Budgeting, travel and documents were featured in our last blogpost for becoming a digital nomad, and we continue with all the key questions to ask yourself this time around. Remember, if you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad in Croatia, join our Facebook group and we can help you with more localized questions.
Insurance for the digital nomad community
We recommend you get travel and medical insurance. Sometimes you might be asked about it, but even if not, it’s important. After all you might be on the other side of the world! So make sure you have cover in case you need to go see a doctor or something happens.
As a resident of an EU member state, with basic medical coverage , you can get the European Health Card. You can use this to go see a doctor for emergency care wherever you go, inside of the EU. Outside of that region, you need something else to get your coverage. For nationals of other countries, you need to figure something out if you want to travel within the EU and have insurance.
For digital nomads there are a few options that cover your medical and travels. I personally use SafetyWings that gives me medical and travel coverage for a monthly fee of 42 usd/38 eur and renews every year, or until I cancel it. It is easy to use because it is all online. You can enter your destinations when you buy your package and then download the document for visa purposes. It also includes Covid coverage. This can cover tests (by doctor’s orders), hospitalization or isolation. They can reimburse you up to a certain amount per day. Another popular company is InsuredNomads who also look at other specific nomad needs.
More about covid
Covid is another thing to keep in mind for travelling, since some countries have strict entry rules and restrictions. Before travel, you’ll have to see if your destination has specific requirements. This can include being fully vaccinated, having a negative PCR test, or maybe just a rapid antigen will work. You’ll need to check if about getting tested again on arrival, or if you need to quarantine (maybe at a government facility or at your accommodation) and for how long. Finally check if you need to get tested again after some time has passed or after your quarantine period is over.
Some countries require you to download an app that will track your whereabouts too. In some cases you might not be able to enter the country at all. Some countries have closed their borders and are not allowing any visitors (at all or coming from certain locations). Make sure you have all the necessary documents proving your Covid status (vaccine pass, negative tests, recovery certificate) either in paper form or digital with QR code. Always keep one face mask ready (in your bag or pocket) in case you need to have it indoors/outdoors and on onboard.
Think about the language barrier
One of the joys of being a digital nomad is hearing and maybe learning new languages. However this can also comes with some challenges. Always check what the official language is of the country you are going to. If you don’t speak it, check what the fluency level is of another one that you do, sometimes English is enough. In other cases, you can tap into your creativity. For example, use your knowledge of French when you go to Brazil. Some of the sounds are closer and words have a lot of the same origin. So you might understand something better than forcing English on the locals. Keep an open mind and you will be surprised how similar some words are in different languages.
If you can, research a bit on the main words describing food, drinks, directions, basics you need for your daily life etc. You can always use Google Translate which has improved immensely year on year. If you are a language enthusiast you might see this as an opportunity to learn a new language. Sometimes you might find language exchange groups that you can join to make friends and practice your skills. The digital nomad community already in a country can help you find these. Even just a few words go a long way in making you feel more comfortable and locals enjoy hearing you speak their language too!
Digital nomad community
There are plenty of digital nomad communities out there, so do some research on social media. Check out the Facebook groups for digital nomads around the world and those in your selected destination. You can send a request to join even before you arrive there. You can ask questions to get recommendations and find out the current situation. There might be someone from your country who is already there – in case you’d like to connect to someone from back home. Even if not – you will have the opportunity to meet so many interesting people. Even if you don’t meet up with them, you can ask questions. This will make your transition period smoother and your nomad life easier.
Nomads organize meetups regularly and you can also organize one yourself and put the event in the group and see who shows up’. If no-one does, you can just enjoy a coffee or beer and your book! Very often too there are WhatsApp groups that you can join from the Facebook group. This is where people organize more spontaneous meetups and people answer your questions quicker. There is a digital nomad community for everyone, so look for others sharing your interests.
That’s enough information for one blogpost, join us next week for part IV. We hope you find this all useful when becoming a new digital nomad. If you have any questions, hit us up on Facebook or Instagram and you can always reach out to me directly as well.
by Antonija Bosanac
Antonija was born and raised in Split, Croatia. Now a restless traveller gone digital nomad in 2019, she’s passionate about building communities, volunteer work, education and human & civil rights. Currently working as a coach in the field of interpersonal communication and self development, she’s promoting change through individual work with clients; as well as being en route to getting a degree in psychotherapy. For her current location, check her Instagram profile.