While Portugal, Mexico, Cape Town, Bali and Thailand get most of the attention when it comes to digital nomad destinations, India is up and coming and one to watch in 2024!
We are excited to be making a special trip to India between January and April 2024 to see and experience India for ourselves as digital nomads.
We will be travelling across popular spots in northern India while remote working and personally visiting and testing suitable hotels, hostels and co-living spaces.
This trip will include the sprawling metropolis that is Mumbai and the home of Bollywood, the north western state of Gujarat, bohemian classic Goa, tech city Pune and the palace-filled northern state of Rajasthan.
From there we will travel onto the capital New Delhi, Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra of course and perhaps pop over to neighbouring Nepal and get a glimpse of the stunning Himalayas.
We will be documenting some of our experiences here at The Global Circle and also on Instagram @globalcircler
Have you visited India as a digital Nomad? Please feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comments section below : )
An introduction to Goa, probably the most popular destination in India for westerners and digital nomads
Goa is a truly special and beautiful place surrounded by lush forests and offering stunning beaches with the warmest water. Ideal as a remote work getaway when it’s winter in Europe.
Goa has a rich and interesting history that included Portuguese rule for over 450 years. It began in the 16th century and came to an end in 1961 when India sent in their army and took back Goa.
I saw many Westerners in Goa, varying from hippies and backpackers to digital nomads. I stayed just over 11 days in Goa, mostly in the Anjuna beach area where I had the opportunity to try out a nice co-living/co-working community called NomadGao.
Goa is very chilled compared to the bigger Indian cities like Mumbai, think Lisbon vs the Algarve and you can get a bit of an idea.
Goa is also very well known for the party scene. This time around I didn’t get a chance to check it out but saw a lot of billboards for party nights featuring international DJs.
This I need to check out the next time I’m in Goa. It’s definitely a place I will be returning to as a global circler!
NomadGao Vila Nova, Anjuna, Goa image gallery
How is internet access? Mobile data plans and coverage and how to get a sim card in India
How is wifi access and coverage in India?
Now I’m about six weeks into my exploration of India as a digital nomad and can share my experiences when it comes to getting a mobile pay as you go sim card, wifi access and quality in general and mobile data coverage while working remotely.
I have travelled across several states and have been in major metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Pune and Rajkot as well as holiday destinations like Goa and rural agricultural towns like Savar Kundla in Gujarat.
In hotels and homes wifi access is pretty reasonable and reliable. Most hotels and hostels offer wifi in rooms, some only in common areas.
In India, there are occasions when there is a power outage, however, if you have a fully charged laptop and a charged mobile with a mobile data plan you can continue working for a while without any problem as I have done a few times. I was able to continue working until power was restored.
It’s not very often though thankfully. As India is very much a tech nation, internet access is pretty crucial.
How to Get a mobile sim card in India as a foreigner
It’s not the easiest thing to get a sim card in India as a foreigner but also not impossible! I was very lucky as I have a cousin living in Mumbai who got a sim card in her name for me and I just had to pay her for it.
However, during my travels in India I met other foreigners who said they were able to get a sim card at the airport and gave the contact phone number and address of the hotel they were staying in and that did the trick. You will need an address and phone number.
I got a sim card from Indian mobile operator JIO, it costs around 300 rupees per month (about £3) and provides unlimited local calls, 2gb data per day and 100 SMS messages. I found in most places the mobile data was fast enough for day to day work when I created a mobile hotspot. Typically giving me 7mbs average.
Once you have your mobile sim card there are mobile shops everywhere, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages and towns as everyone has smart phones! When I recharged my phone there was a guy sitting outside a mobile phone shop whose only job was topping up mobile phones. You simply give him your number, he’s tell you a price and he does it there and then. Often the mobile phone shops selling phones and accessories don’t do it themselves as it’s probably not worth the money. Just ask and they’ll point you in the direction of someone who can help. That’s what I did.
One option to get faster speeds from your mobile data would be to get a mini hub where you can insert your sim card as usually the speed gets throttled if you are creating a mobile hotspot from your phone. They are usually not very expensive and could be a good option if you need faster speeds.
I’ll be updating this page as my digital nomad journey across India continues!