Thursday, 8 July 2021

Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad: Yachting Part 2 - Yacht Week Host

July 8, 2021 - Digital nomad Cyndie Burkhardt reveals what life is like as a Yacht Week host for a week. 

Some experiences are too good to pass up and whether you have fun or live to regret it, you go along for the ride just for the kick of saying you did it.

When something falls out of left field and I know I just have to say “yes,” I follow my gut. It’s all about the journey, right? Want to be a yacht host for Yacht Week in Croatia? Main responsibilities: prepare, cook, and serve meals for 12 people; manage the galley and the food supply; clean the heads. Below Deck has nothing on this gig…

02CBurkhardt_IMG_5527.jpegEveryone comes together in the galley—it’s the workspace for hosts and the café for guests. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Port of departure: Trogir

Saturday was the start of Week 23, as The Yacht Week group calls this particular week in its summer sailing season. Fifty boats with ten guests each (plus hosts and skippers) comprise its biggest flotilla of the year. I fell into a job as a yacht host and found myself in an alternate reality from my previous week with Croatia’s elite sport—I went from guest to staff in a single day. My work began at the marina, including provisioning the boat, unloading food and liquor packages, inspecting inventory, and greeting my “crew,” as guests were called.

03CBurkhardt_IMG_5605.jpegBreakfast. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

The job

People who apply for these jobs typically pay €1,000 to attend a 3-week training academy. I filled out a brief application, attended a free 1-day training, and received my assignment. The only extra effort on my part was to complete an online food safety course for a required certificate. The pay was laughable given the amount of work but hey, it was change in my pocket and maybe the gig would lead to something else.

At first, I was excited and then I grew anxious. What if the guests didn’t like my food? Or me? What if they were demanding, or obnoxious? I received a set menu with recipes for lunch and dinner but I needed to come up with my own breakfast. Sometimes I make quick egg dishes at home—like scrambled or hardboiled—but the company suggested shakshuka (huh?), frittata, Benedict, fried, poached, pancakes, muffins, and more. I had no clue how to make those from scratch and I started stressing about BREAKFAST! 

Destination: Vis

Guests got their drink on first thing in the morning—Karlovačko, tequila shots, Hennessy, champagne, Red Bull, vodka, and more. They were content to party on the boat all day rather than explore the towns or the islands. Why travel all this way from home and never leave the dock? It seemed a waste to miss so much of what Croatia has to offer. But it wasn’t that kind of trip...

04CBurkhardt_IMG_5344.jpegSunset at Fort George, Vis Island. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

When nighttime came however, guests went to a DJ/dance party at Fort George. I’d heard the sunset views were spectacular up there, but today the party was the main event. It felt like I stepped into a music video—crazy DJs, bodies moving in sync with every rhythm and gesture, the crowd singing each word of each song, and all sorts of outrageous clothing—except this wasn’t choreographed.

Destination: Pakleni Islands

The next day started with a circle raft, which was all the boats joining to form a big swimming circle. Guests lounged on their floaties and swigged from their bottles while a DJ boat blared music. By the time we arrived at Palmižana later that afternoon, I was happy to get off the boat for a break and a shower.

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The party’s just starting. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

By 1am I was in the “grave,” sailors’ jargon for my tiny sleeping quarters at the front of the catamaran. To enter, you open a hatch on deck and hop in, there’s no door. When I found out this was going to be my “room,” claustrophobia kicked in and I did everything I could to stay calm. It was still better than sleeping in the galley.

I had just fallen asleep when one of the guests was above my head shouting and pounding on the deck, “Cyndie, are you awake?” Not really, but now I was. One of the other guests wanted to go to the hospital. Oh boy, this wasn’t a drunk prank or a plea to make hangover food. I rallied to get up, wondering what exactly was going on and what to do. Who to contact first, get the medic, get on a boat to the nearest island with a hospital, was it even open at this hour? So many questions were racing through my head…

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The front hatch on a catamaran leads to the “coffin,” a small sleeping bunk. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

The girl felt ill and was upset. Me, the skipper, and the guest who woke me jumped into action and helped her calm down; then she just wanted to sleep. She’d been partying hard all day in the hot sun, without drinking water, and it caught up with her. 

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The “coffin” is named for its size and shape (literally). All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Destination: Štipanska

The day we hit Štipanska for a barbeque and a party, it was another scene straight out of a music video, only this time I was right in the middle. One of my guests asked if I knew how to twerk. Sure I’ve seen it, but can’t say I knew how to do it. She proceeded to teach me in 10 seconds. Bend over, hands on knees, arch your back, look over your shoulder, shake your butt up and down. Want to take it further? Raise your arm up in the air. It was the most fun I had with my crew and we all shared a good laugh.

08CBurkhardt_IMG_5441.jpegThe DJ boat is full-powered with speakers and sound. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Destination: Brač

Midway through the week, this cooking business was exhausting. The job description was clever marketing: prepare food for a few hours a day, enjoy time with your guests, swim, serve lunch, relax and party in the evening. With hours upon hours of prep, cooking, and endless dishes, I had virtually no down time and little sleep. I started to resent the job as it became clear that there would be no “play” time.

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Guests party on floaties and travel between yachts to pick-up friends. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

At 8pm, the agreed upon dinnertime for this one night, I was ready with salmon, couscous, and tabouleh. The guests were out and started to trickle in after 9pm. It was a chaotic mess and I didn’t finish serving and cleaning up until nearly midnight. I was totally deflated that nobody contacted me about their change of plans or even cared. I crashed in bed, ready for the trip to be over.

Destination: Stari Grad, Hvar

At Stari Grad, we were moored in a bay, with each boat was tied to the next. Guests roamed onboard each other’s yachts to drink and eat while some partied in the water on large floaties. The DJ boat was back and the scene roared on for the entire day and night. I was trapped on the boat to cook, serve, and clean while people got wasted all around me. We never disembarked for the island or saw that side of Hvar.

10CBurkhardt_IMG_5502.jpegCarpe Diem Beach is a favorite party spot in the Pakleni Islands. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Destination: Trogir

On the last day, I woke up before 6am and tired as I was, I moved nonstop on all the outstanding duties I needed to complete. I liked my guests and it was a little sad to say goodbye after getting to know them for the week, but I was sooo happy to be going home.

My mother asked if I had fun and I replied, “I’m glad I did it, it was a new adventure. I was off the computer for a week, I lived on a yacht, learned some things, and met some nice people. But no, I did not have fun.” I have a funny story and I’m okay to end it there.

