Sunday, 23 May 2021

Closing DNiR Conference at Lazareti: Mayor Franković Announces Dubrovnik Digital Nomads Coworking Space

May 22, 2021 - As Dulist reports, the closing conference of 'The Dubrovnik digital nomad-in-residence' project was held this Saturday at Lazareti. At the closing ceremony, Dubrovnik mayor Mato Franković announced a Dubrovnik Digital Nomads coworking space.

As part of the conference, the results of four creative workshops were presented, in which, in addition to digital nomads, representatives of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, as well as citizens, also participated. The goal of these workshops was to make joint recommendations for creating a better environment for digital nomads who will be staying in Dubrovnik. 

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photo credit: Dulist

"We are pleased to conclude the first major conference of digital nomads in Dubrovnik. Digital nomads stayed in the City for a full 30 days and saw it in a different way, not only as a tourist city, but also as a city that has neighbourhoods pleasant to live in, like Mokošica, Lapad, Gruž, and Gornje Selo. They discovered a different Dubrovnik as well as our way of life. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve, to have digital nomads with this experience send a clear message to their colleagues across the world to come to Dubrovnik and stay here for a few months as a place to develop their creative ideas and contribute their practical experiences and knowledge to the Dubrovnik economy. We cannot expect our tourism of the future to rely solely on digital nomads, but I believe they will occupy one significant segment of it. At the same time, we expect some new ideas, products, and reflections of our city," said Mayor Mato Franković on this occasion, announcing that Dubrovnik will soon get a digital nomad coworking space. 

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photo credit: Dulist

"We must not stop here, this is just the beginning. The future brings us coworking spaces of digital nomads, a place where all those who come to Dubrovnik will find all the information they need, a workplace where they can share ideas with all other digital nomads. They are not engaged in just one job, but in different professions and jobs. They love to travel, their work allows them to realize their ideas elsewhere. These are people who are very well paid for the jobs they do, and their company allows them to travel the world because of their creativity. That is the future we will go for. The coworking spac is the next thing we will realize," said Franković keeping the location of the space a secret for now.

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                                                                                                                                                                           photo credit: Dulist

 

Franković emphasized that a digital nomads week, with which he would connect, was being prepared in Zagreb, but also that the goal was to connect all cities in Croatia through the project of digital nomads. (Read more about Zagreb Digital Nomad Week).

"Digital nomads are moving around and if the whole of Croatia is ready for the project of digital nomads, then the wealth of Dubrovnik in that project will be greater. If we are all open and friendly towards them, only the sky is our limit," concluded Franković.

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 photo credit: Dulist

The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnić, emphasized that at the very end of the project she would have concrete data on how many posts digital nomads had from Dubrovnik and what results the project obtained.

"Nomads gave their suggestions about the little things that we could improve as a destination for them. For the time being, our accommodation has been intended for shorter stays. All they have listed are things that can be easily improved. They had, for example, suggestions like providing kettles, additional hangers, and similar minor details. It doesn’t require a big investment, and it makes a big difference. We should start on a coworking space where they will all meet as soon as possible. For digital nomads, when they come on their own, it is very important for them to have a space where they will meet others, work, and exchange experiences. They showed that the involvement of the local community in every part of this project was important. We are happy that the general impression is good, everyone is happy and satisfied," said Hrnić.


digitalni-nomadi-zavrsna-konferencija-lazareti-5.jpgphoto credit: Dulist

She added that this conference was a good foundation for the further strategy of digital nomads that would be developed in Dubrovnik in the future. The concrete effects of the stay of digital nomads will be reflected in their social media posts, which will ultimately be summarized and multiplied in the following period. When asked about the financing of the stay of digital nomads and this conference, director Hrnić answered that the Tourist Board financed the fees of the companies Saltwater Nomads and Total Croatia News, in the amount of 200 thousand kuna.

Tanja Polegubić from the Saltwater Nomads company presented the results of four creative workshops, in which, in addition to digital nomads, the citizens of Dubrovnik also participated.

"The aim of the workshops was to make joint recommendations for creating a better environment for digital nomads who will stay in Dubrovnik," said Polegubić.

The owner of the Total Croatia News portal, Paul Bradbury, stated that the project is a great opportunity for changes in tourism, based on the new slogan "Croatia - your safe, authentic, lifestyle destination".

