Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence 6 months later: Charlie Brown

October 18, 2021 – In April of this year, 10 digital nomads from all over the world came together for Dubrovnik’s first Digital Nomads-in-Residence (DNIR) program. As part of European Freelance Week 2021, TCN is catching up with some of them 6 months later, starting with Charlie Brown from Wales.

A year ago, the city of Dubrovnik organized the very first conference on digital nomads in Croatia – Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads – as part of the European Week of the Independents. The city has made great strides in advancing its credentials and DN strategy, in part thanks to the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, which ran from April 23 to May 23.

Far from forgetting Croatia, several DNIRs have been very active in Croatia. Nothing more than Charlie Brown, who along with her husband Sam enjoyed Croatia and its excellent wines much more, while representing the Extra Virgin Digital Nomads at the 4th World Olive Picking Championships in Brac last week. TCN caught up with Charlie to think about all things nomaddy 6 months later.

1. It has been 6 months since you arrived in Dubrovnik for the Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program. First of all, a brief review of this month. How did it go for you and how has it changed your perception of Dubrovnik as a nomadic destination?

It was excellent, on many levels. It was such an exciting project to be a part of, to meet other digital nomads to learn more about Croatia and the untapped potential of remote workers. To be fair, Dubrovnik was never on my list of destinations to visit as a digital nomad, but that has changed. During my month I have found it filled with great people, great experiences and beautiful scenery.

2. Did you stay in touch with other people in the project? Did you spend more time in Croatia?

Yes! In fact I just spent a week with two of them in Split and saw another one every week for a month in Barcelona.

And yes, I spent a lot more time in Croatia; Hvar and Zadar right after the program, and I returned to Split in September. I’m going to Zagreb next week and to Istria a few weeks later; it seems like i want to explore every nook and cranny (and along with islands, there are a lot) of this country.

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3. It seems like a lot has happened on the DN stage in the last few months since the show. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Valley Zagreb, the cross-border coworking conference in Budva, Croatia performed well in the Nomad List 2021 survey. What changes have you noticed since arriving in Dubrovnik in April?

That there is more than ever hunger to attract digital nomads. I was part of the cross border coworking conference in Budva, Montenegro and it was amazing to see and hear what other countries are doing to attract digital nomads, not just DN visas but also welcoming communities, co-living situations and co-working spaces. I was also delighted to hear how Dubrovnik has implemented our recommendations, from opening new coworking spaces to accommodation suitable for DN.

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4. Have you noticed a change in the way Croatia is talked about in the global DN groups you engage with online? How if so?

I see it appearing more and more as a recommended destination. The reasons are usually amazing scenery, good value for money, especially as winter approaches, and friendly people.

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5. What do you think are the key next steps for Dubrovnik on this journey, and for Croatia as a whole?

I still think this time of year is a great time for Croatia to attract DNs. so in the very short term, I would make the most of it. Accommodation is cheaper and more abundant, there is hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities to do and the opportunity to rest and recharge in the calm of winter. Beyond that, keep building on the things DNs want and need. Good quality and value for money accommodation (it’s great to see DNA Stay just launched), community building and co-working.

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6. What is your favorite memory / experience of DNIR, and when do you think Dubrovnik will see you next time?

There were a couple of night swims after beer which were quite impressive. And just being able to socialize with a group of like-minded people – the first time most of us had been able to do so on a sustained basis for over a year. I will be back in Croatia in the spring of 2022, and Dubrovnik will definitely see me a bit more!

Charlie and Sam were part of a very international and fully DNIR extra virgin digital nomad squad, which placed 5th at this year’s world championship. They were joined by their DNIR colleagues Alyssa from California, Rob from the Netherlands and coach Tanja from Australia.

If you’re in Split on Wednesday and want to see if Charlie can really drink that much wine, she and Sam are doing what promises to be a fun presentation on life on the road in Zinfandel. More details here.

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

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