Story and photographs ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt. https://photo-diaries.com

Learn more at TCN’s Digital Nomads channel.

TCN now has a new resource in the Total Croatia Sailing Page. Get answers and information about Croatia’s favorite pastime on the water.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad: Yachting Part 1 - The Best Office for Digital Nomads

July 7, 2021 - Why is a sailing yacht the best office for digital nomads? Cyndie Burkhardt tells all. 

Many digital nomads enjoy Split’s climate and working with a sea view, which are among the best perks of being here. If beautiful blue water, fresh air, and sunshine are your thing, you can satisfy your inner nature-lover while working ON the sea, with the right yacht and the right skipper.

I grew up by the beach and I love being in, on, and near the water. When friends invited me to join their week-long yachting vacation I didn’t hesitate to say yes. It’s been a goal of mine to experience this beloved Croatian pastime and pre-season was an ideal time of year—not too hot and not too many tourists. We were going to sail around the islands and our sights were set on Vis, Brač, Hvar, and others. Was it warm enough to pack a bathing suit? Check.

010CBurkhardt_4878.jpegThis is why you yield to the Croatian wind, it makes trees literally grow parallel to the earth. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

The ideal remote work

I was a little concerned about getting behind on work because I wanted to relax on the trip without being tethered to a device. I found out there was reliable Wi-Fi onboard and I could login anytime and check my business. Thankfully, that turned out to be true and I never had an issue getting online when I needed to follow-up on a project or check-in for a Zoom meeting. Once I tested the connectivity I relaxed—I’d be able to work and play this week. My vacation wasn’t a digital nomad charter, but it was a good opportunity to see how hard or easy it would be to work when sailing.

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Morning view from my cabin, somewhere in the Adriatic Sea. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Our yacht was a Lagoon 40 and with the four of us plus the skipper and his wife the space was comfortable enough, although I’ll never get used to cooking in such a compact kitchen. Good thing I have experience with a shoe-box size NYC apartment, it was practically the same thing, although the yacht had much more room to move about than my place back home.

Born on the water

Our skipper, Danijel Razi, was game to hit the islands we mentioned but he hesitated a few times when we asked about the itinerary. Vis today? Maybe later, he replied. I noticed that he kept looking up at this little pointer thing on top of the main sail (a wind vane). He watched the weather and the wind and every nautical detail with his eyes and his instincts, but he didn’t really watch the fancy equipment. His main concern was the viability of the trip and safety. I was curious, what did this guy know and how did he know it?

03CBurkhardt_4692.jpegAn homage to the Beatles and Yellow Submarine; public art on Šolta. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

It turns out Danijel was born in Viganj, a very windy village on Pelješac that’s a popular sailing destination. Viganj is part of Orebić county, a former maritime center known historically for traditional sailing and navigating, where all the men go out to sea. These guys have lived on the water for centuries before marine electronic systems were invented—working on commercial boats, trading goods, and traveling the world. Danijel comes from a long line of sailors, including his grandfather and earlier generations, and he inherited their skills and their lifestyle. Sailing is in his blood and he clearly loves it.

04CBurkhardt_4708.jpegA typical bay and a small village could be any Croatian island; where there’s water there are boats. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Fun fact

Viganj is the second most famous windsurfing location in Croatia, after Bol.

07CBurkhardt_5187.jpegThe sound of full sails blowing in the wind and the feeling of gliding across the water makes you want to sit quietly and fully experience it. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Sailing to the island destinations we hoped for, including some bays for swimming, was amazing and there was only one day when the Bura wind adjusted our plans. Skipper Danijel followed nature’s direction and everything worked out. I got in my first swim of the season, which was a tad bit cool but so refreshing.

We’re here and we know

If I do this again, and I hope I do, I learned that a little research can help you get the trip you expect and avoid getting hit with unexpected costs and disappointment.

09CBurkhardt_5021.jpegDanijel preparing to tie up at a mooring buoy. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

So who are the best skippers and hosts? Without a local presence, charter companies are missing things that people would appreciate knowing. Booking a boat is not like a hotel room—there are lots of details to know about each yacht, itinerary, and destination. Danijel and his crew are based in Croatia. For more info on things you need to check, go here.

05CBurkhardt_4733.jpegA beach near the Franciscan Monastery and Church of St. Mary of Grace, Hvar. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

When to go

As far as I’m concerned, any day on the water is a great day. For digital nomads who are in Croatia year-round, I suggest that you consider traveling before and after peak season—April to June and September to November. Prices are lower, destinations are less crowded, you can see the islands better, and service is more attentive with fewer tourists. If you can only go during the summer, just do it!

06CBurkhardt_4962.jpegA quiet street in Vis. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

For thrill-seekers who want something a little different, regattas in Croatia are underrated. It’s possible to join one just to sit on a boat as a counterbalance when a team needs extra weight. How cool is that? Danijel collaborates with some of the teams and I’m already on his list to be notified when my bum is needed, haha. You can be too, contact him by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

08CBurkhardt_5136.jpegDanijel confirming our mooring buoy. All photos ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Learn more about Danijel’s yacht charters and catamarans, including trips to Greece.

Story and photographs ©2021, Cyndie Burkhardt. https://photo-diaries.com

Learn more at TCN’s Digital Nomads channel.

TCN now has a new resource in Total Croatia Sailing Page. Get answers and information about Croatia’s favorite pastime on the water.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from June 20 - June 27, 2021

June 27th, 2021 - TCN's highlights of the week. A look at the events in Croatia from June 20 through the selection of TCN's intern Marina Kaleb. 

Highlights of the week: Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 Opens at Canopy by Hilton

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project kicked off the beginning of this week at Canopy by Hilton, one of 7 locations over 7 days, exploring 7 Digital Nomads related themes. The project is a collaboration between Saltwater Nomads, TCN, Doma Zagreb, the Digital Nomad Association Croatia, and the Zagreb Tourist Board (funded by the latter), and there was a high-profile turnout from the city and national officials to open the conference. 

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Croatia has been one of the more high-profile countries globally over the last year with its efforts to introduce the digital nomad permit, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. The 7 days each focused on the individual themes - cybersecurity, online presence, remote careers, tax & finance, the future of work, wellbeing, and explore Zagreb. The keynote speakers are a mixture of in-person and remote speakers.

Highlights of the week: Basketball Legend Magic Johnson Returns to Dubrovnik! 

