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 medium.com, 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 ❤

Jan

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.

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September 2014 – Dubrovnik

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

The first time I set eyes on Croatia.

Dubrovnik.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Smart.

steve-tsentserensky_4.jpg

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.

Živjeli.

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

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. 

charlie-brown-dnir.png

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. 

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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

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Meet Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Zoltan Nagy from Hungary in Tenerife

April 17, 2021 - The 10 winners of the innovative Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence (DNiR) competition have been announced. Meet them one by one. Next up, Zoltan Nagy, from Hungary and currently in Tenerife.

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. 

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

I feel pretty lucky. Not only am I going to visit one of my favorite foreign countries, and go somewhere I haven't been to before, but in the meantime, I'm going to get to know some people with the same free-spirited mindset like myself. I'm looking forward to spending time together and I'm excited about the change/development this program will bring to my life.

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

A friend asked me if I'd heard about this possibility. I've been planning two things for years. 1. Explore the southern part of Croatia. 2. Try co-living. I've been to co-working offices in a few places, but Co-Living is going to be a whole new experience.

I love Croatia very much! Crystal clear sea water, lovely local people, phenomenally good food and breathtaking historic towns always lure you back. I've been there many times, but I've never gotten this far south. My longest stay was in 2018, when I lived and worked online for 3 months in a small village called Karin near Zadar.

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

First of all, I consider myself a photographer and a videographer. These are the topics I have the most to offer, I think. But I'm also good at online marketing, and I make websites for companies on a daily basis.

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

As I mentioned already, I'm looking forward to meeting like minded people. I really hope that we will learn many new and useful things from each other in the month we will spend together. I really like being in the company of people with similar thinking. During my travels, I met many inspiring people. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am right now.
I also hope to be able to take really good photos and videos of the area. I want to show as many Hungarians as possible that you don't have to travel to the other side of the world breathtaking sights of all these beautiful places. All you have to do is drive to the neighbouring country :)

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

As my passion is photography, I would like to connect with local photographers, content creators.

Here is Zoltan'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

Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

Alyssa Isogawa from USA/Japan in California

 

 

 

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Meet Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Alyssa Isogawa from USA/Japan in California

April 17, 2021 - The 10 winners of the innovative Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence (DNiR) competition have been announced. Meet them one by one. Next up, Alyssa Isogawa from USA/Japan, currently in California.

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. 

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Hello! I am Alyssa Isogawa from California. I love creating and building things, laughing, exploring places and imagining new ones, and eating vegan food. I feel best when I am out of my comfort zone. 

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

Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming! Maybe the judges liked the checkered water polo robe in my video. Or could it have been the disco ball?! Either way - I don’t feel anything other than gratitude for having been picked. I feel a great sense of honor and responsibility to do my very best for the city and people of Dubrovnik, and for Croatia. I know the past year hasn’t been easy and has forced the city to “reset” and rethink its strategy. Personally, I truly believe it is a blessing in disguise. Croatia has so much to offer beyond tourism, and I am excited thinking of all the ways we can make it the #1 destination for all digital nomads - especially aspiring digital nomads like me. There isn’t anywhere else in the world I’d rather start my DN journey.

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

I was researching the best places to be a digital nomad via Youtube, and I randomly came across 45 Degrees Sailing and Saltwater’s “Croatia's Digital Nomad Permit Application FAQ“ video. That initially sparked my interest, and I went to their website interested to learn more about the DN visa. Then I saw that they were having a competition, so I decided to give it a go!

I mainly applied because I’ve always felt a special affinity (or should I say pride?) for Croatia. I grew up playing water polo, and I would hear about how team Croatia was the best. Whenever coaches from Croatia would come visit, we would always revere them. My brother traveled to Croatia to play water polo, and he brought back an insanely cool Croatian water polo robe that I was obsessed with and wore every day to practice. I felt like the coolest kid in the entire pool. He also came back with a Croatian flag, and to this day that’s the only flag that’s displayed in our house. Not even an American flag or a Japanese one. A Croatian flag! Haha.

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

I am very impressed with the diversity of skills of all the applicants. I think what I can offer is my experience in entrepreneurship, specifically in ecommerce. I started my own ecommerce business and brand back in 2016 while I was still a teen, and I’ve learned a lot since then. From designing a product, to marketing via social media and paid advertising, to photography and delegating and hiring a remote team that feels like family - there’s so much I’ve learned and a lot I can share. 

I know I can provide a very valuable perspective of the younger, aspiring DNs out there as well. I have a good understanding of where they are doing their research, what they are looking for, and the questions and concerns they’d have. I have a knack for reading trends and what people are thinking about, and what will be popular. That’s why I am hopeful for Croatia. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in it.

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

There is too much, I can’t name them all! I am looking forward to meeting everyone. I am impressed with how tirelessly, yet cheerfully the entire team is working to make this event a success - from Tanja, to Paul (TCN), the tourism board, and many others. I would like to meet them all, because I don’t know of any other country that is so agile and has put so much effort to create such a forward-thinking initiative as this. I find it very impressive and quite endearing.

Of course, I am also looking forward to meeting the rest of the DNiRs as well. I am really excited to hear their stories and their backgrounds. 

My brother would share stories of how the Croats were so kind and friendly. So I am really looking forward to making Croatian friends and learning about Croatian culture and history from an actual Croatian. In Japan, it’s tradition to bring gifts (omiyage) from home when we visit a new place. I am planning on bringing some gifts from America (as much as the space in my suitcase allows), so if anyone reading this wants to be friends let me know :)

And maybe this is a little embarrassing, but I am also excited to finally be living on my own. I have lived in the same home with my lovely parents my entire life, but I am really excited to spread my wings! Sorry mom and dad, love you! 

