#72: The New California Dream, European Night Trains, Mastering Deep Work
A nomadic writer's guide to borderless living.
Hey folks 👋
In a few weeks’ time, I’ll launch a policy paper called The Great Migration: Digital Nomads, Remote Work and the Future of Citizenship with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where I’m currently a Tech Policy Fellow.
I’ve been working on this project for six months, so I’m excited to finally share it with the world. If you’re interested, sign up to get an email when it drops. It’s about a 10-minute read.
🌍 Links of the Week
☀️🇵🇹 The New California Dream Is in Portugal (LA Mag)
Portugal’s expat scene is booming, especially among former residents of California. This story examines what’s driving remote workers away from San Francisco and towards Portuguese cities. Spoiler: it’s a mix of lifestyle, low taxes, high-quality healthcare, and growing cultural capital.
🧠🇪🇪 Estonia Is Benefiting from British Brain Drain (NY Times)
Supported by Estonia’s futuristic system of digital government, British businesses large and small have figured out they can access the EU market post-Brexit by registering Estonian e-companies—without ever visiting the country. So far, Estonia is estimating €51 million in tax gains from Brits rebasing their businesses there.
👉 (Take note, global wanderers: Portugal is winning on residency and Estonia is winning on business registration. We’ll all be changing our jurisdictions for stuff like this as we do utility providers by the end of the decade, mark my words.)
🚆🇪🇺 Exotic and Sustainable, European Night Trains Are Coming Back (Big Think)
The German Greens have an exciting proposal: a trans-European night train network to connect 200 towns and cities across the continent by 2030—from Lisbon in the west to Moscow in the east, from Helsinki in the north to Málaga in the south. Here’s what it looks like:
There are obvious benefits here in terms of reducing emissions, and it’s also smart for governments to capitalise on the slow travel trend (which has been bolstered by remote work, despite all the border restrictions.) Let’s hope the project moves from proposal to reality.
🍣💻 The Best Remote Work Perk for Employees? Leave Them Alone (Fast Company)
Tech executive Henry Shapiro calls bullshit on staff perks like free food and nap pods, arguing they have always been about tethering employees to the office rather than rewarding good work. With sharp insights for the future of employee benefits and recommendations to shape better company culture.
💡💼 The Complete Guide to Deep Work (Doist)
Fadeke Adegbuyi shares strategies from Cal Newport’s bestselling book Deep Work. Her goal is to teach you “how to master the #1 job skill that will never be obsolete”. Covering: the difference between productivity and busyness, building positive work routines, personal accountability, good scheduling habits, and avoiding distractions.
🎙️🏙️ Smart Cities: How to Attract a Digital Generation (Sand Hill Road)
This podcast episode (~16 mins) looks at the rise of “anywhere jobs”, the exodus from major cities like London and New York, Estonian e-residency, and how jurisdictions are competing to attract and retain knowledge workers post-pandemic. With insights from my colleagues at the Tony Blair Institute. Listen now: