A consultant in media and communications, Andrea Petkovic swapped a real office in Zagreb for a virtual one and started working and traveling around the world. After six months travelling around Southeast Asia and Australia she ended up in New York.
I’m sure you’ve never heard this before: where are you from?
I was born in Zagreb, Croatia.
And what did you do there, then?
In the past six years I have been working as a media consultant and researcher. I also did translations for different companies in Croatia.
How did you end up in New York?
About a year ago I decided to move out of Zagreb. I was bored and unhappy, but also knew that I was the only one who can make a change, so I turned my office into a virtual one, packed my bags (and laptops) and bought a ticket to Bangkok. I had no plan and no idea when I would be back. In December 2013, I got submitted to run New York Half marathon in March 2014 which has always been a dream of mine to run, but one needs to enter a lottery…I considered this to be a sign. In March I left for New York and just stayed there until mid-July. Now, I plan to stay in Croatia for the summer and then will go back to New York in October.
Have you lived abroad before?
Yes, I did my master in human rights in Venice and Vienna and I did an internship in New York. All in all spent about two years living abroad before this.
So what’s so good about New York?
Many people ask me this question and I always quote Simone Beauvoir who said: “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” New York is beautiful, but it is not its beauty that makes it so unique, it is its energy.
And what don’t you like?
Subway and Times Square. New York subway is by far the dirtiest subway I have ever been to. The home to the rats.
And I really don’t like Times Square. It’s always overcrowded with tourists, it is just too hectic for my taste and I always try to avoid it.
Do you feel like an insider or outsider?
Insider definitely. However, I must say that living in New York before helped a lot. I have a lot of friends here and thanks to them I always felt as an insider. People say that home is where the heart is, but I always add that I am a lucky person that gets to call two places home – Zagreb and New York.
How do you support yourself?
I do a lot of consultancy work and translation projects. I work like any other person just that my office is virtual. In addition, together with my travels I also started blogging and travel writing. But this is just a passion for now. Hopefully, it will turn into something more.
Any advice for wannabe New Yorkers
Just be yourself and have fun!
Is the move permanent?
I don’t know. Before September 2013, I had tons of plans and they just literally crashed one morning. Ever since then I do not plan. I take it day by day. I have a six month project in New York that is supposed to start in October. I wanted to visit Israel and Jordan before that, but considering the current situation in that region, I am not really sure that will happen. So as I you can see there are a lot of uncertainties, but I like it that way. Makes life more interesting.
Finally, tell us about something typically New York
New York is such a diverse city that it is really hard for me to say something typically New York. However, two things that instantly cross my mind when I think about New York is yellow cab and coffee to go…and running around West Village…I am a runner after all.