Who are you?
Rod Young. From the UK.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
Moved to Gornji Karin near Zadar in March 2017.My partner Cheryl and I had been coming here by motorcycle for many years on holiday. Five years before we moved, we decided to change our lives, stop chasing the money and stop working so hard by moving to beautiful Croatia for a better quality of life, and also because of the Croatian people, whom we love.
What challenges did you face during the move?
None, it was easy. I packed the van up and did four trips over to the house we had bought here five months before we moved. People say we were brave, but it’s not bravery, it’s just a decision made and a house move.
How did you find somewhere to live?
We bought a house after deciding we wanted to live on the coast in Zadar county. That was easy too.
Are there many other expats in your area?
There are a few others living here in the village, probably many more in Zadar. Our village is a good mix of locals, holiday homers from all over Europe, and a small number of us permanent expats. We don’t seek out other expats, we prefer to integrate as much as we can with the Croatian people.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
Excellent. We made friends with people as soon as we got here. Everyone is so welcoming in Croatia. We’ve never had a problem with the locals.
What do you like about life where you are?
Everything. The climate, food, people, quality of life, the sea, the countryside around us. It’s perfect.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Learning the language is a challenge, we find it very difficult but are determined to get there.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
The slightly old-fashioned attitudes towards women can be interesting, but we understand that it’s a different culture.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
It’s generally excellent, we love all the Croatian staples like pork on the spit, cevap, sarma, etc. The variety is a bit lacking: as English people we are used to a huge variety of world food which just is not available. However we do enjoy the fact that all the food here is locally produced, fresh produce is amazing.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Don’t think about it too much, it’s easier than you think. Carefully research before you buy a property as it’s really a big commitment since homes do not sell fast here.
What are your plans for the future?
We’ll be staying here for the rest of our lives.
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