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Things I should have known before moving to Croatia

Updated on November 1, 2017
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Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing is a big part of her life. Online work has improved her lifestyle.

Beautiful Croatia

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Living in a foreign country

Don't ignore learning about a foreign country before you decide to move away from your hometown!

The idea of moving to a foreign country sounds exciting.

You don't think of how everything else will affect you once you move there.

In the moment it all feels happy and as an adventure.

Time has gone by so fast and I sometimes wonder why so far away from home?

Home is far and where the heart is, but you can make your home where ever you are comfortable.

I didn't know much when I picked up and moved away from my country.

I am not sorry I made that decision it didn't feel right not knowing of Croatia.

The two weeks spent at a family home was a nice experience.

At that time nothing felt permanent. The holiday feelings were full on and I went with the flow. Enjoying each day and the peace of the countryside made me feel happy.

The beautiful views and different environment improved my thoughts in the daily activities that I witnessed.

People were friendly and every day felt as another adventure as from the day before.

The moment we stepped out of that zone of comfort reality sunk in when we had to search for an apartment, and everything just felt difficult.

Most apartments are rented out in the summer and in the winter a few apartments are not in use. We had a good offer to stay for a week at a local friend's place.

Staying with family didn't make the moment feel difficult.

Searching for an apartment was easy for the first time.

An apartment in Cavtat for a week was a good idea to love close to the pebble beach, and it was a new adventure again.

If you don't know anyone in a foreign country then finding an apartment can be a rip off to have paid full price.

I had no idea where to start not knowing the language.

Communication was most difficult as back then, there weren't many people speaking the English language.

I should have learned the language before my move to Croatia. The basic words are easier to grasp if you are for it.

To make new friends in a foreign country you need to be open-minded.

Be able to communicate in that foreign language and enjoy the moment.

Show your strengths and less of your weaknesses.

You don't have to forget about your life back home keep that in your focus.

It is easy to get lonely and feel depressed.

Be patient and develop new friendships.

Make time for chats with your family back home.

Don't be that snob now that you are in a new country.

I remained the same and have kept in touch with my family and not a snob.

I don't want to be arrogant and don't advice anyone to be that way.

I learned to be part of a new culture and to meet the different people.

Culture brought on a new me.

It is expensive to live in Croatia something you should know about any country before you decide to pack your bags and leave home.

Economy and job opportunities should be a focus.

How do you adapt and how do you live in a foreign country?

Meet people and be financially secure.

Learn about opening your own business.

Be able to connect with each other.

Life may not be easy in both countries but you have a choice and your decisions made shows for that.

I immersed myself into a different culture and learned lots about the local people.

The learning experience allowed me to be more positive and confident.

Meeting the many different people showed me how important it is to embrace each day.

I didn't pay attention to anything but my own life in South Africa. It is normal to be that way.

When you decide to move away that is the hardest part, and to accept another life and to feel as if you have lost your own along the way is another chapter to be re-opened.

Surviving in a foreign country has improved my communication in the Croatian language and this can be in any foreign country. To learn the language is most important and everything else will work out once you figured out how to communicate.

Place of stay, to become familiar with laws in a new country, where to eat, and to make note of the local restaurants, and to know where to shop.

People leave their hometowns and feel the need to live elsewhere for new job opportunities or for better medical care. I moved to Croatia because of marriage.

Climate is another issue for moving away from your town.

The cost of living is cheaper else where than in your country.

No matter what the reason for you leaving home it is a must to do a thorough research of that foreign country.

The things I should have known of before moving to Croatia shocked me and slowed the learning process in the language and in my communication.

I didn't know so that put me back a lot in adapting to my new lifestyle.

The choice I made did affect me for a while I got over that after speaking the language.

It is important to be able to communicate.

Avoid isolation.

Expressions are different in a foreign country.

The simple conversation can feel most difficult if you don't know how to communicate in the basic words of a foreign language.

Learn about taxes, insurance and of government issues.

Are you safe in a foreign country?

Feel safe and be safe.

I know I am safe in my haven.

Where to buy your new place and how to work out payment?

Get familiar with the local people and their habits.

What works best for you?

Self-employment or working for a valuable company.

Sometimes your finances can run out fast because what you anticipated about the cost of living did not go as planned.

Don't live beyond your means learn the ropes of how to earn and save cash.

It is a great adjustment in a new country.

Mistakes are made but you need to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

Plan and see what works for you.

You shouldn't expect everything to be the same as it is or was at home. In a foreign country you must learn how to make adjustments.

Think about costs of visas.

Temporary residence and thereafter permanent residence

Avoid unnecessary expenses.

I learned how to live in Croatia and don't have a problem with the language.

