My first digital nomad interviewed me

I hosted a digital nomad Annika Senger, a writer that stands behind Kroatien-Liebe, a website that promotes and sells different tours in Croatia. She stayed in my apartment for a month. We had a few outings together and got to exchange thoughts on digital nomadism. She interviewed me for her article in German language, titled: Digital nomads in Croatia: experiences and facts.

Here is an excerpt from the article featuring my thoughts on digital nomads and tourism:

As far as I know, I’m the first digital nomad who has rented your apartment. Have you hosted tourists before?

View at Korcula old town from a boat

My family and I rent mainly long-term, sporadically to tourists. To rent to tourists can get you more money in the shorter term, but also, it keeps you tied to the place, you always have to be present and overall it is really a lot of work. Another thing or an issue I have with tourism that is relatively unstable, you never know what is the next year or season be like, will the guests come or not, it is hard to predict and plan anything. Not to mention, there are a lot of apartments and people renting to tourists so there is quite a bit of competition. The majority of tourists naturally want to be either in the old town or as close to the sea. We are located around a 20-minute walk from the Old town and around 800 meters from the closest beach so we are definitely not the first pick. Apartments in our area start getting reservations for the most part when the majority of the other more attractive places get booked. You can say that the season in my area starts a bit later. So with all this in mind, wanting to be able to plan a bit better and to have a more stable and predictable income we prefer renting long-term. There is this notion that renting to tourists is easy money, but it really is not. It is so hectic, people stay shorter, and it just became so consumeristic. Over the summer, you can
forget about any kind of work-life balance. So when digital nomadism became the thing, I saw an opportunity there to still be able to rent apartments at a slightly lower monthly price, a price that I would be comfortable with but the one that would give me more free time to do the things I really want to do and overall have a better work-life balance. Tourism the way it is today I don’t see as the best for the soul. I really think it needs some redesigning and rethinking. Digital nomadism and modern technology could actually be things that save communities heavily dependent on fast-paced tourism. It is not just about the money nomads spend on accommodation but also it is about connecting and sharing knowledge. It is a lifestyle and philosophy I really support and definitely the type of guests I like to host.

How do you advertise the apartment to attract digital nomads in particular?

Few details from walks near the apartment

I did some small renovations and adjustments to the apartment over the past two years having digital nomads in mind. That’s why the apartment has an office. I started actually advertising it only this year in July through Airbnb and a Facebook group for digital nomad housing in Croatia. I have not had much luck with that group so far because I think nomads there are interested mainly in staying in Split, Zagreb, Zadar, Istria, and bigger towns. I will probably try the website and also advertise the apartment on my own website. I will not go all crazy by publishing it on too many different websites, I believe this should be enough.

Do you also have plans to become a nomad? As a web designer and content writer, you’ve
already been working digitally.

Detail from a walk around the nearby village

I like the notion of freedom that digital nomadism embodies and the fact that you can work from anywhere in the world. For me, it means I don’t have to leave a small, relatively remote island in Croatia if I don’t have to with a job as a web designer or content writer. But I like to have the option, the opportunity to leave whenever I want to because I can take my work with me. It is harder not being able to take the people and all the things I love, but again, thanks to the Internet and modern technology, we can always stay connected and be able to see what is happening while I am away. Being in a long-distance relationship and trying to figure out the logistics, both of us are still being held down with responsibilities that tie us to our places, work especially. Having work that can be done remotely will definitely help us combine travel and living in both of our places. So, in that sense, you can say I plan to become a nomad.

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