Lost Nomad http://lostnomad.org/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 15:38:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 http://lostnomad.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/lost-nomad-icon-150x150.png Lost Nomad http://lostnomad.org/ 32 32 Bargain land Japan beckons as outgoing calls remain silent http://lostnomad.org/bargain-land-japan-beckons-as-outgoing-calls-remain-silent/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 01:51:44 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/bargain-land-japan-beckons-as-outgoing-calls-remain-silent/

With the weakening Japanese yen, the land of the rising sun has become the land of bargains, which will boost inbound travel to this most popular destination, the audience at WiT Seoul 2022 heard.

Quoting one of Japan’s most eminent economists, Jesper Koll, Kei Shibata, co-founder and CEO of Venture Republic – TRAVEL jp & Trip101, made these startling comparisons.

  • A Big Mac costs ($2.60) ¥390 in Tokyo versus $5.50 ($825 JPY) in Los Angeles, which (more than) doubles the purchasing power of the dollar on this side of the Pacific
  • Japanese labor costs fell to $33,000 per year on average, less than half of the $69,000 payment in the United States
  • A software engineer based in Tokyo now costs around 30% less than an engineer based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • And at ¥180 to the dollar, a nurse in Manila would earn more than one in Tokyo.

Jeremy Bek, Managing Director, Global Country Management Department, Travel Business, Rakuten, Inc, said that since the official announcement of Japan’s full reopening on September 22, the OTA has seen a 3,100% increase bookings from Hong Kong, 1,077% from Korea, 545% from Taiwan and 106% from the United States.

“In June, when Japan allowed package tours, adoption was very slow, but since July we have started to see a significant increase in search demand from Korea, which coincided with the launch of our new booking platform in July.

“From August, the increase in research demand became exponential when self-guided tours were allowed and in September all the floodgates opened.”

Korean travelers, he said, are turning to luxury and midscale four- and five-star hotels, with Rakuten seeing an average booking value 50% higher than before Covid. They also choose ryokans, with 59% opting for these Japanese-style accommodations, including luxury ryokans in Kanagawa, Shiga, Hokkaido and Hogyu prefectures.

Bek said Koreans are also becoming more adventurous, exploring new destinations such as Gunma, Shiga, Nagasaki, Hyogo, Kanagawa and Oita.

Japan Spotlight at WiT Seoul: Jeremy Bek, Rakuten Travel (center) and Kei Shibata, Trip101 and TRAVEL.jp, sharing the trends they see as Japan reopens.

Shibata believes the number of arrivals could approach pre-pandemic levels by next year, even without Chinese visitors who account for 37% of arrivals in Japan. He said while China’s shutdown was bad in the short term, it could turn out to be a good thing in the long term.

“For Japan to achieve continued and sustainable growth, it needs to attract more travelers from Western markets and travelers who tend to stay longer and travel outside of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. This is a good opportunity for Japan to change direction,” he said.

Shibata believes an opportunity market for Japan is digital nomads and urged authorities to consider issuing digital nomad visas.

He also said that Japan should consider exploiting the potential of the Indian market, which “is currently one of the most attractive markets in the world.” “Our biggest surprise at Trip101 is that this year, India has become our second largest user base in the world, after the United States.”

He said Japan needed to improve direct air connectivity, provide more vegetarian dining options and “inform Indian travelers that Japan is no longer an expensive destination.” It was their perception but that changed with the weakness of the yen”.

Bek had a different view of India. “We are not yet seeing a spike in search trends for travel to Japan from India. And it is a market that is very dependent on traditional agents and tours due to dietary restrictions. not very conducive to food for Indians.Despite the huge market opportunity, it is not an easy market to conquer due to its fragmentation and large market share of major local players who have built strong preference brand.

He said Rakuten would focus on two key areas: vacation rental/alternative accommodation as well as sustainability. “Our business unit, Rakuten Stay, is growing 48% year-over-year and we offer 100,000 rooms in Japan and overseas, including Hawaii, Guam, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia.”

Regarding sustainability, a study conducted by Rakuten showed that 74.6% of Japanese travelers are aware of sustainability issues such as “inappropriate waste in travel destinations, food waste in hotels, carbon emissions, preservation of local culture.

“Rakuten Travel takes active steps to raise awareness of sustainability issues and has created a program that includes awarding sustainability badges to hotels that are active and advanced in sustainability and listing actions taken by hotels.

“At Rakuten Stay, we have obtained renewable energy certificates and used 100% renewable energy in real terms for the operations of all self-managed accommodation establishments in Japan since 2021.”

Conversely, the weakness of the yen does not help the source market. Bek said that despite the increase in international flights, overseas travel is becoming expensive for Japanese travelers. Sharing data from Japan’s National Tourism Organization, he said monthly growth had been modest since March and was expected to slow from September.

Shibata added, “While we see it recovering from last year, with double year-over-year growth, we are still seeing very limited recovery from 2019.

“The outbound leisure market in Japan is generally based on package deals and our (travel.jp) traffic figures for package deals over the past few weeks only show a single-digit recovery from 2019. The number of hotels and flights is better – somewhere around 30% of 2019 levels. My guess is that seasoned Japanese travelers have started going overseas while the majority of vacationers are staying at home.

What has recovered well is business travel at Travel.jp For Business. “We started seeing this before the summer and according to our top customers, their overseas business trips, especially to South Korea, are almost back to pre-pandemic levels.”

As for which global player would do well in Japan post-pandemic, Shibata cited Airbnb. “They have strengthened their position the most during the pandemic. Their brand and sourcing are strong and unique, and they spend the fewest marketing dollars on performance marketing of any major global OTA.

Meanwhile, Bek argues that while global OTAs have reduced their resources and support during the pandemic, local OTAs like Rakuten have supported hotels through various activities, both financial and operational, including the “hotel rescue” that helped turn hotels into quarantine facilities, as well as supporting the rollout of vaccination for hotel staff and guests.

“It has helped us continue to validate and strengthen relationships with our partners who in turn show their support for Rakuten Travel with the opening of inbound Japan.”

Featured Image: Oita (Beppu, Yufuin), one of the new Japanese destinations discovered by South Koreans. Photo credit: Rakuten Travel

3 trade goals for the Knicks to consider before the rumor hits | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors http://lostnomad.org/3-trade-goals-for-the-knicks-to-consider-before-the-rumor-hits-news-scores-highlights-stats-rumors/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:19:06 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/3-trade-goals-for-the-knicks-to-consider-before-the-rumor-hits-news-scores-highlights-stats-rumors/

3 trade goals for Knicks to consider before rumor picks up

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    The season was one step forward, one step back for the New York Knicks.

