Stephen Witt, from Rest of World, a nonprofit publication dedicated to fostering understanding across a rapidly evolving digital landscape, observes that cities worldwide are progressively embracing digital nomads and tech workers, acknowledging their potential economic and cultural contributions. Nevertheless, this influx often burdens locals with rising housing prices and living expenses, sparking concerns about being priced out of their own neighborhoods.

The typical nomad might visit 12 or 13 countries in a year, all the while holding down a corporate job, usually in the tech sector. An influx of digital nomads into a neighborhood can distort the local economy. Seeking foreign cash, many cities invite this kind of visitor, but their arrival can skew the cost of living for residents.

Within these cities, nomads cluster in safe and prosperous neighborhoods. Laureles, in Medellín, is a tranquil barrio with a university, clean streets, and middle-class inhabitants. But the income differential between the nomads and the Colombian professional class is immense. The result is runaway price inflation—rents in Laureles have skyrocketed, and restaurants cannot raise their prices fast enough. A one-bedroom in Medellín now rents for the “gringo price” of about $1,300 a month, in a country where the median monthly income is $300.

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