"The project is great and could stop now, but there is already great momentum and discussions on the next steps. It is very encouraging to see the CEO of Raiffeisen Bank, as well as senior representation from Hrvatski Telekom, KPMG, and the Zagreb Tourist Board here today," Bradbury said. "The future of work will look very different, and Croatia - and especially Dubrovnik - can repivot its tourism based on its three jewels of safety, authentic experiences and lifestyles. People want these things, and with the freedom of workplace, Croatia has a lot to offer. And one of the findings of this month was the Beyond the Walls concept, which we will be exploring more on TCN shortly. Rather than Dubrovnik being limited in its offer by the content of the old city, these nomads found more than enough content for a one-month 'workation'."

The president of the Digital Nomad Association of Croatia, Jan de Jong, stated that the project is developing very quickly and successfully.

"We need to build content and community, where I recognize the role of the association, which must unite and serve digital nomads. We also need to send a message of inspiration to young people who may want to leave Croatia and somehow reverse the 'brain drain' with the arrival of digital nomads," he said.

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photo credit: Dulist

Dutchman Rob Schubert is one of the digital nomads who has been in Dubrovnik for the past month and is delighted with the experience he has gained. His ‘start-up’ is normally located in Estonia, but it offers him various opportunities to work as a digital nomad.

"This project was so inspiring, we broadened our horizons. At this conference, I strengthened my thinking about digital nomads. I am glad that Dubrovnik has positioned itself as a new ‘hotspot’ for digital nomads. I will recommend to my friends and colleagues to come here. The city is beautiful, I have gotten to know it and I am so sad that I have to leave tomorrow," said Schubert.

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photo credit: Dulist

Let us remind you that in a joint project of the City of Dubrovnik and the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik, in cooperation with Total Croatia News and Saltwater Nomads, Dubrovnik hosted ten digital nomads from different parts of the world for a month.

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photo credit: Dulist

For more information about digital nomads in Croatia, visit the TC Digital Nomads in Croatia in a Page, or follow the latest in the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 21 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Nomad Partners

May 21, 2021 – We have been covering the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program for some time now, focusing on the digital nomads themselves. We’ve decided to catch up with the nomad partners as well and find out about their Dubrovnik experience.

The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program gathered ten digital nomads from various corners of the world. They have been working hard to give their input in an effort to create a strategic direction for Dubrovnik. This program was created by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News, with crucial help from the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board. During the four-week-long program, design thinking workshops are used to define the perfect image of a digital nomad-friendly Dubrovnik.

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With all the emphasis on what digital nomads need in a destination, it is easy to forget many of them do not travel alone. Six of the nomads in the DNiR program have their partners with them. Whether or not a destination is attractive to their partners will undoubtedly play an important role in the decision to move there. We’ve gathered our digital nomad partners and did short interviews with all of them. It was very interesting to hear their stories. Much like the digital nomads themselves, their partners are a very diverse group. Some of them are digital nomads themselves, while some are using the time in Croatia to rest and re-charge. All of them love being in Dubrovnik, but all of them also have their comments on how to improve the offer.

The Interviews

Nicki is a digital nomad as well as his partner Kaisu who is one of the digital nomads in residence. He is often seen at the Lazareti co-working space making sure he stays on top of his work while staying in Dubrovnik

"...in determining whether to go somewhere or not, for us it's always about: Is there something to do? Is there a community? Is there something we can learn from? Is it an inspiring place?"

 

Jeff is here with his wife Marlee and they are both digital nomads in the broadcasting industry. Their needs are similar, but they also want to spend quality time in a nice location when working remotely.

"...meeting the people has been the highlight. Getting to know someone other just - 'Hi, How are you? Here are the keys to your home.- We've actually gotten to know people and spend time and talk...

 

Mira is a student from Hungary, so she doesn’t get to work much while in Dubrovnik. She needs plenty of activities and enjoys exploring the destination she finds herself in. Emi is also from Hungary. She is a digital nomad with a job that requires specific conditions in her place of remote work.

"For me, the challenge has been getting around in the public transportation. That's an everyday challenge."

"I have different requirements than some other digital nomads. Because I teach online, so I need a quiet room. That is actually something not everybody needs."

 

Pete comes all the way from sunny California and is enjoying his stay in Dubrovnik. The nature of his work doesn’t allow him to work remotely. So, his main focus is on exploring the area and enjoying his stay in Croatia.

"...some of the challenges, especially when your partner is working, you are kind of just left on your own. But, luckily, Dubrovnik has great things to do. So, I've been kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, eating a whole bunch..."

 

Sam is a writer and a digital nomad, just like his wife Charlie. They are flexible and determined to enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle. But being a digital nomad couple often means having different requirements than when you are an individual traveller.