    Going into the 2022-23 NBA campaign, the ‘Bockers have yet to establish consistency and have failed to establish themselves as an above-average team at either end of the court.

    It’s too early to give up hope for this season, however, and the Knicks have shown little desire to tear up this roster.

    On the contrary, New York is expected to operate more like a buyer than a seller this trade season, so let’s identify three winning targets worth watching ahead of basketball’s biggest trade encounter.

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

1 of 3

    DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 16: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets heads for the basket against the Dallas Mavericks on November 16, 2022 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user accepts the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Knicks have a glut of point guards and not enough minutes to circle their bigs. If they are looking for improvements in the commercial market, wing spots should get their full attention.

    Eric Gordon is a combo-guard size (6’3″, 215 lbs), but he’s skilled and smart enough to play anywhere between points 1 and 3. More importantly, he provides positive points at both ends of the floor, which could have him moving up the pecking order quickly in this rotation.

    On offense, he may be better as a point shooter, but he can create dribbling for himself and his teammates. Since the start of last season, he’s averaging 2.1 threes on 39.8 percent shooting. Those numbers alone should be of interest to the Knicks, whose 31.5 three-point percentage ranks worst in the Eastern Conference and 29th overall.

    Gordon, who turns 34 in December, clearly has no future with the rebuilding Rockets. And if that keeps his trade cost reasonable, the Knicks should try to strike.

Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets

2 out of 3

    CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 18: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on November 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Cavaliers beat the Hornets 132-122 in double overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user accepts the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Kelly Oubre Jr. is something of an NBA nomad, having spent more than seven seasons with four different teams. The Knicks could consider becoming his fifth NBA employer.

    The 26-year-old has never been consistent enough for a team to lock him in for the long haul, but his length, athleticism and two-way talent continue to attract suitors.

    It would help if his outside shooting was more reliable (career 33.1%), but if it was, he could cost a fortune in a trade. Given his shooting limitations and the fact that he has more career rotations (518) than assists (504), he shouldn’t be too expensive, especially if Charlotte isn’t keen on covering the cost of his next unrestricted free agency.

    The Knicks could be positioned to bring out the best in Oubre. They wouldn’t always need his scoring, which should allow him to refine his defense and off-ball activity, but they should be able to find enough shots to keep him fully engaged.

Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs

3 out of 3

    SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 17: Josh Richardson #7 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a three point shot against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Golden 1 Center on November 17, 2022 in Sacramento, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user accepts the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Josh Richardson turned 29 in September. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

    His days with the rebuilding Spurs should be numbered.

    His defense and long-range shooting should be firmly on the Knicks’ radar. The fact that he offers a pinch of creativity off the dribble only adds to his appeal.

    If the Knicks are getting enough star power — or star-caliber production — from players like RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson, they’ll need more low-maintenance role players like Richardson.

    The Tennessee product is well established as an above-average shooter at this point (career 36.5%), but his elite splash flashes (two seasons shooting over 41%) suggest he could be just the kind of spacer this offense needs. .

Travel Off Path’s Best Destinations for 2023 http://lostnomad.org/travel-off-paths-best-destinations-for-2023/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 13:21:33 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/travel-off-paths-best-destinations-for-2023/

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Last update

Travel Off Path has always been a source of travel news and information written by travellers, for travellers. Travel is in our blood. Between all of our writers and staff, we have visited almost every country in the world.

As the New Year approaches, travelers are eagerly planning their trips for 2023, and At Travel Off Path, we are no exception.

We wanted to do something a little different in this article, so we asked our staff what the best destination they want to visit in 2023 is so we can share it with you.

Woman traveling in Istanbul, best destinations

Many “best destinations » articles on the Internet simply report search data from booking platforms or are sponsored listings. For our Best destinations of 2023, we wanted to share the destinations most sought after by our widely traveled staff.

When the question “What is the destination you most want to visit in 2023” was sent, we weren’t surprised that many of us couldn’t choose just one! After all, we all travel all the time, so why limit ourselves?

With that in mind, read on to find out which destinations we’re dreaming of the most for next year!

Young female traveler with straw hat exploring Mexican jungle, Mexico, Latin America, top destinations

Kashlee Kucheran, CEO


“There are so many cultural and historical experiences beyond the normal resort vacation that travelers need to see for themselves.”


Dancers in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, top destinations


“Albania truly has all the best Europe has to offer for a fraction of the price and with a much safer and more welcoming environment.”


Port area of ​​Sarande, Albania, Albanian Riviera, South East Europe, Mediterranean Sea, main destinations


“Turkey is a sensational country full of Bucket List experiences. Everything awaits you, from bustling cities to quiet seaside towns, with amazing food, language and weather.


Breakfast,On,The,Rooftop,With,Amazing,View,Over,Cappadocia,,Turkey., Top destinations

Trevor Kucheran, director


“Mexico is the ultimate destination. It has landscapes from all over the world, all located in one country. Mountains, deserts, rivers, jungles and oceans. One day you could surf in Puerto Escondido; the next day you could be in a cozy snowy cabin in Durango.

When it comes to tourism, Mexico is king. With incredible seaside cities like Cancun and Cabo, visitors will never be disappointed with their vacation.

For digital nomads and slow travelers, Mexico has dozens of charming and affordable cities with an incredible quality of life brimming with culture. Over the past decade, this has always been my number one choice, and I feel like my love for Mexico has only just begun.


Aerial view of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico, main destinations

Tyler Fox, editor

Having the freedom to work from anywhere has some serious advantages… and temptations. Temptations like packing everything up and moving to another country! My top destinations for 2023 are all areas I’d like to explore more to see if I’d like to live there long term.

Istanbul, Turkey

“Istanbul has always seemed like a fascinating destination, and I can’t wait to see it for myself. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to explore the area’s historical attractions, and Istanbul has plenty of them. The Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern are all must-sees on my trip.”


Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey

Tirana, Albania

“Tirana is a place I would like to visit. Albania’s digital nomad visa is definitely something I’ve considered, and I’m very curious to see what life in the capital would be like. Plus, Tirana seems like a great base, especially since Americans can stay for up to a year without a visa.


Tirana Albania


“Every time we write about Mexico, I want to book the next flight! I’ve been there before, but there’s so much more to the country than staying at a resort in the Riviera Maya. Cancun, Tulum, Bacalar, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Los Cabos, La Paz… Mexico has so many destinations, and I want to see them all!

