Croatian Desserts cookbook

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By Andrea Pisac - 67 Comments - November 13, 2015

When I decided to leave London and come back to Croatia, people stared at me in disbelief. ‘Why would you leave the most exciting city in the world?’ they pressed me.

Why would I exchange an established academic career and a UK salary for the Croatian quagmire? And at the time when 15,000 young Croats move abroad each year in search for work and better living conditions.

In the past two years I’ve done little else but try to satisfy friends with a plausible answer. Often to no avail. Even when I finish with the argument that ‘everyone has their own path to follow’, I am looked at as a crazy person. Someone who had everything going for them and flippantly gave it up.

So ask me again. I promise this time I won’t try to prove myself right. Instead I’ll borrow the words of a fictional Indian chef Hassan Kadam, who flees his country and, via London, settles under the French sun.

‘And why exactly are you leaving London?’ asks the customs officer.
‘I find that in England, vegetables have no soul, no life…’ Hassan replies.
The Hundred-Foot Journey film

Help! I don’t have a Croatian pedigree line

Croatia is undeniably a difficult country to prosper in. More so if you’re not politically connected or if your ideas fall outside the lines of how things usually get done. Old socialist mindset, mixed with close-knit mentality, inhibit people who see and do things differently. In a word, Croatia is a place where it’s more important who you know than what you know.

So for example, when you’re introduced to someone new, they’ll often ask you ‘whose are you’. What they want to know is your family background, your pedigree and connections you may have. In London, in a similar situation you’d be asked ‘what do you do’. It’s equally limiting, but at least if you’re good at what you do in London, you can rise above the pedigree certificate. You can create your own individual worth.

Why I came back to Croatia | Zagreb Honestly
Back to Croatia, back to wilderness. Photo by Saša Pjanić

So which would you choose? The power (and limitations) of belonging to a tribe or the power (and limitations) of being your own person?

Help! I’ll end up in a London phone booth

As a student of literature in Zagreb, I got a C for my paper on Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. The teacher told me to put aside my creative thinking and follow the rules of ‘good academic writing’. I was by then a published fiction writer – what a drag! This ridiculous comment filled me with so much positive energy to immediately start packing for London. I didn’t realize it then, but it was hostile conditions that boosted my creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. I would do anything to succeed.

London made me spread my wings. Each project I applied for – artistic or academic – was accepted and supported. I flew ever so high, lulled on soft and favourable air currents. I realized – Croatia made me do things despite stormy weather; in England I prospered because of calm weather. There is no way around this fact: living conditions in London, that so many Croats are seeking, are better. But there’s a point when calm becomes dead calm.

And that point is this.

I could continue my academic research only if my subject and approach fit the grant-giving bodies. A literary agent would take me on only if I made my novel ‘bloodier, darker and more Balkan’ to support the stereotype of Croatia as some Wild East backwater. My bank account would cushion me from ending up homeless only if I coloured within those lines. And London is a place which gives plenty but takes even more: sometimes over night. If you don’t agree to its terms and conditions, you can easily end up like a friend of mine who slept in a phone booth because she couldn’t pay the rent.

That’s the dead calm. When you give piece by piece of yourself so that everything can come easy.

Back to Croatia: the turn of the screw

Before I decided to bid London goodbye, I spent more time in Zagreb working on an academic project. I was being reacquainted with the city I still held a grudge against. One evening I had dinner at a friend’s house. Eight of us sat around the table, giggling and sipping the finest of Croatian red wine. We polished off prosciutto and Pag cheese for starters, and fillet steak as the main course. Then the jokes and complaints about how Croatia sucks kicked off. I looked at the table and at the remains of our gourmet feast and asked:

‘How many of you are actually employed?’

There was silence. People glimpsed at each other as if double-checking the count. Only one person raised their hand. So there we were, sitting in a cozy, modernly furnished house, gobbling luxury food, guzzling extra fine wine, living the shitty Croatian life.

Did that one person with a job pay for it all? Of course not. Everything we had for that dinner were gifts from family and friends – the pedigree line.

