Digital Nomads

Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 Months On: Rob Schubert

By 20 October 2021

October 20, 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 Rob Schubert from the Netherlands. 

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 than Rob Schubert, who has been enjoying a lot more of Croatia, including representing the Extra Virgin Digital Nomads at the 4th Olive Picking World Championships on Brac last week. TCN caught up with Rob 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?

The month was simply lovely! The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program surpassed my expectations in many ways. 

Firstly the organization was fantastic by all involved partners. Together with the local community's participation, this organization provided an encouraging environment for the service design process. Secondly, it was my first time in Croatia, and it opened my eyes. I experienced that Dubrovnik and more areas of Croatia aren't just tourist hotspots (what I normally like to avoid). There is much opportunity and existing facilities to create a perfect environment for middle/long term stays.

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

Being on the road and having an international lifestyle means you a lot of new people. Usually, people just come and go, but that was not the case for this group. We all have different backgrounds, but the month in Dubrovnik created a strong bond between us. The group chat is still very active, and we have meetups all over the continent.

I was pleased to meet a bunch up North in Estonia and very recently in Croatia again. So yes, I have spent more time in Croatia, and I will be back sooner rather than later! 


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?

I attended the Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva, and I was very charmed by the presentation given by the tourist board of Dubrovnik. Not only were they able to very clearly explain the outcomes of the Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, but they shared new developments to attract digital nomads. To me, this is a confirmation that Dubrovnik and Croatia are serious about developing a sustainable economy/society where digital nomads are warmly welcomed. 


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?

Yes, I notice a big difference! Significantly more people talk about Croatia in both online and "offline" groups I am part of. Of course, I always have seen great images and heard great stories from Croatia, but now the communication is also about the digital nomad infrastructure. Articles often support the new communication. Lately, I got sent a Dutch item about Croatia as a digital nomad destination.

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

Croatia created a great buzz with the introduction of a digital nomad visa. The eyes of digital nomads are aimed at Croatia, and locals start to understand what these new types of travellers are. To have a significant impact and create an attractive environment for digital nomads, it's key to keep the momentum of this program going. With follow-up programs like the ones mentioned above, it's reassuring to see that outcomes keep developing.

Consequently, I think it's key to keep pace with development. With most of the Asian countries still closed, more digital nomads are thinking of European destinations. So this is the right time for Dubrovnik and Croatia to amaze other digital nomads with the welcoming infrastructure. 

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


Picking a favourite of such a fantastic experience is difficult. There were many great days! Yet there was one evening that particularly comes to mind now. It was a sundowner on a beautiful rooftop in the middle of the old town. Energized by the company of this great group and fresh mussels from Ston (and some watermelon), this evening presented great conversations and many moments of laughter. 

I first-person heard about the developments and plans Dubrovnik has for digital nomads. As soon as these are in place, I have a perfect "excuse" to come back and try them out. See you soon!


Rob was 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, Charlie from Wales, Sam from England, and coach Tanja from Australia.

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