Tuesday, 07 December 2021
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

Life goes on, money is paper, and real wealth are friends and people who are there in difficult times

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Jan 24, 2021

I was warned last year that for tackling Croatian bureaucracy, you need patience and resilience.

I’m halfway there, I think; although I have a severe lacking in patience, I’m as resilient as they get.

I’m in the process of getting my car re-registered here in Croatia, and in the wake of Brexit, this was proving somewhat challenging, as no-one seems to know what’s going on. Thankfully my friendly local mechanics make the whole process more manageable for me.

Brothers Mikhael and Domoguy Pusic are the best service providers I could have asked for. Nothing is too much trouble, they’re always smiling, no matter how much they are juggling at the time, and even take time to bring me coffee while I wait and crack a joke with me.

Most importantly, I trust them. I’ve used them a few times since I’ve been here, and now I won’t use anyone else. As a lone woman in a foreign country, with very limited knowledge of cars, that trust is worth its weight in gold to me.

When I hear their story of what they went through, I can understand why I trust them, and perhaps why they are so happy to help others.

For they overcame great hardship themselves, when back in November 2019, their garage was burned down. In a matter of minutes, all their years of hard work building their business, was destroyed in a fire. This did not make them bitter, nor did they resort to blame or negativity; instead their message was one of gratitude - 

“Life goes on, money is paper, and real wealth are friends and people who are there in difficult times”, they wrote in a statement.

Nor did they give up, they just got on with the mammoth task of re-building their large Auto Centre in Ljuta.

40 days it took them to complete it, a feat celebrated and commended by everyone I speak to who knows of them.

Like Noah rebuilding the Ark, I thought, except there’s two of them.

Mikhael and Domoguy Pusic

It got me thinking about what it is that makes us trust some people and not others.

For me, the answer is in my body. My gut tells me if something is off, which is why I stopped listening to the UK Prime Minister’s public announcements. It’s wasn’t just his lack of clarity, and fluffy answers, it was that I just sensed something was wrong.


In contrast, I listen to leaders such as Jacinde Acerne, and I feel calm. And from what I’ve experienced about our Prime Minister here in Croatia, I do feel in safer hands than I would in the UK.

I know politics can be a divisive issue, but there’s a lot to be said for good leadership, in the form of clarity and strong direction. It makes us feel safe.

We also have a gut reaction when people aren’t being straight with us, our bodies pick up on it. It also must be pretty exhausting to have to lie all the time, which I’m sure we see certain leaders looking so tired and ill.

Those people who are honest and authentic don’t have that problem. Their communication is clear, because they don’t need to think so hard about what they’re saying. They just speak the truth, and that’s effortless.

This week I make a mental note to always trust my instinct when it comes to people, to really tune intomy body, and see whether it feels right or not.

I’m reminded of the core values I hold dear, which are honesty, integrity and authenticity, and the admiration I have for those with a sense of courage and resilience like the Pusic brothers.

I make a decision to always support those small businesses who share my values.

Having overcome hardship, we are often more aware of what’s really important. That money really is just paper, and our lives are made richer by the quality of our relationships and connections with others, and how we choose to show up in the world.

As I start to embrace this wonderful Croatian culture, I decide that I may need to add patience to my list of qualities I want to foster for myself.

For when we adopt the pace of nature, where nothing is rushed, we have the time to appreciate what really matters.

Like coffee with a smile while you wait for your car.

Read more Gillie here...  


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 www.behappyfit.co.uk



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