This is what I learned that night. There will always be lines that keep our colours from spilling out. In Croatia, the colouring area is much smaller than in London, but crossing the line in London costs much more, if not everything. When you muster the courage to splash your paints all over the place, there will be a safety net in Croatia to take you in and cook you a slap-up meal. In London, when your bank account dries up, you might end up sleeping in a phone booth.

I left England to come back to Croatia. Now people want to know why I decided to live in a country with so many problems. This is my honest answer | Zagreb Honestly
Mixing and matching colours in the wilderness. Photo by Saša Pjanić

Why did I come back to Croatia?

A wise old healer once took me plant picking in the rugged Lika near the Plitvice Lakes. It’s when I finally learned the true meaning of the Indian chef’s words.

A plant’s healing potency comes from its struggle to survive. The harsher the conditions in which it grows, the more healing power it has. This is why Mediterranean wild rosemary smells much stronger than the one growing from a pot on the balcony. Water it every day and it loses its essence. But if it survives a summer drought, it can cure just about anything.

People are not much different. When we’re given optimal conditions to grow, like a farmed animal that is fed regularly but kept enclosed, we lose our substance. We are those perfectly, GMO shaped tomatoes, but we have no soul, no life…

Conditions in Croatia still perfectly hostile

For a while I was happy in my cozy and nurturing London pen. It was large enough not to see its fence, but it was still a pen and I was still a farmed animal.

I became a disgruntled academic and a frustrated writer because I did too much of the first thing and not enough of the second. To mix my talents like watercolours, I would have to go rogue from both camps. And in London, ditching a day job would only open a phone booth door for me.

I returned to Croatia and started this blog. My colours are again all over the place. I am mixing and matching my anthropology, my creative writing and my desire to pass down my knowledge. I do it under my own terms. The conditions remain hostile and many people still think I’m crazy. But that’s OK. I have my own tribe who put up with me and would put me up if I ever needed it. I finally rid myself of the phone booth fear.

No matter the weather outside, I have my essence back – because the struggle keeps me creative. The wilderness is scary, but if you find an old wise lady to lead you, there’s a healing plant at each step of the way.

You my faithful readers, and devoted subscribers, are part of this journey. Thank you for sticking it out with me. You gave me credit and motivation to keep going. Which is why Zagreb Honestly has now won its first award! The Versatile Blogger Award. The nomination came from the inspiring Amanda from Amanda’s Wanderlust – thank you, Amanda!

The Versatile Blogger Award is given for the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words, and the quality of the photographs.

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    1. thank you, Amanda. Your blog inspires me too – and it keeps me connected to the one thing I adore about England, its countryside. I am missing my English walks!

  1. Congratulations on your award!

    This was an interesting post for me because I’ve always been fascinated by why people move. I have also got ‘crazy person’ looks by people asking me why I moved to Croatia. My answer is perhaps as multifarious and complicated as yours, but the simple answer ‘to be close to my father’ is the one that’s the most easily accepted. And I’m happy to be in a place where ‘vegetables have a soul’!

    1. Thank you, Isabel. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to explain yourself to others. Different situations make us choose different explanations. I just thought ‘vegetables with a soul’ made most sense as an overall concept in my case 🙂 I’m so glad you’re enjoying living in Croatia and close to your father.

  2. What a great blog! I visited Croatia this summer and 4 years ago. With many relatives there, I couldn’t agree more with the pedigree line. They will take the “shirt off their back” to help. Something I don’t find in the city where I was born and still living in, Montreal. After my summer visit, I did say to those who emigrated from Croatia or the other balkan states to Canada, that I wouldn’t mind living in Croatia when retired. And the typical reaction, “Why would you want to do that?”

    1. Hi Bill. Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog. Your comment really made me smile. I totally understand why you wouldn’t mind living in Croatia when you retire. How you feel is what counts. I hope you follow your dreams!

  3. I am si glad that I virtually met you when looking in Airbnb for a place to stay next time we will go to Croatia with a stop in Zagreb. Now I have all these interesting things to read, and best of all in English which I still understand better than Croatian although I have been learning it for quite some years already. Being half Spanish and half German ( but from a mother born in Dracula’s home country Transilvania) I am dreaming of moving to Croatia sooner or later to live with my Croatian husband in our little house in Dalmatia with less money but more sun, vegetables with soul and the Adriatic Sea I love so much. I very much laughed when I saw that you wrote a toilet guide. I started writing one when I was a student in Paris many years ago ( French toilets were awful at that time, so it was important to remember the few places you could go).

