A busy season for Croatia’s digital nomad story is about to begin. Last year’s highlights included the introduction of the digital nomad permit on January 1, 2021, and destinations such as Zagreb and Dubrovnik attracted global interest with award-winning events such as Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence project.
Both Zagreb and Dubrovnik will continue their push to position themselves in the market in 2022, with Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2022 set to take place in June, and a news conference before that in Dubrovnik, as previously reported on TCN: Work. Place. Culture.
Total Croatia News continues to present the elite lineup for the Work. Place. Culture., this time with Yvette Pelgrom. With her business, digital marketing and psychology background combined, Yve has built and scaled million dollar business programs and teams across EdTech companies like LinkedIn, TEDx and Mindvalley. On top, she’s a globally accredited High Performance & Leadership Coach, Trainer and Psychotherapist, who empowers individuals and groups worldwide to heal, transform and redesign their lives.
For our readers not familiar with you, can you give us a quick introduction to yourself and the Lifebook Company and explain how and why it started.
My name is Yvette Pelgrom but I love for anyone to simply say Yve/Ivy/Yves (unless I did something wrong) – much more human. I feel fortunate to have been raised trilingual and live & work across Europe, Africa and Asia.
I founded Kynd in 2019 for which I facilitate coachings, interactive workshops, host deep-dive holistic retreats, lead meditation & movement events and get to ‘keynote speak’ for audiences up to 1.1K people (which absolutely still makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m -100% not made for the spotlight but +100% to help others thrive greatly). In addition, I love my job as Director of Lifebook Leaders at the Lifebook Company. This brilliant company gives hundreds of individuals globally the education, tools and accountability to design their extraordinary life across 12 categories. Here I get to run strategic program development and certify top-notch Leaders to positively impact millions of lives. And meanwhile, how fantastic is it that I constantly get reminded to intentionally design and live my life!
Aligned with the latter, currently my roots are in Amsterdam yet I’m roaming around Europe these months for work while I am transitioning to settle down majorly in Lisbon, Portugal. It feels time for some slower living alongside the ocean and with loved friends while still enjoying my typical nomadic bursts here and there for work and adventure.
Looking at the testimonials on the website, it seems you are really changing people’s lives. Who are your typical clients and what are they looking for when they approach you?
I work with both individuals (especially women, leaders and entrepreneurs) and companies (eager to boost employee wellbeing and high performance). Ultimately, all our behavior has a logic and a background. Based on this psychotherapeutic holistic approach, I deep dive with clients to understand their behavioral- and emotional origins, help rewire their brain’s neural pathways and guide them in adopting healthy and positive habits.
Growth with my clients is accomplished through solving and expanding. Through solving, clients take charge of self sabotaging patterns like imposter syndrome, love attachment patterns, struggles in boundary setting, self care et cetera. Through expanding, they become proactively intentional on all life’s aspects – designing their ideal health, social, love, career and all the way to living their best, thriving quality of life. Besides one-on-one work, I absolutely love hosting individuals at beautiful, unconventional retreats as well as training teams (e.g. TedX, Google, LinkedIn) around personal development and wellbeing. Common topics are around (lack of) focus and (mental) health, and so I also deal with high performers who excel at delivery but do so at a high price, such as loneliness, stress, (self)disconnect, burnout). In the end, I’m known to bring like-minded people together to truly connect and throw in high energy, humor and vulnerability!
The themes of wellbeing and life design are becoming more prominent in this crazy world. What trends are you seeing, and how do you expect this to develop over the next few years?
Trends of burnouts, paralysis and conquests on ‘what truly matters’
These covid years definitely evoked changes in all areas of life. It disrupted people’s routines, for many resulting in sadly less human connection, more screen time, less movement, worse food choices, breakups, job losses, financial hits, company breakdowns, etc.
I’ve seen many fall – hard. Confronting and tough? Yes. Beautiful and vital? Double yes. I admire that the previous normalised way of working and living is being challenged at a global scale: there seems to now be a trend of reflections around ‘what truly matters?’. This came to life fastly with the consequences of a results-driven, male-oriented society, such as burnouts and specifically, hormonal imbalances amongst women who are to carry the same workload as men but go through hormonal cycles with less testosterone to carry out.
New movement towards simplicity, mindfulness and purpose
I expect people to live increasingly more consciously aligned to their desires. Why grind when you can love life while working smart? I adore the increased attention of ‘awakened’ people to now proactively live up to their inward realisations by creating desired outward life experiences and lifestyle. Think of optimising quality of life by moving towards more nature, moving with dear friends to live near each other, building a better work-life balance and spending more time with loved ones for deeper connections. People are starting to prioritise well-being more and companies pick this up too, seeing their talent is their #1 priority and employee wellbeing significantly impacting business performance.
And so to Dubrovnik, where you will be an ambassador in May. Tell us why you applied and what you are hoping to get out of the experience.
I’m grateful to have been invited to host morning sessions at the Dubrovnik conference and as keynote speaker in Zagreb. And meanwhile, indeed so excited to have been selected as an ambassador for beautiful Dubrovnik! My entire life I lived and worked across continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. One golden nugget I figured is that the greatest experiences happen when surrounding myself with kind hearted, like-minded people in environments with great energy and serenity simultaneously. These settings allowed me to enjoy life moments to the fullest before they became memories. Given that Dubrovnik offers an idyllic combination of city buzz, serene ocean feels, beautiful nature sceneries and a blend of lovely locals and like-minded digital nomads – an absolute gift to experience May and June here. Plus, in contrast to my partly Dutch roots (go-go-go mode!), I am very excited to experience the more laid-back intentional lifestyle with the locals and who knows, get enamoured by the local cuisine.
You will be running morning wellness workshops on the idyllic island of Lokrum. Tell us more.
“How you start your morning defines the tone of your day”. As part of optimal wellbeing and high performance, your mental-, physical- and emotional health is vital. In fact, your health is your biggest wealth. Your energy should thrive first in order to succeed in any other area in life. During my morning workshops, participants experience tweaks to integrate into their daily mornings as high performance habits to set themselves up for happiness, energy and laserfocus for the rest of the day. These practices are neuroscientifically proven to increase focus, productivity, positivity, confidence, clarity, energy etc. What will we do? Come, experience and enjoy!
You will also be joining us at Zagreb Digital Nomad Week in June, so your commitment to Croatia is impressive. Tell us about your relationship until now and your impressions on the progress it is making on its remote work journey.
Excited to speak in Zagreb! It looks to be a phenomenal two months in May and June given all activities lined up, with a fantastic like-minded community while exploring mesmerising Croatia! From what I’ve seen, I’m impressed on how Croatia provides such attention to creating an inspiring space to remote work, connect and live like a local rather than contribute to overtourism. From a 12 month digital nomad visa all the way to bringing them together in these conferences to learn and laugh with each other.
You can download the full programme of the Work.Place.Culture Conference in Dubrovnik here.
Work. Place. Culture. is a collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads and TCN, with support from the Digital Nomad Association Croatia and Dubrovacka Bastina. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week is a partnership between Zagreb Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, and TCN.
For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.