As a part-time nomad, the primary location, or “home-base” as I call it, is very important. This is where you’ll spend a great deal of your time, between trips, this is where you’ll be set-up administratively, and this is where you’ll build your “real life” support network (personal and professional). I chose Lyon, France as my home-base, and here is why.
Why Lyon is the best home-base one can imagine
Lyon is beautiful
In 2015, Lyon was winning the envied title of “most attractive city” in the PwC Global report. A couple of years later, it ranked second in the best places to live and work list of French magazine L’Express. No wonder.
From the touristic old town (Vieux Lyon), to the village-neighborhood of Croix-Rousse (where I’m lucky to live), the hipster Guillotière area or the modern Confluence, being able to look at your surrounding and still be in awe is an extremely important element of a good home-base. A home-base should never be boring. And if it’s beautiful, then it’s a win.
Lyon is perfectly located
With a 2-hour drive max, from here, you can reach the Alps on the east side, the Provence on the south, Auvergne on the west and Burgundy on the north side. Paris is only a 2-hour train ride away. There’s an international airport catering most low-cost companies. And, worst case scenario, Geneva airport is only 1.5 hour away.
For a nomad, being able to get out easily is a necessity. From my home-base, not only am I close to some of the most fantastic regions France has to offer, but I can also drive to Italy or Switzerland for the weekend.
Lyon is international
A local digital marketing agency has created a new identity for one of Lyon’s neighborhood. They called it “Saône Francisco”. Turns out they’re not very far from the truth. Lyon has a lot in common with the famous Californian city: beautiful bridges, hills, and… startups! But I’ll get to that in a minute.
I wanted my home-base to have an international feel. I couldn’t imagine not being able to speak English regularly and try a wide variety of world-food. Lyon certainly has some of the best local people, and some of the best food in France, but it is also open enough to diversity that you’ll find a Chinatown, several Irish and English pubs, foreign food to no end and many opportunities to meet expats and students from all over the world.
Lyon is very active
Even as a nomad, I want my home-base to be economically attractive. I might be working remotely for long periods at a time, most of my clients are local companies of all sizes. With Lyon French Tech, and many other organisations promoting entrepreneurship, not only the city has a wide variety of national size companies to work with but is also a good place to grow as a small business owner.
Lyon is affordable
“And all of that, ladies and gentlemen, for the fair price of…” Well, we’re certainly not the cheapest city in France, but we’re way behind Paris when it comes to price of living. Again, considering the expenses necessary when your lifestyle is about going places, you need to make sure you keep your budget on the steady side when it comes to home-base. In Lyon, you can.
What did you choose as your home-base? Do you have any specific requirement for the place you call “home”, when home is more often than not a suitcase or a backpack?