THE MIRROR OF MEDIA

‘I spend $1,424 per month’—here’s a look at his typical day


Earlier than Covid hit in March final 12 months, I used to be making a good earnings of about $4,000 per thirty days as a contract video producer. However because the pandemic intensified, these gig earnings shortly dwindled to $700.

Because of all of the uncertainty concerning the future, I discovered myself sleeping on a futon at my sister’s home in New Jersey. I felt stressed and missed all of the touring I used to do for work.

However just a few months later, my prayers had been answered: Croatia announced that it could begin providing a one-year residence allow to digital nomads (anybody outdoors of the European Union working remotely) in January 2021.

I had visited Croatia earlier than and was completely captivated by the nation, so I made a decision to use.

Getting Croatia’s digital nomad residence allow

I did lots of prep work between April and December earlier than getting approved for the permit.

The applying processing charge was $100, and to qualify, I wanted to have a month-to-month earnings of not less than $2,750. So all through the next months, I aggressively constructed a recurring earnings stream from freelance gigs (video producing and copywriting) by Upwork.

By December, I used to be again to creating round $4,000 per thirty days. I used to be additionally an obsessive saver and barely spent my earnings. So with the $76,000 I had in my financial savings account, I felt financially safe sufficient to dwell overseas.

A good looking road within the coronary heart of downtown Cut up

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

Along with the earnings requirement, I wanted to indicate proof of worldwide medical insurance (which I obtained by a U.S.-based journey insurance coverage firm referred to as Seven Corners), receive an FBI background examine and supply an handle I might be staying at.

I spend a lot much less in Croatia than within the U.S.

Steve Tsentserensky’s common month-to-month spending

Gene Woo Kim | CNBC Make It

I dwell on my own in a 650-square-foot residence, which I discovered by a Facebook group for expats in Croatia. I am renting instantly from the proprietor for $540 (together with utilities) per thirty days.

Marmontova Ulica, a busy road in Cut up full of a number of retailers and eating places. Pictured within the distance is the island of Brač.

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

I spend a mean of $1,424 per thirty days. Here is a breakdown (as of June 2021):

  • Lease and utilities: $540
  • Medical insurance: $65
  • Meals (groceries, consuming out and drinks): $608
  • Subscriptions: $14
  • Telephone: $12
  • Leisure journey: $185

How I spend my days

As quickly as my alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m., I am going to make some Turkish espresso and have a easy breakfast — normally some eggs, greens, cheese and toasted bread.

Then I dive straight into my freelance tasks. I attempt to put in about eight hours of labor on weekdays. Since most of my purchasers are based mostly within the U.S., I am going to schedule work calls on Jap or Pacific Customary Time.

If I really feel like consuming out for lunch ($10 to $14, together with tip), there are a number of locations inside strolling distance. I like journeys to the bakery for a tasty burek, a savory pastry sometimes full of meat or cheese ($2 to $3).

A cheese burek and a double espresso at a café in Cut up prices round $5.

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

A pleasant dinner on the coast will embrace a number of seafood dishes like tuna, octopus and squid ink risotto ($18 to $30, together with drinks and tip).

Squid ink risotto and a beer from Dujkin Dvorlocal, an area restaurant in Cut up, for just below $18.

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

I am a fairly social individual, and I’ve met lots of nice individuals in Cut up — each locals and different expats. On weekends, I might spend hours having significant conversations with pals over $2 espressos.

From my residence, I am a three-minute stroll to the famed ruins of Diocletian’s Palace. Constructed on the flip of the fourth century and regarded the center of town, the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Website have been worn clean by pedestrians.

The famed ruins of Diocletian’s Palace

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

I am additionally six minutes from the Riva, a waterfront promenade full of cafés, bars eating places and retailers.

At 35, touring has at all times been a vital a part of my life. Since arriving in Croatia, I’ve taken quite a lot of journeys to see extra of this endlessly lovely nation.

A number of locations I have been to: Zagreb (the place I lived for just a few months), Rijeka, Zadar, and the islands of Hvar and Brač. Most not too long ago, I took a two-hour bus experience ($28 for a spherical journey) to Zaton.

A view of the Zagreb Cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral-church and the second tallest constructing in Croatia.

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

Persevering with the nomadic life

One of many downsides of working and dwelling overseas is lacking and being removed from my household and pals, so I am hoping to make a journey again house in some unspecified time in the future.

Considered one of Cut up’s most iconic points of interest is the Cathedral of St. Domnius — full of murals, carved altars and a steep bell tower.

Photograph: Steve Tsentserensky

Whereas Croatia will perpetually maintain a spot in my coronary heart, several other countries, together with Georgia and Portugal, additionally provide digital nomad visas. As soon as my allow right here expires in March 2022, I plan to take benefits of these alternatives and proceed the nomadic life for so long as I can.

The liberty to work from anyplace and chart your personal course is a bit addictive, and the spontaneity of it’s a massive a part of what brings me pleasure.

Steve Tsentserensky is a video producer, photographer and author. He presently lives in Croatia by a digital nomad residence allow. Observe him on Instagram.

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