My digital nomad family is living in Split, Croatia.
After we left Porto, Portugal, we went to housesit for a family in Denmark. It was a repeat housesit as we first housesat for them in March when we launched our world travels. (If you’d like to learn more about housesitting as a great way to travel on a budget, check out my book How to Win At Housesitting.)
Then we traveled to Split, Croatia.
A lot of non-GoT fans might ask, “Why Croatia?”
Croatia is great for a good number of reasons.
Weather is nice!
It’s a nice place to live for the winter, especially the city of Split which is on the Adriatic Sea. The winter is mild here. Since my little digital nomad family is not equipped for a full on snow-cold winter, this is a great place. (We travel with very little stuff.)
Split is a also very popular place for summer travel, though the prices go up a bit and it gets crowded. That made us glad to visit during the off-season.
Tourist Visa Situation
Traveling to Croatia keeps us out of the Schengen Area. While traveling in Europe there are many countries IN the Schengen Area and a handful of them OUT of the Schengen Area. Basically, for countries IN, you are allowed 90 days per every 180 days on a tourist visa (that’s most of Europe).
When you reach that three months, you gotta get out which means traveling to a Non-Schengen Area country for 90 days. Our days in Portugal and Denmark used up our schengen time, so we opted for Croatia as a Non-Schengen Area country.
Living in Croatia is a great way to save money. We’re living in a neat 2-bedroom apartment right next to Diocletian’s Palace (that place is 1,700 years old!) which makes it walking distance to EVERYTHING. A prime spot.
We’re literally a couple of minutes walk to the fish market, butcher, farmer’s market, pharmacy, cafes, restaurants, and everything. In my brief experience, Croatia is less expensive than Porto. We were able to get a bigger apartment and be located right in the heart of everything.
Croatia is so pretty.
This is a gorgeous country steeped in history. There’s ocean, mountains, and palm trees. Heaven.
My family feels safe.
We feel very safe walking around Split. It’s lit up at night and easy to walk around. I’m very comfortable here and we see families walking around all the time.
Split is clean.
The immediate area we’re in (the historic part of Split) is super clean. They pick up the trash every 30 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. We put the garbage bag outside the door of the apartment building and it’s gone within in 30 minutes.
And, funny, but dogs are running around everywhere, seemingly without owners most of the time. They have collars on. Even name tags! But I rarely see owners with them. It’s like they know the area and go for their walks by themselves.
Even when I do see the owner nearby, it’s a rare occurrence when I see a dog on a leash.
We’re enjoying our time in Split.
We plan to explore to at least one of the islands nearby via boat – for a day trip. We’d also love to get to Dubrovnik for a couple of days (we can take a bus – it’s only a few hours) as we’re GoT fans, and it’s supposed to be equally spectacular.
What are doing every day here in Split, Croatia?
Well, I’ve put some of my writing on hold to spend more quality time with Kamea. I feel like I wasn’t doing that enough during our 2018 travels, because I was largely distracted with writing books.
We spend part of our day homeschooling and worldschooling. We read on our kindles, play games, take classes on Outschool.com, and learn via Kahn Academy and YouTube (here’s one of favorite YouTubers). Additionally, Kamea and I go to the market almost every single day because, well, we can! It’s right here, and it gives us something fun to do.
We also have a pizza place right at the bottom of our stairs. Convenient and only a $1.50 a giant slice.
We met another family like ours!
We found another family here – doing the world travel thing just like us! This is a big deal because it means community and play dates.
Funny story how we met. I was booking a month-long Airbnb for Ireland in June, and I was telling the owner of the rental about our world traveling family. I mentioned that we were in Split, Croatia at the moment. She shared that another American family had just left her rental and gone to Split as well! And, guess what? They have two girls that are my daughter’s age.
The Airbnb lady introduced us via email and voila! We’re fast friends. Kamea has played many days with the girls (including a sleep over!), and it’s been such a treat for us to connect with others.
More families are coming, too!
I’ve been told time and again that I should get on Facebook to see about other worldschooling families and where they are in the world. Trouble is that I don’t really like Facebook (or other time-sucking social media sites). However, I joined anyway – just for the groups. Turns out it IS a great way to find other families doing exactly what we’re doing. So, thank you, Facebook.
Since looking into worldschooling family Facebook groups, I’ve learned there are plenty of organized meetups all around the world. I look forward to meeting lots of other families in our travels, bonding and enjoying more community as we explore. It’s been a game-changer for Kamea because she is getting more playmates.
We head back to Denmark to housesit for that same family. It’ll be a short housesit but nice because it’s a gorgeous rural property giving us plenty of time in nature and 4 groovy dogs.
After Denmark, we head to (northeastern) Italy mid-March, where we’ll live for 2.5 months! I see plenty of pizza, wine, coffee, and gelato in my future. The carnivore diet will be on hold – lol.