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This 35-year-stale left the U.S. for Croatia: ‘I live on $47 a day — here’s a look at how I spend my time’

This 35-year-stale left the U.S. for Croatia: ‘I live on $47 a day — here’s a look at how I spend my time’

Before Covid hit in March last year, I was making a decent earnings of about $4,000 per month as a freelance video producer. But as the pandemic intensified, those gig earnings instant dwindled to $700.

As a outcome of all the uncertainty about the future, I came across myself drowsing on a futon at my sister’s home in Unique Jersey. I felt restless and neglected all the traveling I aged to conclude for work.

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But a few months later, my prayers had been answered: Croatia announced that it would start providing a one-year situation allow to digital nomads (anyone outside of the European Union working remotely) in January 2021.

I had visited Croatia before and was utterly captivated by the country, so I made up my mind to apply.

Getting Croatia’s digital nomad situation allow

I did a lot of prep work between April and December before getting approved for the allow.

The application processing rate was $100, and to qualify, I wanted to have a monthly earnings of at least $2,750. So all the way via the following months, I aggressively constructed a ordinary earnings stream from freelance gigs (video producing and copywriting) via Upwork.

By December, I was back to making around $4,000 per month. I was also an obsessive saver and rarely spent my earnings. So with the $76,000 I had in my savings account, I felt financially steady satisfactory to live abroad.

A beautiful facet road in the heart of downtown Split

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

In addition to the earnings requirement, I wanted to show proof of international health insurance (which I obtained via a U.S.-based travel insurance company called Seven Corners), obtain an FBI background examine and provide an address I would be staying at.

I spend great much less in Croatia than in the U.S.

I at the second live in Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea.

The views are attractive, and the trace of living is great cheaper compared to most major U.S. cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom in Jersey Metropolis, for example, is $2,779 (no longer together with utilities), according to rental itemizing net region RentCafe.

Steve Tsentserensky’s average monthly spending

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I live by myself in a 650-square-foot apartment, which I came across via a Facebook workforce for expats in Croatia. I am renting immediately from the owner for $540 (together with utilities) per month.

Marmontova Ulica, a busy facet road in Split crammed with several shops and restaurants. Pictured in the distance is the island of Brač.

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

I spend an average of $47 a day. Right here is a breakdown (as of June 2021):

  • Lease and utilities: $540
  • Health insurance: $65
  • Food (groceries, eating out and drinks): $608
  • Subscriptions: $14
  • Phone: $12
  • Recreational travel: $185

Total: $1,424

How I spend my days

As soon as my alarm goes off at 6: 30 a.m., I am going to make some Turkish coffee and have a straightforward breakfast — usually some eggs, vegetables, cheese and toasted bread.

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

If I really feel like eating out for lunch ($10 to $14, together with tip), there are several places interior walking distance. I really like journeys to the bakery for a tasty burek, a savory pastry typically crammed with meat or cheese ($2 to $3).

A cheese burek and a double espresso at a café in Split costs around $5.

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

A good dinner on the coast will encompass many 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, a local restaurant in Split, for fair below $18.

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

I am a aesthetic social person, and I’ve met a lot of great individuals in Split — both locals and other expats. On weekends, I may spend hours having meaningful conversations with company over $2 espressos.

From my apartment, I am a three-minute walk to the famed ruins of Diocletian’s Palace. Built at the flip of the fourth century and considered the heart of the city, the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage State have been extinct soft by pedestrians.

The famed ruins of Diocletian’s Palace

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

I am also six minutes from the Riva, a waterfront promenade crammed with cafés, bars restaurants and shops.

At 35, traveling has always been an essential part of my life. Since arriving in Croatia, I’ve taken a number of journeys to sight extra of this ceaselessly beautiful country.

A few places I’ve been to: Zagreb (the place I lived for a few months), Rijeka, Zadar, and the islands of Hvar and Brač. Most no longer too long ago, I took a two-hour bus creep ($28 for a spherical outing) to Zaton.

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

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

The pace of life in Croatia is dramatically totally different — and great extra my pace — than in Unique Jersey. Whenever you combine that with the affordability, friendly individuals, enjoyable activities and low crime rates, there is no longer great to complain about.

Continuing the nomadic life

One of the downsides of working and living abroad is missing and being far from my family and company, so I am hoping to take a outing back home at some point.

One of Split’s most iconic attractions is the Cathedral of St. Domnius — crammed with murals, carved altars and a steep bell tower.

Photo: Steve Tsentserensky

This 35-year-stale left the U.S. for Croatia: ‘I live on $47 a day — here’s a look at how I spend my time’