53-years ago Angela Madjer’s grandparents left Croatia for America. After growing up in Chicago with extremely strong ties to her Croatian heritage, Angela decided to go back to where they came from to start a life in Croatia.
In 2014, after finishing high school, Angela moved to pursue her studies in Zagreb. Since moving, she has made it her mission to communicate how great life can be in Croatia and all the opportunities that there really are.
Alongside with writing articles with collaboration with RIT Croatia, Angela has launched her own blog on Instagram and Facebook (T.A.O.G.B or The Art of Getting By) that is dedicated to communicating life in Croatia as well as life after college.
Recently, Angela appeared on Croatian television on HRT1’s show ‘Kod nas doma’ to talk about her life in Croatia as well as growing up in Chicago.
“We had Croatian language school every Saturday and Sunday, we danced Croatian folklore, we went to Croatian Mass. The joy to speak Croatian at home with your grandparents is something that nobody can take away and it is great that today I can communicate with no language barriers,” Angela recalls about growing up connected to her Croatian heritage in Chicago.
Whilst Angela was the first from her friends back home to move and start a life in Croatia, she believes that more will follow once they see the possibilities that there are.
“It is great when you come from outside of Croatia with experience, you speak English, although more or less most people speak it today, it is a big plus,” Angela says, adding that the warmth of the people and having time for people in Croatia is one of the big differences from home.
“You can call a colleague or friend at 5 pm to go for a coffee and sit for three hours with a little cup of coffee. These little things mean a lot.”
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It’s the most happiest season of all… and this year I’ll be enjoying it in the beautiful city of Zagreb! 🎄 This is going to be my first Christmas away from home since finishing college, and I have to say the holidays have been quite alright. Aside from being a little homesick, I am looking forward to creating new traditions and making the best of any situation. The holidays really are about having the Christmas spirit and sharing the love you have with family and friends. 🎉 What traditions are you making this holiday season? #usatocroatia #adulting #diaspora #christmas #christmasiscoming #taogb #theartofgettingby #zagreb #zagrebcroatia #zagrebcity #croatia #croatiangirl #croatia_photography #holiday #tradition #christmasincroatia #homeawayfromhome #christmascheer #american #chicagoan
In the interview, Angela also offered some advice for young people who were thinking of perhaps moving to Croatia but had a number of dilemmas.
“The less you think about all the little things the better. I am an example of someone who is happy here,” Angela concludes.
You can check out the full interview below.