Counterflows #47: Async Is the Future, Americans Want 2nd Passports, Are You Above Average?

Your offbeat guide to distributed work and borderless living.

Hello friends 👋

Back in February, I made a commitment to learn in public while I write my first book, Global Natives. To be honest, I’ve done a pretty terrible job of it so far, though not for lack of time and effort.

I’ve drafted tweets, newsletter intros, and even short essays over the past two months, then read them back and decided not to post. I really want to master the skill of sharing my knowledge and journey, but it’s important to me that what I share is interesting and useful to people—and I feel lost about how to find the right balance.

Simply put, I’ve realised I don’t really know what the outside world wants to know about me, my work, and my creativity. Do you have any suggestions or advice? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so hit reply and drop me a note.


PS: For curious readers and fellow newsletter scribes, below is a Twitter thread about the process I follow to make these emails each week.

🏝️💻 With the End of the Pandemic in Sight, the Army of Digital Nomads Is Growing (Marker)

This story explores the impact of the past year on the digital nomad lifestyle and predicts a boom in work from anywhere going forward. Speaking to nomad accommodation providers, journalist Adam Bluestein makes the same argument I've been making since March 2020: Location independence is here to stay.

🇺🇸🌍 The New American Status Symbol? A 2nd Passport (NY Times)

The pandemic has prompted Americans to apply for second passports in record numbers, mostly based on their European heritage. This brilliant piece of journalism meets some of those exploring their prospects away from the US and highlights the “golden visa” schemes that allow wealthy people to simply buy citizenship.

🏢📩 The Next Frontier After Remote Work Is Async (Pieter Levels)

Nomad List founder Pieter Levels explains asynchronous work and why it’s the next step after the global switch to remote work. As he puts it: “Most people are not convinced it works. But all the smart people are already doing it.” Pieter may not be modest, but he’s usually right.

🇰🇷🎨 Creative Residency in Bucheon, South Korea (UNESCO)

Bucheon, a UNESCO City of Literature since 2017, is a satellite town an hour from Seoul. Later this year, two artists—specifically writers, translators, or cartoonists—are invited to spend a month in Bucheon as part of a creative residency programme. Airfare, accommodation, and meals are covered, and applications close April 11th.

📝🤦 Why I Assume I’m Below Average (Derek Sivers)

This short read (~2 mins) explains a simple idea: That most people think they're above average, so assuming you're below average is a better strategy if you want to achieve great things. You should also read Derek's excellent book, Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur.

📚💡 Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Build Your Audience (Austin Kleon)

Generosity trumps genius. That’s the premise of this visual book from Austin Kleon, who describes himself as “a writer who draws”. For other folks out there struggling to believe in themselves and learn in public like I am, this guide is full of unconventional wisdom, inspiration, and IRL examples.

☕ If you enjoy this newsletter, consider buying me a virtual coffee from time-to-time. I know it seems small, but it really helps.

📚 Support the creation of my first book, Global Natives: The New Frontiers of Work, Travel & Innovation, by pre-ordering the digital edition today.

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