"...because we are a couple we like doing things independently as well. So, for the people that are here in the co-living space, you've instantly got that community together. Whereas being a couple, we obviously like a bit of our own time as well."

 

With all these different views and opinions, it seems catering to all of them is not an easy task. However, if you already have beautiful areas and friendly people in your community, most other items on the wish list are quite manageable. It is safe to say all of them have one thing in common. They are happy in Dubrovnik and want to be a part of the community.

 

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Winners announcement video:

 

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

 

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Marlee McCormick Interview

May 20, 2021 – Travellers from Texas visiting Dubrovnik is nothing unusual. However, a Texas digital nomad living, working, and making friends in Dubrovnik is not a very common occurrence. Meet Marlee McCormick!

Participants in the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program are a diverse group. They come from various fields and demographic segments. So, running into someone hosting a morning radio show in Texas shouldn’t be all that surprising. Still, it is hard to imagine anyone guessing one of the digital nomads in Dubrovnik is an on-air personality working for a Fort Worth-based country and western radio station. That someone is Marlee McCormick. Together with her husband, she made a trip from the USA to Dubrovnik to pursue a recent dream of remote work. The charming couple was forced to take their jobs out of the office due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, once they realised they can change their place of work and still perform their tasks well, there was no going back. Aside from work, Marlee spends her days exploring southern Croatia. She enjoys living in the heart of the medieval city and making friends, a skill she has perfected.

Through Total Croatia News Marlee found out about the Dubrovnik DNiR program and applied. She didn’t think she would be selected, but the selection process was done well and the group is now richer for a very interesting perspective she brings to the table.

DNiR Program

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The Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was created by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News. With the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik in support of the program, the results will likely be very valuable. The program aims to create a strategic direction for the city. Through design thinking workshops the potential future of digital nomads in Dubrovnik will be described. It is one of the ways of moving forward on Dubrovnik’s path to a more sustainable tourism future.

The Interview

A sunny morning in the historical centre of the city was perfect for a chat with Marlee. She shared her thoughts on the program and Dubrovnik, but also about how it all started:

"About a year ago when things happened with my partner and I… the station decided to split us up, where one stayed in the studio and one broadcasted outside of the studio. So I made myself a home studio and spent most of my time broadcasting from my home over the last year. But, you know, that can get a little dull, when you are just at home, 24/7. So, I found out, being safe about it, being smart about COVID rules and restrictions, that I could go other places and as I said, with good Wi-Fi, do my job anywhere in the world. I just have to adjust to the hours a little bit."

Her working experience in Dubrovnik has been wonderful, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Getting to the city wasn’t all that straightforward. Some Wi-Fi issues in Dubrovnik and working hours of the co-working spaces were also a slight challenge.

The overall experience for Marlee and her husband Jeff has been a very rewarding one. She emphasized:

“I’m finding myself doing things that I haven’t done in so long, because I’m revitalised by this lifestyle.”

Do not miss the full interview with Marlee below.

Check out the full video below.

 

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Winners announcement video:

 

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

 

 

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Strong Line Up for Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence Finale

May 19, 2021 - The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program comes to an end this weekend, with a press conference and panel sections highlighting the engagement from the public and private sector. 

Another 05:00 start tomorrow, then a 7-hour drive. Destination Dubrovnik. 

Every visit to the Pearl of the Adriatic in this pandemic era has been one of joy, as the city has been relieved of the burdern of overtourism and been given a chance to breathe and reassess its tourism strategy. But tomorrow's trip is all the more exciting, as it is linked to the finale of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program, probably the most interesting and innovative project I have been part of in my 10 years of writing about tourism in Croatia. Funded by our partners, the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, and conceived and delivered by Saltwater Nomads,DNIR is the first program of its kind in the world, and it has been an enriching and rewarding experience for all involved. 

It is less than 4 weeks since these ten amazing humans (meet them in the video above) descended on Dubrovnik from all over the globe to take up their residence. Four weeks later, the strong bonds of friendship that they have developed with each other, as well as the wider Dubrovnik community, has been a joy to observe. As has their collaboration on the task at hand - to work with the city, the tourist board, the local community, and each other to come up with effective recommendations and strategies to enable Dubrovnik to better take advantage of the digital nomad opportunity. 

The resident nomads will be working on their presentations of their findings, which will be presented initially to a limited audience on Friday evening aboard the Karaka, before the finale program on Saturday.

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The panel line ups give me real hope that the seeds of this great opportunity have already found fertile ground. 

