern California bask in warm temperatures year-round, with the mercury seldom dipping below 60°F (15°C).

Prefer the crispness of autumn or the stillness of a winter snowfall? The Northeast and Midwest offer four distinct seasons, with summer highs averaging around 80°F (27°C) and winter lows that can plummet well below freezing.

The deserts of the Southwest serve up scorching summers, where temperatures often exceed 100°F (38°C), while the Pacific Northwest provides a milder, wetter climate, known for its damp and cool conditions much of the year.


The nature that sprawls across the U.S. is as varied as the climate.As a digital nomad, you might start your morning answering emails to the soundtrack of crashing waves on Oregon’s rugged coastlines or beneath the towering sequoias in California, nature’s own skyscrapers.

The central plains offer a different kind of beauty with expansive horizons that turn the sky into an ever-changing canvas, especially at sunset when it blazes with colors. For the adventurer, the Rockies and the Appalachians provide a thousand trails to explore, with each summit offering a new perspective, literally and figuratively.

In the Southwest, the deserts are not lifeless sands but vibrant ecosystems, with the red hues of rock formations in places like Arches and Grand Canyon National Parks providing a stunning visual spectacle. The U.S. also offers lush escapades in the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest, where the air is as fresh as the verdant scenery.


Lifestyles across the United States are reflective of the regional diversities and idiosyncracies. In the tech-centric hubs like San Francisco and Seattle, life is often a blend of the latest trends, from delectable fusion dining experiences to the newest app that simplifies urban living. In contrast, the South and Midwest hold tightly to traditions, where community events and local eateries form the cornerstone of daily life, offering a sense of belonging and down-to-earth pleasures. Cuisine is similarly varied. In the melting pot cities, you can indulge in authentic dishes from virtually every corner of the globe, while in other regions, you can delight in time-honored American fare, from barbecue to home-baked pies. The farm-to-table movement is robust in regions like New England and the Pacific Northwest, where local produce is celebrated, and menus change with the seasons.

The nightlife for the nomadic wanderer can be a foray into the soul of America’s urban underground. The country’s musical roots run deep, with cities like Austin, Memphis, and Detroit each offering a distinct tune, from blues to country to Motown. Artistic neighborhoods in places like Brooklyn or Chicago buzz with galleries, live theaters, and bars where the next generation of artists share their craft. Yet, for those who prefer tranquility, the lifestyle can be tailored to quiet evenings, perhaps at a beachfront café in a coastal town or a small music venue in the heartland where local musicians play. The U.S. is a place where individuality is celebrated, and lifestyle choices are plentiful, allowing digital nomads to craft their own American narrative.


The culture of the United States is a one of innovation and entrepreneurship, where the spirit of the ‘American Dream’ is often as tangible as the vibrant street art that adorns the walls of cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia. This is also a land of deep-rooted traditions, from the indigenous peoples’ customs to the legacy of immigrants who’ve shaped the nation’s identity.

Every corner of the country has its own cultural nuances. The Deep South holds tightly to its antebellum and Civil Rights history, with cities like Montgomery and Savannah offering immersive historical experiences. Meanwhile, the Northeast presents colonial history, with landmarks like Boston’s Freedom Trail providing a walk through the nascent moments of American independence. The melting pot nature of American culture means that festivals, holidays, and art reflect a global influence, with celebrations such as Lunar New Year, Cinco de Mayo, and Diwali becoming part of the national tapestry.

Local attractions range from the man-made wonders of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty to the natural majesty of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Museums like the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York offer cultural enrichment, while theme parks such as Disney World in Florida and Hollywood’s Universal Studios provide entertainment for all ages.


Language in the United States is predominantly English, making communication easy for those fluent in it. However, Spanish is widely spoken, especially in states like California, Texas, and Florida. In major urban centers, one can find communities speaking almost every language in the world, from Mandarin to Arabic, and businesses often cater to these diverse linguistic needs. Signage, information in public spaces, and customer services are usually available in both English and Spanish, and often in other languages too.

