Digital Nomads

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Charlie Brown

By 18 October 2021

October 18, 2021 - In April this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for the inaugural Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelancer Week 2021, TCN catches up with some of them 6 months on, starting with Charlie Brown from Wales. 

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik held the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia - Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads - as part of European Freelancer Week. The city has made great strides advancing its DN credentials and strategy, thanks in part to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 - May 23. 


Far from forgetting Croatia, several of the DNIRs have been very active in Croatia. None more so that Charlie Brown, who together with husband Sam, have been enjoying a lot more of Croatia and its excellent wines, as well as representing the Extra Virgin Digital Nomads at the 4th Olive Picking World Championships on Brac last week. TCN caught up with Charlie to reflect on all things nomaddy 6 months on. 

1. It is 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Firstly, a brief look back at that month. How was it for you, and how did it change your perceptions of Dubrovnik as a nomad destination?

It was excellent, on many levels. It was such an exciting project to be a part of, from meeting other digital nomads to learning more about Croatia and the untapped potential for remote workers. Dubrovnik was to be honest, never on my list of destinations to visit as a digital nomad, but that has changed. During my month I found it filled with excellent people, excellent experiences and beautiful scenery. 


2.  Have you kept in touch with others from the project? Spent any more time in Croatia?

Yes! In fact I just spent a week with two of them in Split and I saw another every week during a month in Barcelona. 

And yes, I've spent a lot more time in Croatia; Hvar and Zadar straight after the program, and I returned to Split in September. I'm heading to Zagreb next week and Istria a couple of weeks after that; it seems I want to explore every nook and cranny (and with the islands, there are a lot of them) of this country.


3. It seems that a lot has been happening in the DN scene in the last few months since the program. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Croatia performing strongly in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik back in April?

That there is more hunger than ever to attract digital nomads. I was part of the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, Montenegro and it was amazing to see and hear what other countries are doing to appeal to digital nomads, not just DN visas but also welcoming communities, co-living situations and co-working spaces. I was also delighted to hear about how Dubrovnik has implemented our recommendations, from opening new co-working spaces to DN-friendly accommodation.


4. Have you noticed any change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? In what way if yes?

I see it crop up as a recommended destination more and more. Reasons are usually amazing scenery, good value, particularly as we head towards winter, and friendly people. 


5. What would you say are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole

I always think this time of year is an excellent time for Croatia to be attracting DNs. so in the very short term, I would make the most of that. Accommodation is cheaper and more plentiful, there is hiking, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits to be done and the opportunity to rest and re-charge in the quietness of the winter. Beyond that, continuing to build on things DNs want and need. Good quality and value accommodation (it's great to see DNA Stay has just launched), building communities, and co-working.


6. Your favourite memory/experience from DNIR, and when do expect that Dubrovnik will see you next?

There were a few post-beer nighttime swims that were pretty awesome. And just being able to socialize with a like-minded group of people - the first time most of us had been able to do that in a sustained way for over a year. I will be back in Croatia in Spring 2022, and Dubrovnik will for sure be seeing a bit more of me!


Charlie and Sam were part of a very international and all DNIR extra virgin digital nomad team which came a creditable 5th at this year's world championship. They were joined by fellow DNIRs Alyssa from California, Rob from the Netherlands, and coach Tanja from Australia.

If you are in Split on Wednesday and want to see if Charlie really can drink that much wine, she and Sam are doing what promises to be a fun presentation about life on the road at Zinfandel. More details here


For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section