I had the pleasure of being a host to my first ever digital nomad Annika Senger who stayed at my apartment for a month. Annika is a writer behind the website Kroatien-Liebe where she promotes and sells tours in Croatia. I enjoyed sharing thoughts on digital nomadism and tourism with Annika. But even more, it was such a pleasure to wake up to hear her play guitar and sing the song she wrote while being my guest.
When and how did your journey as a digital nomad start?
For several years I had been dreaming of living a nomad’s life, but I felt too afraid to realize my plan until 2020. Life had become harder in Berlin due to political circumstances, my work contract had ended and so I saw a great opportunity to leave my old life behind. Shortly after Christmas 2020, my journey as a digital nomad started on the south coast of Sweden.
How long did it take to be able to sustain the life of a full-time digital nomad? What were the main obstacles and how did you overcome them?
Before becoming a digital nomad I had already started freelance work as a content writer, as blogger, and travel consultant on my travel portal Kroatien-Liebe (in English: “Croatia Love”). So I knew I would be able to survive on my way. The main obstacle was actually my anxiety not to survive. In retrospect, I consider it a mental hurdle.
You have a website Kroatien-Liebe where you write about Croatia and where you also sell tours from different parts of Croatia, even those often neglected and overlooked such as the Slavonia region. What made you fall in love with Croatia to such an extent that you even learned to speak a really good Croatian language?
In 2011 and 2013 I visited Croatia as a regular tourist without learning Croatian. Right from the beginning, I fell in love with the landscape, especially in southern Dalmatia. When I returned in June 2015 something changed dramatically. I had a crush on my travel guide, but my little reverie was probably not the main reason for this strong connection to the country and language. The guide inspired me to write a song about my summer experience which was translated into Croatian by my vocal coach from Serbia. Through music, I eventually found my way to the Croatian language. As a consequence, I discovered lots of Croatian singers and bands on YouTube and felt motivated to learn Croatian. A couple of months later I founded Kroatien-Liebe.
Having visited many regions of Croatia on more than a few visits and longer stays, can you say what is your favorite region?
The whole country offers magnificent nature, but I cherish the coast and islands of Dalmatia in particular. During my nomad life, I found out that I need to live close to the sea and the clear blue Adriatic is extremely beautiful.
You also sing, play guitar, and write your own music. It was beautiful hearing you play and sing while going on about the day in the apartment above or when in the garden. I was especially moved and loved the song you wrote during your stay here, the Vagabondo. Can you tell me a little bit more about the inspiration and motives behind it?
Thanks for the compliment, Karmen. I really appreciate it. The song is called “Secrets of my Ancestry” and it deals with my unknown great-grandfather who was the father of my grandma from my father’s side. Nowadays nobody in the family actually knows who he was because he was not accepted by my great-grandmother’s family. So my grandma grew up without a father. Before she died, she had told my cousin that my great-granddad had been a musician from Austria while her brother claimed he had been Hungarian. Both versions may be true as he was born more than a hundred years ago when the Austro-Hungarian empire still existed. When I returned to Croatia in August, I suddenly started thinking of my ancestor quite intensely. That’s why I felt inspired to write the song.
Your stay in Korcula is coming to an end. How did you like it, what would you say were the highlights of the stay here?
I really loved my stay in Korcula and very much enjoyed being in your company. It was easy for me to get to know local people in this truly familiar atmosphere. For that reason, I will definitely come back next year because it feels like some kind of home to me. Apart from the social component, I fell in love with the surroundings, the turquoise sea, the forest, the vineyards and the picturesque villages. Of course, I also like the good food!