Meet Rudy Witkowsky, Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for August

Total Croatia News

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The end of a calendar month in the Croatian capital brings a goodbye and a welcome, as the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project continues. New Yorker Veronica Mulhall will be handing over the keys to South African Rudi Witkowsky on Sunday, as she concludes her month before leaving for Tanzania. But not before welcoming Rudi and sharing a few insider Zagreb tips. Veronica was to be found in Art Park Ribnjak yesterday, putting the finishing touches to an artistic memory of her very memorable stay – see below. There is a lot more to come on TCN from Veronica, but here is her initial article on her Zagreb experiences


Meet Rudi, who kindly agreed to an email interview from Dubrovnik, before which I asked him to introduce himself.

I am Rudi Witkowsky from Cape Town, South Africa, a model, reality TV Tropika Island of Treasure season 8  finalist and working remotely as an independent finance and strategy consultant and online fitness trainer. I have lived in many places before  from teaching English in  Asia to teaching fitness  and consulting in Los Angeles in the USA, Ireland, and now Croatia. Of all the places that I have visited, Croatia has seen me the most, 3 times. I am a qualified chartered accountant with an honours degree in accounting  and fitness professional. I have a passion for fitness and wellness and love helping people improve their business process and reporting functions.I am obsessed with travelling, love the outdoors from surfing to hiking and like to call myself a foodie & wine lover.

You can view Rudi’s application video above.

1. South Africa is a long way from Croatia, where you are currently enjoying yourself on the coast. Firstly, why did you choose Croatia in the first place?

I have been to Croatia twice before (the first time for Yacht Week and 2nd time as a Yacht Week ambassador) and know my way around the country and love the people. I made some great friends while I was here. South Africa was heading into a strict lockdown and winter hence I thought it would be best to get out as soon as possible. Many countries had closed their doors on us, but it was about 1 week before potentially departing Cape Town (most likely Dubai) when Croatia allowed South Africans in.  I also heard that Croatia offered Digital nomad visas and researched this extensively. In order to obtain the nomad visa it mentioned that you had to be present in the country hence I decided we have to take this offer up.  It sounded amazing and the lives of the other digital nomads looked like pure bliss.The plans were also to purchase property here and no better time to come up and look for opportunities. It was a no brainer and jumped at the opportunity immediately. My partner Victoria had also Dj’d here a number of times so it made more sense to come here. 


2. How did you hear about the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador, and why did you decide to  apply?

We were in quarantine / self – isolation in Split and I read Total Croatia News a lot. I saw the post on the website and thought let’s just apply for this. We had  so many people message me via instagram about Croatia and saying it looks amazing. How can we get there?  What is a digital nomad visa and how does it apply? I thought it makes sense to represent Croatia as a digital nomad ambassador as we absolutely love everything about Croatia. It has so much to offer and I feel so relaxed. I did not expect to win though. It was a random idea and I did not think of the idea of winning. We continued with our journey and did not consider it in our plans.


3. Your reaction when chosen? 

I was beyond shocked and super excited. I read the email twice, checked the email address for validity  in case it appeared to be hacker/spam or false!!! My girlfriend was sleeping and I  went straight to her.  

Rudi: I was like “pie pie pie” guess what???? 

Victoria: In her sleepy state “uh” “grrr”  what?? No close the door…

Rudi:  I said we have been selected as the Zagreb ambassadors. 

Victoria: She woke up with No ways!!! You are lying?? 

Rudi No, seriously I just received the email. 

Victoria: Have you responded saying we are coming?

Rudi Not yet, but will do so now. 

Felt this feeling of happiness and the feeling as though I could do anything. Just wanted to celebrate:) 

We were so excited, started planning and thinking so much about it. Could not think straight! As a result we extended our stay in Dubrovnik for another week and planned on coming straight to Zagreb.


4. Was Zagreb on your radar at all for this trip before you applied. Did you perceive it as a digital nomad destination?

Zagreb was on the list to visit as we were thinking of purchasing property there. We  started  juggling around as to whether we should visit Zagreb especially during the summer. We started questioning the idea as to whether we should make a mission there as it seemed far from Dubrovnik and questioned whether we  should  purchase property? We do not know the property market and did no have contacts to guide us as a result, but hopefully  now all our questions will be answered!. So many unclear questions and answers. We knew that long term it would make sense to stay in Zagreb as a digital nomad.


5. How much do you know about Zagreb at the moment?

I know very little. It has an airport, inland and supposedly better food I heard.  

6. What are your expectations of your month as a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador?

I expect to be meeting with lots of  wonderful and amazing  like-minded people (foreigners and locals) including other respective nomads, exploring Zagreb, living as a local (from grocery shopping to visiting local cuisines, trying out the various services like bus lines). I plan on determining if I can call Zagreb home away from home and plan on relaying my Zagreb experience to the rest of the world. I am hoping to gain a different perspective of Zagreb as a destination during the summer months as I always focus on coastal regions during summer. Will be my first city (in general) visit during the summer. I am very much an ocean baby.

 7. In what ways are you looking to interact with the Zagreb community? What kinds of thing are you looking forward to exploring?

I plan on exploring Zagreb’s health and wellness scene from healthy eateries to fitness centers and gyms as I feel as though the coast is still seen as more of a holiday destination and not a wellness destination. Cannot wait to find a proper fitness center and explore the food scene. I plan on hosting 2 group fitness classes,  understanding what others define and view the concept as health and wellness in Zagreb. I will be looking at potential services in Zagreb that could really help foreigners grow their business and chat with other nomads as to why they chose Zagreb as a base destination. I know my partner will be exploring the music scene as we heard good remarks. I would really like to hear the experiences of other nomads in the city and gain a feel for the pros and cons of long term living. I will be looking at  property opportunities and plan on interacting with other entrepreneurs. I look forward to meeting the locals as I feel Zagreb is more in tune with the Croatian lifestyle. The coast has many more tourists. I am looking extremely forward to the Co-working space. I am also hoping to potentially help other nomads with their businesses through my business transformation and accounting consulting experience. I would like to mingle with locals and see how they enjoy the summer months in Zagreb. Looking to find those hidden gems!

8. Tell us your impressions so far of Croatia as a digital nomad destination. What does Croatia do well, and what does it need to work on? 

Croatia has been amazing so far. Absolutely love it! The transport options have been amazing and reliable. 


The safety has been unreal. I feel so safe in Croatia. The safety, peaceful and family orientated lifestyle has been the biggest drawcard for me. Everyone seems relaxed and not judgemental at all. Everyone is accepted everywhere no matter your age, gender, culture or nationality. The people have been very  accommodating and lovely to tourists. Lots of locals are willing to help, especially Uber drivers.

I found that people speak more english than expected. One or two language barriers encountered before, but  expected.

I just love how Croatia is gearing itself as a prime digital nomad destination. So many services are catered to digital nomads and it is a proper concept here. Everyone knows of it and are more than happy to help digital nomads. 


I think they can definitely get a few more coffee shops on the coast with proper working capabilities and good wifi. The wifi at the few coffee shops explored has not been great.  I love working from coffee shops. As a nomad, potentially more affordable accommodation on the coast during the summer months and possibly like a working hub on the coast where nomads can meet and work from. Right now all the plans are made via Facebook with nomads.


Rudi and Victoria will be staying as guests of Doma Zagreb Aparthotel, one of the project partners, along with Saltwater Nomads, TCN and the Zagreb Tourist Board. 

Would you like to be a Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador? Find out how here.

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



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