11 Jul 2018

Rural Serbia attracts digital nomads

Digital nomads travel with laptops under their arms, ready to send e-mails from any corner of the world. Quite a few of them stop at the Mokrin House "rural hub" in northern Serbia.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Rural Serbia attracts digital nomads - NewsMavens
Man with computer, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Digital jobs have rapidly transformed work settings for younger generations. Along with the increasing number of digital freelancers who choose couches over office chairs, there is also a growing number of digital workers who work remotely and travel.

The Serbian capital of Belgrade is highly rated among European cities for digital nomads. Some of them call Belgrade the "New Berlin," due to its cheap cost of living, vivid cultural scene and large "expat" community. For those who prefer co-working spaces, there are numerous reasonably-priced options in cities across Serbia. 

Increased demand by digital nomads has led Serbia to expand services to make living and working in the countryside a possibility.

With the creation of Mokrin House -- the "digital nomad" center in Mokrin, international travelers have become interested in an unexplored rural part of the country. Tourism in the area has increased and there are more jobs for locals. 

But regardless of different choices that nomads make by staying in urban parts of the country such as Belgrade or in rural areas such as Mokrin, for Serbian economy it is important that they spend their money in the country. 

The increasing number of nomads implies that things might be looking up for Serbia. 

Details from the story:

  • BIRN reported that Mokrin has lost almost a third of its population since the early 1950s, when it had around 8,000 citizens. Many younger residents moved away because of the lack of opportunities. 
  • Mokrin House is a co-working and co-living space located in Mokrin village in the north-east of Serbia.
  • The house can host up to 32 guests at a time and is one of the first spaces of this sort in rural Serbia.
  • The creator of Mokrin House, Ivan Brkljač, came up with the idea for the project while he was a remote worker himself.
  • Some non-EU citizens visit Mokrin after their permitted three-month, visa-free stay within the Schengen Area has ended (Serbia is not in the EU nor part of the Schengen Area). In that way, they stay close to the EU border, which they can then re-enter after a 90 day period.

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