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.


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.



Saturday, 8 May 2021

Checking In with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Kelsey Kay Love Interview

May 8, 2021 - Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program is well underway with our digital nomads seriously getting to work on ideas and suggestions on how to improve the local nomad offer. We caught up with Kelsey Kay Love to get her opinion of living and working in Dubrovnik.

Digital nomads in residence are creating and sharing their vision of a nomad-friendly Dubrovnik. They are paving the way for their colleagues who will follow after them. We are catching up with them and chatting about their impressions so far. Today, we are talking to Kelsey Kay Love.


It is hard to imagine a group of people that wouldn't want Kelsey as one of their members. This Dallas Texas born digital marketing expert, travel writer and brand manager lives life to the fullest. She is a world traveller with a gift of contagious positivity. Kelsey is currently busy working as a brand manager for SelvaRey Rum Company, co-owned by Bruno Mars. That didn't stop her from applying to Dubrovnik Nomads in Residence program.

After searching for digital nomad options around the world she realised there was a possible option for applying to a program in Dubrovnik. Croatia was already high on her bucket list as a destination so she decided to apply. And the rest is history.

Living in Dubrovnik

Although she works full time Kelsey manages to enjoy Dubrovnik. She spends her days getting to know the local culture of living and local people. She enjoys activities and tours done with her fellow nomads in residence and is rapidly building a good understanding of what it's like to live and work in southern Croatia. Being a lover of boats, Kelsey is right at home in this ancient seafaring community.

In a short interview below Kelsey reveals her likes and dislikes when it comes to being a digital nomad in Dubrovnik. She also chimes in as to what the next steps for the local community need to be. Her varied list of interests helps her enjoy the width of the Dubrovnik experience and some of the things the area offers outside of the beaten path. Check out the interview below and pick up some of that Kelsey Kay Love positivity.

You can learn more about the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program here

Here is Kelsey's application video.

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.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Checking in with Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence – Ron Tardiff Interview

May 6, 2021 - The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program is well underway with the nomads getting accustomed to their new place of residence and colleagues. We have caught up with one of them, Ron Tardiff.

Ron Tardiff is quite a guy. He is a highly educated marine ecologist with an impressive educational background. He studied at seven educational institutions pursuing marine sciences (BSc), maritime studies (BA), and aquaculture (MSc). Ron dedicates his work and effort to bettering aquaculture and fishing practices. He advocates better regulation based on scientific research. Ron is also actively voicing his concerns regarding overtourism. Being a dedicated marine ecologist, he is well aware of the environmental damages it brings. In his spare time he practices yoga and learns foreign languages.

Getting to Dubrovnik

Aside from being a dedicated ocean advocate, he is an avid traveller. Not only that, but a true digital nomad. With no preferred spot in which to spend his days, Ron has found himself working, studying and living in 10 different countries. COVID-related travel problems prevented him to get back to Europe. While trying to find a solution, the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program caught his eye. Now, he is testing the waters of the Croatian South and sharing his insights with us and the local community.


Ron is frustrated with the slow pace at which national governments adopt policies related to digital nomads. For him, it seems like the struggle between the comfort of familiar but outdated practices and progress is taking too long. All he wants is a chance to work in different spots, helping local communities in the process. It might be time to listen to what he has to say.

In a quick interview below check out some of his impressions of Dubrovnik, life in Croatia and Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence. Through conversation with Paul Bradbury Ron reveals the reasons he never considered Dubrovnik before as a digital nomad destination. He also says a few words about cooperating with the other nomads. Find out more below.

You can learn more about the program here

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:

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Save the Date: Zagreb Digital Nomad Week Announced for June 21-27

April 29, 2021 - The Zagreb Tourist Board has announced a 'Save the Date' for Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 for June 21-27. 

