In our new feature ‘Word on the Street…Foreigners who made Croatia home’ – we will be meeting those people who have decided to move and make a new life in Croatia…
We will find out from them 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 Sara who now resides in Split…
Name: Sara Dyson
Country of origin: Texas, United States
Hi Sara, so how long have you been in Split?
It’ll be 4 years in May.
What brought you to Split?
I came here on holiday 5-ish years ago and really liked it. It was beautiful, easy-going and inexpensive. I was freelancing so had the flexibility to up and move here.
What was the most difficult thing about the shift?
The lack of Asian food and a restaurant scene.
How do you make your living in Split?
Primarily web development for small businesses, both in Croatia and abroad. I’ve also partnered with a couple locals on a Game of Thrones Tour, plus a few other tourism side projects. The resource site Expat in Croatia is me too. I like to keep busy.
3 Favourite things about Split?
1. The sea
2. The old city during winter. I love sitting in Peristil and being the only one there.
3. The pazars. My morning routine of shopping for produce, bread and meat is one of my great pleasures.
3 Things you would like to change about Split?
1. A better and more diverse restaurant scene.
2. Litter on the beaches.
3. It’d be nice if the bus system was more reliable. Or hell, replace them with trams.
Favourite ‘Croatian’ food?
Pasticada with gnocchi. Hands down.
Favourite place to eat?
A local’s home
To Je To Caffe Bar
Favourite place to chill out/relax?
Mala Kavana on Znjan Beach. You can sit less than 2 meters from the water and just watch the tide roll in.
Favourite place outside of Split to visit in Croatia?
Northern Istria. Every visit is an obscene eating contest.
How are you going with the language?
Eeeek. Slowly but surely. Taking lessons now, which is definitely helping. I live outside the city center in a non-touristy neighborhood where nobody speaks English to me. While sometimes it induces a panic attack when running errands, my Croatian has improved drastically since moving to this area.
Biggest cultural difference between Croatia and your home country?
Life isn’t all about work here.
Is there anything that makes you ‘homesick’?
Food. While I love Croatian food, I miss Texas barbecue and Tex Mex. I can make it here, but it’s just not the same.
Do you see yourself staying in Croatia?
Yup, absolutely. It’s home now.
Any tips for anyone looking at making a move?
Have patience and slow down, otherwise you’ll hate it here. Nothing will happen the way you expect it to. Everything has its own pace and that pace will never be emergent.