III. Cities to consider

When charting your course through the United States as a digital nomad, the selection of cities to consider is as vast and varied as the country itself. Here are a few metropolitan muses that cater to different tastes and needs:

New York, New York

View of the New York Skyline.
Photo by Aaron Burson

Amidst the cacophony of honking taxis and the towering steel of Manhattan, you’ll find a network of co-working spaces that pulse with the city’s inherent hustle. The Big Apple’s cultural smorgasbord, from Broadway shows to the enclaves of art in Chelsea, fuels a creative vigor as palpable as the neon that lights up Times Square. Central Park unfurls as an urban oasis, offering a verdant counterpoint to the concrete and glass. The appeal is real, but so are extremes of sweltering summers and biting winters, along with the (very) premium cost of living that are definite considerations to keep in mind.

Austin, Texas

Aerial view of Austin Texas.
Photo by MJ Tangonan

The capital of Texas is a magnetic pole for tech enthusiasts and creatives alike, a city where live music is as essential as oxygen and innovation pulses through the streets. Austin is a place where tacos meet tech startups, and the cultural scene is as vibrant as its famous street art. Entrepreneurs can collaborate in modern co-working spaces by day and unwind by night in the glow of neon lights from historic music venues. The city’s outdoor spaces, like the beloved Barton Springs Pool, offer a natural respite from the digital world.

Portland, Oregon

View overlooking Portland Oregon
Photo by Trang Nguyen

This Pacific Northwest gem is a paradise for those who worship at the altars of craft coffee and environmental sustainability. With a quirky heart that beats strongly for local businesses, Portland’s co-working spaces are often housed in reclaimed buildings, brimming with character. Digital nomads can work to the backdrop of rain-tinged streets, taking breaks to explore the verdant wilderness that lies at the city’s doorstep.

Denver, Colorado

Aerial view of Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Jakob Rosen

A city that’s both a launchpad for startups and a gateway to the Rockies, Denver meshes the spirit of the frontier with a progressive urban vibe. Here, the entrepreneurial energy is as crisp as the mountain air, drawing digital nomads who seek to infuse their work with adventure. With a skyline that rises alongside the mountains, Denver offers an array of co-working spaces that cater to every need, from the minimalist to the luxurious. The city’s cultural scene is a dynamic blend of art galleries, indie music venues, and craft breweries, perfect for those who value a work-life balance with a side of hops and creativity.

Boston, Massachusetts

Aerial view of Boston Massachusetts.
Photo by todd kent

In Boston, every cobblestone and historic building whispers stories of America’s past, making it an invigorating place for those who draw inspiration from history. The city’s academic institutions are strongly embedded in the fabric of cultural offerings, from lectures to theater, accessible from every corner of the city. Co-working in Boston means you’re just as likely to brush shoulders with tech innovators as with world-renowned academics. The compact city layout makes it ideal for walking, and the extensive public transit system connects you to Boston’s diverse neighborhoods, each with its own charm and culinary delights.

San Francisco, California

View of San Francisco overlooking a park, United States.
Photo by Mattia Bericchia

San Francisco, the jewel of Northern California, is a beacon of tech, art, and progressive thinking. It’s a city where the Golden Gate Bridge serves as a backdrop to a thriving gig economy, and where Silicon Valley’s buzz can be felt in every café and shared workspace. The cost of living may be among the highest, but so is the concentration of intellectual capital and venture funding. For leisure, the city’s myriad of parks, waterfronts, and cultural institutions offer endless avenues for exploration, from the tech temples of the Bay Area to the serene trails of the Marin Headlands.

Miami, Florida

View overlooking the Miami Waterfront, United States.
Photo by Ryan Parker

Miami’s allure extends beyond its sun-kissed beaches; it’s a burgeoning hotspot for digital professionals with a penchant for vibrant city life infused with Latin American and Caribbean zest. The city’s startup scene is heating up, and for the digital nomad, working means tapping into an eclectic community that thrives among art deco buildings and palm-lined streets. After work, the city’s nightlife offers everything from salsa dancing to upscale dining, with the ocean always just a breeze away.

