Reason #1: because Islands magazine said so
I remember feeling quite proud at the time, but also thinking, “Are you sure?” Don’t get me wrong, I think Brač is beautiful and should definitely be visited, it’s just that I was not sure it was, you know, quite ready to be packaged and sold to ex-pats as a place they could come and live on… and not ask for their money back. For reasons I will eventually go into on this blog.
And now, a few years later, I’m taking that same step. I have moved to Brač. Not as a true ex-pat, of course, but in some respects I will be experiencing this move as an ex-pat (about me,link to page).
“Why Brac? Off the coast of Croatia, the rocky Dalmatian Islands — more than 1,000 of them — dot the warm, blue Adriatic Sea like diamonds scattered on velvet. Brac is one of the largest and perhaps the best polished. Limestone formations loom above jagged coves, then give way to gorgeous sand and gravel beaches. Green olive trees soften the surroundings and contribute to the region’s storied cuisine, including fresh fish, local cheeses and Plavac red wine. Lamb, fed on grass salted by the sea, is a particular delicacy. Life moves at the right speed, guided by an appealing old-world ethos.”
And that’s certainly true, in my experience.
On the other hand, vacationing is one thing, living is another. You need a good fit in various aspects of a place, not just how beautiful it is.
This Huffington Post article on retiring overseas as an ex-pat specifically excludes Croatia as potential destination. Even though it’s beautiful and has a lot of potential for a happy living, it does not make it easy for an ex-pat to settle in.
There’s a series of articles and interviews with ex-pats living in Croatia, done by by tportal (it’s in Croatian only).