where would you move if you (a) wanted to do deep work/learn to program again, and (b) wanted a quiet/safe place with decent internet and trails nearby?

big cities mean big parties, lots of networking, and reasons to go drinking 7 days a week. small cities are lower energy, quiet, but similarly lead to "reasons to go drinking."

i personally got started with software development in Chiang Mai, Thailand. my schedule was something like:

  • wake up at 9am

  • begin coding

  • late lunch

  • code

  • late dinner

  • code

  • coffee

  • code

  • sleep at 3-4am

you could follow this schedule anywhere. but i also had luxuries like a coworking space, dozens of nearby cafes i could walk to, and fast internet. these ingredients enabled the recipe.

isolate yourself, and you'll wonder what's the point. surround yourself with those who do not aspire to develop new skills and prefer to hang their hat at 5pm, and you will be distracted. but find a cheap town with good coffee and a place to work beyond your kitchen table? heaven.