Dubrovnik is extremely well represented by Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, Deputy Mayor, Jelka Tepsic, and Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director, Ana Hrnic. It is also particularly pleasing to see Petra Marsic from the Zagreb Tourist Board also taking part in the panel discussions. In partnership with Saltwater Nomads and TCN, Zagreb Tourist Board will host Zagreb Digital Nomad Week & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project begins on June 21. 

All three co-founders of the Digital Nomad Association - Jan de Jong, Tanja Polegubic and Karmela Tancabel - will also be present. 

Croatian business has given enthusiastic support to the initiative, and Raiffeisen Bank, Hrvatski Telekom, and KPMG will be among the companies taking part. There has also been some great input throughout the month from various organisations working in the field of sustainable tourism, and Ranko Milic from EUPOLIS will no doubt have a lively contribution to make. 

And not least, the nomads themselves, with several taking part in the sessions as moderators. A great mix of ideas, viewpoints and experiences. The whole event will be filmed and made available soon after it takes place. 

A little more information from the official press release:

The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DN-I-R) have been in Dubrovnik for 4 weeks. On Saturday 22nd May, leading public, private and non profit sector experts will join the DN-I-Rs for a series of panel discussions. These panels will define the way forward for Croatia’s digital nomad movement.

The panel session topics include regenerative tourism, business, women and remote workers with Croatian family connections. 

Panel 1 features city leaders, including Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director, Ana Hrnić , Petra Maršić (Zagreb Tourist Board), DN-I-R program director Tanja Polegubić (Saltwater), Ranko Milić (EUPOLIS/CEDRA). This panel is moderated by leading blue economy expert and Digital Nomad-in-Residence, Ron Tardiff.

The Digital Nomad Association (DNA) Croatia are sponsoring a session on how business can support digital nomads in Croatia. This panel features Jan de Jong (DNA Croatia), Liana Keserić (Raiffeisen Bank Croatia), Kristina Grbavac (KPMG), Marijana Bašić (Hrvatski Telekom), Nino Dubretić (Direct Booker) and Nikolina Trojić (HGK).

A large number of applicants to the Dubrovnik DN-I-R program were women, particularly from North America. Croatia has a strong reputation as a safe destination for women. In panel 3, experienced (and newbie) women who are embarking on a digital nomad journey, share tips and trends for this audience.

The final panel is moderated by our DN-I-R who holds a PhD in skilled migration, Kaisu Koskela. Panel 4 looks at Croatians with heritage and spouses, who are coming to Croatia to work remotely in growing numbers since the onset of the pandemic. This panel features digital nomads in Croatia with dual citizenship, Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepšić and Paul Bradbury from Total Croatia News.

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If you are interested in more information about the Zagreb event, check out the Saltwater Nomads presentation.  

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

For the latest news and features, follow the TCN dedicated digital nomads section

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Zoltan Nagy Interview

May 17, 2021 – Among Dubrovnik digital nomads is also Zoltan Nagy, a Hungarian photographer, videographer, and a really cool person. He told us about his impressions of the city and the life of a digital nomad.

Zoltan Nagy is a landscape photographer, videographer, and web designer. He is not too far away from home in Dubrovnik as his homeland of Hungary is one of the neighbouring countries to Croatia. In fact, he considers Croatia one of his favourite foreign countries. He is a young digital nomad looking to explore the world and immortalize it in his photographs. One of the things that excited him the most about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program is meeting like-minded individuals and working with them on the common goal.

DNiR Program

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The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program is the work of Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik support the project and make it possible. The program is a co-creation effort looking to utilise the experiences of ten digital nomads combined with local community members. The goal is to create a strategic direction for the city through the use of design-thinking workshops. It represents a step towards re-thinking Dubrovnik's tourism sector.

The Interview

Zoltan is always upbeat and ready to help. We’ve taken advantage of this and asked him a few questions about his experiences in Dubrovnik. He is very happy with the life in the city and the people he met along the way.

“I love it so far! We’ve met quite a lot of local people here and they were just so nice. They showed us around, gave us some tips and tricks on where to eat, where to find nice photo spots. And of course, the Old Town is just amazing.”

So, what does a person with such a positive outlook on Croatia and Dubrovnik find to be the most challenging thing for digital nomads here?

“The only challenge I found here is the accommodation. So, as a digital nomad, I of course have a monthly budget I can spend on food and just living in a place, and I couldn’t find really good deals in terms of accommodation here…”

Check out the full video below.

 

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Winners announcement video:

 

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Charlie Brown Interview

May 17, 2021 – Our interviews with digital nomads in Dubrovnik continue with Charlie Brown, a freelance writer and wine expert from the UK. 

