Dean Kuchel of Digital Nomad World: Zagreb Checks All the Boxes

Total Croatia News

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Day 5 of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 was undoubtedly the highlight in terms of content, with a number of quality keynote presentations and panels focused on the topic of the Future of Work. 

Israeli Dean Kuchel, founder of the online communities Digital Nomads Israel and Digital Nomad World, brought a bundle of energy and positivity to the proceedings, with an energetic keynote speech on the topic of building community. 

His simple mantra that he travels solo but never travels alone is a key message for Croatian stakeholders to pick up on. If the digital nomad infrastructure is in, and Croatia is attractive for nomads, then they will come. And a key element of that is building up a community of like-minded people who choose to spend time in Croatia and who can meet and interact with like-minded digital nomads who have chosen Croatia.  

Here is what he had to say when asked what Zagreb is missing for digital nomads:

“Zagreb is missing more digital nomads. It has perfect weather, great nightlife. Everybody speaks English, everybody is kind to you, and it is easy to get around. The Internet is fantastic, thank you. It has been very helpful with work. I don’t think it misses anything really. It checks all the boxes. It has good city life, nature, access to the sea. Just stay the same please.”

One of the most interesting things I learned this week was that one of the biggest and most successful communities and DN destinations in Europe is Bansko in Bulgaria. A ski resort which attracts snowboarders, Bansko has a highly developed DN community, and the sense of community and lfestyle and like-minded people it offers is often more important than the destination itself. 


And if Croatia could develop that… Probably the most encouraging things that Dean told me was his opinion that Croatia is very much on the right path. He was very surprised and encouraged to see the level of public/private partnership and participation in Croatia’s push to welcome the DN sector, which is something he has seen very rarely in other countries. While the most high-profile example of that is the public/private partnership to deliver Croatia’s digital nomad permit, that cooperation exists at a deeper level. ZDNW was financed by Zagreb Tourist Board, with help from Digital Nomad Association Croatia, and delivered by Saltwater Nomads and Total Croatia News. But the commitment of the public and private sector to this initiative was demonstrated in the speaker and panel participants – the City of Zagreb, Zagreb Tourist Board, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ministry of Tourism, KPMG Croatia, Raaiffeisen Bank, and Hrvatski Telekom. It wa also a pleasure to welcome His Excellency Ilan Mor, Ambassador to the State of Israel, who came to meet and support Dean. 

A solid base on which to grow things in partnership.  

You can see all the presentations from the main day of the conference, whose important topic was the Future of Work. I highly recommend you watch them all if you are interested in the topic, but do find time to watch Dean Kuchel’s VERY entertaining presenation on the importance of community building. If there was one presentation for Croatian stakeholders to listen to as they try and position themselves, it would be this one. It starts at 2 hours 42 minutes 50 seconds. 

You can follow Dean Kuchel’s escapades on his Where is Dean? Instagram. Having visited over 100 countries in just 7 years (one of those being the pandemic year of 2020), Dean will not be in one place for long and is already in Bulgaria, having arrived in Zagreb from Ukraine in the middle of the week. 

For more information about the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, check out Saltwater Nomads.

For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.


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