    Congrats for the Award and my best wishes for many more!

    1. Dear Irene, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I am glad it made you laugh and that it will be a good resource for you on your Croatia travels. I visited Transylvania and totally loved it! I hope you make that move and settle in your Dalmatian house in the sun – I am sure you will enjoy it. And as for the toilets in Paris – I too remember how dirty they used to be 🙂

  4. Thanks and congrats! Reading this left me…nervous. I spent some time in Croatia and loved it but…don’t really know a soul in the entire country. From the sounds of it I would have a difficult time getting what I need – connecting without a pedigree. I loved my time in Croatia~mostly on Korcula and have thought about spending more time exploring the possibility of living there ( I’m in California ) but this may not be the most brilliant idea! I don’t want to spend 10 years finding my way into the culture…in any case, I’ll be back and see how it goes for a loooong visit!

    1. Dear Helena, oh I’m sorry reading my post made you nervous. The pedigree line is in a way a metaphor. It’s true that people rely on their friends and family a lot in Croatia, but when you decide to spend more time in Croatia – more in a sense longer than an average tourist – you’ll find that making friends is not difficult at all. People will quickly warm to you and they will be those friends you can rely on. Especially in Dalmatia – they are very warm and outgoing. Don’t fret, really. Just spend more time in Korcula and see it for yourself! 🙂

  5. “So there we were, sitting in a cozy, modernly furnished house, gobbling luxury food, guzzling extra fine wine, living the shitty Croatian life.

    Did that one person with a job pay for it all? Of course not. Everything we had for that dinner were gifts from family and friends – the pedigree line.”

    This sums it up for me. While, some connections are stronger than others, I’ve found that it’s not hard to experience the same even as a foreigner living in Croatia. In some ways I’m more connect to Croatian society than I feel I would be to American (or Oklahoman) society. This comes more from family than friends, but its also just an overall feeling. To me its much easier to feel lonely in America than it is in Croatia. And this connectedness is probably why I’ve stayed. Despite all the flaws and the struggles, there is an invisible source of comfort in Croatia that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. …It might be punica’s omnipresent spirit.

    1. Hi Cody! Very glad I found you here (Cody runs a blog in Croatia)! At the moment I am (business) here in the US. I hope I see you in Zagreb, soon…
      Greetings and the best regards,

  6. Hi Andrea,
    reading your post was very inspiring! I am from Croatian origin but moved here from Germany only 8 years ago, to Split. And before that I lived six years in London but I must say I never felt lulled by anything.

    The fact that people like you exist and write makes me quite happy. Just knowing that some people think differently is good enough for me.

    Croatia makes me feel being on a mission: I try to live the ideal that it is about what you know and not who you know.

    Good luck to you and all the best!

    1. Dear Blažena, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog. The comment you left is an inspiration to me to keep on writing. As you say, it’s enough to know there are people who see things differently and try to do it their own way! Good luck with you mission!

  7. Great post, very interesting read. Everyone wants to go to the big city and most people just don’t understand why you would leave a ‘great’ city like London. For us it’s New York and Montreal. We travel full time and whenever we tell people the cities we left behind they look at us like we’re crazy. “Why would you leave New York?”. This is especially true for people in small cities, their eyes just light up when you mention a big city…
    But it’s not all peaches and cream as you know and you have to work hard and also give up a lot to live in a big city. It’s cut-throat. People are not as friendly. It’s expensive. And eventually you just get tired of the hordes of people, traffic, and the general hecticness of big city life.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Hi Frank, you’re so spot-on with describing huge cities. I spent some time in New York and though I loved being there for a few weeks, I would never be able to live at such a hurried pace. I guess what we’re both describing is the ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ syndrome. I hope you’ve found your own corner of peace and fulfillment by full-time travelling. Love following your blog!

