Nomad Trends/Hidden Disabilities Sunflower/Attracting Remote Workers

Nomadico issue #59

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

The Evolving Nomad World

Welcome to all the new subscribers that joined us from Recomendo and greetings from the Bansko Nomad Fest in the mountains of Bulgaria. What has changed among the 700+ attendees since I came last year? More talk about AI and managing remote teams on the business side, more talk about community, subscription living, slow travel, life balance, and fitness on the personal side. And “finding the right base” is coming up a lot more often than “becoming a permanent traveler” Still popular: the 2-euro Bulgarian beers.

Subtle Help for Travelers With Disabilities

One of the speakers here was Ian from industry community Travel Massive, which I’ve been a member of for ages. In his talk on new travel trends he noted all the apps and programs that have sprung up for travelers who have mobility issues or health/mental hurdles that present challenges in moving around in public spaces. I especially liked the simplicity of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme, which allows people who want assistance to show they need it, but in a subtle way. It’s running in hundreds of airports, on transit systems, and in other gathering spaces.

Working in Asynchronous Teams

I currently have one team member traveling with me (my wife), two on another continent nine hours away, and a bunch of contractors and freelance contributors around the globe. So I put Running Remote on my reading list after seeing the author, Time Doctor CMO Liam Martin, on a panel presentation. In a world where remote work continues to expand—despite pushback from those fighting it to save commercial real estate—this looks like a great playbook for keeping everyone engaged without endless video calls.

Competing to Attract Remote Workers

One notable addition that stood out was how many destinations sent representatives to this nomad fest, ambassadors for their digital nomad visas. Sponsors included Malaysia, Croatia, Greece, and Tenerife (Spain’s Canary Islands) officially, but there were also other people closely involved in these efforts from the Balkans, Turkey, and beyond. Some nations are still figuring us out, asking for pay stubs or long-term freelance contracts from applicants that usually have neither, or hitting us up with the locals’ tax rates on a temporary visa, but “this is a very competitive market for attention” as one representative put it. Countries are starting to realize that they are being measured against each other on the attractiveness scale for those mobile foreigners who come in and spread a lot of outside money around.


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