Living far away from home for different reasons is not the same for everyone.

Life goes on and you tend to see that as you get older.

People enjoy what they see and have in a foreign country.

I dove in and learned to swim faster than I had expected.

Living in different parts of the world and learning what is good for me each day.

I know my life will never the same again.

The changes and challenges have shown me that.

The reality of life is what I tried to make for me and can't change how I came to Croatia. It is up to me make my life happy and with good people.

How others look at my lifestyle doesn't bother me.

It is how they look at themselves before judging my life is what is important.

Lessons are learned daily.

The disadvantages shouldn't bother you in a foreign country because you have the same back home.

I know I am no longer a stranger in the small community but I will always be a foreigner.

It is a difference at heart.

I heard of positive and negative feedback that didn't make me any less happy.

There are all types of people in this world and being a foreigner in my case, does make me special.

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My life and my expereinces

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© 2016 Devika Primić

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    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi kidscrafts, It has been a while so glad you came by. Thank you.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 12 months ago from Ottawa, Canada

      It's not easy to move in another country.... but it's interesting and if you make the effort it's worth it. I am in my third country... and third continent. I think it was easier for me to move as an adult because I lived that type of change as a child. Great article Devika!

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Indian Chef I so agree with you about culture, not wrong or right. Changes makes us stronger and sometimes make us think more negative than positive. I chose to be positive. Thank you very much for commenting.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 15 months ago from New Delhi India

      it is not easy to uprrot urself and plant in to some other country. There is lots of cultural and language problems along with food. I been to some countries in Middle east and I was shocked by their way of life and eating habits. I am not saying they were wrong or right... just way different.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      vesapawoolf I appreciate you stopping by. Croatia is a beautiful country small and unspoiled.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 16 months ago from Peru, South America

      As an expat living in Peru, I must say that the transition to living in another culture and country is not an easy one, but it can be done. You have good tips here to help those who move to adjust. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Paula, so kind of you to share your interesting comment. Sometimes moving away from home is not for everyone and I understand your point here. Have a good Sunday!

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Mel Carriere Thank you for commenting. I faced up to greater challenges and knew nothing can stop me from going forward.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Nell Rose, Thank you kindly for stopping by. I feel positive and strong for having to experience such a challenge.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      rajan jolly Thank you for commenting I am glad you shared your opinion. Always appreciated!

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      aviannovice, Thank you for sharing your comment. It definitely takes one their whole lives to live and learn of everything around them and the world itself. I appreciate your comments.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Shyron E Shenk Thank you for that! Happiness is so important and that is a good way at looking at my life and experience.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 17 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Devika.....Whew!! I don't know, girlfriend. The more I concentrate on this, the more questions come to mind. For me I think the bottom line is that at a MUCH younger age, I probably could have made a move like this....depending on the status of several circumstances.

      I admire your courage and positive attitude. As you describe your situation, it tells me you gave the experience your all and are so much better off for that approach.

      I'm such a "Home" girl, Devika.....a big baby, I think. I have to have familiarity, a feeling of family & loved ones close by and I need to feel I'm safe and protected. HA!....like I said, I'm a big baby!

      This is a very interesting & informative read. Thanks! Peace, Paula

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 17 months ago from San Diego California

      I am always up for adventure, but circumstances keep me at home. I get along with people of all races and ethnic groups, so I think I could make friends, or at least be respected. It sounds like you have made the most of it. Great hub!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 17 months ago from England

      Not sure if I could do it, so kudos to you Devika, and this was really interesting, nell

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 17 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great read Devika. Learning the language and the culture of the country one is going to is of immense help no doubt. Glad that you could adjust to your new homeland inspite of having no idea of the language or the culture.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 17 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      The thought of living elsewhere (for birding and photography) really does appeal to me. However, we'll see if a little research can uncover things that might not be in my best interests. With birding, it takes time to find birds, learn their habitat, and get them to learn to trust you. That cannot be done in a week or two. I have my whole life ahead of me to find out new things!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 17 months ago from Texas

      I would not leave my home land, but could move to any state in the United States and have lived in many of the states.

      I am happy that you had the strength and character to move and live in a different country. I know that it would be an adventure to learn the culture language of a different country and I admire you for doing that.

      I hope that you are always happy where ever you are.

      Blessings

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi suraj punjabi Incredible! Your mother too is a courageous woman. Back then life was different and now the Internet is so useful. One couldn't change the way everything was at that time. I am a positive person and moved to Croatia hastily but learned from the experience. Thank you for sharing your story here so kind of you to do that.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 17 months ago from jakarta

      Wow! I really admire your courage to move to a totally different country and learned how to survive over there. My mother moved from India to Jakarta when she got married and this was in the 70s. India was very backwards then.

