He decided to come to Croatia spontaneously in June when he was invited to speak at the inaugural Zagreb Digital Nomad Week conference.
Israeli Dean Kuchel was undoubtedly one of the stars of the week, and his highly entertaining presentation on building community was certainly one of the highlights. A serial traveller to more than 100 countries in just 7 years (including travel-restricted 2020), there are few better examples of someone embracing the freedom of the digital nomad lifestyle.
One of his mantras is the simple maxim – I travel solo, but I never travel alone. A simple sentence which gets to the core of the theme of building community. If a destination has a vibrant digital nomad community, then nomads will come. And Kuchel certainly knows a thing or two about building community, as his own community now numbers some 24,000 online nomad fans.
Of all the many stimulating people I met at Zagreb Digital Noamd Week, I learned the most from him about this relatively new lifestyle, and the opportunities which it presents for Croatia. For such a restless spirit, the idea of a 12-month visa application would not appeal to him, but the buzz of Croatia as a dynamic destination for nomads certainly helped get him on the plane. His observations about Zagreb after the week were certainly encouraging, as you can see in the brief interview above. Zagreb ticks all the boxes, and the only thing missing for digital nomads in the city are more digital nomads. Build that community and they will come.
The second mantra is even shorter. Say yes! Embrace things and give them a try.
“Would you say yes to applying to be one of our Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassadors,” I asked.
“Ha, why not? This is a great city and I love this project and conference.”
And then, less than two weeks later, an application.
Dean arrived to take up residence at Doma Zagreb Aparthotel, the official accommodation partner of the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project on Wednesday. We caught up for a drink last night, and Dean is very keen to work on building community to help take Zagreb (and Croatia) to the next level. It promises to be an exciting month.
You can follow Dean Kuchel’s escapades on his Where is Dean? Instagram.
For more information about the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project, check out Saltwater Nomads.
For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.