The people I met at conferences who are from Mexico were some of the nicest there, and they’re another big reason for me wanting to see more of the country.


Puerto Vallarta

Vinicius Costa

Sofia, Bulgaria

“Serving as the capital of one of Europe’s least visited and most mysterious countries, Sofia is Bulgaria’s financial and cultural hub, where communist-era landmarks and much older Roman ruins constantly clash for dominance in an incongruous but beautiful cityscape.It’s also one of the oldest cities on the continent, making it an ideal destination for histophiles.


Sofia, Bulgaria

Sao Paulo, Brazil

“A largely overlooked metropolitan behemoth, Latin America’s largest city may not necessarily be famous for its understandably limited collection of historical landmarks, but it truly shines as a foodie destination and diverse multicultural hub. Here you’ll see Japanese, Jewish, Arab, Lithuanian, Polish and Italian neighborhoods clustered together, still retaining their ethnic character and cuisine – to name a few – and perhaps the nightlife and social scene. liveliest in Brazil.


Sao Paulo

Istanbul, Turkey / Turkey

“One of the most mystical cities on the planet, Istanbul’s grandeur knows no borders: it has quarters in Europe and Asia, the former’s imperial Balkan charm often overlapping with Anatolian flair- eastern of the second. As Philip Mansel puts it, it’s the “world’s desire city” with sights to admire for days.


Istanbul, Turkey

Andrea Miliani


“Call me a romantic, but Italy has this unique, alluring charm that you won’t find in any other country. I’m particularly interested in off-the-beaten-track destinations that I’ve never visited before, like the Cinque Earth and the island of Elba, where my ancestors originated.This mix of fascinating historic architecture, delicious food and stunning scenery found in Italy makes it a wonderful travel experience for everyone.”


Elba Island


“I’m so curious about Albania! This destination has become very popular this year, and the videos and photos are truly impressive. The beaches have spectacular turquoise waters, the Albanian Alps seem to have amazing trails, and the museums look very interesting. I want to visit while it’s still affordable and before it gets too popular.”


Mountains of Albania

Laura Taylor

yellowstone national park

“Yellowstone is one of my favorite places in the world – with the rainbows, bubbling hot springs, herds of buffalo roaming free and the seemingly endless wilderness, it has always felt magical to me. There also has so much to do and see there (and in the border communities, like going to see a movie at the IMAX theater in West Yellowstone!), I feel like it never gets old.”


yellowstone national park

Megan Gibbons


“For the past year, I have volunteered with a group that helps asylum seekers and refugees in my community. Through this work, I have come to know so many kind, courageous and resilient families from around the world and have been exposed to cultures that I did not know much about before. So my top pick of places I’d like to visit in 2023 is inspired by an amazing group of women who showed me the beauty of their culture – the country of Georgia. Georgia is my top choice for three specific reasons: the people, the land, and the food (my favorite reason to travel).

The Georgian families I have come to know are so kind and hospitable that I imagine traveling to their country would be a very welcoming experience. When we talk about Georgia, they all light up and rave about what a beautiful country it is, and the photos I’ve seen are breathtaking. And finally, after some very special homemade Georgian dishes, I came to the conclusion that Georgian cuisine should be as popular and well-known as Italian cuisine. It is absolutely delicious and truly unique. I can’t wait to eat my way through Georgia in 2023.”



Nicolin Collingridge

El Salvador

“With dreamy waves for surfers, epic volcanoes to climb, and a fascinating history to absorb, this country is often overlooked compared to larger Central American countries (meaning fewer tourists). Everyone I’ve spoken to has been singing the praises of this country, so I can’t wait to see what everyone’s talking about in 2023.”


Surfing in El Salvador

Dale Peterson


“Nicaragua is a diverse country with lots of adventurous things to do. Great beaches for surfing, outdoor activities such as volcano hikes and volcano boarding, and exploring colonial towns like León and Granada are reasons I hope to visit Nicaragua in 2023.”


Young woman traveler photographed on a swing on the ocean in front of an exposed volcano in Nicaragua, Central America

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

]]> Digital nomads with all the bells and whistles http://lostnomad.org/digital-nomads-with-all-the-bells-and-whistles/ Sun, 20 Nov 2022 19:10:05 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/digital-nomads-with-all-the-bells-and-whistles/

The first companies organizing stays for people who choose to live in Greece for a few months or years, working remotely, have appeared.

Kathimerini recently caught up with Elizabeth Howell as she ordered a cappuccino and prepared for a 6 p.m. business meeting via Zoom with her clients. “Hello how are you?” she asked. For customers in America, it was still morning. “Four years ago, I never imagined that one day I would work in a cafe in Koukaki as a communications consultant,” she says.

She was born and raised in a small town in the state of Alabama. After graduating, she worked – a very tiring schedule – as a lawyer. Her “Greek” story began in Nebraska in November 2018. She was there on a hunting trip with her family, it had snowed, and she had stayed at a hotel. Her 30s were approaching and she wanted to treat herself to an experience she had been dreaming of for a long time, a trip to Greece. That night, she booked her tickets and arrived a few months later, in the summer. She is delighted with the country and meets Nikos, with whom she keeps in touch. She visited Greece again, until at some point she took the completely unexpected decision to quit her job and move to the country. She took a break to think about her next career moves, spent time with her boyfriend and explored the country she had fallen in love with. “What could go wrong?” she said to her father, who worried about her decision.

She arrived in Greece on February 18, 2020. A week later, the first cases of Covid-19 emerged and before she had time to consider her options, the entire planet was on the alert. in confinement. All plans were canceled, which stressed her out. Like a deus ex machina, a friend from college offered him to manage the social networks of an American company. The salary was minimal, but she went into it with enthusiasm. Today, four years later, she has a long list of clients in Germany, Africa and the United States. And she does it all from Athens’ Koukaki neighborhood, right next to the Acropolis – or anywhere else. “I work with companies which, before Covid, did not offer me the flexibility to work on the other side of the world. This is perhaps the only positive legacy of the pandemic,” she notes.

It’s a trend that American Tara Campbell, involved in the tourism industry, noticed and led her to create Sojrn, a startup that basically takes care of all the needs of future digital nomads. After doing some research, she ended up with nine countries she could recommend, and Greece was one of them. “Mainly because I love your country and because I had colleagues there whom I trusted. Plus, you have good Wi-Fi and lots of accommodation options,” she explains.

