Ryan here. Alright, so I’ll start by saying I am obviously super biased. This is the beginning list of MY favorite cities that I have built a temporary office in, and you could possibly have a different experience. I will be posting more in the future to add onto this list, so stay tuned! Most likely though, you’ll fully agree with me if your core values are “bang for your buck”, amazing office scenery, or just some of the most interesting people or places for after work hours, these are some of the most amazing places to work in the world.
1. Šibenik, Croatia
Have you ever wanted to feel like you’re in an episode of Game of Thrones, but wanted to bypass the risk of being beheaded or being screwed over by family members for power? Then Šibenik couldn't be a better town for you. Right outside my window, I had mountains, the Adriatic Sea, and a handful of cafes to watch the sunset with locals while I finish up my final emails of the day.
Hate European prices? (no offense super expensive European Countries)
Yeah, me too. The dollar stretches in Croatia. Especially compared to the rest of Europe. Not to mention the Balkans region is so much more beautiful than other parts of the continent. Our Airbnb, which was right on the water, newly renovated, and slept 5 people, was $40 a night. TOTAL!
Lastly, this town was full of history totaling more years than Americas existence 10 times over. We could walk less than a mile from our house and see churches, monuments, and streets that were thousands of years old. I could go on forever about this city, “click here” if you want see a video we created about the area.
2. Las Vegas, NV
Don’t find sitting at slot machine at 3 am particularly relaxing or productive? Yeah, neither do I. Full Disclaimer: I never gamble or find it really interesting at all, so that’s one of the reasons I am able to make this city so cost effective.
One of the keys I’ve found to travel is do the opposite of what everyone else is doing and its less expensive.
That rule applies extra hard to Vegas. While hotels are ridiculously expensive on the weekend, we found a 3 star hotel room for $35 a night in “Old Vegas”, my favorite part of Vegas, on a Monday and Tuesday. This “mobile office” is not for everyone, but if you enjoy taking lunch breaks and seeing crazy street performers, glazed over slot machine eyes, and a living museum of American commercialism, then search no more!
OK, so that wasn't an extremely persuasive pitch, but honestly, some of best natural beauty is right outside of Vegas. Within a 2 hour drive is some of the best cliff jumping at Sand Hollow State Park, multiple treacherous hikes in Zion National Park (a must do on the bucket list), and a thing most people don’t know, minutes outside of Vegas, you can go both skiing and mountain biking at some pretty legit spots. Do Vegas Different and you’ll be more of a winner than anyone blowing their wad in a dingy casino.
3. Phuket, Thailand
Ever since I saw Leo Decaprio in The Beach, I wondered if the ocean in Thailand really looked liked the mushroom trip of color displayed in the movie. The answer is yes. Kinda. Well, depends on where. But mainly yes.
Now everyone talks about Thailand, so I’ll just tell you why I love it. You’ll notice a theme in all the places I love.
They give you a lot for a small price, they have some of the nicest people in the world, and they lend themselves out for a great adventure.
I find Phuket to be on the top shelf in all 3 categories. You can rent a scooter and ride on the coastline for less than $10 a day, get a Pad Thai from local vendor for less than $2, and get a glam hotel to work out of for around $25 a night. One night, I took my wife Catherine out to try to spend money on her to prove my love, but I still could only manage to spend $50 between the both of us for nice lobster dinner, appetizers, a bottle of wine, at a picturesque place on the ocean. Even though I couldn't prove my love by spending a lot of money on her that night, I was internally overjoyed that Phuket helped me save money while simultaneously contributing to my love life.
If that's not enough, once you finish all your emails and chores, you can take a boat ride out to Phi Phi Island for $24 a person and spend the day swimming in the the same crystal clear waters as Leo himself. And yes, the water is really as blueish green as it looks and still somehow clear enough to see a coral 30 ft below.
4. Asheville, NC
Lets change gears. Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most under-known places that always gets rave reviews once people visit for the first time. We spent almost a week working out of a cabin surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of my most productive hours came to me in that cabin after a morning hike right out the front door and evening of sipping wine with my beautiful wife, Catherine, and Director of Photographer, Danielle (Check out our first COLLECTORtravels episode in Asheville).
Asheville is locally known for breathtaking mountainous scenery, a killer foodie scene, and good ol American History. There are too many things I loved about working out of this city so I’m going to make it simple and list some of the must do things while you turn the city of Asheville into your home office.
Omni Grove Park Inn Spa-You’ve had a long work week and you need to relax. Trust me. Get the day pass here for $90 and STAY ALL DAY. Skip the price for the hotel and just go straight for the spa.
The Biltmore. This is American Royal Family history at its best. The tour cost is a little steep at $65, but it's well worth it to do it at least once. The cost of the tour also comes with a free wine tasting from the Biltmore Vineyard. Some people tried one type of wine and moved on! Get your bang for your buck and try as many as you like for the price of the ticket.
Craggy Pinnacle Trail-One of my favorite hikes in the Eastern US. Go first thing in the morning and you might have the whole place to yourself!
Top of the Monk- I’m not exactly sure why I love this place so much. It might be the fact you have to become an official member when you walk in, or the little key they give you to open a locker with a snacky treat, or the stoicism of the bartenders as they make your handcrafted cocktails. Point is, I love it.
I have to include at least one local staple eatery. I love a good taco. White Duck Taco in Asheville has spread to multiple cities now but the flagship in Asheville is definitely worth a try even if you are just driving through.
I hope that you have found this interesting and helpful. Check back for more on this list in the future.
Much Love, Ryan.