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

Oh gosh, I would really love to connect with the local community. I am down for anything.

I want to learn more about history, so if anyone has any good stories to share, I would love to listen. I love the water, music, singing, dancing, and plant-based/vegan food. I love animals. If anyone swims or does any water related activity, I will join. I love music and singing, and I am also trying to find some good Croatian music, so if anyone wants to share their music with me, please do. I’m also dipping my toes into music production (one of my goals is to create my own song) so if there are any music lovers out there, let’s be friends! And if you like dancing, that is a plus.

Here is Alyssa'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

Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

 

 

 

Friday, 16 April 2021

Meet Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Carolyn Zelikow from USA on Hvar

April 16, 2021 - The 10 winners of the innovative Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence (DNiR) competition have been announced. Meet them one by one. Next up, Carolyn Zelikow from the USA, currently living in the Dalmatian paradise that is Stari Grad on Hvar.

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. 

tanja-polegubic-saltwater-nomads_1.png

Carolyn Zelikow is an American digital marketer from Virginia living the good life in the ancient port town of Stari Grad on island Hvar.

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

Thrilled of course! And honored to take part in such an innovative program. 

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

I read about the competition on TCN, which has been such a great resource since I started planning to visit Croatia last summer. I applied to the program because I have fallen in love with this country and want to understand it better. The DN-i-R initiative struck me as an unbelievable opportunity to meet some of the country’s most innovative policymakers and business owners.

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

I’m a digital marketer with a background in policy and the humanities. For my job in the United States, I work with clients who are trying to compete and win online. I sense that Croatia could also do more in that area and I’m eager to learn about the state of e-commerce, tech education, and other factors that might build the country’s knowledge economy. What role, if any, can expats play in accelerating that diversification?

carolyn-zelikow.jpg

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

Without question, it’s the people. After so many months of pandemic-enforced hibernation I’m just eager to collaborate and brainstorm with real living humans again. I hope I still remember how! And Dubrovnik is such a compelling location. I’ve visited only briefly in the past, and can’t wait to explore the city and surrounding region with more time and great company. 

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

Where to begin? I’d love to get to know the tech, small business, and economic development community here.

Here is Carolyn'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

Kelsey Kay Love from Texas in LA

Rob Schubert from the Netherlands in Estonia

Ron Tardiff from USA in Budapest

Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Meet Dubrovnik's Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

April 14, 2021 - The 10 winners of the innovative Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence (DNiR) competition have been announced. Meet them one by one. Next up, Kaisu Koskela.

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. 

tanja-polegubic-saltwater-nomads_1.png

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

Content in my life choices that allow me to partake in such an interesting project, for one! Also excited about meeting my fellow DN-i-Rs and putting our heads together for the future of remote work, location independence and more sustainable forms of travel!

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

My friend Stan forwarded the call for applications to me. He has been working for another interesting publicly funded digital nomad project called Nomad City in Las Palmas, and knew I would be interested in being part of the discussion on the growing trends towards this lifestyle. I'm passionate about location independence and the global community of digital nomads that I very tangibly feel a part of, so this project was immediately something that I knew I would love to take part in. As soon as I read the call, I felt that the proposed project perfectly combined my first-hand experience of living a location-independent lifestyle and working remotely with my professional background in migration research. I thought the design of the project in a co-creation model between the DN-i-Rs and public entities like the city of Dubrovnik is exactly the type of hands-on move needed for locations to become active agents in their own right in developing a movement that is bound to happen, with or without their involvement.

kaisu-koskela_4.jpg

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

Years, in fact decades, of lived experience as a (digital and non-digital) nomad, and all the every-day hands-on knowledge and networks that that has given me! Also, my PhD research was about skilled migrants and the formation of their communities and social identities. From the perspective of the scholarly "ivory tower", it will be interesting to see how these academic insights translate to practicalities with possible policy implications (such as the already existing digital nomad visa in Croatia!).  

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

Firstly, meeting the other 9 DN-i-Rs and working together with them combining all our personal insights, skills and experiences! Secondly, being back in the city of Dubrovnik itself in such unusual times: although I appreciate that the pandemic has been devastating for those relying on tourism for their livelihoods, I am eagerly waiting to see Dubrovnik without the herds of cruise ship passengers and mass tourism that has overcrowded the old town streets for years, slowly chipping away at the authenticity and the very reasons why the city became such a popular destination in the first place. In many ways, digital nomads are the complete opposite of the cruise tourists who take over the town for a matter of mere hours until they are bussed back to their boat. They stay longer and spend more locally, therefore contributing directly to the economy and, with time, also to cultural and ecological sustainability of travel. I am very happy that the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board are taking this initiative to address these issues and claim an active role in the direction of post-pandemic tourism in the region.

kaisu-koskela_1.jpg

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

If there is anyone in the local academic community doing research on digital nomads or location-independent lifestyle and communities, I'd be very interested to get in touch with them. Also, I'm an active member of WIMA (Women's International Motorcycle Association), so maybe I'll reach out to see if we have any riding sisters in the region who could show me their best routes, as I am sure there are stunning opportunities for motorcycling in the Dubrovnik region!

Here is Kaisu'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

Kelsey Kay Love from Texas in LA

Rob Schubert from the Netherlands in Estonia

Ron Tardiff from USA in Budapest

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