Cost of Living in Surat. Prices Updated Dec 2020.

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I have seen a lot of posts from different people across the world, but not even a single post from someone in India, who has been a nomad, either living within the country or traveling to another one.

Would definitely love to hear stories from such people. We are a couple traveling as social nomads who are trying to bridge the gap between the rural and urban societies in India. We have started out very humble and do not have much resources, so looking out for help from the community.

Ankit & Rishika


Around Love and Life

Good to see this thread finally!

I’m Indian and have been location independent for almost 3 years since I left my job. Keep my home-base in Bangalore for now and travel for 3-4 months of the year in various coworking/coliving setups around Asia and Europe for and a bit of luxury + offbeat travel here and there

Happy to catchup with the remote folks if anyone is around my locations anytime.

Hi ! i’m Mehdi Berberos, from Morocco. starting my nomadic digital life from india. started in new delhi, 1 day then i just left … too crowded and stressing. come here to Chandigarh; love the place. everything is beautiful … 3 days here i didn’t met any foreign person; but i feel good an willing to stay here for 2 weeks.

Hello @denharsh and everyone. I am seeking support regarding applying for tourist visa as remote employee, Most European visas require a leave approval letter from employer but since we won’t really be on a vacation during the visit, how will this work? Any help appreciated!

I am a digital nomad from India. From this month end I am moving out and becoming a non-resident and will live outside India for at least 6 months in the year.

Getting Dubai residency, but I also have a long term visa for Thailand, so I will be there a lot… And of course, travel.

Planning to experience different places of the world as I get the opportunity.

Glad to see you here, brother! We are connected on Facebook

I’m from Dhaka, still not a full-time nomad though aspiring to become one someday soon

Hi… I am not a nomad… yet… But got some plans to make the switch by the end of this year. I’m a web developer working on AngularJS and .net framework as of now. Eventually planning to learn new things once I get out of my current job and find some time.

Just wondering, anyone here in Mumbai right now? Or planning to come down?

Hey, I do visit Bombay every month. What’s up?

Hey! Great to know! What do u do?

I run a tech/digital services company.

Hi! Abhishek from India. I work on marketing for online course instructors. I was in Bangalore in 2016 and moved to NCR in 2017.

Working out of unboxed coworking in Noida.

Working from chandigarh. Calm city to work from. Loving it here.

Hey, I’m an Indian citizen (grew up in Bombay) but have been based in South-east Asia for the past ~4 years. I would love to hear from other long term Indian nomads. I am especially curious about renewing Indian passport overseas as a Digital Nomad and also if any of you have managed to change your citizenship by unconventional or lesser known methods. Legal methods of course, but not the usual routes like marriage or employment based migration. More along the lines of “citizenship by investment”/buying real estate. The Indian passport needs a visa to go most places and is really holding me back. I have no desire to ever go back to India and want to get a better passport.

I might be in Goa in a week-ish. I was planning to work from there for a couple of weeks in Jan, but had a motorcycle accident and extended my Calcutta time (bedrest, can’t leave the house, no idea when the bike’ll be running again). Hopefully I’ll head out again this week or next

Ping me if anyone’s around, or if anyone is thinking about heading to Calcutta later in ’17; I’m working with one coworking space here and one self defense training center, so I’ll likely be using Calcutta as a base for most of the year.

I often visit Kolkata, because of relatives, and I want to change this reason actually. So I would be glad to meet you up. I am thinking of something called Kolkata 2.0 and will need help from everyone who is from Kolkata actually.

Hi all,


I am currently at Pune, working with a startup. My last visit was to Pondicherry(26-05 dec 16).


Pondicherry was a very good experience for me, found a coworking place also, interacted with few bloggers and enjoyed the beach very much. Very clam and interesting city to travel.


Planing more trip around the year to explore more of our beautiful country. Next I’m planning to Goa, kerala, and then north.


Let me know for any tips and suggestions!!

Cheers


Ravi

Nice. Even i was in pondi last year.

As planned I visited Goa last week. I liked Pondi better than Goa.


Now next destination is Kochi in April to attend Thrissur Pooram festival. One should defiantly attend that.

@greenhorn, I speak Bengali and understand almost zero Hindi Like most Bengalis, I just assume everyone speaks either English or Bengali. It works surprisingly well; I’ve ridden Calcutta — Kargil — Leh — Bangalore — Calcutta camping for three months. People are friendly; if you make a little effort, everyone helps. I had the same experience in Tijuana, where my Spanish is atrocious.

