Having stayed in Split for a week, I entertained the idea of moving there. It has everything I, who is used to tropical weather and beaches, need. It is coastal, has really nice beaches and neighboring islands, and a great selection of wine and cheese. It is not as expensive as Munich. But in the foreseeable future, the base is this southern German city. It doesn’t stop my curiosity on how it is to be a digital nomad in Split, so I reached out to the digital nomad community in Split, and Natalia (IG: natalia_ivanikova/ ) is nice enough to answer some of my questions on living in Split as a digital nomad. So consider this as a sort of guide if you’re considering Split as one of your possible destinations of your digital nomad life.
In March 2023 it would be 20 years of my professional experience, but I work remotely only 3 out of 20.
For many years I’ve been in sales in B2B, ending up as an International Sales Director with severe burnout and almost physical office intolerance.
It was the 1st of Feb 2019 when I decided I want a remote job and travel as much as I always wanted. A year before Covid, nobody did believe then, that sales can work remotely, so I made a career pivot and became a content writer. [Check out our guide to the best websites to look for freelancing and remote works]
Now I work remotely with tremendous colleagues, live in Croatia, travel to other countries, and look forward to moving to Spain as soon as they would officially announce their Digital Nomad visa program on the 31st of March.
Choosing Croatia as a digital nomad destination wasn’t actually obvious. I was checking the so far ultimate list of the countries with DN visas and wanted to go to Portugal, since I’ve been there before and love the country. On the contrary, I knew nothing about Croatia, but when I saw it’s possible to apply for DN visa online and wait for it inside the country, that changed everything.
And then selecting Split was easy. It is on the coast, the second big city in Croatia, and has the DN community. That was all I needed.
As I said before, I’m a content writer. For the first 2 years, I was freelancing and finding clients via word of mouth. But in Aug 2021 I was contacted by a company and the projects they offered were so interesting, that I joined it and now working my full-time.
Half the company works remotely from different cities, countries and time zones, so we are all ok with that.
Comparing to smaller cities, Split is alive in winter. Just a couple of places are closed, but most keep working.—Natalia
Traveling to other countries from Split is challenging.
Working for the company, I have a very strict schedule. My working hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 GMT+3 time Monday to Friday, and it is not flexible. Our team works from different time zones, so we had to agree when we all must be online.
I travel on weekends, vacations, and public holidays, and work on weekdays. So it is effortless to balance — I always know when I can go somewhere and when I can’t.
We use Jira in the company and track our tasks there. I also use Todoist to track my personal tasks.
I don’t use cafes, they are too loud for me and I can’t concentrate on the text I write. I neither use co-working. GMT+3 time means I start working at 7 am Croatian time in winter and 8 am in summer. So I wake up 30 mins before the working day and just don’t go out until the end of the working day.
There are many things I like.
Everyone in Croatia speaks English. I never experienced a communication problem.—Natalia
The major advice would be related to rentals. One needs to plan the dates of the stay in Split beforehand and think about the accommodation.
As I said before, I like long walks along the coast; enjoy walking the Marjan park; travel from Split to neighboring cities on 1-2 days trips; hike around; swim the sea during the season; go to my fav SPA Spalato in Radisson Blu once a month; read a book with coffee and a sea view. Oh, yeah, and definitely discovering the delicious Croatian wines from different regions, which was a great discovery of this particular nomading, as I knew nothing about Croatian wines before.
We’re in touch via Instagram. I try to share as many pictures and stories as I can to show where I am and that I’m ok. My friends do that too, and we really spend time checking what we post and commenting, which helps to support the feeling that though online, we are still involved into each other’s lives.
We have a common chat in Telegram, but also we send each other a lot of personal voice messages. We realized how it is important to hear the voice back to quarantine times. Text wasn’t enough when we were separated from each other, so we got used to sending a lot of voices. Sometimes we send really stupid voices about the daily routine and stuff like that, but these messages occurred to be the most important. They help those who are remote to feel like they are somehow involved into other’s daily routines, and that creates a very strong feeling of presence and connection.
And we do have lots of video calls and voice calls.
There are definitely going to be more people traveling as more jobs becomes remote. At the same time, some jobs still cannot be remote at all. And some companies demand their staff to get back to offices or at least go hybrid.
It will be interesting to watch this trend in the next couple of years. Now when that many people enjoy traveling while working, digital nomading will not shrink. However, I start seeing that locals aren’t very happy about nomads flooding. And I hear complaints in Croatia too. People are claiming the high prices and unaffordable leaving. In other countries, locals say that their previous quiet neighborhoods are now loud and unsafe, with just too many strangers coming that don’t care about culture and way of life, provoking conflicts.
So, I guess, there’s still a lot that needs to be done to normalize this kind of lifestyle and sync it with the lives of the locals.
Since I received a Croatian DN visa at the end of Nov 2022, I worked in Lebanon for 3 weeks and heading now to Istanbul to work there for another month in March (and had some sort trips in between). I would stay some more time in Croatia and would be applying for the Spanish DN visa next.
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