Charlie Brown comes from the UK and she is a freelance writer covering themes of wine, food, finance, and entrepreneurship. Her skills are many and interests diverse. Together with her husband Sam she used to own a wine shop and bar outside of London until the couple decided to sell the business and their house to dive into the life of digital nomads. They are no strangers to Croatia nor Dubrovnik, but it was the Digital Nomads-in Residence program that enabled them to come and live in the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. Charlie is always keen on exploring new places and local culture. She is especially interested in the traditional food and wine scene. This is why Croatia was always high on her travel list.

It was through Facebook groups that Charlie and Sam found out about the possibility of joining the program in Dubrovnik. She applied and it didn’t take long for the people in charge to decide a person with an intimate knowledge of wine and food is always a welcomed group member.

DNiR Program

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Saltwater Nomads created the Digital Nomads-in-Residence program in partnership with Total Croatia News. They found amazing partners in the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik which support the project wholeheartedly. The program gathers ten digital nomads of different profiles whose experiences of living and working in Dubrovnik will be used to craft a strategic direction for the city. Dubrovnik is moving towards a more sustainable future and digital nomads might be a contributing factor in those efforts.

The Interview

Charlie is always hard at work and it is not easy to get her time. So we’ve made sure to keep the interview short and sweet. Through our chat she revealed her insights into the city and being a digital nomad in Dubrovnik:

“It’s been great weather which really helps. There’s plenty to do here as well and it’s really nice to meet the digital nomads here as well. So, so far it’s been a really great experience.“

"It’s a new thing here, digital nomads in Dubrovnik. So, aside from us ten and our partners, it would be great to be able to meet more people – if there are people – doing this here as well. So, anything like meetups and that sort of thing would be good as well."

She also had plenty of chosen words about her colleagues in the program and the beautiful co-working space in Dubrovnik’s Lazareti complex. Make sure to watch the full interview below.

 Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

For the latest digital nomad news from Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

The winner announcement video:

 

 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Slobodna Dalmacija Features Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence

May 18, 2021 Slobodna Dalmacija brings a story about digital nomads from the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

“We can work four hours, have coffee and make good money”

Croatia is one of the first countries in the world to have adopted the concept of a one-year digital nomad visa.

The City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, in partnership with Saltwater Nomads and TCN, selected ten “official” digital nomads and gave them a rent-free month in Dubrovnik. In return, they expect useful advice on how to create a nomad-friendly atmosphere in the south of Croatia. This type of guest doesn’t crave travelling only in the summer months nor do they sit at home waiting for the pandemic to pass. The project is entitled “The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program”.

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Game of Thrones

In the world of digital nomads, Croatia is renowned as one of the cheaper European countries for a longer stay. Participants in this program are housed in private apartments, some at Akademis "Academia" as well. They admit their knowledge of Dubrovnik was more or less reduced to the city being tied to the role of King’s Landing it played in the popular TV show Game of Thrones. However, Albert Canigueral, a Spanish teacher, writer and documentary filmmaker, visited Dubrovnik back in 2003.

“The city is today pretty empty because of the pandemic. Otherwise, it is visited by numerous tourists. Almost 20 years ago, communication with the local people was much harder than today when almost everybody communicates in English.” – Albert recalls.

His career has involved extensive travel across Europe, North and South America, but this program in Dubrovnik is his first formal digital nomad experience. At the moment, he is researching the issues around the future of work, the future of employment and new technologies in society. Therefore, digital nomadism is his research matter as well. As it turns out, flexibility affects productivity in a positive way.

Paid per project

“If someone takes a walk around the City Walls and has a cup of coffee after four hours of dedicated work, and then continues after taking a break, he is bound to be more effective than someone forcefully seated for eight hours straight in an office. Working from home and flexibility in managing work hours will be a more and more common occurrence. It is not all black and white. Not everyone will be able to work like that, there are jobs that demand the physical presence of the worker and strict hours, but more and more jobs will be organised on a per-project basis with deadlines defined. Also, more and more people will be paid on a “per project” basis than on a fixed salary. Innovation and changes are happening ever faster and the companies are looking for new talent and fresh workforce not on a fixed model, but on individual projects. The metaphor for that type of work is known as a “Hollywood model”. Part of the employees of the film studio are the ones with steady jobs, but for each movie new screenwriters, actors or make-up artists are employed. Imagine every movie had the same actors! For companies, this model works well and it is up to the individual governments to ensure an effective social system and adapt to the new paradigm. Instead of working in the same position for salaries our entire lives, we need to get accustomed to a fragmented system in which the income will have its ups and downs and the social system that will accommodate this.” – says Albert

