Meet Dubrovnik’s Digital Nomads-in-Residence: Kaisu Koskela from Finland in Las Palmas

Total Croatia News

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The DNiR programme, which has been designed by Saltwater Nomads, in partnership with Total Croatia News, the CIty of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board (and financed by the latter two), is an innovative direction for the Pearl of the Adriatic, as it looks to diversify its tourism strategy away from overtourism and in the wake of the pandemic. 


1. You are a DN-i-R winner. Congratulations! How do you feel?

Content in my life choices that allow me to partake in such an interesting project, for one! Also excited about meeting my fellow DN-i-Rs and putting our heads together for the future of remote work, location independence and more sustainable forms of travel!


2. How did you hear about the competition, and why did you decide to apply?

My friend Stan forwarded the call for applications to me. He has been working for another interesting publicly funded digital nomad project called Nomad City in Las Palmas, and knew I would be interested in being part of the discussion on the growing trends towards this lifestyle. I’m passionate about location independence and the global community of digital nomads that I very tangibly feel a part of, so this project was immediately something that I knew I would love to take part in. As soon as I read the call, I felt that the proposed project perfectly combined my first-hand experience of living a location-independent lifestyle and working remotely with my professional background in migration research. I thought the design of the project in a co-creation model between the DN-i-Rs and public entities like the city of Dubrovnik is exactly the type of hands-on move needed for locations to become active agents in their own right in developing a movement that is bound to happen, with or without their involvement.


3. Which particular skills and ideas will you be bringing to the party?

Years, in fact decades, of lived experience as a (digital and non-digital) nomad, and all the every-day hands-on knowledge and networks that that has given me! Also, my PhD research was about skilled migrants and the formation of their communities and social identities. From the perspective of the scholarly “ivory tower”, it will be interesting to see how these academic insights translate to practicalities with possible policy implications (such as the already existing digital nomad visa in Croatia!).  


4. What are you most looking forward to about DNIR?

Firstly, meeting the other 9 DN-i-Rs and working together with them combining all our personal insights, skills and experiences! Secondly, being back in the city of Dubrovnik itself in such unusual times: although I appreciate that the pandemic has been devastating for those relying on tourism for their livelihoods, I am eagerly waiting to see Dubrovnik without the herds of cruise ship passengers and mass tourism that has overcrowded the old town streets for years, slowly chipping away at the authenticity and the very reasons why the city became such a popular destination in the first place. In many ways, digital nomads are the complete opposite of the cruise tourists who take over the town for a matter of mere hours until they are bussed back to their boat. They stay longer and spend more locally, therefore contributing directly to the economy and, with time, also to cultural and ecological sustainability of travel. I am very happy that the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board are taking this initiative to address these issues and claim an active role in the direction of post-pandemic tourism in the region.


5. Let’s get you involved in the Dubrovnik community. Who or what would you like to connect with?

If there is anyone in the local academic community doing research on digital nomads or location-independent lifestyle and communities, I’d be very interested to get in touch with them. Also, I’m an active member of WIMA (Women’s International Motorcycle Association), so maybe I’ll reach out to see if we have any riding sisters in the region who could show me their best routes, as I am sure there are stunning opportunities for motorcycling in the Dubrovnik region!

Here is Kaisu’s application video:

You can learn more about the programme here

Saltwater Nomads’ Tanja Polegubic on Dubrovnik Digital Nomad-in-Residence Programme

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on Digital Nomads, US Flights, 2021 Season

For the latest digital nomad news from Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

The winner announcement video:

Other winners featured so far:

Albert Cañigueral in Barcelona

Marlee McCormick in Texas

Kelsey Kay Love from Texas in LA

Rob Schubert from the Netherlands in Estonia

Ron Tardiff from USA in Budapest


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