Magic Johnson's visit to Dubrovnik means he kept his promise of returning to the city. Johnson visited Croatia in the summer of last year. While strolling down Dubrovnik's main street Stradun he told a member of the media he finds the place beautiful and will be returning. Not even a year has passed, and he is once again seen smiling with his wife, Cookie, on one of Croatia's most beautiful streets.  

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Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

It is unclear if Johnson will continue the trip to other parts of the country as he did last year. Low numbers of guests on the streets of Dubrovnik seem to be attracting plenty of wealthy tourists who do their best to avoid crowded beautiful destinations. 

Highlights of the week: EURO 2020: Croatia Tops Scotland for 2nd Place in Group D and Round of 16 Spot! 

Croatia tops Scotland 3:1 in the final Group D match for 2nd place and a spot in the Round of 16! The two nations played at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Tuesday night. 

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Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

In the EURO 2020 round of 16, the Croatia national team will play against Spain on Monday night, the second-placed team from Group E in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, the Croatian national team will play without Ivan Perišić, who tested positive for Covid-19 just before the game. Ivan Perišić could not play before the EURO final on July 11th at Wembley Stadium. We wish him an uneventful recovery and returning to football at Wembley on that day, with Croatia in the finals!

Highlights of the week: EURO 2020: Croatian Female Team Wins 3 Medals at EGOI: Amazing Results at First Female-Only European Informatics Olympics

Ema Borevković, Lina Krištić and Lara Semeš (from Zagreb's XV Gymnasium), and Martina Licul (Pulau Gymnasium) represented Croatia and the aftermath of the contest that gathered 157 contestants saw Ema winning a gold medal, while Lara and Martina grabbed silver medals for their results

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Pixabay

The contest was held online due to Covid-19 measures. The organization of the event for Croatian was arranged by the Croatian Computer Science Association (CCSA), and Zagreb's XV Gymnasium was the host of the event, where the studnets took the tests.

Highlights of the week: Lorde Returns to Her Roots for 2022 St. Michael's Fortress Spectacle in Šibenik

At an extremely exclusive concert with only 1,050 tickets on sale, the New Zealander with Croatian roots will recall some of her mega-hits from the first two albums and present "Solar Power," which will be released later this summer. Born in New Zealand, her mother has Dalmatian roots, and Lorde herself has dual citizenship.

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Lorde Instagram

On tour, Lorde plays in locations she personally chooses and wants to visit, mostly the best concert stages in the world. Thus, the special Šibenik fortress found itself on the list in the company of legendary concert destinations such as Radio City Music Hall in New York, Shrine Auditorium in LA, Roundhouse in London, or Castello di Villafranca in Verona.

 For more on events in Croatia, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To follow the rest of the TCN coverage of the Euro 2020, click here.

For the latest news and features od digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section

Saturday, 26 June 2021

5th Day of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Beginning of Ambassador Program

June 26, 2021 - A look at the 5th day of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and the first digital nomad ambassador!

The announcement of Veronica Mulhall as the ambassador of 'Zagreb Digital Nomads' concluded the fifth day of 'Digital Nomad Week' on Friday, where the organizers Saltwater Nomads, Total Croatia News, and the Zagreb Tourist Board presented the advantages, opportunities, and possibilities of the Croatian capital for remote digital nomad work, reports Jutarnji List

In July, Veronica Mulhall will be the first ambassador - a digital nomad who will work and live in Zagreb for a month. 

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"Congratulations to Veronica on this election, Zagreb welcomes her, and I think she will have a wonderful time in our city; that is, she will have great opportunities to find her new job office here. We will introduce her to everything that Zagreb has to offer digital nomads," said Petra Maršić Buljan from the Zagreb Tourist Board.

The 'Zagreb Digital Nomads' ambassador was preceded by three 'Digital Nomad Week' panels which analyzed future trends in the labor market, digital nomads as a solution to changes in the labor market, and Croatian policies in accepting and deepening global trends in teleworking.

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Jose Alfonso Kusijanović

Before the panels, the participants were given a lecture by blogger and labor market researcher Albert Canigueral on the future of work.

"The future of work has three dimensions, the future of the job itself, the job and the fulfillment of business tasks or goals. Nomads are one of the solutions for the future of the workplace, and how far we have come in applying this way of working is evidenced, among other things, by the example of employers in the Swedish transport business who are committed to regulating the work of truck drivers from home," said Canigueral. He recalled the thesis of the famous sociologist Peter Drucker that the basic question of the labor market is not to find answers to the demands that arise but to ask a key question of the labor market.

After Canigueral’s presentation, the first three panels of the ‘Digital Nomad Week’ closing day entitled ‘Sustainable and Self-Renewing Destinations’ followed. In addition to moderations by Ron Tardiff, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board Ana Hrnić, the author of numerous travelogues Anja Mutić, and the entrepreneur in tourism Daniel Lacko spoke about sustainable and self-renewing tourist destinations.

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Ron Tardiff, one of the winners of the last Dubrovnik Digital Nomads in Residence competition, discussed Sustainable and Regenerative Destinations with a panel that included Martina Bienenfeld, CEO of the Zagreb Tourist Board. (Jose Alfonso Kusijanović)

Ana Hrnić pointed out that the tourist season in the pearl of Croatian tourism in Dubrovnik is currently under the strong influence of last year's consequences of the coronavirus and large restrictions in air traffic on Dubrovnik tourism, which, she warned, is an air destination. On the other hand, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board director pointed out that 2019 was a record year in terms of visiting guests for Dubrovnik tourism.

"In 2019, we took the first steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of Dubrovnik tourism, limiting the number of cruiser arrivals in the city port," said Ana Hrnić. Martina Bienenfeld reminded that the Zagreb tourist offer in 2020, in addition to COVID-19 and lockdown, also faced a devastating earthquake.

"I must emphasize that we have not given up our efforts to prove that we are still 'alive' as a tourist destination, and we have done many great projects and campaigns since the beginning of the pandemic. I want to remind you that Zagreb changed, and we do not give up with new stories, new projects, highlighting some of the projects such as Pimp my Pump, Mali Zagreb and Triptych. When it comes to the sustainability of the city's tourist offer, we try to prove that Zagreb is not only the capital of a beautiful tourist country but a great place to live and work," said Martina Bienenfeld.