The digital nomad buzz is getting louder in Croatia. The arrival of the Croatian digital nomad permit earlier this year, enabling non-EU/EEA citizens to work remotely in Croatia for 12 months, has opened up a new dimension to Croatia as a tourist destination. Where once the beach was the main attraction, today lifestyle - and longer-term living - is attracting a new breed of tourist, the digital nomad. 

With three unexploited tourism treasures of safety, authentic experiences and lifestyle, the remote work opportunity seems to be a fantastic opportunity for Croatia as it looks to reset its tourism strategy in the wake of pandemic realities. 

The Zagreb Tourist Board is now putting the digital nomad opportunity in the spotlight in the Croatian capital. 

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week will take place from June 21-27, offering an innovative programme exploring the current topics of interest and burning issues for the digital nomad lifestyle in Croatia and beyond. 

A combination of workshops, presentations, social and tourism activities focusing on the key themes will provide a comprehensive and stimulating week for anyone engaged in the digital nomad lifestyle. 

Full details of the programme will be officially announced in early May, but if you are planning your summer holidays and the digital nomad life is part of the mix, save the dates of June 21-27 for Zagreb. 

Full details will be published on TCN next week. In the meantime, follow the TCN dedicated digital nomads section for the latest news.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Digital Nomad Campaign Starts With Over 8 Million Impressions

April 28, 2021 - As part of the first wave of the digital nomad campaign, "Croatia, your new office!", over 8 million impressions were achieved from mid-March to mid-April.

As reported by the Croatian National Tourist Board, activities within the digital nomad campaign, which the Croatian National Tourist Board is conducting on the US market, Canada, and the United Kingdom, were carried out on Facebook and Twitter and aimed exclusively at the target group of potential digital nomads, and all information on the conditions of registration and stay of digital nomads in Croatia can be found on the campaign landing page and subpage ‘‘Croatia your new office’’.

"Digital nomads in the current circumstances can contribute to better occupancy of tourist capacities throughout the year, while digital nomadism itself is increasingly becoming a global trend that brings numerous benefits for a number of activities, including the tourism sector. Croatia has the necessary preconditions to become an attractive and desirable destination for digital nomads, and we will continue to carry out the necessary activities to be as successful as possible", said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the second wave of the promotional campaign is planned for the second half of 2021.

Let's add that the campaign page mostly searches for the conditions and steps that must be met in order to obtain a visa for "digital nomads", but also the content available in certain destinations. The data also show that the most interesting are tourist products such as active holidays, nature, culture, and eno-gastronomy, but also destinations such as Central Dalmatia, Istria, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb.

That Croatia is recognized as an interesting destination for digital nomads is confirmed by numerous publications in renowned foreign media such as GEO, Lonely Planet, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Mirror, and The Independent, which have dedicated their recent articles to the digital nomad campaign in Croatia.

You can learn more about the digital nomad visa through our interview with Melissa Paul, owner of Croatia's first digital nomad visa earlier this year.

For more on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads are in Residence: Meet Them! (VIDEO)

April 24, 2021 - Dubrovnik's 10 digital nomads are in residence. Meet them all in their one-minute application video. 

The eagles have landed. 

Organising an international competition to help Dubrovnik establish its digital nomad identity was always going to be a challenge in the current environment, but the initial challenges have been overcome. Last-minute accommodation changes, re-routed flights and a tightening of measures have certainly not helped, but the 10 winners of the Digital Nomads-in-Residence programme are now in residence in Dubrovnik, ready to start their innovative programme of collaboration with the city, tourist board, and local community to help improve Dubrovnik's strategy to meet the remote work opportunity. 

The journeys of some of the ten winners have been longer than others. You can meet them all in this collection of their one-minute application videos below. 

Kelsey Kay Love from Texas, flying in from Los Angeles.

Kelsey Kay Love, USA, is the brand manager for SelvaRey Rum, a luxury alcoholic beverage brand. She has worked as a freelance travel writer for a number of travel websites and tourism service providers in Maui and Australia. Kelsey is from Texas and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Ron Tardiff from USA driving from Budapest.

