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Foreigners Who Made Croatia Home: Meet Malin

Malin Rydqvist

In our feature ‘Foreigners who made Croatia home’ – we meet people who have decided to move and make a new life in Croatia.

We find out why they came and stayed, what they enjoy about their ‘new’ home, how they getting on with the language, and what tips they have for those contemplating a move.

Today we meet Malin Rydqvist, who moved to Zadar on the Dalmatian coast from Sweden.

How long have you been based in Croatia?

3 summer seasons now. In the winters I have been working in other counties and traveling.

What brought you to Croatia?

I got a base transfer here with my airline company.

What was the most difficult thing about the shift?

It was actually nothing difficult about it. I have lived and traveled abroad almost 10 years now and Croatia was one of the best and easiest shift.

Zadar (photo: Zadar Tourist Board)

What are the main differences between Zadar and Sweden?

The climate! The winters here are so mild compared to a freezing Sweden. The pace in Zadar is also different compared to Stockholm. Here its a nice and calm vibe, no stress.

What do you do for a living?

I am an airline pilot flying Boeing 737-800. I also have my own yoga clothing brand Flymeyoga.

Work bought Malin to Croatia

When did you start Yoga and how often do you practice?

I started 2008 after a snowboard accident hurt my back. Yoga was the only thing that helped to take away the pain. I practice almost every day. Some days more and some days less.

3 favourite things about Zadar?

The nature! You have such a beautiful coastline with crystal-clear water and magical sunsets.

The food! Its pure medicine.

The sea organ! I love to sit and listen to the sound of the waves. There is nothing like it. Its so beautiful and calming.

Sea Organ (photo credit: croatia.hr)

2 things you would like to change about Zadar?

It would be great if the airline traffic could be more open like in the summers.

I want all my family and friends to move here.

Favourite Croatian food?

Everything that is prepared ispod peke.

The seafood.

Croatian olive oil! I put it on everything!

‘ispod peke’ (photo credit: Tim Ertl)

Favourite place to eat?

In one of the many local restaurants.

Favourite bar?

To bring a picnic to the beach.

Favourite place to chill out?

At the beach.

Malin loves yoga and the beach

Favourite place outside Zadar to visit in Croatia?

I love Skradin and Sibenik.

How well do you speak the language?

I can understand some but I speak very little. I can order some things at restaurants and say some polite phrases. I am eager to learn more.

Šibenik (photo credit: Visit Šibenik)

The biggest cultural difference between Croatia and Sweden?

I would say the way we celebrate our traditional holidays.

What makes you homesick?

I miss my family and friends sometimes but I go home regularly.

Do you see yourself staying here?

Yes absolutely.

What advice would you give those from abroad moving to Croatia?

Be open minded and always have respect for the new country and the people in it. After all you are a guest.

Try to learn the language. Even just small polite phrases makes life so much easier.

Explore! There are so many new things to see.

Try the local food, I always get happily surprised.

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