      My mother's family did not even have a phone! So you can imagine how she must have felt going to a totally foreign country and moving in with her husband (aka my father) and his family. My mother at that time has never gone anywhere outside of India. And when she did, she got married. She had to learn a totally different language, had to adjust to a totally different diet. She could only correspond with her family back in India with hand written letters and send in the mail and would not get a reply for months. Since it took that long.

      When I think of it, I cannot imagine how easy we have it nowadays. Thanks to the internet, keeping in touch with our distant relatives is so easy. we can even video chat with them face to face. My mother did not see their faces for years. My father would go and visit india with my mom once in a year. He promised her that when they got married. I really admire her for this.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Michael-Milec thank you for a wonderful comment. ''By your description, you are my hero due to your fantastic decision, coming up stronger a "new'' person with experience only day by day loving life can provide.'' Incredible isn't it? Exactly that! A new experience each day and that makes one a new person as it has or me. I appreciate your comments.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 17 months ago

      You made me smile Devika with the headline of your article which is as a 'handbook ' of things to do before " making move". Let say even if "we" would know everything what to do up there - practically the challenges are full of surprises. My first reaction coming to a "new" Continent, new people ,meeting all "unknowns '' was that leaving family and moving into a new world IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Just thinking of our original identity, we are what we are and that can't be changed by being submerge into a "we are at home" now; it takes more energy, effort and willingness to "survive'' then back 'home' we are not part of anymore.

      By your description, you are my hero due to your fantastic decision, coming up stronger a "new'' person with experience only day by day loving life can provide.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi AliciaC thank you kindly for sharing you point here i fee l better now and had to write more about my experience in Croatia.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      always exploring thank you for commenting and I understand your point. I managed to overcome many issues and so proud of that.

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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi there Larry Rankin, thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It looks like there is some beautiful scenery in Croatia. I would find it very difficult to live in a country when I didn't know the language, though. I admire you for overcoming the language problem and the culture shock when you moved to Croatia.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I can see how moving to a different country would be difficult, but you survived and you're with the man you love, so all should be well. Thanks for sharing tips...

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 17 months ago from Oklahoma

      What an interesting perspective.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi FlourishAnyway I haven't given up my citizenship. Sometimes I understand your point thank you very much for sharing your comment.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thank you. Erickdierker interesting comment.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thank you.

    • DDE profile image
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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Jodah you are so right! I like your comment. Encouraging and positive. Thank you for that.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA

      Just wondering whether you have up your citizenship as well. I could never give up my American citizenship as lovely as many countries are. I will always be merely a tourist but salute your bravery and sense of adventure.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I have lived in 3 foreign countries for extended time. Loved them all. And then I moved to a lived in New England for a bit. It is as different from the Southwestern US as any of the countries I have been to.

      Your article was a wonderful and brought back great memories thanks.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing Devika. I have only been to a foreign country once, Indonesia, but many people there can also speak English. However I doubt that I could ever live there or anywhere where English was not commonly spoken. I understand the challenges you must have faced and still do..the culture shock etc. but from what I hear, South Africa is not a very safe place to live now so from that aspect you may be better off in Croatia. That being said I am sure you have home sickness and still miss your family back home. I am glad you are making the most of your life and doing your best to be happy. That is something we need to do, no matter where we live.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 17 months ago from Chicago

      Okay Divika, I completely understand why you moved to that country. You apparently recognized the love of your life. Say no more. Keep on learning the language. Be happy... :-)

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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Reynold Thank you for commenting. I am glad you feel my HUB is helpful. I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi word55 You asked me a good question and what most people ask me. I still find it a bit difficult to answer because life back home in South Africa is cheaper, my family are all there and that is a different life in comparison to the one I am living in Croatia. When you have family close by you don't see anything more than what is right in front of you and miss much around you. Life is better back home I miss being with my family and having that much better life. Marriage made me move to Croatia it was a hasty decision and I don't regret that and can't change much now except for being happy and moving on with my life here. I learned the language in my time and chose to live my life in the way that makes me happy. I think of how much has changed in my life and know that freedom is where we are and that helps me a lot. Thank you very much for visiting my hub.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 17 months ago from Chicago

      Hi Divika, I'm curious as to what is the main reason that made u decide to move to Croatia? I find it very difficult to move to a country where I do not know the language but apparently u are a quick learner and have the determination to achieve what u are there for. Is life better there or back home?

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      Reynold Jay 17 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Divika! It sounds like you are happy and I wish the best for you. Your HUB saves me the trouble of moving to another country!!!! I like it where I am.