When I think of earning a living onlineÂ I imagine my work day will involve sitting on a beach with my laptop sipping strawberry daiquiris listening to waves crashing all around me. I don’t image being holed up in a hotel room drinking tea and listening to the call to prayer but that doesn’t mean it might not be an interesting way to work. I doubt Bangladesh makes anyone’s list as a dream destination for the mobile worker but if you’re up for something different then it might be worth a look.
- Low cost of living - Everything in Bangladesh is cheap. I think you could live comfortably in Dhaka on well under $500 and cheaper in smaller cities and ridiculously cheap (under $200) if you get away from the cities altogether.
- Internet is cheap and easy to set up - Setting up your internet connection is as easy as buying a mobile phone for about $100, a data cable, and heading into a Grameen store to set up a monthly connection. If you’ve already got a compatible phone, even better.
- Interesting setting - Anyone up for a cultural experience will love Bangladesh. Pretty much everything will be different to what you’re used to and you’ll be amazed by something new each day you spend here.
- Friendly people – The people I met in Bangladesh are among the kindest and most generous I’ve met anywhere. You will have an instant best friend forever in almost everyone you meet and you’ll never be lonely here. In fact i think it’s probably impossible.
- Internet can be slow - The net connection, while cheap and reliable, can be pretty slow at times. I’m not sure of the technical stuff but things can slow down to a North American dial-up pace circa 1999 so if you have a need for speed then a cell phone connection probably won’t do it.
- Unpredictable weather – Bangladesh gets battered by cyclones and flooding so if you’re planning a stay in the country it might be a good idea to avoid the rainy season. If you want to stay longer term then you will probably have to weather a few serious storms.
- Constant staring – Bangladeshis have no shame about staringÂ at youÂ for long periods of time and in large groups. This takes some getting used to and, while for the mos t part harmless, it can get annoying constantly being the centre of attention anytime you venture outside.
- Few perks from home – If you arrive and find that you’re not a fan of the food and goods found in Bangladesh you will be in for a rough time because there are very few Western foods and goods around except in the Gulshan area of Dhaka.
- Those few perksÂ are relatively expensive - When I said everything is cheap I meant everything except for Western goods so if you can’t live without Cadbury’s or KFC then your time here will end up costing a lot more.
- No alcohol – Muslims aren’t supposed to drink and since Bangladesh isÂ a Muslim country, there’s no drinking. Well, there’s not supposed to be. It can be found if you know where to look but going down to the pub for a pint is out of the question.
- Women’s issuesÂ - Bangladesh is a conservative Muslim country and for women that means you have to dress modestly, can’t get into certain places (mosques at prayer time etc.) and probably lots of other things that didn’t really have an effect on me.
I really loved my time in Bangladesh. It’s a country that is totally outside of my comfort zone but I managed to adapt and feel like a learned a lot living there. Am I in any rush to return? Hell no. But I had a blast there and think that it has a lot to offer any mobile worker who wants a break from beach life and normality and wants to shake things up.