Ever thought about working from paradise?

Barbados’s new visa scheme invites remote workers to base on the island for up to 12 months. The government will help find school places, secure high-quality accommodation, and generally do whatever it takes to convince you to come.

The strategy here is to capture a traveller category that falls somewhere between “expat” and “digital nomad”. With global tourism at a standstill, the popular destinations of the past are frantically searching for ways to attract visitors. Visa policy turns out to be the perfect opportunity.

Borders may be closed for holidaymakers, but they're opening wider than ever for people interested in flexible sprints of expat living. Essentially, governments are creating loopholes in their advertised border policies to allow a smaller pool of vetted travellers a legitimate route to stays of months or even years.

Pandemic recovery plans are removing the friction of global living. In Amsterdam, expat services is already an entire industry. It exists to help new arrivals find housing, navigate the Dutch bureaucracy, and get acquainted with the business ecosystem. There’ll soon be more of this happening in more diverse locations.

The result will be a less transient existence for nomads and more legitimacy for the lifestyle. Operating in legal grey areas makes your interactions much more reserved, especially because the right visas for our circumstances often don't even exist yet.

Until now, that is. Allowing people to integrate more fully will accelerate the spread of ideas, culture and knowledge across borders. There may be a bit more paperwork to deal with, but the future of global living is bright.

👋 Welcome to Counterflows! If you’re new around here, sign up to receive the next newsletter straight to your inbox:

Big Idea: Slow Travel

Slow travel was gaining momentum before Covid-19 and will take off in its aftermath. What used to be holidays of a week or two will become extended trips of 4-6 weeks or longer, made possible by remote work.

People will find destinations they can optimise for their needs — weather, safety, healthcare, affordability, WiFi speeds — and return to them every year or two. Tourists will turn into digital nomads. Nomads will turn into something more like expats.

Gradually, the way we understand people’s relationship with the world won’t be based on where they’re from, but where they’re local. Learn more about this idea from the writer and photographer Taiye Selasi below.

Maker of the Week: Dagogo Altraide

Eight years ago, Dagogo Altraide established the genre of the “big ideas” video essay on YouTube, pioneering a new format that’s part education and part entertainment. Today, he has more than 2.46 million subscribers and makes his full-time living as an online content creator.

Dagogo’s YouTube channel ColdFusion TV is a great example of using insights about the future to build a present-day business. He captures stories of global change you won’t find anywhere else, and makes the learning process both fun and inspiring.

His personal story is interesting too. He’s a third-culture kid: he was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in the UK, Australia and elsewhere. He went to the University of Western Australia in Perth, the world’s most isolated city, and is still based there now.

He says all of his work is driven by curiosity, and that shines through in his first book, New Thinking (Mango, 2019).

Handpicked for You

🎧 “The future of work is everyone using their influence” - Freelance Pod

I appeared on Suchandrika Chakrabarti’s podcast about creativity and the internet last week. We talk about the future of work, writers as influencers, digital nomadism post-Covid, and how the internet can amplify what we do offline.

🗞️ “Lessons from the early adopters of distributed work” - Dropbox

This story meets distributed leaders from Wordpress and InVision to paint a picture of what the office-less business model looks like in practice. Learn what these trailblazers think about how, why, when and where we’ll work in future.

🖥️  Job Opp: Freelance Content Strategist - Ghost

I built my website laurenrazavi.com on the Ghost platform, and the non-profit behind it is one of my favourite distributed companies. The team is looking to work with new tech writers on their content and publishing (note: it’s more writing than strategy).

Support Counterflows

Each week, I curate stories, ideas, tools and resources for curious people around the world. All the content featured in these emails and on laurenrazavi.com is available for free to everyone.

If you enjoy what I publish, show your support by sending me a virtual coffee from time to time:

Here are some other ways you can help out:

  1. Forward this email to a friend and tell them to sign up.
  2. Spread the word about Counterflows on social media.
  3. Say hello! Hit reply to share your thoughts and feedback.

Thanks for reading 🙏