@shefali, I was just in Goa last month, but I’m back in Calcutta now. Any chance you’re heading to this side of the country? What projects are you working on?

I was in Kolkata one month ago… right now in pondicherry.

Aww, huh, just missed you. Enjoy Pondi! I hear it’s awesome.

In hyderabad now

I am now in Kolkata, leaving tomorrow for Jagdalpur

I’m from India. I’m not technically a nomad but a location independent entrepreneur who travels (or at least tries to) frequently. My travels have mostly taken me outside India but | am looking forward to travelling in India more and discovering our wonderful motherland.

My main problem with travelling in India is that I don’t know the language well — I can only speak basic Hindi (its a long story!) which makes me feel a bit insecure travelling solo so always looking for travel companions.

If any of you guys are in New Delhi area right now — would love to meet up for a beer/coffee. It’s hard to find people of the same mindset and flexible schedules that I have. .

Hi, I am nomad from past one year. I am freelance developer and mostly travel solo. I am planning to explore kerala and karnataka in next few months. If anybody interested to join , inbox me.

@shefali: nice to know that you are a solo traveler… I have been a solo traveler for long and have traveled (not tourism) a lot of places in India.

At present in Assam working with a non-profit organization on various things including increasing IT usage within the organization to tackle various issues. Its exciting. Visit us sometimes.

email: different.ankit at gmail dot com

I was in Assam side one month ago. Now planning to go south india — kerala or karanataka next month.

Hi,


Myself madhukar. I am from bangalore. I am been into nomad from last few months. I run my own software consultancy called datamantra.io

My first nomad experience been in nearby city mysore. We are group of 4 stayed for few weeks there. I also been to bangkok for 2 weeks in feb.

If you are planning to come to bangalore and need any help in planning to stay and work in south part of india feel free to reach out to me.

Hi all,

Found this thread really interesting. Me and my partner (Srishti) started our digital nomading journey about 6 months ago. We both are freelancers in the field of Web Design & Development & we work remotely for clients all across the globe. I would like to share our experience till date.

Originally from Delhi, we initially stayed in Pune for about 4.5 months, which was a pleasant experience. Pune has got amazing weather, happy to help people (opposite of Bangalore), reliable internet connection (Airtel 4G), plenty of dine-out & food-delivery options, & moderately priced AirBNB homes (35k-45k/month for 1BHK). There are more than a few weekend getaway options around Pune as well. We visited Mahabaleshwar (breathtaking in monsoon), Lavasa, Lonavala & Mumbai.

During our time in Pune, we adopted a cute chihuahua puppy (Angel), who joins us in all our adventures now. We moved to Goa at the end of November to experience this exotic state in its best season. To our surprise, Goa turned out to be way below our expectations.

Since we both were brought up in Delhi, we had a certain level of expectations regarding infrastructure, quickness of services, & generally everything. We are not proud of this fact, and our working on becoming more adjusting day-by-day. Goa felt way too slow & laid back to us. Small things like getting an internet connection, communicating with AirBNB hosts, hunting for a co-working space, etc. took longer time than expected. Since we are freelancers, we like to track hours spent during each task, converting it to money using our hourly rate, & then taking a call if its worth it or not. (TIME = MONEY)

Goa is a beautiful place to be if you all you want to do is enjoy. In the last ~45 days here, we ended up spending most of our time figuring out little things. After 30 days staying at 1 apartment near Anjuna, our host ditched us and asked us to move out because she was able to rent it out to someone who could pay higher than us. We had to spend a hilarious amount of money since it was the season time leaving us very demotivated.

Internet situation is also really bad here. We have to keep switching between Vodafone 3G, Reliance Pro 3, & Tata Photon Plus for regular connectivity. Luckily, we found a coworking space in goa, which is really good. Lets see how it works out now.

We are planning to move to Thailand (Bangkok or Chiang Mai), as soon as we can. We are here in Goa till end of March at least.

We have also stayed in Bangalore for about 7 months (before Pune), though not as nomads. I had a regular job at a startup in Kormangala, & Srishti was figuring out between job & freelancing.

Any questions about Pune, Goa, Bangalore, travelling with a pet or anything else are more than welcome. I am also on the slack channel hashtagnomads as @shreyansqt.

Thanks for reading!


