Croatia for You

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'CROATIA, A Survival Kit for Foreigners': an essential read..

'Professor' Frank John Duboković 'Professor' Frank John Duboković Photo: Vivian Grisogono
This book is essential reading for all non-Croatians or part-Croatians who want to make the best of Croatia, a country which can seem a veritable paradise-on-earth for holidaymakers, but which can throw up unexpected bureaucratic hurdles, not to mention horrendous experiences, for those wishing to get in closer by actually living, working or retiring here.

Written by Paul Bradbury, arguably Croatia's best-known English-language blogger, with Lauren Simmonds, the éminence grise who provides practical, well-researched advice on pretty well every aspect of Croatian life which the incomer is likely to meet, the book is a captivating blend of humour and common sense. Both writers have long experience of living in Croatia, both have extensive knowledge of Croatia's diverse regions.

In his twenty years here, Paul has had more than his fair share of unlikely and fascinating experiences. He has learned much over time on his journey across much of this incredible country with its phenomenal scenic beauty, deep historical roots and unending variety of quaint local traditions. A keen observer of people and places, he writes with an endearing combination of affection and humour, sometimes expressing surprise, disappointment and disillusionment.

Lauren has the more demanding task of making sense of Croatia's apparently endless capacity to bewilder the unwary with ever-changing laws and regulations. She has made a truly admirable job of picking out the essentials from this minefield, and neutralizing the traps which might drop the unwitting incomer into unending nightmare situations. Her 28 chapters are divided into readable sections, covering almost every relevant topic you can think of: from the usual practical necessities such as accommodation, property purchase, residence status, the OIB (identity number), banking, job finding and work permits, travelling and driving in the country (and more), to wider areas such as LGBTIO, snakes and sharks, volunteering, socializing and religion. The penultiomate two chapters give an overview of why Croatia is such a special country and why it is worth overcoming any difficulties to be here. The final chapter is philosophical in nature, resigned and optimistic at the same time. "Croatia shocks in many subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways."

Both authors conclude that they have learned much that is valuable from their experiences in Croatia. As Lauren expresses it "Nothing builds character like being forced out of your comfort zone, and nothing makes you more self aware than being plunged into unknowns".

Launched in the run-up to Christmas 2022, this book will give the reader entertainment, food for thought and much useful advice and information. For anyone even remotely interested in Croatia, it is recommended as worthwhile, even vital reading. For those ready to take the plunge of venturing closer to the country, staying longer-term or permanently, it will save you from potential disaster in the country's apparently shark-infested bureaucratic waters!

Two people who played essential roles in Paul Bradbury's Croatian journey of discovery: Nijazi Salija, owner of the 'Caffe Splendid' in Jelsa, and 'Professor Frank John Duboković, Jelsa's favourite son and 'keeper of the Hvar dialects'. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Vivian Grisogono, December 6th 2022.

Paul Bradbury website:

Linkedin:  Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

To order 'Croatia, A Survival Kit for Foreigners' on Amazon:

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