Ten to Pangrati

A year ago, 10 digital nomads moved to the Athens neighborhood of Pangrati. On the first day, they met their “host”, Hara Papadoukaki. They walked around the area, were introduced to the local greengrocer, shown the bus stop and given practical advice – from whether the tap water was safe to drink to what to do with the toilet paper. They sat down for breakfast and got to know each other – they each said what they did professionally (lawyer, banker, author, lobbyist, senior executives and business consultants) and their working hours. The toughest schedule was for Jack, who worked for Sony Pictures in Los Angeles and had to work until 3 a.m. They had all installed an app on their phones where they could follow each day’s activities before starting work: traditional Greek dance lessons, yoga at the National Garden or philosophy seminars. Over time, team members began to set their own schedules. Tara often visited the Acropolis for her morning coffee or they went to train at Kallimarmaro Stadium. Late at night, after work, they went out and organized excursions every weekend.

The cost to participate starts at $4,000 per month and includes accommodation, access to a workspace, activities, and support from Hara and the Sojrn team in anything that may arise. From fixing an internet connection (a common occurrence) to checking the building’s main electrical panel when the power went out (turns out it was Daniel’s fault; he works on Wall Street and used his own modem because he was afraid of losing his connection). Hara had to find a new mattress for a woman, return a faulty pair of shoes and have a phone argument with a taxi driver who wanted to charge 20 euros for a ride from Syntagma Square to Pangrati. However, at the last team dinner, everyone in attendance was thrilled and planning to return. Four have already done so.

Ioanna Dretta, Head of Marketing Greece (the company created by the Greek Tourism Business Association and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels to promote tourism in Greece), recalls that from the first discussions held with government officials about digital nomads, everyone agreed that it was a particularly interesting audience. Not only because they support the Greek economy, but because they become the country’s best ambassadors. This time last year, Dretta and his team raised funds (from Aegean Airlines, Cosmote and Eurobank) and created a website, workfromgreece.gr, where a lot of information is available, from practical knowledge to ideas more adventurous. There is no record of the number of people who moved to Greece based on the site; however, they watch its visitors with great interest. The site is mainly visited by Americans, then Russians and British. There was a lot of activity after the summer, but also following significant events – for example, there were more Russian visitors to the site after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization.

They receive daily questions from interested parties. Where there are other digital nomad communities (apart from Athens there are communities in Hania, Volos and Pilio). They ask for help or clarification. Some consulates even ignore the digital nomad visa that the Ministries of Interior and Migration introduced in 2021 to facilitate citizens of third countries. Others wonder if their after-tax income really needs to exceed 3,500 euros per month to receive the visa (it is an obligation).


Anyone fulfilling the conditions for obtaining a visa and wishing to stay for more than two years must obtain a residence permit. When Elizabeth from Alabama, who now lives in Koukaki, needed the permit, Nikos took care of the whole process and she had no major difficulties. The experience of others who spoke to Kathimerini, however, was very different. Kate, who is from the UK, started trying to secure her papers at the end of 2020. After unsuccessfully trying to get a telephone appointment with the relevant department, she went there in person, but was turned down. In front of the staff, she dialed the service number and when she proved that no one picked up the phone, she was allowed in. Before even seeing what documents she had brought with her, they gave her a printed paper listing all the requirements. To her surprise, Kate saw that it was a guide for retirees (the printer had only printed the first of three pages). Although it was unclear what documents she needed, she found the requirements on the equivalent UK government site. She submitted the documents, but was then asked for a series of documents which she ultimately did not need. In another attempt to communicate with the authorities, the police officer she spoke to did not speak English and she was later informed that they could not accept that her landlord did not own her residence but that he was instead subletting the property (she eventually asked a friend to state that she was hosting him). She remembers other people like her, usually accompanied by a lawyer, facing enormous difficulties in their efforts to settle in Greece. “We felt like they were trying to talk us out of it,” she recalls. It took over six months for the permit to be issued, but she was undeterred. She continues to work in Greece, spending her summers in Milos and running a successful London startup from Athens.

Work abroad without migrating

digital-nomads-with-all-the-bells-and-whistles2This new trend in work not only affects non-Greeks, but also offers Greeks the opportunity to work for foreign companies in their country. One of them is Georgios Rempousis. Many times he had thought it would be good for his career (as a programmer) to go abroad but found it difficult to do so. However, when his department in a company was closed, he started looking for jobs in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Greece. He immediately found a job in a British company (of the nine colleagues in his former position, eight are working remotely and one has moved to the Netherlands).

Georgios is not considered a digital nomad, but a remote worker. Nothing has changed in his tax status. The British company signed a contract with a Greek company which hired him. It is, however, one of the exceptions. In the legislative initiative on remote work, the fiscal and social framework for remote work remains to be defined, which constitutes an important gap in the legislator.

Georgios tells us his work schedule is flexible “as long as you’re diligent.” Although he often misses the bond he developed with his colleagues while working in an office, he finds new employers trying to achieve it even under these new circumstances. He will soon travel to the English countryside to get to know his team better. They will plant trees, meditate and talk. But, even during their daily routine, outside of online quiz nights or board games or book club, they each get a “doughnut” every week. A link they must click on and spend half an hour getting to know a colleague better. Last week, Georgios found himself talking with a Portuguese woman from Andros – his home island – the baby he is expecting, and Ozzie, the dog who has become the mascot for his Zoom meetings.

Digital nomads are on the rise. But where should they live now? http://lostnomad.org/digital-nomads-are-on-the-rise-but-where-should-they-live-now/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 14:21:30 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/digital-nomads-are-on-the-rise-but-where-should-they-live-now/

When Julie McCane became a remote worker during the pandemic, she had no trouble choosing a location. London, Paris and Athens topped his list. But how to find a reliable rental apartment — now this was not easy.

Most vacation rental platforms are created for short-term leisure travelers. Dealing directly with a landlord – and deposits and utility bills – seemed too complicated.

Then she saw an ad on Instagram and a light bulb went on. A company called Blueground offered furnished apartments for monthly stays at a competitive rate.

“Discovering Blueground helped me put together a lot of things about this European stay that I dreamed of at the time,” says McCane, a consultant who works with law firms. “Finding a well-located furnished apartment on flexible terms was a lot less to worry about while I was planning this move.”

How many digital nomads are there?

McCane is not alone. A recent study by MBO Partners found that 16.9 million American workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads. That’s a 9% increase from 2021 and 131% from the pre-pandemic year 2019. By some estimates, there are 35 million digital nomads worldwide.

The actual number may be higher. Many remote workers, McCane included, don’t use the term “digital nomads” to describe their lifestyle. They prefer to be called location-independent consultants or employees.

