Making the move to Croatia

By SJ Begonja, 02 September, 2014

You've sat back, realised that life as you know it is okay, but it's missing something. Or you, or your spouses' work has requested to transfer. So now, you're about to become an expat.

Becoming an expat is not easy. Whilst it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime, it has challenges that will push you to your limits as an individual. I know, I am one.

Growing up in Sydney, Australia my life was average. I went to school, found a job and enjoyed time my family and friends like any normal person.

I met a man, we fell in love, we travelled the world and decided that we wanted something different. We wanted to leave behind the 'big smoke'. We craved a smaller, much more intimate place. That dream was realised for us in 2013. After having a baby, packing up (or selling) our worldly possessions we moved.

We moved to Croatia.

Thanks to an inheritance, we took possession of an old, derelict house in the countryside. The house was was built and owned by my husbands Grandfather and was passed to my husband. We thought it would be a great opportunity to find the downtime, and get back to basics. You know, with chickens and our veggie patch and the like.

Our dreams were simple.

Renovate the house, move in and start growing veggies. But our plans were naive. Becoming (and staying) and expat in a place like Croatia has it's challenges. A year later we are only just now starting the build. It took a year to finalise the paperwork for my health insurance and as such we still have no veggie patch. We have however loved our time here, travelling, exploring and relaxing all while meeting new people.

Despite my honestly about the system, there are no challenges here in Croatia that you can't overcome. To achieve what you need to in Croatia you need one major thing.


If you're planning to move to Croatia, and enjoy the 1000’s of islands, great wide-open spaces, the history, culture  and relaxed lifestyle like us. Don't forget to pack patience along with your bikini and board-shorts.

While the system in Croatia is slow and archaic, everything gets done, things just need time. A lot of it.

Moving to Croatia has meant a period of adjustment for all of us, and speaking with many others it seems it takes around a year to really settle in, and find your groove. We're slowing getting there.

While there is not much I miss from back in Australia, I do miss those people most dear to me. My biggest advice to anyone making the move a of lifetime to join the expat world, is to stay connected. Write a blog or find a blog or online group to connect with those sharing a similar experience or at least find and use resources like to help you transition.

I love meeting and helping new expats make the fabulous move as we did, and so if you have a question about Croatia, reach out I am just a blog post away.

Also known as Mrs. CtD, SJ lives in a small Croatian village & writes about Croatian food, travel & her experiences as an expat making Croatia home. Connect with her on her Blog - Chasing the Donkey,Google+,Twitter or Facebook.