Change of scenery

Bermuda, Barbados, and IKEA. Also, the Back Bay Hilton in Boston. And, 7 other things worth your time.

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I was looking into Bermuda and Barbados.

Both countries are offering one-year, remote-worker visas. Heck, I work for myself, and we’re doing virtual school anyway; if we’re going to risk being locked down again for another six months or more, why not be locked down in an island paradise?

Bermuda was probably the more realistic of the two options, simply because it’s closer.

We have family reasons to want to stick around the East Coast of the USA, and there are easier direct flights. (Wow, $120 each way from NYC on JetBlue, I just realized.)

Also, the application fee is a mere $263, so even if I applied, but later added this notion to the enormous heap of “Bright Shiny Brilliant Ideas” I’ve accumulated over the years, it wouldn’t break the bank.

Although, I hadn’t known until now that Bermuda literally has the highest cost of living on the planet, which would be a factor.

Barbados also looks like an adventure, but it’s a bit farther away, and the visa application fee is $3,000 for a family. That definitely puts it in the “talk it over with my wife and actually plan to do this before applying” category.

Let’s just say I like these ideas—but if I’m being honest, I doubt it will happen.

Now, exponentially less exotic, but perhaps more utilitarian, I was interested to see just how many hotels, with far fewer overnight guests, are offering “work from hotel” deals for people who are sick of working from home.

(If you need a break and want to work out of say, the Hilton Back Bay in Boston for $99 for a day, here’s a list.)

All of which brings us to Tim Fraanje, a writer in the Netherlands who said he very much needed a change of scenery after working from home for the last nine months, during which he was “forced to listen to my roommate’s favorite YouTubers and my neighbor using every power tool he owns.”

So, he set out to work somewhere different every day for a week. Among his locales:

  • An Instagrammable #vanlife-style RV, parked next to a brick wall in a suburb.

  • A luxury hotel; I’m assuming Vice picked up the bill.

  • A cemetery, which just seems kind of weird, and my favorite—

  • An IKEA showroom, where he just sat and tried to do work among the display furniture and tried to write.

I’ve been using March 15 as mental shorthand for when the pandemic hit me and my family personally. We’ve been fortunate, but that’s the weekend when my wife and daughter and I skipped our first big events.

It also happens to have been 222 days ago—and a lot of us could use what I like to call “a change of venue.” Bermuda, Barbados, the Back Bay Hilton—even the desk furniture section at IKEA—whatever works for you, now might be the time.

There are 11 days until the U.S. presidential election. As of last night, 48,674,556 Americans had already cast their ballots. In 2016, there were about 136.6 million votes cast; this time projections are hovering around 150 million. Have you voted yet?

7 other things worth your time

  • Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia on temporary visas since 2013, was granted permanent residency and a path to citizenship if he wants it. (Yahoo News)

  • NSFW, so you’re warned, but the official Twitter account this week for the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps fired off a “fusillade of explicit tweets” in an exchange with a stripper on the site. At first the military said it was hacked, but I’ll bet you can guess what really happened — a civilian Army employee posted the tweets, because he “mistakenly believed he was tweeting from his own personal account.” (The Washington Post)

  • New York City, Portland and Seattle sued the Trump administration on Thursday over its threat to withdraw federal funding, after the Justice Department designated the cities as "anarchist jurisdictions" for their handling of protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. (Axios)

  • No Santa at Macy’s flagship store in NYC this year. (Fox 5 NY)

  • Maybe they’ll work at IKEA: More Amazon workers have now been told they can work remotely through “mid-2021.” (Tech Xplore)

  • The last presidential debate was not as horrible last night as the first one. The muted mic button apparently helped. And … I’ll just leave it at that. (MarketWatch)

  • A U.S. Navy ship, the USS Stout, is home in Virginia after breaking a record—215 days at sea without a single port call, due to Covid-19. And it looks like a ship that’s been at sea for nine full months. (U.S. Naval Institute)

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