**Observations Feed

A Practical Guide to Transitioning to the Digital Nomad Lifestyle [guest post]

Town in Italy:France sm
If you're been caught by the travel bug, you might consider satisfying your wanderlust by becoming a digital nomad. This lifestyle allows you to live and work worldwide without being tied down to one place. According to research published in The Flexible Workplace, digital nomadism is on the rise, thanks to technological advances and greater workplace flexibility. However, before you pack your bags, it's critical to do your research and prepare

JourneyZing helps eager travelers like yourself figure out the practicalities of going abroad. This guide provides actionable tips for becoming a digital nomad

Figure out how you'll earn your money

One of the appeals of digital nomadism is that you can enjoy a higher standard of life in locations with a more affordable cost of living. However, you still need to earn money. If you're currently employed, consider talking to your boss about the possibility of remote work. Spaces Works explains that you need to clarify that you're planning to go abroad. Working from home is one thing. Working half-way across the world in another time zone is another.

Alternatively, you can start a freelance business. If you go this route, consider forming a limited liability company (LLC). This will help protect you personally in case of legal issues and is a streamlined alternative to more complex entities like corporations. Regulations regarding LLC formation vary between states. For example, in Iowa, you need to name a registered agent and file "articles of organization." An Iowa formation service like ZenBusiness can help you through the process, sparing you pricey lawyer fees.  [Although Victoria Herring, as a former lawyer, would advise forming a relationship with a lawyer so business issues can be promptly and efficiently handled after your business is formed]

Decide what to do with your current home — and find a new one

Some digital nomads leave home completely, selling all their possessions and property. Others prefer having a homebase to come back to. If you keep your house or apartment, you can rent it out. Guesty has a guide to listing properties on Airbnb that can be useful. Alternatively, you might ditch your place completely. Vox notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a boom in the housing market. If you sell your apartment or house now, you may be able to get a good amount of money for it.

You'll also need a place to stay in your target destination. Homelike lists popular options for digital nomads, including short-term apartment rentals, serviced apartments, and co-living spaces. When looking, make sure the property has the capacity to accommodate remote working, such as a decent Wi-Fi connection. Proximity to amenities like public transportation, grocery stores, gyms, and coworking spaces can also be useful.

Stay safe by investing in insurance and security measures

Ideally, you won't get sick or injured while abroad. However, you can't rule out the possibility completely. Make sure you have insurance wherever you are in the world. Visitors Coverage explains that if you're traveling for over a year, you should look into global medical insurance, also known as expat travel insurance. For less than one year of travel, travel medical insurance should be sufficient.

You might also consider getting insurance coverage for the tools you need to work, like your computer and phone. If these valuable goods are lost, stolen, or damaged, you won't be able to do the work you need to earn your living as a digital nomad. Allianz Travel provides tips for protecting your tech, like investing in an anti-theft backpack with a locking compartment to secure your valuables. Still, in case such precautions don't work, insurance is a plus. For example, if someone takes your entire backpack, the locked compartment won't help you!

With modern technology and greater openness toward remote working, it's easier than ever to become a digital nomad. The above guide can help you plan the transition to the nomadic lifestyle.

For more helpful travel planning tips and resources, head to JourneyZing. We are here to help you discover the world safely.

[with appreciation to our guest author, Eva Benoit, https://evabenoit.com]

Apps to Aggregate News and Information

I have been traveling and using various applications on my laptop [MacBookPro], my iPad and my iPhone and have some thoughts on good news aggregators.  My usual process is at the end/beginning of each day I review the unread items in these aggregators for up to date news and information.  I have several just for fun [Cozy Mystery blog is one example], but most are sites or blogs regarding interests of mine [news, politics, current events, photography, computers and Macs, etc.].  So, my thoughts:

I moved to Google Reader about a year ago and it's a good choice for a basic news aggregator, particularly since many of my other apps coordinate with it.

On the laptop or desktop, I access Google Reader either through its browser space or else through using Reeder [particularly on the laptop].  It integrates quite well with many/most of the other services I use [Instapaper, Evernote, etc.] and has a good interface.

On the iPad and iPhone, I use Feedler which I like much better than Reeder = both of these apps sync and pull in the Google Reader feeds and so the GR aggregator serves as the master and the others are chosen for their device usage and work with GR just fine.

When I review items in Reader/Reeder/Feedler and like them, I star them for future review, send to Instapaper, send to Evernote, share on Twitter or other places using BufferApp.  If I find something of general interest or worth passing on, I usually send it via Bufferapp to Twitter or put it in StumbleUpon.

I am in this turn of the year hoping to get myself more organized [having said that over many years!] and hope to improve on the above described process, but this is what I'm doing now.  Hope this is of some help.


[all bolded items can easily be found in a search via Google or whatever]

Iowa Flooding

I just put a few pictures up to my Flickr page/site to let people see how the flooding in Iowa has been.  I was driving east of Des Moines and got off at the Colfax exit and found the uploaded images there at that exit and also along Country Road F34 which runs E-W through the countryside.  Lots of tragedy also [ruined houses, crops and lost lives].  

Flooding neaer Colfax & Co Rd 34 40 - Version 2

VictoriaJZ at Flickr - the link to the flood images.

Design Artistry: An explanation from Steve Jobs

ON DESIGN ARTISTRY: When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

via thenetworkgarden.blogs.com

This is a quote from Steve Jobs in a blog comment by Mark Sigal - the whole blog post is excellent but I thought this was apropos of my own goal in my work and photography.


We returned late Tuesday night, uneventfully, and on waking up and reading the morning paper I felt a bit confused.  Reading the stories in the Des Moines Register I noted that I had already heard all this information before!   Evidently, by going online with my iPhone to read my RSS feeds at the various airports through the day, I was able to keep up with current information constantly so that I knew all the news reported in the newspaper the next morning, albeit not in as much detail.  That's not a slam at the paper, just a recognition that one can keep up to date on a number of topics and then look to newspapers and online journals for more indepth coverage and information.