Nashville, Tennessee

View overlooking Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
Photo by Tanner Boriack

Nashville’s rhythm is set to the tune of innovation and tradition. It’s a city where the tech sector is expanding as rapidly as the melodies pouring out of Music Row. Nomads here enjoy a growing selection of co-working spaces that blend Southern hospitality with modern amenities. The city’s food scene is a smorgasbord of the traditional and the trendy, and its neighborhoods, from the honky-tonks of Broadway to the boutiques of 12 South, offer a slice of Americana that’s hard to resist.

Seattle, Washington

View of the skyline of Seattle, Washington at twilight, United States.
Photo by Benjamin Massello

The city of Seattle is emblematic of Pacific Northwest serenity, and a deep appreciation for the arts. It’s home to industry giants and startups alike, fostering a culture of progress and philanthropy. The cityscape, dominated by the Space Needle, is complemented by the lushness of places like the Olympic National Park, just a ferry ride away. Seattle’s coffee shops are often makeshift offices for nomads, and the city’s dedication to sustainable living means that green spaces are always within reach for a moment of reflection or a breath of fresh air.

IV. Off the beaten track

For digital nomads who yearn for less-trodden paths and the tranquility away from city life, the United States offers an abundance of hidden gems that blend remote work with unique experiences.

Sedona, Arizona

Views from the Schnebly Road in Sedona, Arizona.
Photo by Anthony Melone

Known for its vortexes, Sedona is a spiritual and artistic enclave nestled among striking red rock formations. The town has a thriving community of artists, healers, and adventurers. It’s an ideal spot for those who seek inspiration from the outdoors and a slower pace of life, yet still demand reliable internet for their work.

Burlington, Vermont

View overlooking the lake in Burlington, Vermont, the United States.
Photo by Myles Bloomfield

Sitting on the shores of Lake Champlain and surrounded by the Green Mountains, Burlington is a haven for eco-conscious nomads. It combines a small-town feel with a progressive mindset, a strong sense of community, and ample opportunities for outdoor sports year-round.

Bozeman, Montana

Reservoir in Bozeman, Montana, United States.
Photo by luke schlotthauer

Gateway to the wilderness, Bozeman is a rapidly growing haven for tech workers who also happen to love the great outdoors. With Yellowstone National Park in its backyard, it’s perfect for those who want their office view to include snow-capped peaks and vast open spaces.

Asheville, North Carolina

The Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, United States.
Photo by Lee Lawson

Asheville is a vibrant mountain town with a funky and artistic downtown, historic architecture, and a booming craft beer scene. It’s surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, providing countless trails and scenic vistas for the wandering nomad in need of nature’s muse.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Street view of Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.
Photo by Marelbu

With its adobe architecture and vibrant art scene, Santa Fe is a cultural oasis. It offers a unique blend of Native American and Spanish influences, an expansive arts district, and a tranquil desert landscape that can ignite any nomad’s creativity.

Charleston, South Carolina

Street view of Charleston, South Carolina, United States.
Photo by Jake Warren

This coastal city is rich in history and Southern charm, with well-preserved architecture and an emerging tech scene. It offers a slower pace of life with the allure of seaside living, historic plantations, and a celebrated culinary scene.

Madison, Wisconsin

Aerial view of Madison, Wisconsin, United States.
Photo by Nils Huenerfuerst

This university town offers a blend of academic vigor, progressive politics, and access to the great outdoors, with numerous lakes and bike paths. Its community-focused spirit and support for local businesses make it a warm and inviting place for nomads.

Types of visas available for remote workers

The United States has a comprehensive but complex visa system, and it’s important for digital nomads to understand the legal requirements before embarking on their journey.

B-1 Visa

Commonly issued for business visitors, this visa could be used by digital nomads attending conferences, consulting with business associates, or negotiating contracts. It’s not designed for long-term stays or for those seeking employment in the U.S.

