The Anywhereist Newsletter
Issue #1, October 28, 2020
My son has developed an impressive career designing lighting for stage shows. He’s worked with people like Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift. . . the Super Bowl. . .
He was on target for 2020 to be a banner year. Until February, when 3 big gigs were suddenly canceled.
It was my first hint that this year would be anything but normal.
Until recently, most of us worked from somewhere — an office, a store, a delivery or ride-share vehicle, a school. . .
That’s all changed. (Thanks, COVID.)
Last spring, millions of employers furloughed workers from every imaginable occupation. The lucky ones were told by their employers to work from home. While their kids and spouse or partner were trying to also work from home or learn from home.
As someone who’s been working from anywhere for a good part of my life, and 100% for the past 10 years, I’m intimately familiar with the pros and cons of working in isolation at home.
It’s a big adjustment. Are you ready for it?
Early on during pandemic lockdown, I dashed off an article titled How to Work From Home When You Didn’t Plan To. It contained some broad-brush guidelines for how to handle working from home when you were accustomed to commuting to a place where you gathered with colleagues and coworkers to get stuff done.
With major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter extending the work-from-home mandate, it’s obvious that WFH (work-from-home) is here to stay. It’s not just a thing for outliers any more.
And, within a few months, we started to see WFH turning into WFA (work-from-anywhere). People from big cities who can work remotely are moving to smaller cities, or the country, or even another country.
Another of my sons (I have 5 kids. . .) is a software engineer in Seattle. He moved to Seattle from New England about 6 years ago, and fell in love with the city. He’s got a great apartment, overlooking the Pike Place Market one short block away, and the Space Needle. He’s told me repeatedly that he loves Seattle, and can’t picture himself living anywhere else.
But, with all the tech workers WFH these days, the character of the downtown has changed so much that he’s planning on taking advantage of WFA, and living in Antigua for the next year or two. With their new digital nomad visa, he’ll continue working for his Seattle-based employer, but from the Caribbean.
Whether you’re still an employee and working remotely, or you have your own business, WFA involves learning new skills and doing things differently. It’s not enough to just transplant yourself.
You need different tools, different mindsets, and sometimes different skills, and you also need different habits.
That’s what this newsletter aims to help you with.
Every other week, we’ll look at an important ingredient of your WFA experience. Things like:
- project planning
- productivity tools
- self care
- home office design
- and more
And if there’s a WFA topic you’d like to discuss, let me know! You can reply to this email, and it will come straight to me.
Thanks for joining me in our WFA journey.
Working from Anywhere isn’t as new as you think
Apparently, the first “work from anywhere” guy was a man named Wally Byam.
Never heard of him? I hadn’t either. . .
He’s the founder of Airstream, the company that makes those lovely little silver travel trailers. And as early as 1951, he was working from the road as he led caravan trips for Airstream owners around South America, Europe, and Africa.
He must have been a fascinating guy. . . You can read more about him, and see some vintage Airstream pics, here.
These countries are ready to welcome you
While the number of countries that US citizens can travel to is still small, there’s a growing list of countries issuing “digital nomad” visas.
These visas recognize a pre-COVID trend, that of digital workers traveling from place to place, working anywhere they want. It’ll be a while before we see that kind of travel again. In the meantime, for those who want to experience what life in another country has to offer and can work remotely, these visas give you the ability to travel, and stay for longer than a tourist visa would allow.
Some countries also offer a freelancer visa for those of us who are self employed.
And here’s a complete list (as of today):
Coming soon: Aruba and Croatia.
Enjoy the journey,
PS I’d love it if you’d share this email with friends and fellow Work-From-Anywhere-ists.