Ron Tardiff, USA, is a scientist whose work is related to ecology and marine protection. He has studied marine sciences, maritime affairs, aquaculture and sustainable blue growth in seven institutions around the world. Ron conducted research, developed a strategy, managed projects and initiatives for 11 organizations with the aim of promoting a sustainable blue economy and maritime issues at the highest levels of government

Carolyn Zelikow from USA, on the ferry and bus from Stari Grad on Hvar.

Carolyn Zelikow, USA, currently works from Hvar for the American digital agency Storyware. Carolyn came to Croatia after graduating from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and was a special deputy executive vice president for institutional advancement at the Aspen Institute.

Rob Schubert from the Netherlands, flying in from Estonia.

Rob Schubert, the Netherlands, is currently based in Estonia, where he runs his business as CEO and co-founder of an eHealth startup aimed at advancing in the diagnosis of autism. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) awarded the business as the most efficient health startup in 2020.

Alyssa Isogawa from USA/Japan, flying in from Los Angeles.

Alyssa Isogawa, Japan / USA, is an entrepreneur who started a business for e-commerce Deep End a few years ago, which today she can run from anywhere in the world. She grew up swimming and playing water polo, which is why she especially loves Croatia.

Marlee McCormick from USA, flying in from Texas.

Marlee McCormick, USA, has been working in radio for 22 years and has hosted the KB & Marlee Morning Show on a Country music station in Fort Worth, Texas for the past three years. She has worked for award-winning news radio in Dallas.

Charlie Brown from the UK, on the bus from Zagreb.

Charlie Brown, UK, writes about wines, travel, food, entrepreneurship and finance for, UK wine magazines and other clients. In October 2020, she sold her wine shop outside of London, and after the sale she decided to live the life of a digital nomad.

Kaisu Koskela from Finland, flying in from Tenerife.

Kaisu Koskela, Finland, works as an independent scientist in academic research, including for the European Commission, and the topic of her doctoral dissertation is highly qualified people (skilled migrants) who change their place of residence. Kaisu has been working as a digital nomad in various countries for several years.

Albert Cañigueral from Spain, flying in from Barcelona.

Albert Canigueral, Spain, is a future of work expert and author. He is currently directing a documentary on the future of employment and the future of cities. One of the 12 chapters of his documentary will be dedicated to digital nomads. It also deals with the impact of high technology on society.

Zoltan Nagy from Hungary, driving from Tenerife via Budapest. 

Zoltan Nagy, Hungary, is in photo and video production with an emphasis on travel-related topics. He built his own brand called Zolixplorer. He runs a YouTube channel in Hungarian. He is an ambassador for Olympus and Manfrotto in Hungary and runs an online photography school

You can read more in the official press release from the city of Dubrovnik here

As an official project partner, TCN will be following the 10 nomads over the next 4 weeks and reporting on progress. 

You can learn more about the programme here

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.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Vajt, Jan de Jong Win PR Grand PRix for Croatian Digital Nomad Permit

 April 23, 2021 - Congratulations to PR agency Vajt and our favourite Dutchman Jan de Jong for winning the 2021 HUOJ International Grand Prix Award for PR in institutions, NGOs and associations for that Croatian digital nomad permit.

On May 2 last year, I received an email invitation to cover the SMART TOURISM 5.0 conference, which the email said was "the 1st virtual gathering of tourism professionals in Croatia."

I was not clear if I was being asked to speak as someone who is involved in tourism in Croatia, or to be the journalist covering the words of others. It turned out that the conference interest in me was to give them free PR with articles on TCN, and I politely declined. 

I was curious to see who the speakers were, and I was surprised to see my good friend, Jan de Jong, as one of the speakers. A hugely successful businessman, I didn't know that he was also a tourism professional. I called him and we chatted. He was actually about to call me to ask my advice on tourism ahead of the conference. I sent him a few articles, including a couple on digital nomad tourism, a concept that was new to him and got him really interested.  