B-2 Visa

This is a tourist visa for those who wish to travel or vacation in the U.S. While it doesn’t permit employment, digital nomads can use it to explore the U.S. while working remotely for a non-U.S. employer.


For citizens of countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the ESTA allows for visits up to 90 days without a visa for business or pleasure. It’s suitable for short-term visits but doesn’t allow for changing to another visa status.

Long-Term Options: There are no specific long-term visas available for digital nomads who want to live and work remotely in the U.S. Options like the H1-B visa for specialty occupations, the O-1 visa for individuals with extraordinary ability, or the E-2 treaty investor visa require employer sponsorship, extraordinary abilities, or significant investment in a U.S. business, and therefore don’t suit the typical remote worker.

Application Process and Necessary Documentation

B-1/B-2 Visa

  1. Online Application: Complete the DS-160 form online and print the confirmation page.
  2. Photo: Upload a photo that meets the requirements during the DS-160 process.
  3. Fee: Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  4. Interview: Schedule and attend a consular interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  5. Documentation: Provide proof of your employment and financial ties outside the U.S. to demonstrate that you intend to return home.


  1. Online Application: Complete the ESTA application online at least 72 hours before travel.
  2. Passport: Must have an e-passport from a VWP country.
  3. Fee: Pay the ESTA fee upon application submission.
  4. Approval: Wait for approval, which is usually instant but can take up to 72 hours.

For all visas and entry into the United States, it’s critical to understand the limitations and abide by the terms. Working for a U.S. company or seeking employment without the proper visa can result in denial of entry, visa cancellation, or even a ban on future travel to the U.S.

It’s advisable for digital nomads to consult with an immigration attorney to explore their options and ensure they stay within the legal bounds of U.S. immigration law while working remotely.

VI. Tips for a smooth landing in the United States 

Finding accommodation 

Finding the right accommodation in the United States requires a nuanced approach, as each region offers something different. In bustling metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco, space is at a premium, so digital nomads often turn to micro-apartments or shared living spaces that offer flexibility without the commitment of a long-term lease. Services like Airbnb can provide temporary furnished options that allow you to get a feel for different neighborhoods before settling down.

In tech-forward cities like Austin or Seattle, you might find innovative co-living communities that cater specifically to digital nomads, offering not only a place to stay but also communal workspaces and networking opportunities. These setups are designed for ease, often coming with all-inclusive billing for rent, utilities, and Wi-Fi, facilitating a hassle-free move.

For those looking to immerse themselves in the slower pace of smaller towns or rural areas, local real estate listings or community bulletin boards can uncover hidden gems—quaint cottages or cabins that might not be listed on larger platforms. In these settings, you might find landlords are more open to negotiating terms for short-term rentals, especially outside of the peak tourist seasons.

In coastal cities like Miami or Los Angeles, you might opt for a sublet, taking over someone’s lease for a few months. This can be an economical choice, providing the comforts of a fully set-up home. University towns often have a rotating cast of sublets available as students come and go with the academic calendar.

Setting up local bank accounts and financial considerations 

For extended stays, a local bank account can simplify financial transactions. Most U.S. banks require an in-person visit to open an account, and you’ll typically need your passport, proof of address (which can be your accommodation in the U.S.), and sometimes an additional ID or your Social Security Number (SSN). International nomads without an SSN may be able to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead. Financial considerations should also include understanding the tax obligations in your home country and the U.S., particularly if you’re earning income from U.S. sources.

The U.S. varies greatly in terms of public transportation. Cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have extensive public transit systems, while others are more car-dependent. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are widely available and can fill in the gaps where public transit is lacking. For longer-term stays, leasing a car might be a cost-effective option. Don’t overlook the benefits of walking or biking either; many cities are becoming more bike-friendly and offer bike-share programs.

