Thursday, 20 January 2022
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Am I now a digital nomad or am I just lost?

Written by  Jan 09, 2022

Have I turned into a digital nomad or am I now just a gypsy? Yes, Christmas and the New Year have both come and gone and yet I am still on my festive adventure. And there is no sign of us coming home any time soon.

We’ve travelled almost the complete width of England, at its widest part, and now we’re heading north, before migrating like a swallow to the south. There is no rush.

The Covid-19 situation is just as bad everywhere so there are no red list countries left to avoid, as they’re all red list.

We are currently in the university city of Oxford, and what a truly beautiful city it is. It’s strange when you travel how little you focus on news from home. I’m not sure I’ve even read a headline from Dubrovnik in the past ten days, I’ve got no idea if Omicron is ravaging through the city or in fact if HDZ is still in power. Travelling focuses the mind in different ways.

We’ve done almost 5,000 kilometres, now that’s an adventure, a European one, although England feels less like Europe after Brexit, or as my friend who we met for lunch a few days back described it “Brexshit!”

During the two weeks or so that we’ve been on the island I have been desperately trying to sport foreign number plates, I have seen one! A German camper van that was parked, or quite possibly abandoned, in a motorway service station carpark. Could it be possible that there are 33 million English registered cars here and one DU between them?

“Are you guys from Croatia,” said a man in the middle of nowhere as we walked our dog alongside a river. “Yes, how did you guess?” I replied. “Spotted the HR sticker on your car,” he said. “But how did you connect HR with Croatia,” I added. “I watched a reality serial called Below Decks that was filmed in Croatia and I remembered the odd number plate,” he smiled. DU is on tour across Europe!

So in this modern age with all the technological possibilities we have at our finger tips working on the move, or rather whilst travelling, seems like the answer to seeing the world whilst earning money. I literally need a half decent internet connection and I can work. I don’t really know why I didn’t do this before.

And now I have a much better bond with the digital nomads, or remote workers, that come to Dubrovnik to work. Of course during the pandemic many of us have experienced working from home and in many ways governments are still encouraging people to do just that.

However, this of course depends on your job, a fireman isn’t going to be able to work from home, unless he has the longest hose in the world (no pun intended).

And there are a lot of remote workers here in the UK. I’ve seen complete offices blocks empty, and the amount of signs that read “For Rent” is incredible. So many businesses have gone digital. Both my sister and my brother-in-law work from home, and with rising cases of Covid there is little chance that they’ll be doing their morning commute any time soon. “It’s certainly saved me money, and given me more time with the family, but there are downsides,” said another friend who sits at the end of his dinner table to work. Adding “I really miss the social side of going to work and the interaction with people in real-time situations rather than over Zoom.”

And whilst I certainly understand his feelings my version of remote working has been the complete opposite, I’ve been out socialising every day.

Is the UK strict with Covid measures? Not really, in fact I’d say it’s around the same level as Croatia, they just have more vaccinated people. But I’ve seen a public bus here in Oxford with only around 50 percent of the passengers wearing face masks.

We are following the rules and keeping up with the regulations, country by country, and (fingers crossed) I’ll be writing my next column in Luxembourg. Wonder if they’ve ever seen a DU number plate there? Bon voyage!

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