 Here is Jan, speaking at that first conference, on the potential of digital nomad tourism.

What happened next was truly phenomenal, as Jan, assisted by PR guru Jerko Trgorlic from Vajt, pushed through the digital nomad permit in record time. A truly outstanding effort, and a worthy winner of the 2021 International Grand PRix Awards in the category of PR in institutions, NGOs and associations.

In Jan's own words on LinkedIn:

What started as a dream, was followed by an unbelievable journey for everybody that was part of introducing a digital nomad staying permit in Croatia. 

This regional Grand PRix Award is an amazing recognition for our efforts to help turn Croatia into a year-round destination for digital nomads from all around the world. 

I would like to thank our Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic for the support he has given this initiation from the moment it got his attention.

Special thanks go to our State Secretary, Ms. Terezija Gras who was the driving force in bringing this staying permit to the finish line and who was the glue that held all involved ministries together.

Last but not least, a big thank you to the #LinkedIn community. Without your support this initiative would have failed before it even began.

Thank you Jerko Trogrlić and his team at VAJT d.o.o. for all your support. Its amazing to see how a small PR agency can deliver a big impact. 

Hvala svima!

Love ❤


Congrats to Jan, Jerko and the team from Vajt. We are also following your tomato project with CROP Hrvatska very closely. 

It was a good night for foreigners working to make Croatia a better place, as the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community also won a Grand PRix award in the category of crisis communication

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Unlimited Internet for Digital Nomads with Hrvatski Telekom!

April 20, 2021 - Now you can work from any location in Croatia, as unlimited internet for digital nomads with Hrvatski Telekom is now available! 

One of the great benefits that technology provides is that today we do not necessarily have to be tied to a desk, office, or even a country to do the job. A laptop, tablet, or smartphone, and a reliable internet connection make it possible to work anywhere in the world, and Croatia is an excellent choice.

To support the fast-growing community of digital nomads and provide them with quality working conditions, Hrvatski Telekom has prepared an ‘Unlimited Internet’ bundle that is simple to activate. All digital nomads need is to ask for this bundle on the website and it will arrive at their chosen address. This allows the user to easily top up and use the card for a longer stay in Croatia.

The ease of use and the fact that no contractual obligation is required make the ‘Unlimited Internet’ bundle ideal for all digital nomads living life on the move. It can be activated first for one week at the price of 85 kunas. This weekly offer includes seven days of unlimited surfing. The SIM card is activated when you first connect to the internet, and immediately after activation, you can use the unlimited surfing option. For each further reactivated Flat Surf option, users get a 20 kuna discount, so that the price of this option is 60 kunas per week. The maximum single top-up is HRK 2,000, which is enough to cover slightly more than eight months.

The estimation is that there are 4.8 million people in the world who have in some way opted for a digital-nomadic lifestyle, with as many as 17 million people aspiring to it. Having in mind the characteristics of such a lifestyle, mobility, flexibility, creating your own schedule, and choosing the location of work, Hrvatski Telekom wants to provide digital nomads with a fast and stable internet connection at any time and in any place, which is crucial for their work.

“We listen to the market and the needs of our users every day. With the ‘Unlimited Internet’ bundle, we wanted to make work easier for digital nomads who are already in Croatia and for those who consider Croatia as a destination from which to work to show that one of the ten fastest mobile networks in the world makes it not only possible, but also an excellent choice“, said Richard Brešković, Director of Residential Marketing Sector of Hrvatski Telekom.

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

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Journey to Get the Croatian Digital Nomad Permit

 April 18, 2021 - The number of successful applicants for the new Croatian Digital Nomad Permit is slowly increasing. Delighted to welcome Steve Tsentserensky to TCN, with a great first piece on the journey and the timeline. 