  8. I loved your post! I moved back to Croatia from England a year ago and I can find myself in so many lines of your text. Though it’s been a year people still keep asking me the very same question. I often find them not actually listening my reply because none of the reasons are good enough to justify that crazy move – so thank you for expressing my thoughts in such a nice way. Wish you all the best and congrats on the award!

    1. Dear Jelena – how great that we have a similar experience and that we can connect over a blog post. I hope you’re enjoying being back in Croatia. And thanks for reading my blog 🙂

  9. Hi Andrea,

    I was born in Croatia but have lived in Canada since the age of 4. My parents were wonderful in that they raised us to be very proud of our Croatian heritage and we still have many connections having visited Croatia many times…I often wonder what it would be like to live in Croatia on a full time basis as I love so many things about it…Thank you for giving me a more true, (and wonderful) glimpse of the Croatian lifestyle through your amazing blogs.

    cheers and keep up the great articles,
    Ana

    1. Dear Ana, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. More and more people are thinking of coming back to Croatia. It makes me happy that both trends – to leave and to come back – are equally present. I think every country has ups and downs. And just with any life decision – when you make it, it’s just that, a decision you follow through. I hope you get to spend more time in Croatia and enjoy the things you like!

  10. Dear Andrea,

    This article resonated with us ( my husband and I) so much. I’m a Canadian Iranian and my hubby is Croatian. We are planning on moving to Croatia, and actually of of my main reasons is the fruits and Vegetables indeed, plus a slower pace of life and access to nature. I feel at home in Croatia. This is why I’m going to be running wellness retreats and courses there , to introduce people to the food, culture and healthier way of life. As well why not stay and improve the economy so that so many young Croats don’t leave. That’s the dream. I hope to meet you once when in Zagreb.

  11. Wow, I loved this blog. It makes perfect sense to me as a Kiwi Croatian academic alias secondary deputy principal. What a powerful story about the herbs. My mum used to tell me about her mother gathering wild herbs in Lumbarda – now I have a reinterpretation of that activity which is incredibly powerful thanks to you :-). I just loved your rationale about going rogue from both camps. Yes yes yes! So well stated. I’ve just been reading Arthur W. Frank and he has this lovely quote about phronesis – that “practical wisdom becomes visible only at moments of confrontation when something significant is at stake” (Flyvbjerg et al – Real Social Science). Thank you so much for such a incredibly meaningful blog. Beautifully written and a perfectly understandable narrative. Makes total sense to me :-).

    1. Karen, your words moved me. Thank you so much for the encouragement for going rogue from both camps 🙂 The quote you mention is so powerful and true – thanks for sharing. It’s so incredible that so many people recognize themselves in this blog post. This is the biggest happiness for a writer. So lovely to meet you!

  12. Andrea thank you for your lovely articles. Everyday I travel to Croatia via the internet listening to radio stations and keeping up with the news and local events.

    I was born and raised and live in Western Canada. My father left Kordun due to extreme poverty and my mother left Medimurje being one of ten children (no lose of feeding one less mouth). Canada has been home for them for 55 years.

    I have had the privilege and blessing of travelling to Croatia over a dozen times. I would love to retire in Croatia for six months and the other six months in Canada (must return to Canada legally every six months to maintain citizenship). Why? Croatia has a soul. It is a country of people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. It is also a country with over 1300 years of history but only 25 years of freedom in recent times. People are still repairing from the devastating war in the 1990’s. A we say, “Kordun je prazna. – Kordun is empty.” This empty is part of the natural cycle of life in central Europe for centuries, but it opens up new possibilities.

    Whenever I go “home to HR” I feel that the population is fiercely nationalistically. The geographic people of the Pannonia plain are still getting to know those in the Littoral region due to centuries of separation – many people in the early to mid 1900’s never travelled more than 50 km in their life time due to the agrarian society. This summer I travelled 6,500 km in my rental from Baranja to Makarska to Umag. The beauty is breath taking. I pray that the culture and people remain as a “slow movement” that so many of us in the west desire. It is wonderful when we Croats return “home.” Living in Canada is wonderful (so many possibilities) in that Canadian culture supports multiculturalism; we can belong to here and go “home” – a blessing. I spent many years dancing “kolo,” attending mass at our Croatian parish, celebrating life in our Cultural Centre, all keeping our Croatian spirit alive. I commend you, admire you, and hope to join you once I retire from my career. Keep on blogging!

