World

The President-elect of the United States seems to elicit reactions from people all over the world, regardless of who they are, what they do, or how remotely they are going to be affected. There is no doubt he is going to affect several aspects of the world, including outsourcing, freelancing and digital nomading. Here are a few ways he many have an impact on professions that are outsourced.

The IT profession and the H1B visa

Trump’s policies talk about discontinuing the H1B visa, which could mean the IT industry, which generally has people from all over the world, could lose a large number of employees within the USA.

Professions that depend on worldwide talent

The internet has opened up countless talent and given them the ability to find work worldwide. Many media houses use freelance worldwide talent for things such as writing, coding, and web designing. Trump’s policies talk about potentially stopping all this outsourcing. This would seriously limit options for freelancers for US companies.

Increased Taxes for Freelancers & Outsourcing

Many US companies were turning freelance, reducing their dependency on corporations. This also reduces chances of wealth being concentrated in a the hands of a few people. Trump’s new tax laws talk about lowering the tax rate to 15% (it is unclear as of now if this a a flat rate or a cap). However, many small businesses are already in this tax bracket and won’t find much of a change in their tax reduction. On the contrary, If their outsourcing is taxed, it could increase their taxes to the upper limit of the 15%.

Social Impact

For professions like writing that promote diversity, this possible taxation could seriously affect the quality of content. Since there is already a shortage of diversity in many aspects, it doesn’t look like it will better the situation. There has been a reported rise in social issues like racism, which begs the question — how will it affect representation in content?

Many non US freelancers may have to look for other opportunities as there might be a shortage of gigs coming their way. There may possibly be increased taxation for companies that provide freelance services for US based companies. While industries like freelance writing are project-based and still too small to be affected, bigger industries that offer continuous content may find themselves out of work. For example, people in coding or website designing or front end/back end managing who work on projects with certain clients for months at a time may not get anymore work considering they can find coders  and designers within the US as well. The companies that really require outsourcing may still hire freelancers abroad but may not pay as much. International freelancers too may have to brace themselves for a decline in work work from USA coming their way.

There is no doubt that this will bring major changes in the international freelance network around the world and we hope for the best. 🙂

You will agree that one of the stimulating experiences for a digital nomad is meeting like-minded individuals as it gets quiet lonely for a solo DN traveller with only his laptop for company. In a foreign land, it helps bring a different perspective to life, acceptance of different kinds of people and hence a great learning experience. There are tons of meet-ups that happen globally which can be for purely networking purposes or have an agenda attached to it. Here we list a few for our readers:

Thames Valley Tech & Digital Community: It is a reading-based platform bringing together the fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem of Thames Valley’s including tech and digital economy. Founded in April 2013, it already boasts of 653 members with a record 187 Meetups in the past.

Digital Nomads Berlin: A meetup.com group, Digital Nomads Berlin encourages people who love traveling, online marketing and freelancing to attend these meetups. Join this digital nomad community in Cologne! Within a span of a year this 686-member group has already organized 11 meetups with active participation from registered members.

Find a Nomad community: This is a free-for all community wherein details of digital nomads are available; where are they hanging out right now and also enables to check their profiles and reach out to anyone who you’d like to possibly meet up with. Another feature is to add information about your future travel plans, to be able to know beforehand of who shall be in that city to arrange meet-ups with.

Digital Nomad Girls: As the name suggest, these are for female travellers who work while on the go. With their laptop lifestyle, it is essential to exchange ideas with others and hence being a part of this group makes a lot of difference. They customize meetups according to your availability. So if you express about having a meet-up then they will create an event at that location for you. All the best for a girl’s night out with the traveller clan!

Coworking Europe Conference, Brussels, Europe: A coworking conference, this event aims to talk about the differences between coworking and cosharing workspaces, and explore the opportunities available to people who want to get involved in the coworking scene. The attendee can attend this 3 day event at a cost of €225 wherein 50 speakers and panellists will talk on related topics. Check it out this year from November 28–30th.

Which one are you headed to on your travels?

South Asia has often been an area of conflict. Ideological and political differences between countries have lead to unrest over the years. With the shift in world power and the rise of power in South Asian nations, one particular relationship between two countries has grown to play an important role in world events. Indo-Pak relations have kept fluctuating over the years since partition, and once again, the citizens of both the countries find themselves on the brink of escalating tensions. While words get rougher, we need to take a moment to consider how travellers to and from both these countries are going to be affected.

Travel in India and Pakistan

As travel destinations, both India and Pakistan are beautiful. While India has extremely diverse physical landscapes and people, Pakistan has a rich Mughal history and shares the same roots as India as far as ancient civilisations go. The modern border seems to have split these historical sites, making us forget that we have more in common naturally. For purposes of tourism, there is not a considerable exchange of visitors between the two countries, which is not surprising given the violent exchanges between the two countries in history as well as the recent past.

Visas

Visa procedures between both countries is generally tough. Indian nationals get a 30 day tourist visa provided they travel through certain tour operators. However, for the protection of citizens of both countries, requirements may get more stringent. Visas to visit family and friends is easier to obtain but comes with certain restrictions.

Travel in other countries

For both Indian and Pakistani citizens, racism is a problem. While most of the world has a progressive outlook and holds racism in the contempt that it should be held in, racist incidents crop up in the most unexpected places. When an element like terrorism is linked to the countries’ relations, both of them cannot escape having a negative profile to other countries. Tourists are looked at suspiciously, security procedures increase in intensity and in worst cases, incidents of harassment take place.