Shreyans & Srishti

Hi guys,


I am from Hyderabad and looking to start a nomadic lifestyle soon. We host via Airbnb regularly and have hosted a few digital nomads as well. If any of you comes to Hyderabad, would love to host you or at least connect. BTW, Hyderabad has terrific internet speeds, good co-working spaces and reasonably cheap accommodation. So it could be a good choice of place for digital nomads.

You can connect with me on Twitter: @sneha_magapu

Hey @ankitdas123


It’s good to see Indians too here &I I was wondering the same when browsing the forum.


I’m a digital nomad from last one year. Before getting married in Dec-14, I usually travelled across India and now me n my wife started travelling to other countries


Right now in Thailand n here for another 12 days.

After Thailand, next is Malaysia or any other country where getting Visa wouldn’t be an issue.

By profession I’m


a blogger n this gives me independence to work from anywhere.

Let’s stay connected!

@denharsh I have been following your blog posts whenever I get time read. And congratulations for your new married life. I read those posts as well.

I did not know I will get to interact with you personally here


My life is rather not a digital nomad, but a social entrepreneur. And for that I travel often. However Internet is pretty bad. We have so far installed 51 eco-friendly toilets in rural Maharashtra and waiting to do more.

Apart from that, we have been taking up new projects to work on. Our main idea is to leverage the power of existing Non profits through networking in rural India.

Do connect with me at: [email protected] (in case you have time )

@denharsh: Please email me at: [email protected] (not the one I mentioned previously)

Hi,


I am in Bangalore, will be on road to Rishikesh and Dharamshala in another two weeks /. Lets meet up when you are in Bangalore (I can host you) . Drop me an email at “shabi at fossix dot org”. Try joining the Bangalore digital nomads meetup http://www.meetup.com/Bangalore-Digital-Nomads-Meetup/

Hey,


We are mostly working in Maharashtra, but open to working throughout India and the world.


Thanks,


Ankit Das

Hello to all the few Indians who are on Nomad Forum — @ankitdas123, @vish, @keerthiko, @flyonthewall, @srajan821, @shabinesh, @rtdp, @RajAnand12, @Dave_Chakrabarti, @Shreshth_Mohan

I just thought of saying Hi to you all and see where we go from here. I am here to learn more about the life of a nomad and what it is to be a nomad. And probably make a transformation in a few months from now.

I just finished my intro here and this is my very 2nd post on the group.

I would love to meetup with you all. Is anyone currently in Mumbai and would like to catch up over a beer or coffee?

Hey,


I am in Pune. Would love to meet up whenever in Mumbai.


Drop me an email at: ankit at aroundloveandlife dot com

Hey @ankitdas123 nice to see someone starting a thread from India! What exactly do you folks do? I can connect you with a startup or two who are looking for people like you (one is this) Apart from that I would love to meet up with you guys (I move around India quite a bit). Also, I can offer a room at my flat in Delhi when I am not around (you will have to share the flat with a friend of mine.)

Hey @keerthiko, how’s the internet there? (I am building a website) And is that the beach-house you are talking of (I read about it here)?

I am too lazy to introduce myself again, so read this

Find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Hey Shreshth,


Quite an amazing name you have


At present, we are busy building a social enterprise (but registered as a LLP) and working in 3-4 villages. We have already built 50 eco-friendly toilets and about to start a livelihood project in a tribal area.

Also, trying to work with farmers to see possibilities to revive dry and semi-arid land and start organic farming there. Also a few things here and there.

Sure, will let you know if we need the Delhi flat, but since my hometown is Dehradun, I do have a lot of people around there. Since 9 years, my base has mostly been Pune — and travelled extensively in rural as well as urban India, except deep south.

I’m Indian (US passport), back in India for about four years now, semi-nomadic. I have a great base of operations in Calcutta, so my work (web development, mostly Drupal in the past, mostly front-end code at the moment) infrastructure is relatively stable. Airtel’s 8Mb/s DSL line usually seems to get me 1MB/s+ on torrent downloads if you need an idea of download speeds, and it goes down maybe once every year or two for a day at most.

In other words, it’s about 10x more reliable than my Comcast line back in Chicago.

Calcutta has a couple of coffee shops that are great co-working locations, and some of the places I’ve traveled would be great coworking hubs (Dharamsala, Goa). These do tend to be much more foreign-influenced / touristy than the four Indian metro cities.

There’s some serious culture clash between modern distributed teams and the traditional Indian tech corp. The professional context here is very different from what I was used to back in the US. (These may be irrelevant if you’re not working in tech.) Quick examples:

  1. I can’t manage teams if the team members are older than me; some employees will throw a shitfit if they find out their manager is younger than them, or that someone younger than them makes more cash than they do. A lot of people stubbornly cling to the idea that they’ll be exploited when they’re just starting out, but that salary increases come with age, not with experience. I started working when I was 18, so this is sometimes a problem for me; I frequently have more experience (especially on larger projects) than others my age here.

  2. A lot of people are in tech because it’s good money + stability, so their parents told them to do tech. They’re not necessarily passionate about tech or even curious about learning new things. This is a very Calcutta problem; the workforce here is complacent. It’s much better in Bangalore or Bombay.

  3. (Similar to #1) Older team members are always right. It doesn’t matter if the younger devs are the ones reading about git and wondering why the rest of the world insists on version control; if your senior dev doesn’t want to learn it, no one in the office is going to be allowed to advocate for it. Team aren’t very agile when it comes to inhaling new tech, or new workflows. We’re slow to keep up.

  4. Work-from-home generally means your employees aren’t working at all, which results in deeply suspicious managers who are cranky and aggressive if employees even suggest a remote work policy.

All of this means that India doesn’t really turn out digital professionals who gradually shift into increasingly remote professional lives. There are a few of us who’ve headed back from the US or elsewhere, and far fewer of us who’ve gotten there while working in India, but it’s a pretty small group.

D.

My wife started working in New Delhi for a NGO, hence I visit often. The internet speeds are not great. In fact, my observation was that it has been deteriorating. 3G speeds were reasonable to hold a Skype video call in 2012, not anymore.

A home/office based broadband by providers like Airtel is perhaps what is required.

The best solution at this moment is 100MBPS connection from Airtel

You can also try co-working space such as 91SpringBoard

I’m not from India, so don’t have much to add. But I am in India at the moment. It’s fun (if a little tedious at times). I’ve just been tethering to my phone for Internet, which has been moderately successful so far.

I’m from the U.S. but currently in India since the end of January. First month was Goa, then Varanasi and now Rishikesh for 2 weeks. It’s not really setup well for Nomads, however I can’t speak for larger cities like New Delhi or Bangalore.

Currently, I get great Internet through my home-stay to work on projects, but that’a about it.

Hello,

I am a digital nomad, travelling since last six months in India. Since January, I am staying at Bagnalore, will be here till March end. After this I plan to move to Goa, or Kerala. I have heard few places in Kerala that provide reliable internet.

I am also planning to start doing international travel, Europe being on top of my list after Thailand, but I am not sure of how visas will work and trying to understand more about it.

In case of hostels in India, I found that youth hostels are also good.


If you are looking particularly for Bagalore, Airbnb worked good for me. Initially I stayed at a PG but that wasn’t good at all and expensive too. Most PGs are good for students who just come to crash there at night.

In Bangalore, co-working spaces are good specially in Koramangala and Indiranagar. I will recommend Bhive for it, it costs 5k per month, but even if you start with daily passes, it costs Rs. 200 per day with tea/coffee included.

In and all, I would be happy to answer anything about Bangalore and would love to know from everyone about VISAs to other countries specially Europian ones.

Cheers

Hey @ankitdas123

Though I am not a true nomad, and still aspiring to be one I have experienced this lifestyle for a short while. I am also in the process of becoming a full time digital nomad. I am organising a meet up in Bangalore on April 5th 2015 for digital nomads.

http://www.meetup.com/bangalore-digital-nomads-meetup

Lots of interesting stories. I’m Indian. Born and brought up in India. I’ve been traveling and generally working online for the past three+ years. Mostly international travel too.

Yes, visas are a pain but if you have a US Visa, the list of countries that will let you in with a visa on arrival is quite a bit longer (Costa Rica, turkey, panama, etc.). A schengen visa also adds quite a few schengen and non schengen countries (croatia and some others) to the list.

It’s not generally unpleasant to travel as an Indian but you can draw weird looks at times, especially at immigration when you present an Indian passport. It’s mostly because people aren’t used to seeing Indian travelers a lot. Not expected from a ‘poor’ country.

@Flyonthewall Thank you so much for that information. Is there a specific document on which countries VISA allows on-arrival VISA for which countries… and also where there is no need for VISAS and the travel and stay is also cheap and affordable for social entrepreneur to connect with people there.

Any suggestions?

Hey @ankitdas123, I’m Keerthik, from India


I actually grew up in the Middle East, studied in Boston, and worked in California, but I’m an Indian citizen (for all the hardships that comes with that and trying to be a nomad).