Flexibility is Key

COVID-19 Pandemic proved to even the most conservative employees how working from home or some other alternative place is not necessarily a bad thing. When asked what advice would she give to a beginner digital nomad on how to build a sustainable career, Charlie Brown considers flexibility to be the keyword. Cyberspace offers indescribable options which she had no idea about until she sold her assets, home and wine shop near London and set out on the path of the nomad. Before Dubrovnik, Charlie was already in Croatia, in Zagreb and Split. For beginners with no work, she recommends the website upwork.com which is packed with offers for hundreds of thousands of work opportunities. Everything is possible, even running a radio show in Texas from Dubrovnik…

Ron Tardiff is a young scientist from the United States who studied in seven different countries, from Europe to China. He believes Dubrovnik to be a logical choice for “workcation”, a rising trend in companies that give employees the opportunity to work from whichever location they prefer for three months of the year.

“Moving for school or work, I have done so much bureaucracy and can therefore tell you it is refreshing to run across a country where you are being welcomed and barriers to entry are being lifted. Looking at it from the perspective of pre-pandemic times, the advantage of Croatia is accessibility, ferry connections to Italy and proximity of Balkan countries that are generating interest among digital nomads. It is wonderful to do some island hopping as well. I have to also admit Croatian roads are some of the best in Europe. If only the trains were equally as good.” – Ron commented

From Costa Rica to Croatia

Mr. Tardiff is in love with the idea that is being developed here and the effort in proving digital nomads can be more than just tourists. He is hopeful other cities will take on the Dubrovnik model. As a scientist, he is particularly interested in the development of the “blue economy”. Considering tourism is the second most important industry in the Mediterranean region and is taking over as the most important one, which is not always a good thing from the standpoint of environmental protection, Ron Tardiff is preoccupied with the issue of reducing the number of tourists or attracting the tourists that create a bigger value for the destination. Like digital nomads.

For the last five years, as the interest of Americans in Croatian tourist destinations grew, Texas-born Kelsey Kay Love put Croatia on her bucket list. She started her nomadic lifestyle eight years ago, travelling from Costa Rica, through Bali, New Zealand, Thailand…

“I’m attracted by situations that will get me out of my comfort zone, which is inherent in the digital nomad lifestyle. Having a stable job is a huge advantage” – Says Kelsey, a brand manaer for a luxury alcoholic beverage brand co-owned by Bruno Mars. She worked as a travel writer in the past for numerous travel websites and tour companies in Maui and Australia. Is she worried about her financial security?

“Oh yes! Luckily, I have been holding on to the same job for almost two years now, so I am pretty relaxed. One needs to be persistent, creative and willing to take an occasional risk. Do you know how to make website, write, or manage social media? There are many jobs you can do. It was easier for me in New Zealand where I had a work visa, compared to Asia. Now Croatia is offering digital nomad visas, which is great. I think one year is the right duration for the visa.” – says Kelsey.

Price of Accommodation

Ron Tardiff emphasizes nomads never spend all the money they make and they take great care that the costs of living in a country they’re residing are lower than those of the country their employer is from. This is a chance for Croatia which offers the possibilities of cheaper longer stays than many other countries. When asked about the most important considerations when choosing a destination in which to spend a month or more, our interviewees first emphasize the cost of accommodation. There are cities with a high cost for short stays, but the accommodation owners are willing to accept reasonable monthly rates. Furthermore, good internet connection ranks very high, as does affordable transportation, whether public transportation or rent-a-car, the proximity of an international airport, safety, nature, pleasant climate, and community of digital nomads or expats. They are trying to avoid overcrowded cities where tourism has a negative effect on the quality of life.

Internet Speed

Global nomad network nomadlist.com has 210 reviews for Dubrovnik. The average city score is 3,41. Digital nomads speak highly of the speed of the internet, workplaces, quality of life, safety and education levels. Negative comments usually have to do with nightlife, air-conditioning systems and smoking in public areas. There are mentions of difficulties in forming friendships and hostility towards women and members of the LGBT community. Out of all the above, nomads we’ve interviewed jokingly comment how the rental properties are obviously geared towards the summer rentals and cooling rather than heating. Those that have already been to Croatia say the locals are very kind people and they suffered no unpleasantness. They say the scores on websites like this have no great bearing on their decisions to travel to a certain destination, but they do check all the available information before their trip. When asked what about the main advantages to Dubrovnik and Croatia, they emphasize pleasant weather and a relaxed lifestyle.