DSCF3144.jpgTanja Polegubić, organizer of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, moderated a panel consisting of Petra Maršić Buljan from the Zagreb Tourist Board, Paul Bradbury from Total Croatia News, Dalibor Kovačević from Raiffeisen Bank Hrvatska, and Matthew Parsons from Skift. The theme was Future of Work Trends and Croatia's Global Standing. (Jose Alfonso Kusijanović)

The first panel was followed by a conversation between the moderator of ‘Digital Nomad Week’ Michael Freer, and Mandy Fransz, the founder of the company ‘Digital Leap’ for Digital Transformation.

"I heard about Croatia as a digital nomad destination, came here, and was convinced that Croatia provides a lot of events, but also opportunities for community development, which I consider the most important part of my job," said Mandy Fransz.

In the second panel, moderated by Tanja Polegubić from Saltwater Nomads, Petra Maršić Buljan from the Zagreb Tourist Board, Paul Bradbury, CEO of Total Croatia News, editor of the Skift portal Matthew Parsons and Dalibor Kovačević from Raiffeisenbank. This was followed by a presentation by Dean Kuchel, who introduced himself to the participants as a nomadic lifestyle ambassador.

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Jan de Jong (Digital Nomads Association), Nikolina Pejović (Hrvatski Telekom) and Tanja Polegubić (Saltwater Nomads). (Jose Alfonso Kusijanović)

The last panel of the fifth day featured Jan de Jong, an entrepreneur who initiated the digital nomad visa in Croatia, Kristina Grbavac from the auditing company KPMG, Branka Bajt Hrvatski Telekom, and Hermes Arriaga Sierra from Impact Hub.

Asked by panel moderator Michael Freer how he came up with the idea to initiate the introduction of digital nomad visas in our country, Jan de Jong said that at his first participation in a conference on Croatian tourism, he faced the question of how to make Croatia a year-round tourist destination. The answer to the latter question, Jan de Jong, as he said, was given in the texts of Paul Bradbury on the portal Total Croatia News.

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In the third and final panel, moderated by Michael Greer, Branka Bajt from Hrvatski Telekom, Kristina Grbavac from KPMG, Jan de Jong from DNA Croatia, and Hermes Arriaga Sierra from Impact Hub discussed about DNA Croatia, Policy, and Connecting a Global Community. (Jose Alfonso Kusijanović)

"In Paul’s texts, three words shone on me, digital nomad tourism. Then I started to promote this concept in my public speeches, finding great support from the followers of my speeches, but, very soon after, almost all major media in the country," said de Jong, revealing that after they received support for the development of digital nomad tourism from the Croatian Government, i.e., the Office of the Prime Minister. We managed, de Jong, concluded that Croatia becomes one of the top ten countries in the world with a visa for digital nomads. De Jong continues to implement his idea through the DNA Croatia association.

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Paul Bradbury, Total Croatia News CEO, talks to Dean Kuchel, who spoke about Community Building, and Israel's Ambassador to Croatia, Ilan Mor. (Jose Alfonso Kusijanović)

"One of the DNA Croatia association goals is to extend the visa from the current six-month residence permit for digital nomads. We also want to simplify the procedures regarding the taxation of digital nomads," announced Jan de Jong.

Meet one of Friday's keynote speakers, Albert Cañigueral, one of the Dubrovnik nomads-in-residence and recently appointed to lead the Catalan Government's Transparency and Open Data, division. Albert will be focusing on the topic of the day, the future of work.  

Tourist Board Director Martina Bienenfeld on Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Ryanair, Tourism in Pandemic

Want to be a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador and live in the city for a month between July and December? 

For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Digital Nomads Wowed by Karaka Event Ship

23 June 2021 - Dubrovnik digital nomads recently had a chance to enjoy one of the city's most breathtaking event venues - the Karaka event ship.

We covered the first-ever digital nomad in residence program that took place in Dubrovnik during May. The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was designed by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News and with plenty of help from the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. For more about it and Zagreb digital nomad program, check out our dedicated page.

One of the highlights of the entire program in Dubrovnik was the presentation of the design thinking workshops' results. Yes, it was an important point of the entire effort, but it also took place in one of the most magical settings in Dubrovnik – Karaka. 

Magical Ship

Karaka is a beautiful replica of a 16th-century wooden merchant ship of the Dubrovnik Republic. The quality and craftsmanship involved in creating it are enough to make you stop and stare. When seeing Karaka sailing into Dubrovnik's historical port, you can't help but reach for your camera. Of course, she's not just about looks. In fact, Karaka is a top-quality event & special products ship.

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The ship offers full catering and features outside decks in two levels. There are also two levels of the indoor restaurant area. Options are endless on Karaka as most spaces can be quickly converted between dining areas to presentational areas or entertainment venues. Powerful Wi-Fi, plenty of electrical outlets, and some onboard A/V equipment make life easy for event organisers. Aside from that, Karaka is a very sea-worthy vessel. With an experienced captain at the helm and a dedicated crew, no distance is too big and no port too far for Karaka.

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Perfect Venue for a Variety of Events

It is very popular for product launches, small cocktail parties, gala dinners, weddings, family celebrations, and various themed events (with pirate and Game of Thrones themes being the most popular). The latest high-profile event was the product launch of Croatian electric “hypercar” – Rimac Nevera. So, it is hardly surprising Karaka has seen its share of rich and famous gracing its decks like Benicio del Torro or Mickey Rourke. But, you don’t have to be rich to come aboard. There are regular boat tours organised with Karaka as well. These amazing adventures cruising around the picture-perfect islands of the Dubrovnik archipelago are sure to leave you with lasting memories.

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Weddings on the Karaka are absolutely spectacular. Dubrovnik is a renowned wedding destination. It only makes sense destination wedding organisers often choose Karaka as their preferred venue for intimate ceremonies or after-parties. Tying the knot on such an impressive vessel overlooking one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe is a wonderful way to start the married life.

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Photo courtesy of Love and Ventures

Options abound when it comes to Karaka. Simply seeing it in the port is a treat. But, seeing the world from its wooden decks is a time-traveling experience. With a highly skilful and efficient team managing it, you will make the right choice by choosing Karaka for your next Dubrovnik business or private event. Explore more on Karaka’s official website and get full information on the options and contact details.

 For more on Digital Nomads in Croatia, click here

For those looking for travel news, follow our travel section.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Martina Bienenfeld: Zagreb will Become a Desirable Digital Nomad Destination

21 June 2021 –  The Zagreb Tourist Board (TZGZ) organises the first-ever Zagreb Digital Nomad Week from the 21st to 27th of June after which the project called Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador will start. The latter will enable selected digital nomads to spend a month in Zagreb for free and share their experiences. A closer look at why Zagreb is a desirable digital nomad destination. 