    1. Dear Michael, thank you for such a warm comment. You are right when you say that the West offers more opportunities but that Croatia has a soul. I hope you make your dreams of retiring in Croatia true…

  13. Dear Andrea,

    Congratulations on your award! 🙂 I am very happy for your success!

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident and eagerly binge-read your posts. Your words are warm and perfectly placed, like a string of pearls.

    Being a Croatian girl in London, this title almost called my name. Unfortunately, my experience of home hasn’t been that good.
    If you allow, I’d like to share few thoughts.
    I was born and bread in Zagreb from generations, with mixed origins. Pedigree mentality is very strongly integrated in our society. I had nothing but trouble with it. In my University bribe was openly asked for, students received their grades based on who their parents are…. Being a minority, I’ve often heard many slurs. Prejudices are certainly very strong. As a woman, I was often advised not to strive more then being family physician/GP, as it’s “not for a woman to be in surgery, too emotional”. My jobless friends barely survive frok month to month and live with their parents in their late 30s. Number of people going through trash bins in desperate search for…anything, has never been higher.

    My soul weeps over the childhood memories and of what I thought Croatia is, a heaven on Earth. But now i really doubt that. I have to say i don’t have plans to return.
    Life is different in every corner of the world.

    London revarded me with opportunity to show my skills and develop beyond what could I achieve in Zagreb. I was supported much more. I feel the opposite: lines in Croatia are much much more strickt.

    I still call it my home and always will. I cook Croatian food, sing Croatian songs, read Croatian books, talk to people about it, teach them Croatian words, make the coffee for everyone (read that post too, thank you so much for it!)… I encourage everyone to visit, as it’s truly blessed with stunning nature, clean water, lively history and meaningful vibrant tradition.

    But life isn’t that simple in it, in my view. It’s very stuffy and closed. Many of my friends who are leaving feel the same.

    Kind regards,

    Marija

    1. Dear Marija, thanks for your honest words. You have expressed the complexity of the situation in a very good way. Nothing is ever simple – especially our feelings of belonging. We long for something that may not exist any more – we long for the past, not for the place. But whatever we decide – and decision is just choosing one direction – has its ups and downs. The journey remains complex, challenging but beautiful whatever direction we turn to. 🙂

  14. Hello, I also grew up in England and moved permanently back to Croatia. I live in Dubrovnik and am happier than I ever was in the UK. Loved reading your words. All the best from Dalmatia!

    1. Hi Lauren, so nice to meet you on my blog and thanks for your kind words 🙂 It’s great that you found home in Dubrovnik. It’s such a great place and all the sun shines all year round – can’t beat this 🙂

  15. Andrea,Interesting read thx!
    I read completely through thinking thre’s more…to this.
    Your last line on the bio answered it.Your lucky in love.
    I came as a youngster with my parents but have alsways thought there was something missing! You hit the nail on the head and it is that family connection that would back you with the last shirt off their back. Yes I thought about returning and am closer to retirement then anything. Marriage family and kids keep me inside the lines here in the midwest…St Louis! Where it seems we have to drive or fly to get to anything interesting. LOL Thx.

    1. Hi John, thank your for your kind words. So, your attachment to the family and the way you prioritize your life is very much Croatian, even if you live in St Louis. Enjoy the closeness of the ones you love – it’s what makes us happy and vital in the long run. 🙂

  16. I am working on getting my documents together to prove my qualifications for citizenship by descent (my great-grandparents were born in Bosiljevo), mostly because I’ve wanted to do this for YEARS, but also because America is heading straight to Hell in the proverbial hand basket. Maybe I’ll get to meet you one day!

    1. Dear Jen, thanks for making the time to leave a comment. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you to get your citizenship and embark on your Croatian adventure. Am always on this side of the pond to share advice and my own experience! 🙂

  17. Reading this taught me something important – how things we might be ashamed of, those cracks, that they actually show our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are actually our strength, not our weakness.

