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WORD ON THE STREET…Trading Cleveland for Croatia


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 the Grubisic family who packed up from Cleveland more than 17 years ago.

Name: Diana and Mladen Grubisic
Children: Anera 24, Luka 21
Age: Mladen 52, Diana 44
Country of origin: Cleveland Ohio USA

The Grubisic family

The Grubisic family

How long have you been in Trilj?

We have lived in Trilj, a small village in the Dalmatian hinterland, since 1997.

What bought you to Trilj?

My husband spent 10 years in USA and wanted to come home to Trilj where we agreed would be a wonderful place to raise our 2 children who were 6 and 3 when we moved here.

What was the most difficult thing about the shift?

Since moving to Trilj, first most diff.thing about the shift was making sure the children adjusted. Second most diff.thing was finding employment.

How do you make your living in Trilj?

We are self- employed in our private company which involves all activities at hydroelectrical plants in Croatia.

3 Favourite things about Trilj?

Mild winters and comfortable summers, pace of life, small village where everyone knows everyone.

3 Things you would like to change about Trilj?

Would like to see Trilj more developed, more activity in winter time; its very slow-paced between October – April, would love to see more young people return to live in Trilj after finishing college.

Favourite ‘Croatian’ food?

The best frog legs – žabe – in Trilj

Favourite drink?

Bikla- young wine and goat milk

Bikla (photo credit: hotel Prvan)

Bikla (photo credit: hotel Prvan)

Favourite place to eat?


Favourite bar/club?

Carpe Diem

Favourite place to chill out/relax?

Somewhere along the river “Cetina”


Favorite place to visit outside Trilj?


How are you going with the language? I have spoken Croatian since I was little but my grammar is always wrong.

Biggest cultural difference between Croatia and your home country?

Everything in Croatia is so slow-paced. No rush for anything. In the USA, everything is rush, rush, rush.

Is there anything that makes you ‘homesick’?

I miss my family. My husband has family in Croatia, but I on the other hand, my entire family is in Ohio. I also miss speaking English with someone.

Do you see yourself staying in Croatia?

Definitely; As of now after 17 years, I have not had the urge to move back to the USA.



Any tips for anyone looking at making a move?

Very different from the USA, but well worth the move. All I have to say is that you need to really be determined and diligent. Croatia has many wonderful things to offer. A safe country, to raise children, was our main goal.

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