What travellers can do

Indian and Pakistani travellers are numerous in the world. Many countries have peaceful communities of both who face no problems. It may be a different case for travellers who keep moving. In small places where visitors aren’t common, where you’re from always becomes a topic of conversation. Even during procedure, prejudice does get in the way at times and Indian travellers can find themselves denied visas. If you do find yourself questioned by authorities, it is best to not hide any information. Keep your documents and receipts updated and ready and answer any questions politely. Always try to report to your country’s embassy to find out who you can contact there in case of an emergency. Planning your travel ahead of time would also keep you prepared to answer any questions.

Sadly, tension within countries in South Asia means the whole world begins getting wary of visitors from this region. People derive a collective impression from the travellers, based on region and race and by extent, even to their lifestyle. It may seem there is no way to stop stereotypical thinking from taking root in the world but we can make sure to correct it where we go.

Travelling involves more than taking in the sights. Tourists may visit places to see beautiful things, but travelling includes involving yourself in society. Programmes like volunteering put you deep into situations that the majority of the country faces. An extreme example of this would be to be in a country during the war. Your safety depends on the degree of uncertainty in the country but here are a few steps you can take to ensure your safety:

Visit your embassy: On entering a country in the middle of war, the first trip you make should be to your embassy. Submit an itinerary and contact details for every day of your journey. If you are not aware of emergency procedures, ask for any essential information that you should know in case of any crisis. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to exit the country, the embassy is the safest spot to be. They will recommend a safe place to stay, put you in touch with other citizens of your country, and inform you about flights leaving the country.

Skills: Basic medical emergency procedures like first aid and CPR are skills that every traveller should know regardless of where they are travelling. In high-risk areas, your knowledge of first aid may save lives.

Fake passports: It will be useful to have a camouflage passport, which is a fake passport with a non-existent country stated in details. It is an extreme move and not usually necessary, but journalists who work in war zones are given one to deter abductors.

Training: Many organisations offer basic training courses about what to do in emergency situations.  Such courses cover topics like survival, escape, and protection that can be extremely handy for travellers. Journalists, NGO workers and even corporate workers receive such training especially before visiting high-risk areas. Some of these courses also have weapons training but they can be quite expensive and specialised, and you may need to state a reason for receiving such training explicitly.

Insurance: It is critical to know that medical insurance does not cover the war. Insurance for war-torn countries is sold separately and can often be quite expensive. For corporate travellers, the company usually pays for it, but freelancers should consider it as an important necessity while travelling to high-risk areas.

General safety: Your best source of information in a situation like this is your hotel staff. Before heading out anywhere, make sure to ask them about the condition outside. Check local media as well, to assess how safe it is outside. Do not wander too far off and avoid crowded areas. Stick to areas with security. While moving around in affected areas, be extremely careful of photographing people and places. If the situation escalates, it is safer to stay indoors and get in touch with your embassy.

Most countries that are in a state of war do not advise travellers to visit. However, if you find yourself in a situation where the country you are visiting gets into a state of war, exercise extreme caution and make sure to head to the closest embassy.

Waking up to a sunrise in a different country is what you dream of, don’t you?

The dew on the grass, the birds chirping and the aroma of freshly ground coffee is inspiration enough to make you feel completely alive and start the chores of the day. What if this picture-perfect life comes to a standstill due to an earthquake ripping the city apart that you are currently in?
Yes, nature has its own way to balance everything and with no control over natural disasters we have to accept it. Here is what you can do in case a natural disaster hits the town you are vacationing in:

Even before a disaster strikes: While you are setting foot in a new place, ensure your passport/visa details are given to friends there who can assist in case of a disaster occurs. It is a good idea to download apps that can send SOS messages with a click to your family in case of an emergency situation. Check out Life360, Disaster Alert, Earthquake Alert, etc.

Emergency Essentials: When tragedy strikes, be alert and pick up certain essentials like phone power-bank, wallet, laptop, travel documents and medical supplies in that order before vacating the spot. It is important to always pack your bag in a way that you always pick these at a go and just rush to safe spot!

Smart Reflexes:

  • In case of an earthquake, help yourself by immediately running in an open area wherein no physical thing or building can fall on you. Check out for any wire cables and stay away from them as they can electrocute you.
  • In case of floods, move to a higher area and help others to do so. It is extremely crucial to be away from wires and also switch off any electrical appliances in the vicinity. Hold onto any floating object to stay afloat if the pressure of the water is high.

Support: Once you are safe and sane, it’s time to help others.

  • As people lose their homes and loved ones in natural disasters, they undergo an emotional turmoil which needs immediate attention but is often overlooked. At such a time, we can help these strangers with a few words of encouragement, therapy or medical help, art therapy classes to make them experience a different side to the grim reality. 
  • If you are able and willing, you can help in the relief measures being taken on-ground that can include cleaning debris, being an emotional support for children & senior citizens, provide shelter to others, etc.
  • Being digital nomads, it is easy for us to get help digitally from friends, folks or people willing to help disaster victims. Apart from updating your social media pages about your safety, you can start a Facebook page, start a WhatsApp message chain or broadcast videos of the situation to garner any sort of help. Be specific and ask for monetary help or help in terms of food and basic sanitation items.

As a digital nomad, we can showcase our humane side to the strangers and friends that we have made during our stay in a particular city in case of natural disasters. Be Safe and Keep Exploring.

In a good number of European countries today, passport free travel is becoming a thing of the past. This has come along with a good number of riots from affected civilians as well as the affected foreign countries. This bill was passed to be followed for six months down the line. Although it has brought about a distinctive economic derail, it has been effected for a number of reasons. Let us look at some of them: Continue Reading

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