As translated from Seebiz.eZagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 and the Digital Nomad Ambassador project TZGZ is organising together with Saltwater Nomads (a company specialising in organising digital nomads' stays in Croatia) and Total Croatia News (media portal).

It is these programs focusing on digital nomads that were the motivation for our conversation with Martina Bienenfeld, the head of the Zagreb Tourist Board.

SEEbiz: what was the main motivation behind deciding for the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador program?

Bienenfeld: Last year changed the way of life for many people. The pandemic, which made working from home common, accelerated the trend of digital nomads and we now have generations of employees that are no longer bound by working hours, but wish to enjoy a more flexible way of life. Also, at the beginning of this year, the new Law on Foreign Nationals came into power. Under it, digital nomads can be allowed to stay in Croatia for up to a year on a non-resident basis. Zagreb, being the capital city, didn't want to miss out on this growing opportunity, so we've decided to organise Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project.

SEEbiz: it is no secret many fast-expanding IT companies have their headquarters in Zagreb. Is this one of the reasons Zagreb is perceived as a destination for digital nomads? What are the prerequisites Zagreb needs to fulfil to become an attractive and desirable destination for this demographic?

Bienenfeld: That certainly is one of the reasons, but there are numerous factors that influence the choice of a destination. Above all, digital nomads are staying within one place as long as they can and want, and because they are working they value quick and reliable internet connection more than anything, which means the destination needs to have good quality telecommunication infrastructure. After that, they need good value for money and accessibility of co-working spaces. Nice weather is also high on the list. Also, proximity or at least easy accessibility of the destination is one of the conditions. Zagreb offers all these things. In this sense, the level of attractiveness of Zagreb is high and I believe there is potential to grow further, especially seeing how we are one of the first countries to regulate this type of work by law.

SEEbiz: Do you believe digital nomads are just a trend that is, among other things, here because of a global pandemic or is it something that will remain after this situation has subsided?

Bienenfeld: Assessments and research suggest more and more people will want to work independently like this in the future. In other words, they will want the freedom to travel and the ability to work where ever they are at any given time. Therefore, I believe this is not a passing trend, but a new style of working and living that will remain long after this situation.

SEEbiz: The Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) digital nomads campaign “Croatia, your new office!” garnered great results in the first two months. What are you expecting from the projects taking place in Zagreb?

Bienenfeld: I’m expecting Zagreb to further improve its position as a desirable destination for digital nomads. Croatia’s capital can surely be positioned as a centre for digital nomads and draw in foreigners coming for work and leisure.

SEEbiz: Zagreb has been recognised as a city break destination. In spite of all the restrictions, Zagreb was a good host for Croatia Rally, and then there is also the World Rowing Cup. Is sport, professional or recreational, one of the ways of attracting digital nomads?

Bienenfeld: As I mentioned before – you always need a combination of different factors in order to attract digital nomads. Generally, when speaking of sporting events, we have to be aware they are one of the most important ambassadors of any country or the city in which they are being held. We at TZGZ are especially pleased Zagreb hosted such huge sporting events – World Rally Championship and World Rowing Cup – during these times of uncertainty. This points to the significance of our city in the segment of sports tourism as a special part of the travel industry which contributes to the creation of new quality and competitive position in the travel market. Namely, events like these cast a spotlight on the host destination and make organisers of other similar events across the world consider organising their future events in the same city or country. In the same way, the effects of such a synergy of sports and tourism add to the popularity of the destination hosting these events and represent one of the best ways of promoting Zagreb as well as Croatia.

SEEbiz: Zagreb Tourist Board saw a focus on developing new digital platforms proving successful. How do you view the importance of digitalisation in tourism?

Bienenfeld: Tourist Boards always kept pace with new technological trends and implemented them readily into their projects. We need only remember Zagreb Be There app developed in now distant 2014, which was a multiple award-winning treasure hunt sightseeing app, or QR code city tour implemented in 2013. The pandemic and, unfortunately, Zagreb earthquakes, taught us the importance of being able to respond well and quickly to new situations, follow trends by using digital tools and platforms, and adjust our tourism offer to new conditions. We have turned to digital innovations that allow us to add value, attractiveness, but also visibility to our tourism offer. A recent example is the interactive AR project Virtual Christmas Windows, in which we were first in Croatia to apply augmented reality technology in our Christmas festival awareness campaign. Digitalisation in tourism is imperative today. Tourism and technology are tightly intertwined and travel is unthinkable without digital technology.

SEEbiz: The Around Zagreb project and cooperation of the Zagreb Tourist Board and Zagreb County Tourist Board is one of the first big steps in strategic destination development in Croatia because the focus is on quality content and finding new benefits for tourists, seeing how it promotes quality tourist-focused content in Zagreb’s surroundings or only half an hour from the city centre. Zagreb and its surroundings as a unique green destination, is this the strategy for the post-pandemic period?

Bienenfeld: I’m glad you’ve asked me that as we are just starting with our refreshed campaign in cooperation with the Zagreb County Tourist Board, and soon we will go ahead with Krapina – Zagorje County as well. Project Blizu grada, blizu srca (Close to the City, close to Heart) / Around Zagreb is created with a long-term goal and vision and we would like to have started it even without the pandemic situation. It is natural for Zagreb and its surrounding area to promote together because guests do not care about our administrative borders. They are after quality and interesting content. The pandemic in a sense helped the campaign along because guests are now, more than ever, searching for the options of spending time in nature, on fresh air, surrounded by greenery, all combined with diverse local culture and gastronomic offer.

Last year, most of the visitors to www.aroundzagreb.hr came from Croatia (40%), but also from the markets where the campaign was run – Slovenia (35%), Austria, Germany, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (25%). Interestingly, we are seeing a rising interest from the American market as well, even though there was no advertising campaign specifically aiming at that market, which represents a guideline for future activities. Inspired by the success of the campaign so far, recording over 37 million views, we have improved our platform and are showing it to the important markets again. With this in mind, along with refreshed visuals and itineraries, we have started a new section called “Did You Know?” which showcases various interesting points from our surrounding areas. Besides that, we also have cooking videos featuring authentic local cuisine recipes from Zagreb and the surrounding area. They are made by the famous Croatian chef Mr. Almo Catlak. He set out to present local delicacies to a wide audience with an emphasis on tradition with a bit of a modern approach. We are now starting the campaign for the markets of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, and Germany and soon we will be updating it with Krapina – Zagorje County materials. I would hereby also like to give my thanks to all involved in this.

