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  • 💎 7 years of slow travel — 7 precious insights

💎 7 years of slow travel — 7 precious insights

Plus: a new credit card points search engine, answer to "Where in the world?", recent headlines

In today’s issue

  •  7 grains of slow travel wisdom: we’ve learned a few things

  • 🆕 Tool of the day: credit card point redemptions, simplified

  • Answer to “Where in the world?”: somewhere AUSome

  • Headlines: How being a DM for a year changed me, RTO ≠ more money, Harvard Business Review examines digital nomads

7 priceless insights from 7 years of slow travel

In 2017, we spent the summer in Europe, our first overseas trip.

In 2018, we traveled the world for 18 months.

Since then, we’ve been away from home more than half the time.

And in 2023, we committed to a year in Bali.

All this travel…what have we learned?

This isn’t normal

“We are the 0%.” — that’s what Yuri told us in a cafe one April morning in downtown Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Yuri and his family were on a 3 year road trip from Seattle to the tip of South America, on their way back home to Brazil. We were on month 8 of our world trip.

Yuri is not wrong. Most of the world lives “normal” lives. Living nomadic is extraordinarily rare.

This is a privilege

It’s not until we get to a place that we truly realize how lucky we are to be here.

Inequities in wealth distribution have made it so the local people in the countries we visit may never get an opportunity to leave home, let alone travel.

Nevertheless, they are doing everything they can to keep us happy.

It’s not for everyone

Some of us are wired to explore. Some of us are content to stay home. That’s just the way it is, and neither side is better.

If you’re an explorer, accept that you’ll have to leave some people behind, face their disagreements, or compromise.

This is especially true when you travel with children.

The people you’ll meet are your people

When you slow travel, you’ll run into people just like you. They too have left their families and countries and possessions behind for a different way of life.

These are your people. Embrace them.

Slow travel is a game-changer

Traditional vacation: get a break from your life by spending 2 weeks doing everything or doing nothing. Then go back and start over.

Slow travel: settle and work somewhere for at least a month. Get to know it. Repeat. Visit your home country once a year. Live this way.

Different places, same challenges

The freedom to travel is one of the sweetest freedoms in the world.

Of course, it comes with a recurring set challenges: housing, reliable income, and the big one: loneliness.

How to solve this? Establish a home base (or many), work for yourself, and cultivate a community.

The Matrix wants you back

The Matrix is the system from which we came, where we are told to sit down, shut up, and contribute…regardless of fulfillment.

It takes energy and courage to leave the Matrix.

They’ll tell you you’re crazy or stupid or selfish for leaving. Sometimes you’ll even feel that way yourself, and you’ll miss your comforts — your clean sidewalks, your clothes dryer, your same-day Amazon delivery.

When you feel the Matrix pulling you back, just remember these words:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

🆕 Tool of the day: Roame

Ever get stuck in a wormhole searching for the best flight award for your credit card points? This is no longer a thing, thanks to Roame.

Roame is “Google flights using credit card points and miles” — a flight search engine that searches across 16 loyalty programs and over 200 airlines for the best flight awards, delivering real-time results in seconds.

The cost of Roame? Free, with options to upgrade 👍🏼

Answer to “Do you know where this is?”

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia

Bronte Beach is a gorgeous coastal enclave with golden sand, clear waters, and surrounding cliffs. The Bronte Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1903, making it one of the oldest surf life saving clubs in the world.

If you’re a swimmer who lives on the edge, do some laps in the Bronte Baths saltwater pool that’s carved into the literal edge of the rocky coastline.

Here’s a drone view:

Recent headlines

  • Be a digital nomad at least once says Wyin, who spent 1 year in South Korea. She became mindful, present, empowered — but it wasn’t easy.

  • Return to office mandates don’t equate to better financial performance or employee happiness, according to a recent study.

  • People desire access and infrastructure as rootedness and ownership are harder to attain, says HBR in The New Reality of Digital Nomads.

Keep it cool,
—the Palmtree Editorial Team

🌾

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