“Being a digital nomad is a blessing — and a curse,” says Denise Rousseau, professor of organizational behavior and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s appealing because of the flexibility and the feeling of freedom. But for many knowledge workers, it’s hard to sustain over time.”

Rousseau, who has studied remote workers and digital nomads, says housing can be one of those challenges.

As the number of digital nomads or remote workers increases, so does the need for reliable and affordable hosting. Remote workers aren’t necessarily interested in the conveniences of a vacation rental, like a pool or an entertainment center. Instead, they need fast Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and laundry facilities.

What are your accommodation options for extended stays?

You have a lot of hosting choices as a digital nomad – almost too many choices. Here is a short list:


The largest vacation platform is also an option for remote workers. For Ravi Davda, CEO of a marketing agency, it’s his favorite place to book accommodation. Davda says that in some parts of the world, rates are reasonable and hosts can be flexible.

“There were times when we booked for the first month on Airbnb and then spoke directly with the host instead of continuing through Airbnb,” he says.

Airbnb and Vrbo both offer monthly rates at a significant discount from the weekly or daily rates charged to leisure travelers. But you still have to deal with the fact that most Airbnb rentals are created for people on vacation, so you might not find all the amenities you need as a digital nomad.

blue background

McCane, who is about to move from a Blueground rental in London to one in Paris, says the company is trying to make its apartments a home.

“They have a pet-friendly policy, which is wonderful,” she says. Furniture and accessories are the same from city to city, which she also finds comforting. But Blueground is different from a traditional rental in other important ways. Most messaging with Blueground is done through a smartphone app. In McCane’s experience, the response time is lightning fast.

For example, when she arrived in London a few months ago and was still suffering from jet lag, she left her keys in her apartment.

“I messaged the team through the Blueground app and someone happily delivered a new set within two hours,” she says. “It’s a big deal in central London, so it’s a great system they have.”

Apartments for extended stays

Some destinations are so appealing to digital nomads that they are creating a new type of flexible accommodation category. Take Portugal, for example, which has just introduced a new digital nomad visa. “Portugal’s location and time zone are also conducive to working internationally,” says Chitra Stern, CEO and co-founder of Martinhal Resorts.

The company already offers long-term rentals on some of its larger units, which come with full kitchens and living rooms. (Rates start at $45 a night based on a six-month lease.) The company is also putting the finishing touches on the Martinhal Residences project in Lisbon’s Nations Park area. The property is specifically designed to meet the needs of a digital nomad audience with a combination of hotel suites and luxury apartments for longer stays.

Hotels and resorts

Some hotels accommodate long-term guests. For example, Casa Delphine, a luxury boutique hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, offers a special “Work from Hotel” offer on certain weeks in January and from mid-April to mid-September. For $950 per week per person, a rate that includes breakfast, digital nomads can move to Mexico.

Tim Hentschel, CEO of HotelPlanner, a travel technology company, says hotels are actively courting digital nomads by offering lower rates and larger accommodations for longer stays.

“This phenomenon could become the biggest change in the travel and tourism industry since the invention of the airplane,” he says. “I’m not kidding. Hotels are spending millions and millions on these extended stay deals now. It’s a whole new category of permanent travel.”


When Paige Beauregard and her husband, Francois, needed a place to stay in Orlando, they turned to the internet. “I think I typed in ‘long-term corporate housing’, and that’s when I came across Landing,” says Beauregard. They applied for membership and were accepted. Landing gives you access to its inventory of apartments as a member ($199 per year).

“To say we were surprised by the apartment and the furnishings would be an understatement,” she says. “Not only was the apartment beautiful and the furnishings perfect, but the apartment complex itself was beautiful, gated and with amazing amenities.”

Landing has apartments in dozens of US cities, from Albuquerque to Winston-Salem. And like Blueground, the amenities are standardized, so you’ll get the same furniture, super-fast Wi-Fi, and other amenities.

mint house

Another option for the local self-employed is Mint House, which is trying to create a new category of tech-powered hospitality. Mint includes full kitchens, large living spaces and connected workspaces in city centers including Miami, New York and Seattle. Mint emphasizes technology integration with mobile check-in, keyless entry and 24/7 digital concierge services. The company caters to business travelers who need reliable Wi-Fi “but want to have fun at either end of the journey and even bring their family,” says Paul Sacco, Mint’s chief development officer.

Rent directly

Location-independent travelers who plan to spend more than a month in one place can also make a short-term rental. That’s what travel blogger Steffanie van Twuijver did in Korea and Germany.

Prices and requirements vary. There are forms to fill out and the deposits can be considerable.

“For example, my apartment in Seoul required a $4,500 security deposit — the minimum security deposit amount — and my rent was $600,” she says. “My house rental in Germany has around 2,500 euros deposit and 1,350 euros per month. So be prepared to have a large deposit for some areas.”

How does a digital nomad

I’ve been a digital nomad for six years and have tried most of these hosting options. There is no perfect choice. Finding the right place to live depends on the location, your needs as a remote worker, and your preferences.

For example, I stayed this spring in a Vrbo rental in Cape Town, South Africa, perfect for a digital nomad. It was close to grocery stores, a mall and the beach. In addition, it had an extremely fast wireless connection.

In terms of ease of use, you can’t beat Blueground and Landing. Everything is handled through their smartphone apps. Connecting to WiFi in Blueground’s apartment in Athens was super easy. The apartment also had everything I needed as a remote worker without the over the top amenities you sometimes get with a vacation rental. Landing locations are always in the middle of everything, close to grocery stores, malls and metro stations.

McCane, the legal consultant, says she wouldn’t trade it for a stable life despite the challenges of being a remote worker.

“A new environment revitalized me, especially after the isolation of the pandemic,” she told me. “Even though there’s more to juggle, being here helps me run a better business – I can also give sound advice to clients who are considering adjusting their lives.”

So how do digital nomads juggle it all? I’ll tell you in part two of this series.

Portugal launches new flexible digital nomad visa for remote workers – Work Visas http://lostnomad.org/portugal-launches-new-flexible-digital-nomad-visa-for-remote-workers-work-visas/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 13:56:02 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/portugal-launches-new-flexible-digital-nomad-visa-for-remote-workers-work-visas/

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Given the changing workplace and the rise of remote working, as well as increasing globalization, we are pleased to announce that Portugal has introduced a digital nomad visa in October 2022 allowing foreign nationals who are not citizens of a country of the European Union or European Economic Area to live in Portugal for up to one year while working remotely for a foreign company. The new visa offers a solution to what is often described as the “visa run” where a person leaves and returns to a country to accommodate the time scale and allow re-application for a new visa at short notice.

