Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Nicole Prybula, from Southern California to Split

Total Croatia News

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August 22, 2019 – As the number of digital nomads rises globally, some are choosing to spend some of their time in Croatia. A new TCN series meeting international digital nomads calling Croatia their temporary home. Meet Nicole Prybula, from Southern California.

As recently featured on TCN, the world is projected to have a billion digital nomads by 2035, people from all over the world doing all manner of jobs and business with one thing in common – a flexible, mobile workplace connected to the Internet. If even a fracture of that number becomes a reality, the economic opportunity for countries which can attract these wealth-generating individuals has the potential to dwarf Croatia’s current tourism revenues. And there are few countries better placed than Croatia to take advantage. Safe, beautiful, great gourmet scene, top tourist destination, English widely spoken, well connected to other destinations, and a superb lifestyle. 

In order to look at the issue in more detail, we have decided to look at some of the digital nomads who have Croatia in their lifestyle plan, and to find out why Croatia, what Croatia offers, and what are the things that countries should be looking out for to take advantage of this economic opportunity. I am very grateful to Tanja Polegubic from Split’s waterfront co-working space, Saltwater in Split (see location below) for her help in connecting me to various digital nomads using her space. 

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Our next digital nomad in Croatia is Nicole Prybula, who spent time in Split away from her native Southern California. 

1. You are one of a growing number of digital nomads. Tell us briefly who you are and what you do.

I LOVE the sound of that – “I’m one of the digital nomads”. I have been dreaming of becoming a full out digital nomad for years and am so excited to be starting this journey in Split.

My name is Nicole – I’m a corporate event producer that started my own online business with a mission to ditch the 9-5 corporate America grind and start integrating work with life- creating a lifestyle where I can work whenever and from wherever I want.

For the first year, I grew my business from my home base of Southern California, but this year, decided it was time to really start living out my digital nomad dreams. So, I sold 95% of my belongings, put the rest in storage, and booked a one-way flight to Europe. For the next year (to start….), I’ll continue to grow my business but now while traveling the world.

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2. Working from your laptop rather than in an office seems like the dream lifestyle. What are the main pros and cons?

My favorite aspect of working remotely is having the freedom to change things up at any moment – whether its a change in scenery, a change in who I’m working with that day or a change in the culture I’m surrounded by. I love that I can now meet new people and explore new places any day of the week. Changing it up helps spark my creativity and continuously grow both professionally, and personally. 

With that said, finding a suitable spot to work from when you first arrive at a new place can be challenging at times. While I love checking out different places, when the cafe does not have any electrical outlets or the hotel WiFi is too slow, you can waste some time hopping around in the beginning to find a good spot where you can stop and really get some work done. 

3. Laptop living gives you the freedom to travel and choose your place to live. Where are the global hot spots currently for digital nomads?

So far, I have found that you can find digital nomads in any big city in Europe these days. Some hot spots I’m excited to check out next include Lisbon, Portugal and Budapest, Hungary.

4. You chose Croatia and specifically Split – why?

Ten years ago a couple of friends of mine visited Croatia, and while looking at their photos, I remember being in awe over the crystal blue waters – I had never seen anything like it! Croatia immediately moved to #1 on my bucket list.

I can’t believe it took me ten years to finally make it here, but my expectations have been exceeded, and the waters are truly as magical as I imagined they would be.

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I chose Split specifically because I knew its digital nomad community would make it a great home base to settle for a few weeks, meet some locals and really integrate with the city. At the same time, its central location allows for some convenient day trips to still explore other parts of Croatia, such as Dubrovnik, Hvar Island, Krka Waterfalls & Plitvice Lakes National Park.

5. What are the most important things a destination should offer to be most compatible for the digital nomad lifestyle, apart from that all-important good WiFi?

The digital nomad journey can be isolating if you find yourself working alone in a cafe or your hotel every day – so coworking spaces or networking events where you can easily connect with locals and fellow digital nomads make that destination so much more enjoyable. 

6. What are the competitive advantages that Croatia has to attract more digital nomads?

Croatia is truly the best of both worlds – for your work days, you have convenient transportation options for your commute, multiple coworking communities and tons of cafes to work from, minimal language barriers as English is widely spoken, and solid WiFi.

When you’re off of work, you can always find things to do, from exploring the spectacular national parks, relaxing at the gorgeous beaches or getting lost in the narrow alleys of ancient old towns.

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I am so glad that I chose Split as one of the first stops on my digital nomad journey – it’s been easy to feel at home while exciting to explore so many gorgeous new places.

Anything else you want to add.

Follow my journey of growing an online service-based business while traveling the world at @cultivatedexperiences.

To learn more about Croatia for the digital nomad, check out the Total Croatia Digital Nomad guide

Are you a digital nomad in Croatia who would like to be featured in this series? Please contact us on [email protected] 


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