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travel van life

why we chose Croatia over the UK for van life

After staying in Dresden for a few days, we decided to skip travelling to the UK with our van. Instead, we headed south to sunny Croatia! We changed our plans for several reasons.

Croatia has better weather and more sunshine.

We both loved living in Scotland. Kuba lived there for almost ten years and I spent just under a year there. The people are friendly but the weather is terrible! On a whim, I moved to Glasgow in December of 2015 from sunny California. I was not prepared for the lack of sunshine and constant rain. Luckily, I stuck it out because otherwise, I wouldn’t have met Kuba. If I had researched the weather properly I might have never moved there.

By the time we both left Scotland for good last summer, we were ready for some sunshine. We spent the entire summer in Spain, soaking up those rays and felt amazing. (It was very hot on the Costa Del Sol, though!) We supplement with Vitamin D in the winter but we both need real sunshine to keep our minds and bodies healthy.

(We’re aware that the UK is in the midst of a heat wave, but since I’d need to stay in the UK for three whole months, we don’t expect the heat wave to continue through the fall.)

Croatia has the complete opposite weather of the UK. It’s sunny most of the time.

The UK isn’t as exciting.

Kuba spent a lot of time there and I felt like I just left. While we were excited to re-visit the UK so we could catch up with friends, we also wanted to explore new places. Even though we both visited Croatia before (several times), heading south puts us closer to several countries we’ve never visited.

Fresh, affordable produce is easier to find in Croatia.

Fresh produce markets are the norm in every city in Croatia. Zagreb alone boasts over two dozen produce markets. We never had a problem finding good fruit in Scotland (thanks, Tesco!) but the abundance of fresh, local produce available in Croatia can’t be beat!

Croatia has the best watermelon!

In this vlog from our previous stay in Zagreb (in March 2018), we show you Zagreb’s largest produce market:

In general, Croatia is more affordable.

Our monthly food expenses in Croatia are half of what they were when we were living in Scotland. Fresh produce is just more affordable here. Airbnb accommodation in Croatia is more affordable as well, especially in the off-season when tourists leave the coasts.

Croatia is our favourite destination.

We also wanted to spend time in Croatia because out of all the countries we’ve visited, we feel most at home here. Our first stop was the capital, Zagreb, which also happens to be our favourite city. We like living in Zagreb for several reasons, so it seemed like the perfect place to “settle” with our van for a few weeks.

What’s your favourite city?



By Lisa

In Oct. 2014, I quit my job and started downsizing my life by selling and rehoming all my belongings. Even though I’ve moved around all my life, I officially left the States in Dec. 2015 and have been travelling abroad ever since. I hope to inspire you to simplify your life so you live with intention. I’m an avid writer, videography enthusiast, and a major foodie with a passion for sustainable living.

6 replies on “why we chose Croatia over the UK for van life”

I’m not sure I have a favourite city, so many places stand out, most of them in Greece.

Although, if I had to pick somewhere I think it would be Hanioti (it’s in Halkidiki on mainland Greece – one of the three peninsulas below Athens). It’s a place that holds some important memories for me, and it’s definitely somewhere I plan to revisit. 🙂

Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Cheryl! Perhaps we can check out Hanioti when we travel to Greece with our van. (Greece seems so far away at the moment!)

I would definitely recommend it. I spent so much time sitting on a balcony reading, writing, and watching dolphins swim past. It was just heaven, and the whole place smelled like honey and pine.

*I just got all emotional remembering the smell. lol.

I’m certainly enjoying your choice! I knew nothing about Croatia until you took me there. Enjoy that watermelon and showers! I’ve come to the conclusion that at 64 years old the hardest thing for me to give up in your van life would be my daily shower!

Thanks for reading, Cindy! I’m struggling with not having a real shower now just because it’s so hot. We think we’ll buy a camping shower though. 😉

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