    Being human is nothing to be ashamed of in this day and age of (soulless) social media. I’m pretty sure I forgot that.

    Thank you so much for your courage and your honesty, it truly made a shift in my life. You haven’t lost your way at all, if anything, you helped others find their way — of that I’m certain.

    I wish you the best of luck no matter where you are or what you’re doing!

    1. Dominic, thank you so much for your heartfelt reply. You are right that we should embrace our humanity as our greatest strength. I am honoured that my own story managed to move you and many others who commented – stories do have the power to transform and shift our perspectives.

  18. I love your eloquent account of returning “home”.

    In 2006 my husband and I visited his uncle in Sarajevo who mentioned he had had a year long stint teaching genetic science at an Ivy League school during the 80s. Being American (my Croatian veneer shouldn’t fool you) I couldn’t fathom anyone leaving such a lucrative gig on the East Coast but his answer made perfect sense to me: “America has plastic food.” Back to Sarajevo for Uncle Rifat…

    10 years later it’s now our turn to escape plastic food and food with no soul. I think it was the green market in Split, the warm sea on the Markarska Riviera, seeing family in Mostar and Sarajevo last summer that convinced us to seek out a more gentle life. So Croatia here we come.

    1. Dear Lucija, your story is beautiful. It’s amazing how we change priorities at different stages in our lives. When I was in early 20s, London was the only place in the world where I wanted to live. I didn’t even notice the plastic vegetables… 15 years later, my perception and my values changed. I am wishing you a successful return to Croatia. 🙂

    2. Born and raised in America, Maine to be more specific, I have lived the typical sheltered American life. A trip to Italy 15 years ago was truly a directional mind change in my perceptions of life. Since then I have been to Kazakhstan to meet the woman I would marry 8 years ago, and Croatia this past summer. My wife has a childhood friend who has lived in Solin for 25+ years, hence our visit this year. That was the most amazing opportunity I have ever had to experience real life. The people are incredible, the food and wine I am in love with, and the country I pray will accept us as contributor to their success.
      I totally agree with the “plastic food” comment. I struggle to understand how, and why, my friends eat the food they do. None of it is healthy or satisfying, but what do they know? It is what they have known most of their lives. We are the Campbell Soup/McDonald’s generation! The drive thru was the demise of American culture. No need for the family to sit down and enjoy good food and socialize about the day’s events. Hurry, hurry, on the the next “important” thing.
      I liken our food system, which is heavily sponsored and subsidised by the government, to the British Empire providing opium to the Chinese population, or the Soviet Empire subsidising vodka. We have a population of fat, dumb, and happy people that will never realise the horrors of their ways.
      My rant, please accept.

      1. Hi David, very happy to accept your ‘rant’ 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience. The quality of the food people eat and the way they eat and share it with others is a strong metaphor of the quality of life overall. Yes, the West is really losing out on much of it through fast food. I would even go so far to say that a focus on international cuisine is somehow misplaced. Why not eat what is local? Hope to see you in Croatia again…

  19. Congrats on the award . You did that you really wanted! Thats what a free person needs for reaching inside serenity. Bravo for your decision. Nice pics.

  20. Amazing and sincere, thank you.

    I sritno =) koliko se meni cini povratak ne znaci i ostanak, nikad ne znas gdje je iduca biljka =)

    Poz

  21. I discovered your blog a few days ago, as I’m planning a solo trip in Zagreb next week. And it’s a real pleasure to read you. You’re inspiring me 🙂 (I fall in love with Croatia last month, I can’t wait to be back in Croatia, and discover my family history).
    Leslie from Paris.

  22. I also had to come up with an answer that would satisfy curious souls, especially since I returned to Croatia in ’92. when a lot of people were looking be anywhere else but here.

    This is what I still say, whenever anyone asks why I left Toronto after 17 years: “Life is better in Canada, but it’s not nicer. Life in Croatia will be better one day. It will never be nicer in Canada than it is here.”

