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Andrei Zinkevich: lifestyle changes after three years in Croatia

Split Tech City

Split Tech City


Andrei Zinkevich is a digital marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. After working for big international corporations, in 2013 he started working independently and is the co-founder of Fullfunnel.io and ROIplan.

We already know from our previous interview with him during the first episode of the Split Tech City podcast that he moved to Split from Krakow in search of a healthier place to live for himself and his family. They initially came here for three months to see if it would work out, but very soon they decided to stay.

Andrei and his family have been here for the past three years, so that is the reason why we asked Andrei to give us his feedback on all the lifestyle changes the move to Croatia caused.

So, let’s hear what he had to say!

“First of all, coming to Split was a conscious decision. We didn’t come here only because of the sea and the sun. Certainly, other places have those same beneficial conditions.

Other things besides the weather and surroundings influenced our decision to move to Split – the community spirit being one of them.

Initially, we couldn’t set any expectations on what our life here would look like. Luckily, when it came to business, we didn’t have to worry because the work I do is not dependent on any local market. Upon moving here there was no added stress of finding a job here or finding clients. You could say it was a “simple” decision: choosing to live in Split.

One thing I never did before my move here was live in a smaller city. In a way, with every move I did, I also “downsized” in terms of city’s size: from Kyiv which is really big to Krakow which is somewhat smaller but still quite large, to Split which is, in my opinion, a city that is just the right size to have a bustling life and many things to offer, while still being tailored to man and not overly large and crowded.

In both Kyiv and Krakow, I spent so much of my life in a car – going from one place to the other, stuck in traffic jams, searching for a parking spot, or even circling around for hours until my son finished practice for example.

In a way, so much of my valuable time – time I could spend with my family or doing uninterrupted and productive work – kept being wasted because of the size of the city I lived in.

From that aspect, I knew life in Split would be much better, but I couldn’t set any realistic expectations on how much it would actually influence my work and my private life, and how much more balanced everything would become.

I’m not saying everyone’s experience is the same, but from my point of view, I can definitely compare a life of an entrepreneur in a large city and one more tailored to its citizens like Split is.

In the case of the first, I was often exhausted. Because of the sizes of the cities, my daily schedule in Kyiv and Krakow started much earlier and ended much later while also leaving me with less time to actually spend my time – both working and with my family and friends – in a quality matter.

When you’re constantly living on a tight schedule due to having to calculate in traffic and wasting time due to traffic, you never relax. Because you don’t have the time to do so. Naturally, productivity and overall energy levels suffer as well in this case.

I always had a limited time for my business. This is something I only realized when we moved to Croatia.

Because of these time limitations, I put pressure on myself, so naturally, I focused primarily on execution. I had clients and a decent income, but due to time constraints, I kept “going in circles” in a way when it comes to my work. I had no energy or time to be creative with it.

This led to my lowest point in terms of work in 2018. I was working and being paid well for my work, but I wasn’t doing all the things I thought I would be doing like building my marketing community online and working on my online presence and branding.

Earning money is good, but this kind of behavior wasn’t good for me in terms of my long-term perspective and what I wanted to achieve. For me, this lack of time meant a lack of energy which translated into a lack of creativity.

All of this changed dramatically once we came to Split.

And in my opinion, this is the extraordinary benefit of living in a smaller city. Everything is much closer and you don’t waste so much precious time.

Of course, the definition of a “small city” is different for everyone. Someone might think Split is too large and crowded. And that is completely fine!

I’m just speaking from my own experience and highlighting this great benefit Split had on my work, my life, and the balance between the two.

In Split, I finally had the time to not only work but also relax. Relax with my family and friends – on work days as well as the weekend. I can dedicate so much more of my time to the people I care about, but also to the work I love doing.

Because I gained so many “extra hours” in the day, my productivity increased which directly influenced my work. The energy also returned, which meant I had more “fuel” for creativity and realizing all that I wanted to achieve.

I’ve spoken to a lot of locals who live here and can definitely say that, while Split isn’t the most perfect city on the planet- there is no perfect city, to be honest – if you have only experienced life here, you can quickly become blind to all the benefits life in Split offers.

Once you experience all the downsides of large cities, you quickly see how a city like Split can benefit your overall quality of life.”

These are some of Andrei’s insights that might benefit internationals with the point of view of someone who moved here from abroad, as well as locals with an eye-opening look into the benefits of life in Split we so easily forget.

Just so you know, this won’t be the last time you will hear from Andrei, as he has some more insights to share with us: about the local tech community and even a little bit about marketing which is his specialty.

So – watch this space! 😀


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