March 26th, 2021 – Zagreb

The email is in Croatian. They’re always in Croatian. Which makes sense because I’m in Croatia and it’s the government that’s writing to me.

There’s a moment of terror because, ya know, I don’t speak Croatian and I’m certain this email holds the fate of my next 12 months within it.

December 8th, 2020 – New Jersey

“Will I get the results within 48 hours?”

“No, not a chance”

And with that, the swab goes further into my nose than I thought possible. I was equal parts impressed and uncomfortable to be honest.


September 2014 – Dubrovnik

The story of the 7th digital nomad permit somehow starts in 2014.

The first time I set eyes on Croatia.


Among other things, I drank an Ožujsko (I’ve since learned there are better beers) while soaking in the splendor of the Adriatic and bought a dark blue t-shirt with an anchor on it. Still have it somewhere. The shirt, not the beer.

The love affair didn’t start there though.

It wasn’t until 2019 that that happened. Unbeknownst to me at the time it was a few days in Zagreb in the dead of winter, just after New Year’s, that would set the wheels of this journey in motion.


December 9th, 2020 – JFK Airport

Routinely ranked among the worst airports in the United States, it was my great joy and pleasure to be there on that crisp Wednesday evening. Traffic, due to covid, was non-existent so getting to this place where aggravation springs eternal was a breeze.

I snake my way through the check-in line, finally making it to the counter.

The woman looks at my papers in that way that makes you feel unnecessarily nervous.

She calls over a supervisor.

JFK truly living up to its ranking.

“Do you have your PCR test?”

I had printed an encyclopedia of papers including emails to the Polish border security to make sure I could transit Warsaw, to MUP here in Croatia to ensure I was in fact allowed to enter the country, health insurance documents, proof of accommodation, etc. But I never considered checking with JFK to see if they’d let me fly without a PCR result in hand.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do”

In keeping with Jersey tradition – unexpectedly delivering or being wrong all the time, whichever you prefer – it turns out I got my results within 24 hours.

The gods of getting to Croatia were smiling upon me and just like that, myself and about 100 Hasidic Jews were en route to Poland on a packed 788.


January 10th, 2019 – Zagreb

Fingers and toes utterly frozen with a dusting of snow on the ground, I was only in town for a matter of days but it was the whirlwind of people and their spirit, the beauty of the centuries-old architecture and more that warmed me to the core.

We don’t have that in Cleveland, where I’m originally from. I mean we have buildings and great people and the cold but the alchemy is somehow different.

It was the streets flowing into one another in an enchantingly chaotic way, making each turn a magic little mystery. The ease of getting across the city by foot or tram (which run on time! Looking at you New York). The stunning tiled roof of St. Marks Church with the medieval coat of arms of Slavonia, Dalmatia and Croatia on one half and the symbol of the city on the other.

The first meal I had was quite literally a mountain of cevapi.

Was it a little slice of heaven?

December 10th, 2020 – Zagreb – Franjo Tuđman Airport

I’m still not convinced I’m going to be allowed in. Such is life when your inner monologue isn’t your cheerleader.

The folder I’m holding contains basically every communication I had with everyone on the off chance I need to prove even the most minute detail of the fact that I’m allowed to enter Croatia.

The line is short but agonizingly long.

Finally, I get to the gatekeeper’s booth.

Slide over the passport.

“PCR test?”

Slide it over.

You never know where to look in these situations. Eye contact? Minimal eye contact?

I always feel I’m guilty of things I haven’t done at checkpoints.

Weeks pass in the space of a few seconds.

“Welcome to Croatia”.

August 2020 – New Jersey

Frankly, speaking for earth, this was a low period.

My work as a video producer and photographer had all but evaporated months earlier and I was in the midst of transitioning to being a full-time writer. Transition being a relative term. Writer too.

This is also around the time I started to see stories pop up for the digital nomad permit and it completely captured my imagination.

The more I read, the more excited I got. The daydreams got richer. Visions of city and sea crisper.