    The only problem is that the “life in Croatia will be better” part is taking longer than I thought it would, but we’ll get there 🙂

  23. Poštovana Andrea, sa zanimanjem i zadovoljstvom slušao sam Vas danas na Radio Sljemenu, pogotovo o usporedbi života u Londonu i Zagrebu o kojoj ste otvoreno i bez (hrvatskog!) kompleksa govorili. S obzirom da mi je supruga iz Sydneya, a živimo u Zagrebu, te da se gotovo svakodnevno susrećem sa čuđenjem zašto sam odabrao ostati u Hrvatskoj Vaše riječi su osvježavajuće. Hvala vam što usprkos obilju negativnosti kojima smo svakodnevno zasipani ukazujete na prednosti Lijepe naše koje se ne mogu kupiti.

  24. Hi Andrea, this blog of yours is a sight for sore eyes! As someone who’s teaching English to locals and constantly turning the eyes toward the Isles thinking of a “better” life…moreover, witnessing many people leaving for the Isles…the fine weaving of your Croatian experience makes me calmer and more composed about the occasional FOMO I get. 😀 Will be recommending your work to others alike. #bringingthedomoljubljeback 😉

  25. Hi Andrea
    Thank you for your blog, i just stumbled across it and find it encouraging. My family moved to Australia when i was 14 yo and for years, we have pined for home and have wanted to go back. I am now working on making this happen for myself next year but actually (maybe strangely) have quite a bit of fear over such a big move. Reading your post and everyone’s comments has been great and reminds me exactly why I am going there in the first place. Here, my life looks like i have everything i would ever want, but ‘something is missing’ and to me, every place has a spirit of its own/ its soul and Croatia has it on another level.
    Thank you!

  26. I left Croatia many years ago. I went back many times but now because of a physical disability I can only read, watch, listen and enjoy what many others, like you, are saying, showing about my dear country. I apologize to all those enthusiasts and lovers of Croatia whos pictures and videos I right clicked but from all that material I make slideshows or videos, everything in English, then spread them as far and wild as I can.
    My “Blue Dalmatia” managed to get almost 700.000 hits and together with other video slides show, over a million.
    “Whitehead griffons” from Island of Cres,
    2 videos about “The history of Croatian checkerboard”,
    “Christmas in Croatia” and others.
    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for spreading the word about the most “photogenic” country in the World.
    Happy New Year to you and Nick ( if he’s still in your World).
    Ned

    1. Ned, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. We all need to do what best we can to promote our beautiful country. And not only its natural wonders but culture too.

  27. Dear Andrea

    Thank you for such an honest and warm observation of Zagreb/Croatia….After 47 years in UK I am planning return….your story is prompting me even further for that final leap…
    Thank you
    Kay

  28. Greetings Andrea,
    Absolutely wonderful read.
    Your path is one of familiarity.
    My wife Karina and I are to begin our journey back to Croatia soon. We live on North coast of California and to are comfortable with in the box that we’ve made. She a Caterer me a Builder.
    Pivitica was my favorite as a child. The smells from grandmas kitchen were luring. So I want to have your book for Karina and noticed it would be sent from Zagreb. We will be in Zagreb in January and would love to pick it up then. My question, what is the best way to proceed.
    Thank you so much,
    Chip

  29. Hmmm interesting article….(English “interesting” not Croatian meaning of the same word)
    It is nice when you come from the obviously privileged Croatian family, right??
    Why don’t you write HONESTLY about Croatia?? What is really wrong with the country?? Why 250 000 young people have left since 2013.?? Obviously this blog is for foreigners only …the ones who do not understand the culture or language so can get easily fascinated with truly amazing Croatian nature or food.
    Do not worry Andrea you are safe in Croatia like rosemary on a balcony.

  30. Thank you Amanada!

    As an American, I too am fighting the culture of ‘normal and comfortable’. I did a 10K road trip last summer, to be out of my ‘comfortzone’ and look forward to visiting Croatia.

    I love the homes, the old world, and simple living plus I dream of white water rafting there!
    You are a trend setter and you are doing a great job writing. (I am a writing hobbiest, that needs to focus, focus, focus!)

    Thank you, TP (yes, we have tp in CA) hahahaha

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