SEEbiz: Zagreb is also an airplane destination. What effects do you expect as a result of RyanAir coming to Zagreb Airport, or how important in this respect is the survival of the national airline company?

Bienenfeld: We welcome all new airlines coming to Zagreb and will be glad to see the RyanAir airplane “tales” among those of other companies already landing in our city. This will contribute to the further positioning of Zagreb as a city break destination and will make it more accessible to interested visitors. As far as the national carrier is concerned, we mustn’t forget it was Croatia Airlines that connected us to the rest of the world when all other companies stopped flying here during the toughest pandemic restrictions. In this sense, I wouldn’t compare these two airline companies because their profiles and business models are vastly different.

SEEbiz: We know we are living in very uncertain times, but at the end of the interview, let me ask you: What is your vision for the long-term tourism development of Zagreb.

Bienenfeld: We need to keep in mind it will take a few years after the pandemic for tourism to bounce back. The earthquake made things even more difficult because it damaged a variety of buildings, some of which contribute to tourist offers or architectural and urban distinctions of the city. The state of tourism will depend on the organisation and readiness of the destination to adapt to new conditions and provide solutions. Further development of tourism in a smart, responsible and sustainable way will depend on how much are we as a sector prepared for new challenges. From the perspective of tourism, it is clear more and more travellers take into account ecology and sustainability, and we, therefore, need to apply sustainable concepts in order to potentially make them into one of the key promotional factors.

Also, it is important to activate underused tourist resources and continue to develop key tourist products of the destination. With the goal of defining a stronger position in the travel market in this context, it is necessary to support innovative and creative development initiatives that contribute to further building of the destination as a centre for urban, regenerative, and cultural scene and encourage dispersion of tourist activities. For the MICE segment we are expecting a slower recovery, but we need to continue communicating with the organisers of conferences and events and position Zagreb as a regional centre for business meetings, gatherings, and conferences. I see additional potential in health tourism, sports and active tourism, and of course food tourism. In any case, what is important and we’ll continue to insist on is that Zagreb is and always was a people’s city.

For more on Digital Nomads in Croatia, click here

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Digital Nomad Living Overlooking Dubrovnik Old Town – House Anica

20 June, 2021 - Dubrovnik has its share of interesting accommodation. One digital nomad couple discovered a true gem in a restored historical house within the city walls.

May in Dubrovnik saw the first ever Digital Nomads in Residence program. It was designed by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News, the City of Dubrovnik, and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and aimed to create a strategic direction for Dubrovnik to attract more digital nomads. 

One of the more pressing issues the participants of the program identified was the appropriate accommodation. Most apartments and houses for rent in Dubrovnik are furnished for shorter stays. So, proper kitchens with enough utensils or work areas are usually not a part of the design. Still, that doesn't mean there are no amazing options for a longer stay in the city. House Anica is one of them. Our nomad in residence Marlee and her husband Jeff stayed in the house during their Dubrovnik adventure. They fell in love with it and the city itself. Also, they've formed a special friendship with the owners.

Marlee said to us recently: “Staying at House Anica in the old city was exactly the experience Jeff and I were looking for as digital nomads in Dubrovnik. The history of the home added to the charm of an authentic old city living experience. We could not have asked for better landlords with Ivona and Hrvoje, such interesting people with such a connection to Dubrovnik. They made us feel so welcome and we feel like we have made lifelong friends.”

For more from Marlee on living as a digital nomad in Dubrovnik, check out her interview here.

House Anica

At the very top of Kuniceva Street in the Old Town district stands an unusual, over 300 years old house. Its facade features a stone carved will and testament dated back to 1728. The will mentions lady named Anica, who lived, loved and most probably grew old in that house. House Anica belongs to a local couple Ivona and Hrvoje. Ivona's family owns the house for over 70 years. Eventually, she decided to renovate it and share it with travellers coming to Dubrovnik. With plenty of fond childhood memories tied to it, Ivona insisted on preserving the soul of the house by keeping as many original elements that make it unique. Tradition and history of the house became as much a part of its charm as did all the modern amenities and superb interior design.

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The house itself is a Dubrovnik-style townhouse. It is essentially a multi-storey apartment with two spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, full kitchen and dining / living area. The top floor bedroom occupies a loft and features a small living area of its own. The design is spacious and airy with sleek modern amenities and expertly incorporated historical ornamental elements. A special selling point for the house is one of only few balconies in Dubrovnik's historical centre overlooking the iconic terracotta rooftops and the Adriatic Sea.

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Needless to say, the location of the house is perfect for enjoying the best Dubrovnik has to offer. With all local attractions and traffic hubs within easy walking distance, you will always have options when staying in House Anica. Negotiating a few notorious Dubrovnik stairs to get to it will be well worth it.

The Owners

The owners are attentive and helpful. They take pride in the cleanliness and quality standards they adhere to from day one. Ivona and Hrvoje will personally meet and greet all of their guests and give them a quick rundown of the city's restaurants, points of interest and other valuable information. They are also available to them 24/7 in case of any emergencies or simply to organise airport transfers, day trips or similar.

For her digital nomad guests, Ivona has only words of praise: „We were lucky this year our house caught the eye of a digital nomad couple from USA that stayed in Dubrovnik for four weeks. House Anica proved to be an ideal spot for such a long stay. Aside from being well equipped and furnished, I've been told repeatedly, it is a true home away from home. Marlee and Jeff enjoyed the house every free moment they've had. I truly hope and am looking forward to seeing – who I consider to be our dear friends – again. We still keep in touch.“

With plenty of amenities and space, attentive owners, amazing location, as well as free WiFi throughout the house, House Anica is a perfect choice for those wanting to visit Dubrovnik for short or longer period of time. If you want to find out more or book your stay here, check out its Air BnB page.

For all you need to know about Dubrovnik, go to Total Croatia's Dubrovnik in a Page

For more information about digital nomads in Croatia, click here.

 

 

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Be a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador: Free Month in Croatian Capital

June 13, 2021 - Are you a digital nomad wanting to explore the Croatian capital? Here's how to become a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador, with free accommodation for a month.

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project kicks off on June at Canopy by Hilton, with 7 days dedicated to 7 themes relevant to digital nomads in Croatia - cybersecurity, online presence, remote careers, tax & finance, wellbeing, the future of work, and exploring Zagreb. Attendance both online and in person is free of charge, and registrations will be available online from 18:00 tomorrow (Monday, June 14), via the Saltwater Nomads website.  Due to epidemiological measures, the number of physical attendees will necessarily be limited, so I encourage you to apply early. 