The seed was planted to get back and make it a longer stay.

I set an internal goal to be back in Zagreb by December and maybe get that visa if it was available. A longshot though.


October 2019 – Zagreb

That handful of days in January weren’t enough and the brevity of it all left me wanting more.

I got a second helping, spending an entire month in Zagreb and letting the details of it wash over me.

I know what you’re thinking by now, why did I spend so much time in Zagreb and not by the sea?

Oft skipped in favor of the dreamy and luscious Croatian coast, Zagreb is secretly the whole fairy tale. You wouldn’t think it, perhaps because you haven’t even considered it, but finding yourself there is like discovering treasure. If Dubrovnik is the pearl of the Adriatic, then Zagreb is one of the (hidden) gems of Europe.

The joy of time seeming to slow as people enjoyed afternoon coffees at a million cafes. Investing meaningful time into relationships. Circling each Square – Jelačić, Britanski, Kralja Tomislava and more – and the majesty of finding yourself walking through history, all with a through line of that Austro-Hungarian charm. The delectable eats. The charming fact that the lanterns in Upper Town are still manually lit. The parks that dot the city, the mountain trails of Sljeme.

And it was good. And I was sold.

Monday, January 4th – March 25th, 2021 – Zagreb

This won’t come as a surprise to those who know, but Croatian bureaucracy is not famed for its expediency, so it came as a tremendous shocker that the digital nomad permit went from idea to reality in less than 6 months.

The goal I’d set in August felt tantalizingly achievable.

I assumed arriving in December meant I’d 100% be leaving by the middle of March. Which would’ve been disappointing but fine. I’d already been living a nomadic sort of life, working for cruise lines for a while, producing content for other companies around the globe and then hopscotching from country to country – generally 1 month at a time – before the pandemic. It was exhausting.

Fun, but exhausting.

3 months in one place was already marginally better though.

And then, all of a sudden, one year in Croatia was actually on the menu.

January 4th was the first day back to work and I promptly sent an email asking how to apply.

I received a detailed message the next day listing what was needed and 11 days later I submitted (almost) everything.

That email was swiftly lost and it wasn’t until February 1st, after a follow-up email, that the process formally got underway.

The only thing missing was a background check and let me tell you what, it is not easy to get fingerprints taken. It’s not something you think about every day or really ever but when you truly need them, in a foreign country, let’s just say getting them is not straightforward or effortless.

By the beginning of March my application was finally complete and it was back to the waiting game.

In the interim, my tourist visa expired (thankfully, you’re allowed to stay if your paperwork is in process) so the stakes increased considerably.

It’s worth pointing out here that I never made a backup plan on the off chance Croatia said no.



March 26th, 2021 – Zagreb

The email is in Croatian. They’re always in Croatian. Which makes sense because I’m in Croatia and it’s the government that’s writing to me.

There’s a moment of terror because, ya know, I don’t speak Croatian and I’m certain this email holds the fate of my next 12 months within it.

I’m at “home” across from Ribnjak Park. Birds are chirping. Spring is in the air.

I pop open Google Translate – my trusted companion though I rarely need it since basically everyone speaks English here – and paste the text.

I’m slightly disappointed it didn’t come on the 22nd, not a pleasant day in recent Zagreb history but it is my birthday and that would’ve been a nice present.

The email tells me what I’d been waiting patiently to hear and to come to their office.

Pro tip: save yourself an hour and make sure you’re not smiling in the picture you supply the government because you will 100% have to go print a new one.

Today, tomorrow and why Croatia to begin with?

Croatia obviously grabbed hold of me pretty quickly. It’s a sun-kissed land of seemingly endless, varied beauty and rich tradition that I’ve clearly only barely scratched the surface of.

Maybe it’s my own Slavic background, scroll back up and check out that last name, that helped make it click so instantly. Whatever it was, there’s now a deep and burning passion for the country and getting to know it better.

