Greece attracts many digital nomads from all over Europe and especially during the winter time. Working remotely is a growing trend among freelancers, entrepreneurs and employees. Not least with Covid-19 which has forced many to try what it is like to work from home. A study from McKinsey shows that 80% of participants enjoyed working from home during the pandemic. What does a digital nomad need? A good internet connection, a nice warm-up during the slightly cooler days and an environment where you can combine work and leisure.
Digital nomads from the Netherlands: our rental guests
I am glad that Dylan and Eline from Netherlands, who funded through our company, an accommodation for 8 month in the Peloponnese and the Mani area allowed me to ask about their “why-Peloponnese” story.
EK: Kalimera Dylan and Eline, can we start with a short presentation: what you are working with and when you start working remotely?
DEM: Kalimera! We have 3 different online businesses. Dylan is an IT professional so he does 1 day a week of freelance work. Furthermore we have an online babysitter platform for the Netherlands and we have a company focussing on female business owners to help them crush their goals.
So a lot of variety and that is really fun for us.
We did the remote work part time since 2019. So longer holidays where we combine working and traveling.
For example the flight to Curacao from the Netherlands was 12 hours and Dylan worked the whole time in the plain. It was one of his most effective working days.
EK: How do you both think it works to work remotely outside your own country? What is good and what is bad?
DEM: It is really easy to work remotely when you keep this in mind when you start your business. The focus of our business has always been online. So every business we create is easy to work for online. Furthermore it really helps that you can travel freely within the EU. So not a lot of restrictions.
The bad thing is, that sometimes the power connection goes off and then you can’t work. Luckily we bought a special UPS that gives us some time to save our work before the computer turns off.
EK: What is your “why the Peloponnese” history? Because I understand that you traveled a little before you came to the Peloponnese and Mani?
DEM: Well, we wanted to really stay in Greece. So we started on the islands and soon we decided it was not for us. The fact that you can’t always fly out in the winter and the harder connection to Athens was a big no for us. So then we also looked into Kavala but the weather is much worse than here. And then we found our perfect match. The Peloponnesos and the Mani. It has the island vibe, but you are still connected en close to the mainland and Athens. For us this was important because we want to be able to fly back to the Netherlands if this is necessary.
EK: What is your experience of Greek culture when it comes to meeting foreigners?
DEM: It depends. We have some great experiences with really nice and friendly people. But sometimes you come across a grumpy person who doesn’t speak English and although we try really hard, our Greek is still not good. So that can be difficult. But most of the times we really enjoy the people here and how kind they are.
EK: You did not just come to work from Messinia, you also decided to buy a house? So the nomad life is over but you will still work remotely? And it will be Greece forever for both of you and your cats?
DEM: Yes, we think Greece is our perfect home base so we decided to buy a house here. The lovely weather, easy access to Athens via the great highway, and the food is for us a must stay. Also the great amount of land you get here and the incredible views are something to stay for. Forever is a long time, but at least the next few years we will stay here.
EK: To sum up: can you describe in just three words how and if your lives have changed since you decided to buy the house in the Peloponnese?
DEM: Sun, sand and great views.
UPDATE: Dylan and Eline from Netherlands bought a house near Kalamata. Follow their Instagram account:@kalamatacityguide