Each day will be in a different location (hotel, hostels, coworking spaces, the Great Outdoors), in order to showcase the diversity of options for the digital nomad lisfestyle in the Croatian capital. The final program will be published on the link above on the Saltwater Nomads website on the link above in the coming days. 

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A second component of the project is the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project, which runs from July 1 to December 31, 2021. During this period, the city will welcome one nomad (individual, couple, or family) to live in the city for a calendar month for free, while taking part in a range of activities as part of the program. 

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project is a collaboration between Saltwater Nomads, Total Croatia News, and the Zagreb Tourist Board, who are financing the project. TCN will be reporting on the resident ambassadors' progress and experience throughout the initial 6-month period, thereby building up a picture of digtial nomad life in the city throughout the seasons. 

The accommodation will be provided courtesy of Doma Zagreb (and equivalent), 4-star luxury accommadition in the heart of the city. Rarely for accommodation in central Zagreb, free off-road parking is also provided. You can lean more about Doma Zagreb and its serviced apartments on the official website.

Doma Zagreb witll be opening a bar area scheduled for  August. This will contain a reception, breakfast bar, sitting area for 18, bar, kitchen and small area for business.

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(The Doma Zagreb Aparthotel is located in central Zagreb, with offroad parking, just a few minutes walk from the main square)

The first ambassador will take up residence on July 1, with the winner being announced during ZDNW. Applications will be open until November 1, with monthly winners announced on a rolling basis. 

So what is on offer, and what do you need to do to apply?

Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project

July to December 2021

The Zagreb Digital Nomad (ZND) Ambassador Project is a first for the city. The Tourist Board are inviting, as their special guests, a digital nomad to take up a 1 month FREE stay in Zagreb, and share their experiences as a digital nomad.Who can apply?
Anyone over 18 who can remote workly and share their experience as a digital nomad in Zagreb.Prize

Six winners (including couples and families who apply) will have 1 month free accommodation at a prescribed location, and be named a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for the duration of the program.Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassadors are special guests of the Tourist Board of Zagreb. Ambassadors will participate in a program including free coworking, local engagement and promotion of their experience as a digital nomad in Zagreb.Winners are expected to arrive on the 1st day of the month they are selected as an Ambassador, with accommodation available from the 1st of the month to the 1st of the next month. Winners must be able to participate fully in the program and must remain in Zagreb the entire month.See full terms and conditions.Applications will be received on a rolling basis until 1 November, 2021.

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(Doma Zagreb Aparthotel - 4-star luxury in central Zagreb)

FAQ

Prize

Six winners (including couples and families who apply) will have 1 month free accommodation at a prescribed location, and be named a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for the duration of the program.Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassadors are special guests of the Tourist Board of Zagreb. Ambassadors will participate in a program including free coworking, local engagement and promotion of their experience as a digital nomad in Zagreb.Costs
All winners must hold valid travel insurance and pay for their own travel to and from Zagreb and any expenses not included in the program. Accommodation, coworking and tour activities outlined in the program are provided free.COVID19

Any impact by changes, delays, etc. due to COVID19 or other events are not our responsibility. All travel and safety regulations from points of entry, transit and in Croatia will apply. Being informed and adhering to these requirements is the sole responsibility of the winner. The organisers will assist with information where possible.Dates

The dates for accommodation are set out as: 1 July to 1 August 2021 (winner 1); 1 August to 1 September 2021 (winner 2); 1 September to 1 October 2021 (winner 3); 1 October to 1 November 2021 (winner 4); 1 November to 1 December 2021 (winner 5) and 1 December 2021 to 1 January 2022 (winner 6). The prize includes 1 month accommodation, meals outlined in program, activities and use of coworking spaces where available.

Availability

Winners are expected to arrive on the 1st day of the month they are selected as an Ambassador, with accommodation available from the 1st of the month to the 1st of the next month. Winners must be able to participate fully in the program and must remain in Zagreb the entire month.ELIGIBILITY

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(One of the bathrooms in the 7 Doma Zagreb Aparthotel rooms)

You must be a digital nomad or able to work remotely for 1 month (Ambassadors stay 1 month free in Zagreb between 1 July to 31 December).You must be active on at least 3 major social networks – and have these set to public. NOTE: We use this information to review your online activity. Influencers are welcome to apply – this project is open to all who are eligible.You also agree you will:
promote the project 2x weekly with TCN articles and videos.

hold 1x event or presentation.

use coworking spaces to work during stay.And you:

Are employed, freelancing or have a business + 5 year work/study history.

Can bring skills and strengths (personal and professional) as a ZDNA.

Can commit to being in Zagreb on program dates AND dedicate 1x day week to being in a coworking space, 2x tours + 2x dinners.
submit a 1 minute video answering 5 short questions. (no advantage for fancy editing, just a piece to camera).

Agree to the full Terms and Conditions.

VIDEO SUBMISSION

1 MINUTE VIDEO

1) who you are
2) your location
3) what you do
4) your goals with digital nomadism/remote work
5) why you’re applying.Acceptable formats are mpg, avi, mov, mp4, mpeg4 and maximum file size 250MB.

Ready to apply? You can do so here.

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

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Successful Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Stories: Kevin Macadam from UK

Jun 12, 2021 - There has been a lot of interest in the new Croatian digital nomad permit, with many looking to read about the experiences of successful applicants. Meet one, Kevin Macadam from UK, now enjoying life in Novigrad Dalmatia.

Access to Croatia is not as easy as it once was for Brits, now that the Brexit reality has kicked in, and  - like other non EU/EEA citizens, Brits can only stay for 90 at one time these days. Having heard of the Croatian digital nomad, Brit Kevin Macadam decided to try his luck, as he explains below. I did send Kevin questions for an interview, but I think the text reads better without my questions. Here is Kevin's story:

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Our journey to Croatia originally began last year when we were out walking our dog in rainy Yorkshire and discussing where we might want to live when we retire.

And then we looked at each other and said why are we waiting to retire as we both were working remotely.

We had just come back from holiday on the Amalfi coast in Italy and said it would be great to live in Italy and so we started to look and how we could live there.

Unfortunately to get temporary residency we had to set up an Italian company and have our wages paid into that company so that they could take their share of tax.  

