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A most unconventional start to 2024

Plus: finally a tool that verifies internet speeds, recent headlines, new partnerships

In today’s issue

  • 3 New Years, 3 fresh starts: let’s unpack this rare string of events

  • Tool of the month + founder interview: verify the speed you need

  • Headlines: why travelers insurance is a must, US states using bribes to attract remote workers, ideal remote work visa spots for US citizens

  • Meet Palmtree’s new Partners: get a remote job that works for you + save big time on nomad accommodations

New Years is for fresh starts…but 3 times this year, really?

I swear to you this wasn’t planned, but we’ve already celebrated New Years 3 times in 2024.

So let’s figure out what the Universe trying to tell us:

🍾 New Years Eve

You’ve heard the line: 🎵 Party like it’s 1999 🎸

Despite being in Bali, December 31, 2023 was what you might expect from a typical NYE — loud and boozy, with sweaty bodies pumping to the music in sold out beach clubs. And fireworks ‘till dawn.

New Years isn’t a Balinese holiday (more on this later), so the locals didn’t mind working overtime to help their Western visitors party it up.

The whole scene was a hard pass for us. We were asleep by 9, grateful to have survived a challenging year and eager for a fresh start.

🧧Lunar New Year

It’s February 10. We’re boarding a plane to Vietnam for a “visa run,” and suddenly we realize: it’s the first day of Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon.

We’re new to LNY and not sure what to expect. Will it be pandemonium, like rockets of fireworks shooting by our plane as we’re trying to land? Or maybe it’s a ghost town?

Well, what came as a surprise turned into amazement. We were dropped right into the heart of a vibrant, unified country of people celebrating their most important holiday.

The places we went — Saigon, Hoi An, and Hanoi — came alive with lion dances, music, lanterns, exhibitions, street performances, and flowers.

We left Vietnam filled with the spirit of Lunar New Year, of saying good riddance to negativity and bad luck, and feeling optimistic for the year ahead.

👹 Nyepi

March 11 was Nyepi, the Balinese New Year and day of silence.

Nyepi is a day like no other because the silence is literal. The entire island of Bali shuts down, with no flights going in or out, no activities, and complete silence observed for 24 hours.

The skies were clear and utterly quiet on Nyepi. As night fell, an intense dark emerged, revealing the expansive, sparkling Milky Way.

This day of stillness is set aside for meditation, prayer, and for some, fasting. It’s the time to reflect on life in deep quiet.

The night before Nyepi was Bhuta Yajna. Balinese parade through their villages with life-sized effigies called Ogoh-ogoh — scary figures representing evil spirits. After sunset, they burn the Ogoh-ogoh to remove negativity and restore harmony between the divine, humans, and nature.

Nyepi is a beautiful and powerful testament to the power of silence, and it left us feeling centered and renewed.

What does this all mean?

Being part of 3 radically different New Years rituals over 3 consecutive months was a rare and unusual experience.

They all shared a spirit or renewal, but each New Year offered a unique and meaningful meditation:

Let go of what no longer serves you.

New Years Eve

Honor traditions that bring people together.

Lunar New Year

Cultivate power in silence.


Tool of the month: The Wired Nomad

Fellow nomads: surely you agree that fast and reliable internet is non-negotiable.

But how do we know if the internet is fast and reliable where we’re staying?

Enter The Wired Nomad, a free tool that verifies actual internet speeds for digital nomads using crowdsourcing.

With search, you can filter by country, city, minimum download speed (Mbps), rental platform (i.e., Airbnb, Flatio), and even nightly price.

Results are accommodation-specific. For your convenience, clicking on a search result will take you directly to the listing booking page.

As of today, the site have over 1,200 listings in 80 countries, with new listings being adding daily. You can also help out and submit your own speed test, or learn how to set up your own VPN.

The verdict: The Wired Nomad is a smart and useful tool, with potential to be indispensable at scale 👍🏻

Q&A with Adam, The Wired Nomad’s founder

Q: Why did you build The Wired Nomad?
A: Personal necessity. I work remotely and want to travel more, but I’m screwed without fast and reliable internet. NomadList is utterly useless because it’s mostly generalized, inaccurate info on internet speeds.

Q: Doesn’t Airbnb provide internet speeds for its properties?
A: Sort of. It’s optional for hosts, and only includes a one-time download speed test.

Q: What’s the vision for The Wired Nomad?
A: At scale, it’s the go-to accommodations aggregator for digital nomads to find high quality listings with great internet.

Q: Did I hear you mention hardware?
A: Yes, I’ve also been prototyping a small hardware device that periodically tests internet speeds in a way that’s non-intrusive. The device uploads live speed data to my database, which I display on the host's listing.

Thanks to founder Adam for sharing The Wired Nomad with Palmtree. Follow @TheWiredNomad on X [Twitter].

Recent headlines

🆕 Partners of Palmtree

We’ve been away, but we made some friends! Check out these excellent services created for digital nomads like you:

🌴 Remote Rebellion: Get a remote job that aligns with your values, enabling you to work from anywhere

🌴 Remote Base: Curated nomad accommodations that save you up to 80%

Enjoy the silence,
—the Palmtree Editorial Team


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