The exciting move to create a digital nomad visa is part of Portugal’s program to review and revise its immigration law to maintain its relevance on the global stage.

, a partner who leads our immigration team in our Porto office, points out that “Portugal has one of the most generous visa systems in Europe and the new digital nomad visa will make it easier for people to take advantage of the benefits of working in one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads.” They further comment “the new visa will facilitate the expansion of high-tech and IT skills in key cities in Portugal, which will have a ripple effect in improving Portugal’s reputation for expertise in these sectors. strategic”.

There are two routes to obtain a digital nomad visa, the temporary residence visa, valid for six months and perfect for those who do not wish to become a tax resident, and a one-year residential residence visa option, both of which can be renewed.

The criteria for the digital nomad visa are as follows:

  • Clear proof must be provided of a minimum income of 2,820? per month deposited in a Portuguese bank over a period of three months.

  • Proof of tax residence.

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate a clean criminal record.

  • Proof of employment with an organization based outside of Portugal.

  • Evidence of a contract proving that you work for clients if you are self-employed or engaged as a self-employed professional, such as – statutes of the association; a service contract; a written proposal for the provision of services to one or more organizations.

  • Travel insurance, including health insurance and possibility of repatriation.

  • Proof of accommodation.

Giambrone & Partners’ experienced English-speaking immigration lawyers provide full service support throughout your application. We will provide you with essential advice on all the requirements to ensure your successful application and help you with additional requirements, such as opening a bank account and obtaining a tax identification number (TIN) . We can also provide insurance quotes and, if needed, we can help you find accommodation.

Our lawyers will diligently prepare and submit the application on behalf of individuals who plan to engage in remote work in Portugal, from the applicant’s home country.

Following the application, an appointment will be made at the nearest Portuguese Embassy to the applicant’s city of residence. A successful application usually takes no more than two to three months.

The Digital Nomad Visa opens the door to a hassle-free visa allowing for a smoother life in Portugal.

Rute Lourenço advises clients on immigration matters and a range of visa applications. Her expertise extends in more than one direction, Rute also provides valuable advice and insight into non-contentious corporate and commercial matters, she has extensive experience in drafting complex cross-border contracts with protective clauses that offer the maximum guarantees for our customers.

If you would like to apply for a Portuguese Digital Nomad Visa, please contact Rute Registrar Bruno Dinz on BD@giambronelaw.com or please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.


Home Office announces changes to UK immigration rules

Richmond Chambers Immigration Lawyers

In its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC719), published on October 18, 2022, the Home Office announced various changes to a number of immigration pathways to the UK…

Monthly immigration report: October 2022

Eversheds Sutherland – UK

The Home Office has released a Coronavirus Update: Right to Work Checks Guidance confirming that temporary RTW checks adjustments ended on September 30, 2022.

Bali makes progress with visa and attracts digital nomads despite controversy http://lostnomad.org/bali-makes-progress-with-visa-and-attracts-digital-nomads-despite-controversy/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 13:06:12 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/bali-makes-progress-with-visa-and-attracts-digital-nomads-despite-controversy/

Indonesia is one of many countries, such as Costa Rica and Malaysia, that have started providing long-term visas to skilled employees, remote workers, digital nomads, retirees and others not -wealthy nationals.

The country is currently trying to recruit wealthier foreigners. From the end of 2022, anyone with at least $130,000 in the bank will be eligible for a “second home” visa that will allow them to stay in Bali for up to ten years. Immigration chief Widodo Ekatjahjana said the measure was aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to Indonesia and boosting the country’s economy.

Tax breaks

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, is currently one of the hottest locations for remote workers. It benefits from a reliable digital infrastructure, a high standard of living and a stable and affordable cost of living. There’s also not a lot of paperwork to fill out for digital nomads. The new visa even exempts digital nomads from Indonesian tax on money earned abroad.

To stay and work in Indonesia for 180 days if you are employed by a company based abroad, you only need a simple “visit visa”, the B211a. As many foreigners do not know, they often apply for a normal tourist visa upon arrival, which in theory prohibits them from working remotely.

Party culture enrages locals

However, the growing after-work party scene on the island is increasingly infuriating Balinese. They even petitioned the local government, complaining that it is almost impossible to sleep or rest in Canggu because of the incessant partying.

The petition claims that the noise from bars near temples in Bali is so loud that windows and doors rattle and rattle more than during an earthquake. More than 8,000 residents have signed the petition, which also condemns public drunkenness, drug use, lewd behavior and public urination.

digital nomad in the pool in bali

Bali could stop being charming

Digital nomad Nargiz Issayeva knows this rage. She advises anyone who chooses to move abroad to get organized and informed. Think about why you want to travel to Bali and learn about the politics, people and culture, she advises. “That’s what I did before deciding to try to make it happen.” For now, she argues, Bali still offers the ideal mix of rural serenity and party scene.

But the rise of the digital nomad population is also raising concerns among some hoteliers. Some people secretly fear that if tourists and digital nomads completely take over, Bali’s distinctive charm could disappear. However, no hotelier wanted to be named as they thought it might scare off customers. After all, tourism contributes directly or indirectly to 70% of Bali’s GDP.

Best nomadic travel insurance and health insurance for expats http://lostnomad.org/best-nomadic-travel-insurance-and-health-insurance-for-expats/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 17:02:00 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/best-nomadic-travel-insurance-and-health-insurance-for-expats/

New York, New York

–Direct News–

In recent years, the world of global travel has been turned upside down: we have all had to deal with the fallout of a global pandemic and global conflicts. These types of unforeseen events made simply jumping on a plane and flying off to a different destination a little more difficult than usual.

Especially for expats or nomads whose jet-set lifestyle often means living in different destinations and traveling without restrictions.

Now more than ever, it’s very important to make sure you have the right travel insurance for you when traveling around the world. The fact is that the type of travel insurance traditionally offered does not always correspond to the non-traditional lifestyle of nomads or expats.

However, in recent years nomad insurance, developed for both expatriates and nomads, has taken the market by storm.

This wave of specialized insurance has shaken up the rules of the game and created packages that allow nomads to travel and work without worry. We at Digital Nomad World are no strangers to international travel and all the pitfalls that can come with it.

Over the past year, we’ve looked at some of the best nomad insurance deals and picked the best nomad insurance and travel company you should look to for all your travel and medical insurance needs while on your trip. road.