There’s a lot to talk about being a nomad as an Indian, but I’ll tell you this much – in many ways our experience is very different from that of most of the others you’ll find in this forum. They either hold citizenships affording them better mobility (even if they are of Indian origin), maybe are white and have a different social atmosphere, or maybe are SEAsian and moving around SEAsia doesn’t feel very different from leaving home for them, etc. Being an Indian-citizen nomad in other countries is very different.

For the record I’m in India right now, but I do my best to spend as little time as possible here because for the most part it is very non-conducive to getting any work done compared to any other country I’ve been in

Anyway, feel free to ask me anything. What would you like to know more about?

@keerthiko Yes, a lot of your reply answers the basic fact how easy or difficult it is for someone from India doing it throughout the world. My work ahead is not really going to be in the digital space always, but since I have a Masters in Computers, it comes with its assumptions of people you need to deal with always.

I am generally helping a lot of organizations who are doing great work in the field in rural India and otherwise. I will be mostly traveling to different rural parts of India and willing to do that beyond India as well.

What I want to know is if there are any places you know of with free / cheap food and stay throughout India? If you have such a list, do share please.

Hmm, I can only offer limited help for a couple reasons. One is I have done very little “true nomadism” in India, just because I know too many people all over the country. The majority of the friends I grew up with in the Middle East are scattered all over India now, so I mostly wind up crashing with a friend who hosts me instead of booking a hostel and trying to figure out cost-efficiency on my own when I travel in India.

Secondly, I only visit metropolitan cities, because I work on a mobile internet tech product and need perennial stable internet connectivity and power. And it’s bad enough as it is in most tier 2 cities (like Kochi, my hometown, for example). Since your work will be in rural areas mostly, any suggestions I give may not be super useful. I have heard good things about Zostel if you’re in my kind of situation and want good internet and a stable environment. Not sure how well it translates to your usecases. I haven’t tried it myself yet.

My most valuable information to share with an Indian nomad-wannabe would be regarding visas for other countries, what places have food an Indian would like (although I now eat just about anything), and how society in different countries view Indians (some like us, some don’t) and which societies you might feel at home in (whether that’s what you want or want to avoid).

India itself, well, it’s not ready yet to be a digital-nomad-friendly. Regarding general nomadism, if you lead a simple lifestyle it’s easy to keep very cheap.

If you ever happen to be in Kochi when I’m here (which granted is rare), I’d be happy to offer you a place to stay at my parents’ house

@keerthiko that is so nice of you to offer me a place in Kochi


will definitely get in touch about my plans. Let me know your email ID at least so that I may write to you directly and FB (if you feel like)

Also, I am checking out Zostel, looks good to me initially, will let you know how it turned out for us though. And any help about bigger cities may also be useful, as ultimately I will have to stay in cities as well.

Thanks,


Ankit (& Rishika)

Helllo @ankitdas123 and Hey @keerthiko ! Thanks for that very succinct explanation brother! I’m beginning a digital nomad lifestyle, based out of Austin, Texas. I will be traveling to India in March, first to Bangalore, Delhi, and then considering a hop down to Kerala.

Are you familiar with the Trivendrum area? I would love to stay for a week or two down there — mainly by the Kovalam beach, but am hesitant to go somewhere without first knowing I’ll have a reliable and secure connection 24/7. Any thoughts?

Thanks,


~Srajan

In general, I find Kerala to be a bit too weak on the internet infrastructure side. I stayed here for 2 months because I needed to process some visas and since my family is based here so it’s cheaper for me, but in retrospect that was a poor decision, and I would have been better off biting the bullet and renting a room in Bangalore or Bombay. You need to be in one of the IT-centric or youth-centric metropolises to have internet you can count on!

Kochi is currently the bigger metro than TVM in Kerala, and even here the net infrastructure is lacking, with high cost, low bandwidth/data caps, frequent outages and inconsistent performance, so I can’t really recommend Kerala for more than a pleasure trip

Thanks @keerthiko — a lot of what you say resounds with my own research. I’m kind of hooked on the idea of the beach, so I’m looking into Goa – also a location of the Zostel group you mentioned earlier.

@vish is from India. He’s been hanging out with us in Chiang Mai but is going back to India in a few days due to visa issues. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you guys reached out to him.

Thanks @amy… I hope @vish sees this and comments ASAP. Great to hear from you though






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