Print this page
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

Today was a big day in my beautiful Croatian bubble

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Nov 15, 2020

Firstly, I got my new ID card confirming my status here in time for the end of the year and the UK’s deadline for leaving the EU.

Secondly, the sun is shining, and I’ve decided that Dubrovnik is my favourite City in the world. OK, it may only be a “town” to some, but when you live in Molunat, it’s definitely a case of “Bright Lights, Big City”.

It’s an exciting time for Croatia right now. Just this week, it was named one of the world’s top 3 destinations in 2020 by The Times. The predicted tourism trends for 2021, however, this is what has got me buzzing though.

Staying close to nature, eco-tourism, wandering adventures, authentic cultural experiences, mindful travel, and wellness tourism – this is what people are going to be seeking out next year, according to Euronews travel trends report.

This is fantastic news for me, but it’s not surprising. These are all the reasons I came to live in Croatia. I wanted a simpler life, close to nature, but a good base to travel from, and somewhere I could prioritise health and wellbeing, for myself and for others.

I call it Eco-Wellness, looking to nature as our teacher on how to best look after ourselves, each other (the community), and the world around us (the planet as a whole).

These three things tend to go hand-in-hand, a powerful threesome, as when we tend to our own inner landscape we tend to take better of the bigger picture.

For me, it reflects a positive shift that is taking place on the planet right now. It may not seem like it at times, especially when we look to the news, but we are moving towards a world where people are more conscious in their decisions about how they are living.

Things we all took for granted, like our health (and health-care systems), human connection, the sustainability of the planet, and being able to travel freely – these things are all being appreciated again, and are likely to be prioritised going forwards into 2021.

What is both exciting and hopeful for me is that people seem to be returning to a more natural way of living, and this is key for us to be able to sustain ourselves as a human race, as well as this planet we call home.

We are moving from an “ego-centric” way of being to an “eco-centric” way of being. Whereas in the ego-centric way of being considers only selfish gains, seeks power and control with an authoritarian approach and from a dualist standpoint, eco-centric is all about community, working together, sustainability, holistic, natural, regenerative, and compassionate. Simply put, it’s the difference between independent and interdependent.

We are finally realising we are stronger together.

We are seeing this approach starting to emerge in progressive world leaders, such as Jacinda Acerne in New Zealand, but also in communities as people realise that they need to start “self-organising” if they are to survive, to protect the most vulnerable, and look after their environment.

Eco-Wellness – a way of taking care of ourselves, each other and the planet is the future, and it was bound to make it’s way into travel and tourism trends.

This is great news for Croatia as it ticks all the boxes when it comes to eco-wellness. It has the very best quality on offer of all five elements – Earth, Water, Sun, Air and Space. For these are the things we need – not hotel spas, or 5 star vegan restaurants, or daily massages.

Basically we need everything that plants need, for that is what we are – plants with more complicated emotions. Croatia has all this in abundance, this is why I am here, so I can enjoy a long and happy life, and to inspire others to do the same – coming home to nature and experiencing all the health-giving benefits this magical country has to offer.

So roll on 2021, it’s looking good.


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to


support the dubrovnik times