The permit means a lot to that end; stability, exploration, relaxation, adrenaline, learning, living, a home of sorts, an office and more.

Living here and working remotely with absolute ease is a privilege and joy that’s hard to overstate. There’s peace of mind that comes with knowing I can explore the country at my own pace, supporting local businesses along the way. Not having to rush to see everything and getting a chance to be really immersed in the places that I do go and, of course, meeting more of the generous, proud people who make the country such a welcoming place.

With the weather warming and summer fast approaching, that splendid coast beckons and that’s exactly where you’ll find me.

To be continued.


Now check out Zagreb through Steve's eyes in this stunning video. Check out more of his work on

For more on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Meet Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Charlie Brown from UK in Zagreb

April 18, 2021 - The 10 winners of the innovative Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence (DNiR) competition have been announced. Meet them one by one. Next up, Charlie Brown from the UK in Zagreb.

The DNiR programme, which has been designed by Saltwater Nomads, in partnership with Total Croatia News, the CIty of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board (and financed by the latter two), is an innovative direction for the Pearl of the Adriatic, as it looks to diversify its tourism strategy away from overtourism and in the wake of the pandemic. 


My name is Charlie, I'm a freelance wine, travel, food, entrepreneurship and finance writer, after selling my British-based wine store and bar last year, as well as my house and pretty much everything I own for a permanent life on the road.

1. You are a DN-i-R winner. Congratulations! How do you feel?

Surprised, shocked and excited! It's one of those things; If you told me a year ago, I'd be winning a competition to live in Dubrovnik for a month, working on all things around digital nomadism, I'd have told you that you'd imbibed too much of my product and you needed to go home. 

2. How did you hear about the competition, and why did you decide to apply?

I saw it on a Facebook group. Since leaving the security of my old life, one of my aims was to say yes to as much as possible; I saw the competition and thought, that's the kind of thing I could say yes to! Croatia is such a great country, after all. And as a Brit, since Brexit, I've been forced to think differently about how I travel. To me, digital nomad visas are an incredible idea, that will help to open up the world as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. I love how forward thinking they are, and I want to be a part of it.

3. Which particular skills and ideas will you be bringing to the party?

Anything wine-related, of course. For nearly 10 years I've hardly thought about anything else, so if you want a wine tasting (or indeed, wine drinking) session, I'm your woman. And entrepreneurship advice, particularly around setting up small, ethical, sustainable businesses. Then there's writing, particularly in the travel, food and wine sphere.

I also have an encyclopedic knowledge about Eurovision of all things, and the competition is held during the month we're in Dubrovnik, so if you want to know how many times Croatia has entered in the last 10 years or some other random fact, hit me up!

4. What are you most looking forward to about DNIR?

Meeting new people and learning from them is surely number one. I love learning about how other people live, what they do, gaining new perspectives on life. I also think Dubrovnik's new focus toward sustainable tourism is very interesting and will open the city up to a whole new way of welcoming visitors, and I'm looking forward to being a small part of that. Finally, on a personal note, I'm super excited to learn about Dubrovnik and the surrounding areas. I've not visited in 13 years so it's not a part of Croatia I know very well and I'm excited to change that. 


5. Let's get you involved in the Dubrovnik community. Who or what would you like to connect with?

I believe that the best way to get to know a community is through its food and its alcohol. So wineries would be number one, local craft breweries number two but also any restaurants and bars that have a focus on wine and regional cooking. 

Here is Charlie's application video:

You can learn more about the programme here

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.

The winner announcement video:

Other winners featured so far:

Albert Cañigueral in Barcelona

Marlee McCormick in Texas

Carolyn Zenilow from USA in Stari Grad, Hvar

Kelsey Kay Love from Texas in LA

Rob Schubert from the Netherlands in Estonia

Ron Tardiff from USA in Budapest

Zoltan Nagy from Hungary in Tenerife

Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

Alyssa Isogawa from USA/Japan in California

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