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Our employers wouldn’t have agreed to that and so we thought that was that.  I then spotted the term Digital Nomad Visa online and looked at which companies offered them in Europe as we had to consider we would take our cat and dog with us.  Georgia - too cold Estonia - too cold and then we saw Croatia!  Having already been on holiday to Hvar and Dubrovnik we knew we loved the country and I already had friends there as I have been involved in British baseball for the last 30 years and knew the Croatian baseball president and the secretary of the European baseball federation who live in Zagreb and Karlovac respectively.

So that’s how we decided on Croatia, we already knew we loved the scenery, the food, the cost of living and the people.

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We travelled over on the 1st March 2021 in a small window when we were allowed to leave the UK and arrived on the usual 90 day allowed time.  We then applied for the DNV around 6 weeks into our stay.  We had tried to get over before the 31st December but the U.K. was in a strict lockdown so we couldn’t get over.

We applied online via the Croatian government website and submitted all our supporting documents and waited.  We were asked to attend the police station and went for interview and then went to a separate department to go through the paperwork.  Unfortunately we thought our DBS check on U.K. government paper would be sufficient but apparently we needed it to be apostilled so we sent it back to the U.K. and then got them sent over by courier and once submitted in person again our residency was approved.  

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The only thing I would say was a slight inconvenience was having completed the forms online we then had to complete them in paper format as well but I’m sure they’ll sort that out in future.  

We are aware that we are old for digital nomads and think that the residency permit should be marketed to people approaching retirement or an older age group (I’m 54 and Lisa’s 46) and as such probably have more disposable income. 

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Also I hope the government rethink what will happen at the end of the first year when the the first permits expire.  We would like to make Croatia our home and are currently looking to buy a property here.  However we will be forced to leave for 90 days once our permit expires and therefore will likely go to a nearby non schengen country to wait out the time.  The risk is that some people may go to say Montenegro or Serbia and decide they like it more there and not return.  I think a simple extension each year providing there are no criminal activities and that we continue to meet the criteria as well as is understanding that it will not lead to permanent citizenship would remove that risk.  

It was easy to get the information as we had read articles by TCN as well as Expat in Croatia so just followed the instructions.

Ironically I voted for Brexit and my wife voted remain.  I regret that decision now! The permit allows us to live in a better climate in a safe country for longer than 90 days.

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Croatia is a great destination for nomads.  There are loads of outdoor activities to do, food is amazing, people are friendly and English and German is widely spoken by the locals.   There are some great internet deals via partners who have linked in with the scheme.  The biggest issue we had which took us the longest amount of time was finding somewhere to live.  We contacted over 100 people on Njuškalo, Airbnb and booking.com asking them for a long term let and year round income.  We asked them to calculate what they earn over the summer months and divide by 12 and only one person our landlady Dolores agreed and hence why we ended up in Novigrad, Dalmatia.

All the others weren’t interested as they did they could earn a lot over the summer.  As it turns out we couldn’t have picked a better town.  The locals are so friendly and have welcomed us.  It’s position is perfect placed to visit the whole of Croatia.  So far we have visited Opatija, Pula, Rovinj, Karlovac, Zagreb, Split, hvar, Korcula, orebic, varazdin, plitvice and Karla and in the coming weeks will be venturing further south. 

Our lifestyle consists of working from home, travelling the country, eating great food, taking the dog for long walks, going to the coffee, swimming in the sea and drinking the worlds best kept secret Croatian wine!

People can follow our adventures @livingincroatia2021 on Instagram.

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

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

After Croatia, Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa One Step Closer to Becoming Reality

June 1, 2021 - The energy of the Croatian digital nomad visa is spreading through the region as the Montenegro digital nomad visa is in the works. 

Bankar.me reports that the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media has sent a public invitation to organizations, associations, and individuals to get involved in the initial phase of preparing a Program for Attracting Digital Nomads and Encouraging Foreign Investments in Montenegro until 2025.

According to the invitation published on May 27, the consultations of the interested public in the initial phase of the Program will last for 28 days from the publication date of this invitation.

The invitation states, among other things, that priorities and challenges can be proposed in the consultation process when it comes to conditions for defining the status of digital nomads and incentives for foreign investments, including other important topics that this Program may cover.

As stated in the invitation, the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media will update all received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments should be updated and, after the consultation, a report should be prepared containing an overview of the participants in the consultation and an overview of received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments. It will then be published on its website http://www.mju.gov.me/ministarstvo and portal e-administration https://www.euprava.me/ and submitted to the participants in the consultation within seven days from the expiration of the aforementioned deadline of 28 days.

"The Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media will consider and take into account all received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments during the preparation of the Program for Attracting Digital Nomads and Encouraging Foreign Investments in Montenegro until 2025," the Ministry said.

This is one of the most important steps in bringing digital nomads to Montenegro, which will be among the first countries to grant a visa to this tourist group.

A digital nomad visa is a great chance for Montenegro

Several countries have already legally regulated the issue of visas for digital nomads. Estonia became the first country in the world to officially start with digital nomad visas. Shortly afterward, other countries such as Barbados, Bermuda, Georgia, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, and Mauritius followed in Estonia's footsteps. The initiative was first shown by Croatia from the surrounding countries, which is most similar to Montenegro with its beaches and beautiful destinations for tourists.

One of those who realized in time that Montenegro is an ideal destination for digital nomads is Milovan Novakovic, CEO, and partner of Colliers International. Novakovic and his team have taken the initiative with the Government to approve digital nomad visas as soon as possible. The team includes Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong, one of the most deserving of Croatia on the list of countries that approve digital nomad visas. As they say, there will be support from Estonia, which was the first country to regulate the visa legally.

Novakovic believes that Montenegro is a very suitable destination for digital nomads and has a satisfactory infrastructure, so in that sense, it would be necessary to introduce a one-year digital nomad visa and harmonize the Law on Foreigners as well as relevant bylaws, all to create a suitable legal framework that would encourage the arrival of digital nomads in Montenegro.

At the end of last year, he launched an initiative to position Montenegro as a new popular destination for digital nomads because, as he said earlier, a digital nomad visa would be a special benefit to improve tourism and extend the season to a whole year.

"Covid-19 has accelerated this industry as well, and more and more people in the world want to do their job remotely. Research predicts that by 2035, one billion people will work "remotely." If Montenegro regulates the visa program for digital nomads, a special benefit would be improving tourism and extending the season to the whole year. Digital nomads would no longer come to Montenegro for just a couple of weeks, but for a minimum of a few months or a whole year," Novakovic said.

For all, you need to know about digital nomads in Croatia, bookmark our dedicated section.

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