This is What Happens in Croatia When You Start Telling the Positive Stories

Total Croatia News

Romulic and Stojcic
Romulic and Stojcic

Romulic and Stojcic

August 27, 2020 – What happens in Croatia when you replace the default negative mindset with its many positive stories? Something like this. 

About 18 months ago, I wrote an article called The 3 Stages of Learning for a Foreigner in Croatia: Love, Hate and Nirvana

Nirvana took me 15 years to achieve, but I finally got there, made my peace with the Mighty State of Uhljebistan, committed to paying my ‘uhljeb tax’ for the right to enjoy the best lifestyle in Europe, and I have to admit – it was worth the wait. 

On the journey, I realised some things which were actually pretty obvious, but which are key to a happy life here. Among those was the golden rule of surrounding yourself with positive people. In a society which is default negative, the positive voices in Croatia are drowned out. Many do not voice the positivity publicly, as the negative comment will inevitably follow. 

During my journey with TCN, I have come across so many incredible people doing truly amazing things. And – as I have written before – I have discovered so many positive people who exist in their own little bubbles. They love the Croatian lifestyle, but they choose to minimise their contact with the Croatian state. Friends, family, job, nature, lifestyle. A great bubble. 

The thing is, though, that these bubbles are now beginning to realise that there are many like-minded bubbles out there too. And those bubbles are starting to connect. A VERY healthy eco-system of positivity and Croatia 2.0 mentality is slowly building, and it is truly a joy to watch. 

There are only really two problems in Croatia – the system and the mindset. We can’t change the system but we can change the mindset, one positive story at a time. 

There is a third problem in Croatia, which I call the Death of Hope, and which perhaps a million people in Croatia can relate to. They all desperately want change, but they no longer believe that change is possible. Any new initiative is dismissed because, well… this is Croatia. 

But what if some of those initiatives started to actually work? What if all the positive stories were told, embraced and celebrated? What if one million people resigned to the Death of Hope slowly began to believe. And then demanded change with one voice. 

It is already starting…   

Yesterday’s announcement by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic that his administration will introduce a digital nomad visa just 44 days after receiving an open letter from Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong is truly a stunning development for those familiar with Croatian bureaucracy. 

It is also a sign to those one million people, whose Croatian perspective is clouded by the Death of Hope, that perhaps change is possible after all. And if we can lift those one million people to believe, a tsunami of positivity will tip the scales in the direction of positive change. 

This is a blog I have been planning to write for a while, but time has been against me. And then, my LinkedIn feed brought me to this post from Zvonimir Matutinović, Senior Stakeholder Manager for Digital Marketing Automation at Teva Pharmaceuticals:


“Rome wasn’t built in a day”. We could probably use this analogy for Croatian digital industry and its eco-system as well.

A few years ago I used to think we were failing miserably. However, now, when I look at some initiatives and numbers, I think we are doing pretty well. Yesterday our Prime Minister announced that Croatia will start welcoming IT professionals from all over the world by launching a Digital Nomad Visa (good job Jan de Jong).

In 2018 people asked me how it was possible for such a small country to reach the World Cup finals? My answer was, because of the persistence and a few people who had faith. Today in 2020 if someone asks me how we managed to create such a good pool of digital talents, my answer is the same: some people were persistent and they believed it could be done.

Let’s push further!


Multiply that by a million people.

Celebrate the positives, tell the positive stories, connect those bubbles, surround yourself with positive people, and keep pushing for change. The moment is now for Croatia. 


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