“You have the Mediterranean lifestyle, access to great beaches especially in the summer, all going in your favour. Croatians are very gracious hosts! The most beautiful side to being a nomad is not having to base yourself in one spot. Therefore, you don’t have to select living in just one Croatian city. I can spend one month in Dubrovnik, the next one in Split, or in an undiscovered continental part of the country” – says Charlie Brown.

Split is Cheaper

Ron and Albert agree. According to them, one thing that makes life easier is the fact most people speak English well. Ron objects to the location of Dubrovnik. Although he would gladly return to it, cities in central Dalmatia seem like a more sensible choice for a digital nomad’s base. Split is somewhat larger and somewhat cheaper. Seeing how Croatia is at the top of his list of countries in which to live for years now, after Budapest, that will probably be his destination of choice.

Interesting to note is their stance on medical insurance. Before the pandemic, they mainly risked and had no insurance coverage, but COVID-19 made them more cautious. Charlie Brown says she is still upset about Brexit, but still holds a medical coverage card that is valid in EU countries. In situations when that kind of solution is not possible, digital nomads are partially reliant on travel insurance which, they argue, do not work always or everywhere. With the work visa in Australia and New Zealand, Kelsey was insured as any other employee, but this is rarely this simple. After her partner contracted denga fever in Thailand and spent 48 hours in the hospital having to do MRI and similar tests, travel insurance wasn’t going to cover his expenses, so they ended up paying USD4000. They still feel they got off lightly considering the prices in their homeland. Ron remembers having to do appendicitis surgery in Greece a year ago. His German travel insurance covered the cost.

“I’m at a Gain”

“I come from the United Stated of America, the country with the most expensive healthcare in the world, so even if I had to pay for a medical service out of my own pocket here, it would be cheaper than a medical insurance policy in USA. I don’t have dental insurance. The basic one I have at the moment doesn’t cover tooth breakage, but if I went to the dentist here, it would cost me 10 to 15 times less than in the USA. So, I am at a gain. People joke about this, but it is cheaper to fly here from America, get a cocktail, have your teeth fixed and fly back, then to do it back home.” – says Ron and adds: “I am not worried about health insurance because it cannot be more expensive than back home”

When asked where they would prefer to live, Ron chooses Greece, although he notes difficult bureaucracy as the main problem for someone coming from United States. Although he went to school in Greece, he can’t be employed there. Some of the most attractive countries for nomads also have the most barriers for staying there, but this rarely deters them.

“Before this program, I was torn between going to Portugal or Croatia, and now I am one hundred percent certain about coming here. Dubrovnik surroundings are peaceful with beautiful nature, and everything is more straightforward than in Portugal.” – says Kelsey Kay Love

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

For the latest digital nomad news and features in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 17 May 2021

Checking In with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Kaisu Koskela Interview

May 17, 2021 – Our digital nomads are paving the way for their future colleagues in Dubrovnik as a part of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. We caught up with Kaisu Koskela to get her thoughts.

When it comes to being a digital nomad, Kaisu Koskela is the „real deal“. She has been embracing the life of a digital nomad since before the term existed. Originally from Finland, Kaisue feels at home anywhere she finds interesting. She holds a Ph.D. in social sciences from the University of Helsinki and an MSc in social anthropology from the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her Ph.D. research dealt with skilled migrants, their communities, and social identities. All this makes her outstandingly qualified to take part in a project dealing with digital nomads in Dubrovnik.

DNiR Program

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The Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was created by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News. With both the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik supporting it and collaborating on it, the aim of the program is to create a strategic direction for the city. Through design thinking workshops the potential future of digital nomads in Dubrovnik will be described.

Kaisu found out about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program through a friend. She applied intrigued by the prospect of contributing to such an interesting project. Today, she is one of the ten nomads in residence in Dubrovnik.

The Interview

She shared some of her thoughts with us during a short interview. It was interesting to hear her opinions on living and working in Dubrovnik as a digital nomad. Also, Kaisu was clear about her personal likes and dislikes about the experience.

„I think the challenges are to do with the tourist season being so intense and the prices hiking up in that period. Because, as a nomad, you have the whole world to choose from. You have so many locations you can go to at any one time. Personally, for me, what is most important is to have nice sunny weather, which we have here currently and through much of the year. You get to experience really nice weather here, so that's great.“

She is also happy with the colleagues in the Dubrovnik DNiR program as well as the participation of the city and the local tourist board.

„...the fact that the Dubrovnik city and tourism authorities are a part of this I think is a really encouraging sign for digital nomadism in general. So, I am very happy to be a part of the whole program.„

Check out the full interview with Kaisu Kaskela below.

