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Split Tech City podcast: ten stories about choosing to live in Croatia!

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč

26.07.2022.

When we initiated our podcast series of interviews with internationals, we only wanted to share their stories and let those stories highlight the benefits of life in Split in particular and Croatia in general.

As many of them often mentioned when asked about the top five reasons that made them stay, the overall quality of life here can be summarized by the benefits offered by the living environment, the beauty of the natural environment, the work-life balance brought by our Mediterranean lifestyle, the safety people can feel once they come here, and the local people who are welcoming and easily build a sense of community with the newcomers as well.

A hard-to-beat filming location!

But just in case you thought we are the ones singing praises to our hometown and country of origin, we decided to let our internationals speak instead. That is the reason why we are bringing you this overview of our 10 interviews.

Ten different stories and ten diverse backgrounds with one thing in common – they chose Split and Croatia!

Andrei

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

He moved to Split from Krakow in search of a healthier place to live for himself and his family. While they initially came here for three months to see if it works, soon they were charmed enough to stay.

Morten

Morten Smalby is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Split’s tech company GetByBus. Born in Randers, Denmark, he moved to Split in 2004: “Quality of life is just great here! The climate is perfect, people are friendly, and there are lots of opportunities, so it kind of feels like an ongoing holiday.

In Split you basically have everything, but the city still does not feel big.

Everything here is easy-going. I like the fact that you have so many great and beautiful places nearby which you can visit on a short day trip.”

Luke

Luke Bryant moved to Croatia from Newport in February 2019, but he is originally from Bristol. He works at Typeqast and is very happy with his job and the overall work environment. Luke and his Croatian wife met while she lived and worked in the United Kingdom.

However, after their children were born in 2016, they decided they wanted to raise their family in Croatia because they wanted to enjoy the Croatian way of life: “Croatia is, by far, the nicest place I have lived in, and we intend to stay here.”

Ilkka-Cristian

Ilkka-Cristian Niemi is a Finnish tech entrepreneur, as well as founder and CEO of Software Sauna, who chose Croatia as a place to live and work:

“I fell in love with Croatia way back in 2013 when I first visited.

During that time I have visited the country several times, not only the seaside but Zagreb as well. There was an idea brewing about setting up a software development company, and after doing some market research, I knew Croatia would be the right place to move to and set up Software Sauna.”

John

John Rogošić, the founder and principal of Split International School, always maintained strong ties to his extended family and friends here. At some point, it has become apparent to him that traveling back and forth between the United States and Croatia is not something he wants to do anymore and that Croatia is the place where he wants to be:

“Split is the largest city in Dalmatia, and over the last decade has begun to transform into a global city. Foreigners are realizing that the Dalmatian lifestyle, climate, and culture are exceptional, and are looking to relocate here permanently.”

Bartosz

Bartosz Weryho, whose various business skills range from being a founder and a CEO to growth and management coaching, with hardware and IoT product development also in the mix, is another international who chose Split as his place to be.

Life took him from Poland to Sweden and Norway and, in the end, landed him here. When asked about the whys behind his move here together with his beloved Ewa, Bartosz highlighted the following:

“We did extensive research – and Split ticked all the boxes!”

Jill

Jill Erak is a born Canadian who lived in Los Angeles, USA, for a long time. After reevaluating her life, Split seemed like a much better place to live – being a calmer and much less crowded city than Los Angeles.

Aside from Split and all its beauty, Jill has a list of places yet to see, as well as those she would recommend to anyone when asked about Croatia: “When people reach out to me asking what places they should visit – the more I see of this country, the more uncertain I am about my answer – there is so much to do and so much this country has to offer!”

Michael

Michael Freer found his place under the sun here in Split six years ago: “I chose Split because of the location. The warmer climate suits me better so I looked for places with the sea, the mountains, and a warm to mild climate with lots of sunshine.

I was looking for the best options and Split fit the bill. There are few such cities in Europe!”

Another thing that made him stay was the fact Split offered great opportunities for the development of social entrepreneurship – Michael started Ensoco, a consulting company that helps various social enterprises. He currently has clients from all over the world, which makes him another great example of how it is possible to live in Split and work globally.

Sara

Sara Dyson is a Texas native and founder of Expat in Croatia. Back in 2012, Sara’s move to Split was somewhat unplanned. She planned to visit Italy, but a blog post about Croatia caught her attention. It praised the beauty of the country and the welcoming spirit of the locals, which was enough of a draw to detour Sara from Italy to Split. She visited and she stayed.

When Sara moved here, there were no groups on Facebook or many websites in English that provided any information to the newcomers from other countries who decided to settle down in Croatia: “I relied on the advice and help of good people. Then I started writing down and sharing my experiences so that it would be easier for every person who comes after me.”

Konstantin

Konstantin Mirin is the CEO of Postindustria and he fell in love with Split enough to stay here and also open a Postindustria Group branch called Sigmoid Lab.

Aside from nice weather, beautiful surroundings, safety, and overall quality of life here in Split, the one thing Konstantin highlights is the local tech community – its energy, engagement, diversity, and overall connectivity:

“It is very inspiring to see such a vibrant tech community!

With its substantial number of meetups and activities that bring everyone together!”

Of course, being local and in love with Split, we could keep listing the positives of our country, city, and life here – for forever and a day! 😀

However, we’d instead like you to hear those positives directly from all the internationals that we interviewed!

Cover photo: Ivan Gracin

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About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I am a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I am not creating content about Split's tech community, you will find me in singing rehearsals, somewhere in nature, in the theater, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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