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🌍 The privilege of travel that comes with a price

Plus: a lovely photo from literally today, recent headlines

In today’s issue

  • All good things have a price: for digital nomads, that price can be costly on the soul and psyche

  • As seen literally today: have a look at this lovely photo we just took

  • Headlines: 52 places for 2024, South Korea’s new visa, the world’s top passports have a 6-way tie

🌏 The privilege of travel that comes with a price (with helpful insights)

Digital nomads, bless our hearts. We share so much in common, like:

✅ some cash in the bank and/or a remote gig
✅ compelling reasons to leave home
✅ seeking a lower cost of living
✅ travel-obsessed
✅ adaptable

And hard stuff, like:

⚠️ The fear of leaving and the fear of the unknown
⚠️ The guilt of leaving our people behind
⚠️ No money or not enough
⚠️ Questionable timing
⚠️ Burnout

These issues are real, but nothing is more real than loneliness.

Loneliness is a tax on freedom, and the more we participate in hybrid or remote work, the more lonely we have the potential to become. And travelers are growing tired of being alone.

Strategies for offsetting loneliness

1. If you’re a digital nomad who’s continuously traveling, have a few "home bases" and cultivate healthy friendships in those places.

“Yup you have to stick to 3 or 4 spots and build a close knit group of friends in each spot. You have to maintain friendships with people who are willing to change their plans to spend time with you…This is the best plan I’ve seen so far to combat DN loneliness.” —pdxtrader, Reddit

“I have 3 primary locations on 3 continents and I rotate between them, with core friends and meaningful people in each place. I also now have a base in one atm for the first time in a dozen years. Plenty of side trips to new destinations but if I stopped nomading I would end up in one of my ‘primary cities.’ If you're nomading without establishing a group somewhere it would be painfully isolating.” —richdrifter, Reddit

2. Be proactively social

Building friends and community is way easier when you put your time in to one place. Constant travel requires a new level of initiative:

  • Stay organized. Keep a spreadsheet or Airtable with all your itineraries, destination, contacts, notes, etc. Over the top? Who cares?!

  • Stay in touch. 1) Meet a cool person at a cafe, 2) Get their number, 3) Text them like a normal person and keep up.

  • Stay connected. Tell all your peeps to just message you when they’re traveling. Before you know it, you're the "travel person" and you'll have people reaching out.

  • Stay flexible. Change your plans for others. It’s easier than trying to make them bend around yours.

3. Lean on technology

There’s no one app to rule them all, but Facebook and WhatsApp groups are great for quickly connecting and getting a lay of the land. So are Nomeo and Distant Club. Even posting on Reddit to meet people in real life can work.

4. Join a co-living community

Slow travelers, aka “slowmads,” often struggle finding housing that’s flexible, affordable, and safe. This is where coliving comes in: it’s communal living with shared living spaces and amenities.

Here’s a great list of the best coliving companies for 2024.

5. Travel to countries where the locals are more open and welcoming

Warm and friendly people make a difference, especially if your presence in their country is a win for them as much as it is a win for you.

To name a few: 🇰🇭 Cambodia, 🇮🇩 Bali, 🇨🇷 Costa Rica, 🇲🇽 Mexico, and 🇧🇷 Brazil.

📷 As seen today: January 13, 2024

New rice crops at Jati Luwak rice field, Bali. Photo by Palmtree.

Recent headlines

  • A new destination every week for 1 year…if you haven’t guessed it, the New York Times has released its annual 52 Places to Go in 2024 

  • South Korea’s new "Workation" visa for DMs is good for 2 years. You'll need: minimum US$66k job back home, clean record, insurance

  • And the award for the top passports in 2024…goes to these 6 countries offering visa-free access to 194 countries 🏆

Stay shaded,
—the Palmtree Editorial Team


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