Jeff T. Green  /  AP
Forbes.com named Sandpoint, Idaho one of the best places to live if you can telecommute to work.
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updated 8/23/2004 7:15:07 AM ET 2004-08-23T11:15:07

Let's say you perform white-collar work of a kind that doesn't require you to meet with customers or coworkers regularly. Maybe you write software or design promotional brochures. Maybe you manage assets or consult.

Millions of Americans hold such portable jobs in the age of cable modems and Google. So let's further suppose that by choice or by the boot of your (former) employer, you suddenly have the option of working anywhere. Where would you go? (No, you can't pick Aspen, Jackson Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Lake Tahoe, or Maui. They're way too expensive.)

Personally, I would head out to where I could do my best thinking, yet not become so isolated that I would go crazy.

I would want reliable high-band Internet connections, nice weather of the western sunny and dry type, infinite hiking trails, a small airport close by with a mechanic named Ace or Wolfgang who knew every inch and hum of my airplane, spicy Mexican food and ice-cold beer with lime wedges, something like a graduate school for Swedish masseuses where I might lend my body in the cause of scientific advancement, and a church where I could repent.

Anyway, that's my idea of telecommuting heaven. What's yours?

This report was adapted from Life 2.0: How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness by Rich Karlgaard.

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