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These are the best and worst countries for food 失

Plus: field notes from Hoi An, the new digital nomad era, recent headlines

In todays issue

  • 1 week in Hoi An: we came, we saw, we took notes

  • Digital nomadism matures: new values, new priorities, new you

  • Food matters, everywhere: find out where to eat well or not

  • Headlines: Sri Lanka wants Russians and Ukrainians to leave, battle-tested remote work locales, cheapest place in Europe for people like us

鳶 Field notes: Hoi An, Vietnam

Welcome to Field notes, where we briefly summarize places using our own handwritten notes, photos, and firsthand observations.

Lanterns in Hoi An during the full moon

Recorded Feb 2127, 2024 end of Tet Lunar New Year

The atmosphere and people of Hoi An are pleasant, positive, and warm.

Hoi An has magic, but you have to be open to it. If youre not open to it, you wont see past the crowds, chaos, and commercialization.

Speaking of magic, hire a rowboat at night and release your paper lantern(s) into the river with a wish. Bonus magic: do this on the full moon ceremony after Tet and play I See the Light from Tangled on your phone speaker as youre floating among the other boats and lanterns

Hoi Ans weather is cooler than Saigon and warmer than Hanoi. It still gets hot but its not killer heat. Very pleasant for being outdoors in the morning and evening.

Theres a respectable nomad scene here, with co-working spaces, gyms, and remote-work optimized rentals.

Food is excellent and affordable, from Vietnamese to expat-made sushi, tacos, and more. OMG: salted coffee at Hygge.

A great day in Hoi An:

  • Morning exercise in the rice fields or beach before breakfast

  • Heads down laptop work during the midday heat

  • Afternoon and evening dine and stroll through the Old Town

Rice fields存o easy on the eyes

The digital nomad armada has landed

Digital nomadism is in full swing, which means the work hard, move up, retire for life system is no longer working for millions of middle class people in the West.

Gone are the days of settling down with a 9-5 cubicle job, buying a house, and accumulating possessions.

Why is this? Well, simply put jobs are no longer secure, and the costs of living, housing, and education are rapidly getting too expensive.

I imagine 90% of digital nomads barely make enough to get by. But then again, neither do I, and I do have a stable job and an apartment, and all the things society tells you must have劣onestly, if I am going to struggle, Id rather do it in the sun.

a digital nomad as quoted from Harvard Business Review

The new way of the digital nomad

Ditching a system that has increasingly let down the majority has led to a 131% increase since 2019 in the number of Americans who identify as digital nomads, now totaling 17 million.

With this shift comes a new system of values about life, work, and ownership:

  • maximize income by living in countries with a lower cost of living

  • be flexible, agile, mobile, and untethered from things and places

  • choose access over ownership

Read the full story at Harvard Business Review.

The so-called best and worst countries for food

Street food scene in Hanoi, Vietnam

Can we all agree that food is one of the top 3 reasons why we choose a place to visit or live?

Well, leave it to the r/digitalnomad posse at Reddit to decide which countries have the best and worst food.

According to our (roughly accurate) tally of the comments, these 7 nations serve up the most incredible cuisine on the planet: Mexico 莞 Thailand 屢 Japan 荊 Italy 氣 France 恫 Vietnam 鳶

地nd these 7 countries are, sadly, blowing it*: Germany 拎 Colombia 劾 Costa Rica 劾 Cuba 劾 Argentina 佞 Netherlands 喫

Gallo pinto, a traditional dish of Costa Rica and Nicaragua

*Is the United Kingdom 突 asurprise omission? Despite some disparaging comments like this:

it seems the UK has been saved by the world-class selection food in London:

Recent headlines

Keep it cool,
the Palmtree Editorial Team

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