Meet Ida Hamer – Croatian returnee from the UK
- by croatiaweek
- in Entertainment
A number of returnees and foreigners living in Croatia had the chance to meet Ida Hamer during her series ‘Stranac u Hrvatskoj’ (Foreigner in Croatia) for RTL television.
Ida, who is is a television journalist and reporter for RTL, interviewed foreigners, people from the diaspora and returnees who moved to Croatia about why they decided move and live there and about their experiences.
Ida was in the perfect position to conduct the interviews as she herself was a returnee.
Born in Zagreb, Ida spent most of her childhood in Zabok before returning to Zagreb to complete high school. After high school Ida decided she wanted to study abroad and went off to study multimedia journalism at university in Northampton in England’s East Midlands region.
“It was a big challenge for me. I just turned 19 when I moved to the UK and I did not know a single person. When you go someone so far away from your whole support system, your family and friends and everything you have known, you realise you have to be that grown up. It was a culture shock for me,” Ida told the All Things Croatia podcast, where she was the latest guest.
Ida says there were a number of things, like the gloomy weather and lack of a cafe coffee culture, which made her stay more challenging, but it was an experience she is grateful for today.
“When I got to the UK I thought I knew English but I was used to American English and then I heard British English and I was confused and it was hard to understand things like jokes they made in their own dialects.” Ida says.
Ida quickly adapted and she says that her time in the UK enabled her to have a different perspective and made her realise some of the positive things about Croatia.
“When I left Croatia I was a teenager but I saw somethings were not working here – corruption, nepotism, lack of opportunities – and I thought the grass would be greener. But when I got to England I realised the positives in Croatia – we have beautiful nature, we can be at the seaside in two hours, we still have that big connection around us, people are more connected here and all sorts of things like that and I started to romanticise Croatia.”
After finishing her studies, Ida decided to move back to Croatia five years ago.
“It was a time when a lot of my peers and friends were heading abroad and I came back. People would be shocked that I was back and they would approach me like I made the wrong decision but I understood where they were coming from. But my answer is not complicated, I just decided after university that I wanted to go back home, that was it.
Ida says she that since coming back to Croatia she has created a great life for herself.
“I do a job that I like, I am living with my boyfriend, we have friends and family around us, we have opportunities to travel. So when people ask if I regret my decision to move back I say no.”
Whilst working on the ‘Stranac u Hrvatskoj’ series, Ida says she hoped locals could find inspiration in the stories.
“Those stories actually reminded me why Croatia is a beautiful country because foreigners see the things that we sometimes take for granted and those are perhaps the reasons why they moved here, because the country is safe, the weather is nice, the people are nice, the food is awesome, nature is beautiful and there are so many things you can do here and it is so well connected. I really hope those stories inspired people because they inspired me,” Ida adds.
You can watch the chat with Ida below, where she talks more about her series, her time in the UK and returning home, her no-holds barred look at British food and about continuing her career in Croatia.
You can find more about Ida on the links below.