Best recommended health and travel insurance for nomads

Passport (www.passportcardnomads.com)

These guys are offering something a bit revolutionary in the world of nomad insurance. Gone are the days when you had to pay out of pocket for trips to the doctor abroad, then had to spend your time claiming your reimbursement from your insurance company. Instead, PassportCard is simply a Visa card that you use to prepay for any medical treatment, without waiting for your insurance company to pay.

Rather than conventional insurance, it’s more like a debit card, meaning you won’t be limited to the medical providers you use.

The process is extremely simple: if you need help with your medical expenses, contact PassportCard; they will load your red card with money and then you will only pay the medical bills to be paid.

This is not at all a normal insurance for expats or nomads, and for this reason, it is probably one of the best offers for globetrotters at the moment. You can even buy it abroad – customize your plan to suit your trip and extend or cancel anytime, anywhere in the world. Plans start from $59 per month.

Why did we choose PassportCard as the best travel insurance?

With its bold website and colorful design, PassportCard ticks many boxes for those looking for an affordable yet comprehensive travel insurance option.

Billing itself as “a global social safety net”, PassportCard offers everything from simple basic insurance coverage to the most comprehensive insurance packages.

This specific insurance for digital nomads provides you with coverage in the event of an unexpected injury or illness during your stay abroad, including any hospital stay or visit to a doctor. Travel disruptions such as lost luggage, unplanned overnight stays, and emergency evacuation from things like flooding are also covered.

The company has been buoyed by a string of good reviews from digital nomads who have used their flexible policy to ensure their journey is as smooth as possible. The easy subscription model is something that ticks a lot of boxes for many people looking for travel insurance. Simply log in and be covered.

Final Thoughts on Nomadic and Expatriate Insurance

Although it may be more expensive than other companies, for the money you spend you get excellent protection from a company that provides reliable service.

The company’s founders are nomads themselves, so you can be sure they know what they have to offer in terms of insurance for digital nomads. These guys don’t just cover digital nomads, but also travelers, remote workers, and even expats.

All in all, PassportCard seems like a much more mature option for your travel insurance. Along with all the other perks, they also offer plans for families and couples.

The benefits of opting for PassportCard Travelers Insurance with this particular company include a secure VPN to verify your bank account, access to airport lounges for late flights, and an emergency response team for events where time is running out.

They even offer virtual counseling sessions to keep your sanity in check after spending time alone on the road, which could really help make your life as an expat or nomad much more comfortable.

To obtain your travel insurance by PassportCard, consult their website here

The Digital Nomad World is a platform created by digital nomads for digital nomads. We strive to provide other DNs with a platform that addresses all aspects of an DN’s lifestyle.

This post may contain affiliate links and DNworld may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

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The five-figure layoffs are here, the big ones we’ve been waiting for. But the laid off people are scattered around the world http://lostnomad.org/the-five-figure-layoffs-are-here-the-big-ones-weve-been-waiting-for-but-the-laid-off-people-are-scattered-around-the-world/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 10:06:11 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/the-five-figure-layoffs-are-here-the-big-ones-weve-been-waiting-for-but-the-laid-off-people-are-scattered-around-the-world/

Other companies are licking their chops to finally be able to hire tech workers.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Amazon made the news today on reports based on sources that it is laying off up to around 10,000 full-time employees, or less than 1% of its 1.5 million employees worldwide; after Meta announced it would lay off 11,000 people, or about 13% of its workforce; after Twitter laid off 50% of its 7,500 employees worldwide and, in a second wave this weekend, canceled 4,400 to 5,500 contractors. This comes after months of small-scale layoffs in ‘tech’ – and ‘tech’ these days is anything that makes up part of its online business, used car dealerships (carvana) to taxi companies (Lyft).

But where are these layoffs?

For example, Twitter. It has offices all over the world. Its 50% announcement included its staff in India. It had over 200 employees in India and over 90% have been laid off.

Then there are H1-B visa holders. Technology employs a large number of them. Twitter didn’t specifically address this, but Meta did. They only have a certain amount of time to find another sponsoring employer, and if they don’t find one, they will lose their visa and have to leave the country.

Twitter also laid off 784 workers in San Francisco, where it is headquartered, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) law filings with the state; it laid off 106 employees in San Jose; and 93 in Santa Monica.

According to the WARN law filed with the state of Washington on Monday, 208 Twitter employees were laid off in Seattle. The layoffs are scattered across the United States and around the world.

The roughly 4,400 to 5,500 contractors who were laid off over the weekend were based around the world, including India.

Twitter has adopted working from home as a permanent approach. Employees who lived in San Francisco before the pandemic may have moved to inland California or other states. Others could have turned into digital nomads, working in a tropical paradise.

Meta had also switched to working from home for many employees. Of those 11,000 employees Meta is laying off, 362 will come from an office in San Francisco, according to supervisor Matt Dorsey, citing a WARN Act notice the city had received.

In total, about 2,564 of Meta’s 11,000 global layoffs will occur in the Bay Area, according to the California Employment Development Department’s WARN Act notices.

It was those works were located. But maybe not where the people are situated. This does not mean that these employees actually lived in the Bay Area. Some might have moved within California or other states, and some might be working from Mexico or Thailand or elsewhere.

Amazon: after hiring 800,000 people in two years, laying off 10,000

Amazon is an e-commerce retailer and a brick-and-mortar retailer with its Whole Foods Market stores; it’s also a technology company because of its cloud division, AWS. But it’s not about laying off at AWS.

According to the report, published first by The New York Times and later by others including The Wall Street Journal which later cited its own sources, the cuts will primarily affect company staff, not warehouse staff. . Much of the layoffs will be in Amazon’s retail division, human resources and its devices division, which makes Alexa smart speakers, among other gadgets, and has 10,000 employees. The retail division had already imposed a hiring freeze in October.

Since the first quarter, Amazon has reduced its huge 1.5 million global workforce by attrition of about 78,000 jobs. And attrition has become easy, given the massive turnover in the general workforce, the large number of people leaving their jobs to take better jobs, and the large number of job openings that companies were aggressively trying to fill. The jump in employment has been richly rewarded: while the wages of people who stay in their jobs increased by 7.7%, the wages of people who change jobs jumped by 15.2% in October, according to the ADP’s National Jobs Report.

And the layoffs of up to 10,000 people at Amazon are minor compared to the 800,000 people hired by Amazon during the pandemic boom – from late 2019 to late 2021 – the biggest boom ever for e-commerce. And it’s just that a little common sense comes down to management.

In recent weeks, Amazon has already canceled contractors who work in recruiting, according to sources cited by the WSJ.

A bit of common sense returns to the most distorted job market ever.