 

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Programme

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Here is Kaisu's application video:

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Albert Cañigueral Interview

May 16, 2021 – We caught up with Albert Cañigueral, a digital nomad from Barcelona who is a consultant freelancer dedicated to exploring the future of work and the effects of digitization on the labour market and workplaces.

Albert Cañigueral is a man on a mission. This freelance consultant is out to learn about digital nomads by becoming one of them. He will use this knowledge later in his work that revolves around the impacts of digital technology in society, the future of work, and the collaborative economy. In his professional life, Albert is exploring the impacts of digital innovations on societies and traditional companies. He is currently working on a documentary on how the changes in the workforce and workplaces affect the cities. He is also a published author and a very interesting guy. Albert comes from Barcelona, one of the jewels of the Mediterranean.

After learning about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, he wasted no time applying. It was clear from the start, Albert is a great match for the program dealing with issues so familiar and important to him.

DNiR Program

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The Digital Nomads-in-Residence program will create a strategic direction for Dubrovnik in order to show the way for the city to adapt to digital nomads. Saltwater Nomads created the program in partnership with Total Croatia News. With collaboration from the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board, design thinking process workshops are organized to facilitate the co-creation model the program is based on.

The Interview

We took Albert Cañigueral away from his work for a few minutes to ask him about his impressions of Dubrovnik and working with his fellow nomads. Through a short interview, he was able to tell us a lot. His views on the city and the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program are very interesting. As one of the main advantages of being a digital nomad versus being a tourist, he emphasizes time to explore and engage with the city.

“I like the sights of the city. I came here 15 years ago, more or less, so I’ve had a more touristic perspective, and now, being here almost more than 15-20 days already, you learn more about the other parts of the city. We are in Lapad, in Akademis. We’ve been enjoying all this area which is probably not so well known for someone who comes here for just one day or one weekend. As a digital nomad, you enjoy more of the city, the diversity, other beaches, other areas… more time to explore in a more relaxed pace.”

When it comes to working within the program he is very happy with the group. The initial meeting and introductions set the correct tone from the start.

“I think the landing was super smooth. I really enjoyed… the welcoming dinner. We met and that was very important. That social part, to create a group. From very early on, I’ve spent quality time and energy on that. Because it smooths the rest of the process. “

Below is the full interview with Albert. Make sure to watch it and find out more about his views on the program and living in Dubrovnik.

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

Here is Albert's application video:

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

 

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Digital Nomads in Dubrovnik Get Acquainted with City's Development Agency

May 12, 2021 - Dubrovnik's Development Agency held a presentation today as a part of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. Digital nomads in Dubrovnik enjoyed an informative presentation and an interesting look into the work of this important local organisation.

Dubrovnik's Development Agency (DURA) presented its work today as a part of the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNiR) program. Lazareti complex, right next to the digital nomads' co-working space, was a perfect setting for the presentation.

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DURA is well known in Dubrovnik. It is a local non-profit organisation helping the development of Dubrovnik's business sector. Helping startups, small and medium-sized companies is the most popular of the many activities done by the agency. Aside from regular business workshops, DURA started the first „business incubator“ in this part of the country. Through this program, new companies in Dubrovnik get a chance to rent offices in the heart of the city for a fraction of the market price.

Local Companies Presented

With digital nomads in the auditorium, DURA representatives talked about the agency's programs and the Smart City concept. A big part of the presentation was the introduction of two businesses using DURA services. The first one was Event Lab. This local PR and event company owned by two sisters made some of its first business steps with the help of DURA. Today, they are very much established in their field, even expanding into fields of wine marketing and promotion. Answering questions from the audience the owners of EventLab, Andela and Ksenija Matic spoke about the work they do. They also talked about the challenges they are facing running a company in a sector badly affected by the global COVID19 pandemic.

The final chapter of this interesting presentation was another business introduction. This one very new, but with a bright future ahead. Mirna Saric owns a nutritional consulting business called Nutrigurman. She started it recently with help from DURA and the agency's programs. This young and talented nutrition expert and chef went through a long but exciting process of education and training. Today she is a rising star in her field and will undoubtedly become another positive story to come out of DURA.

Questions posed by digital nomads during the presentation were especially interesting. In the end, they commented how they rarely get a chance to learn about what is happening behind the scenes of the city's business sector. The presentation was an interesting learning experience and all who attended now have a slightly better understanding of Dubrovnik's small business scene.

Learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program.

Saltwater Nomads' Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Programme

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

For the latest digital nomad news from Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

 

 

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