Adapting to local customs and cultural nuances

Generally, Americans value punctuality, directness, and individualism. It’s common to greet people with a handshake or a smile, and first names are frequently used in professional contexts. Tipping is customary in the service industry, with 15-20% being standard in restaurants. Understanding local laws and regulations, such as those pertaining to smoking or alcohol consumption, is also crucial. Engaging with the community, participating in local events, and exploring the regional cuisine can greatly enhance your experience and integration into American life.

VII. In summary


  1. Diverse locations: From bustling cities to serene countryside, beachfront properties to mountain retreats, the U.S. offers a variety of settings to suit any preference.
  2. Connectivity: High-speed internet is widely available, especially in urban areas, making remote work feasible and efficient.
  3. Co-working spaces: There’s an abundance of co-working spaces across the country, providing flexible work environments for digital nomads.
  4. Cultural richness: The U.S. is culturally diverse, offering a rich tapestry of experiences, cuisines, and entertainment options.
  5. Innovation hubs: Leading cities for tech and startups provide networking opportunities and a chance to be at the forefront of innovation.
  6. Natural beauty: Access to a variety of natural landscapes for leisure and inspiration, including national parks, beaches, and hiking trails.
  7. Travel connectivity: Major airports and transportation networks make travel between different parts of the country and international locations convenient.
  8. Language: English is the primary language, simplifying communication for many digital nomads.


  1. Cost of living: Some of the most desirable locations are also among the most expensive in the world.
  2. Healthcare: Private healthcare can be costly, and navigating the system can be complex for those without employer-provided insurance.
  3. Visa restrictions: There are no specific visas for digital nomads, and staying long-term without the right to work can be legally challenging.
  4. Transportation: In many areas, especially suburban or rural, having a car is almost a necessity, which can add to expenses.
  5. Taxes: The U.S. tax system can be intricate, and international nomads may need to file taxes even if they don’t earn income from U.S. sources.
  6. Size: The sheer size of the country can make it daunting to find the right spot that balances community, cost, and convenience.
  7. Cultural adjustment: The U.S. is diverse, but this also means a digital nomad may have to navigate and adapt to different social norms and customs.
  8. Insurance and liability: The litigious nature of U.S. society means it’s advisable to have good liability and equipment insurance.

As one takes stock of the American adventure for the digital nomad, it’s a tale of contrasts and conundrums, a place where opportunity and obstacle waltz in step. Here, in the land of the free, one can meander through landscapes that could fill a continent’s worth of postcards, work in coffee shops that double as tech think tanks, and mingle in metropolises where the world’s cuisines collide on your dinner plate.

The U.S. is a patchwork quilt of experiences, stitched together with high-speed internet cables, offering up co-working spaces as plentiful as the stars on Old Glory. It’s a country where your office could overlook the sun-soaked shores of California one week and the historic brownstones of Brooklyn the next. The ease of language and the melody of regional accents make each interaction a lesson in cultural cartography.

Yet, for all its stripes of glory, the U.S. bears stars of strife for the nomadic soul. The splendor of its cities often comes with a price tag as hefty as a Hollywood blockbuster’s budget. The medical establishments, while cutting-edge, can lead to a financial headache without a sturdy insurance plan. And the matter of visas can tangle one’s plans like a bureaucratic ball of yarn.

The roads stretch out like endless ribbons across the vast American terrain, connecting dots from sea to shining sea, but they whisper of the need for your own four wheels, lest you find yourself stranded in the less trodden paths. The tax system—well, that’s a novel in itself, with a plot as complex as a government thriller.

In the end, the U.S. unfurls its welcome in the form of amber waves of grain and silicon valleys, for those whose hearts beat to the rhythm of discovery, innovation, and the occasional cowboy ballad. It’s a place to feast on the fruits of freedom and to sip the sometimes bitter tea of its trials. For the digital nomad, it’s not just a place to visit, but a vast, vibrant classroom where every day teaches you something profoundly new about work, about play, and indeed about life itself.

Akagera National Park, Rwanda.


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Night market in Sarawak, Malaysia.


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