There is now a long list of “tech” companies that have laid off people. Mortgage lenders have been laid off since late last year when their mortgage refinance business began to fade [read, Mortgage Lender Woes]. If you are looking for a job in mortgage banking, it will be difficult. But there are plenty of other jobs available in finance.

And layoffs don’t mean these people won’t work. Many of them are inundated with inquiries from recruiters – even though the jobs may not pay as well as what they had at Meta, Twitter or Amazon.

There are plenty of non-tech companies aggressively seeking tech workers: automakers hiring like maniacs for their new electric vehicle divisions, industrial companies, small businesses, and more. They’ve been pushed aside by Big Tech with its huge salaries and huge stock compensation packages.

These less glamorous companies have a lot of tech jobs to fill, and have struggled to fill, and now they’re breathing a sigh of relief because they have a better chance of being able to hire talent, although those former Amazon, Twitter and Meta-workers may complain about the lower quality of these jobs compared to their former jobs. But it’s the kind of thing that brings some sanity back to this most distorted job market ever.

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Malaysia has built a WFH paradise. Now people just need to show up. http://lostnomad.org/malaysia-has-built-a-wfh-paradise-now-people-just-need-to-show-up/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 http://lostnomad.org/malaysia-has-built-a-wfh-paradise-now-people-just-need-to-show-up/

“It’s your meal!” Watch out, it’s hot,” chirped a robot waiter at a restaurant in Malaysia’s Langkawi archipelago. “Thanks bye!” he exclaimed as guests took plates of scrambled eggs and toast from his shelves, heading to the next table where another group was waiting for breakfast. A few meters away, the calm waters of Pantai Tengah beach lapped on the shore.

The shiny white robot, made by the Chinese company Pudu Technology and purchased by Camar Resort, is symbolic of the Malaysian government’s ambition to embrace a tech-driven future – and to do so by attracting a new class of digital nomads. The quiet the island of Langkawi, where Rest of the world visited during a press trip organized for the Malaysian government, is part of the new DE Rantau visa program. The program promotes the resort destination as one of four digital hubs, all selling a high-tech yet laid-back lifestyle, offering connectivity and hospitality.

In Malaysia, Langkawi is a well-known tourist spot with solid infrastructure: high-speed Wi-Fi, cafes, restaurants, ease of payment with Visa and Mastercard. Getting around is easy, too, with companies like loudhailer Grab and airline AirAsia operating there. When Rest of the world visited, however, it was not yet the dynamic center that the country wants to convey. Activity was still muted due to pandemic restrictions, and the only nomads Rest of the world met on the island were those who accompanied the official voyage. Yet the opportunity is huge: the program targets a few “millions” of nomads around the world, said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa.

Southeast Asia is trying to adapt to a new reality. The beaches and coworking spaces that were buzzing with Western drop shippers and digital marketers have become relatively quiet and, as countries seek to put the Covid-19 pandemic behind them, some are rushing to introduce visas for digital workers. Malaysia launched its signature program in September, inviting applicants with a minimum income of just $24,000 per year. A few weeks later, Indonesia introduced a six-month permit for remote workers, as well as a “secondary residence” visa for high earners. A brand new Thai visa scheme, which also started taking applications in September, requires nomads to earn at least $40,000 a year, in exchange for a promise of 10-year residency and a rate of reduced tax.

The Malaysian DE Rantau initiative aims to appeal to a wide range of people. The program allows remote workers in IT and all digital-related work to stay in the country for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal; beneficiaries can also bring in dependents, use living and working centers created especially for them, and benefit from discount vouchers for local services. The founders of the program aspire to a high-tech society mixed with foreign nomads – specialists in blockchain technology and smart cities – and locals.

“AI, sustainability, developing outer space… these are the new things we want to be able to do and take advantage of the nomads coming in [and] settle here,” said Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the government agency tasked with rolling out the scheme. Rest of the world.

According to the MDEC, more than 2,000 applications had been submitted by early October. Rather than AI specialists, however, content creators, software engineers and UX/UI designers have typically applied so far, according to agency data.

Rest of the world spoke to Reg Ching, a digital nomad living in Malaysia, who came to Langkawi as a journalist to learn more about the visa. A digital marketing company owner who employs an all-remote team in the Caribbean, he’s been a nomad since 2003, traveling between Canada, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Jamaica, before coming to Malaysia, where he has roots. generational.

Many of the digital nomads he’s met recently are into content creation, Ching said. Rest of the world. For a time, he knew crypto investors who became “accidental nomads,” quitting their full-time jobs and adopting a free-wheeling lifestyle. But since the crypto market crash, which began around May this year, “the number of crypto-related projects or people working [with it]I noticed a big drop,” he said.

Digital nomadism is not new. But visa regimes suitable for them are, according to Olga Hannonen, a researcher who studies digital nomadism at the University of Eastern Finland. Estonia, the first country to introduce a digital nomad visa in 2020, did so to increase local consumption and support the local economy without giving up local jobs.

“It is natural that [digital nomadism] grew out of these other types of lifestyle mobility that have been popular in Southeast Asia,” Hannonen said. Rest of the world, referring to a journey that blurs the boundaries of tourism, work and migration. But if the Malaysian government wants to attract talent that matches its needs – smart cities and AI specialists – as well as YouTubers, this should be done through “specific campaigns targeting these professionals”, with benefits or bonuses, she added.

While Malaysia is among the first to emerge from the bloc in Southeast Asia, it is also the first to encounter start-up problems.

On Reddit, some have complained about a confusing circular application process, while others wonder what tax rules would apply to them. There is also uncertainty about qualification for key requirements, such as local banking. “They demand every page of your passport,” one Reddit user complained. “Will nomadic visa holders be subject to the same tax rules as ‘normal’ residents…?” another asked.

When Langkawi journalists confronted the agency with these concerns, MDEC admitted that the details still needed to be worked out. Taxation is still being discussed with authorities, and the agency said it was working with partners to find cross-border payment methods – for example, to allow a Southeast Asian bank account holder to Is to use the same account in Malaysia.

“In short, yes, the program is very new,” Mahadhir Aziz told reporters gathered in Langkawi. “We are flexible enough to be able to respond to… [feedback] we also receive from our nomads,” he added.

Back in the visa application battlefield, some processes have started to recover. A YouTuber, Kensho Quest, who had pointed out some frustrating pain points in early October, posted a follow-up video two weeks later about how the government had listened to complaints and made changes.

“If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact MDEC. They’re super responsive and super user-friendly,” Quest urged its nearly 8,000 subscribers. “The second thing you can do is leave a comment below as they watch this video and take notes,” he added, assuring.