Thursday, 08 December 2022
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

Would you choose the sea or the mountains in Croatia?

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Apr 25, 2022

“Sea or Mountains?”, I ask myself once more, knowing that there has never been and will never be an answer to that conundrum.

Especially when living in a country which has such stunning options of both.

I am acutely aware that if this is the toughest life decision I face right now then I’m pretty darn lucky, so I’m conscious not to complain too much, especially when there are so many others in difficult situations.

Having completed my contract in Zadar, I now find myself with the potential of being nomadic once more. I’m location-independent, I can work and live from anywhere in this beautiful country, but I’m torn between two loves.

In Zadar I have the Velebit mountains, which stole my heart this Winter, but then there’s the incredible Konavle coastline, and my old life in Cavtat to return to.

Where do I choose? It’s too difficult. I can’t make up my mind. So I do what I always do when I’m stuck with a decision - I sit on it for a while.

This lack of commitment to any clear path is fine for me, but it’s not for everyone.


One of the first questions I’m asked when I arrive in Cavtat for a couple of weeks is:

“What are your long-term plans now then?”:

My answer of “I don’t even know where I’m staying tonight” is met with laughter. Until they realise I’m not joking. They don’t get it, but this is the freedom I enjoy sometimes.

I’d driven from Zadar undecided as to whether to stop off in Split so I hadn’t committed to a place to stay yet. By the time I’ve ordered my first gemisht, I’ve sorted a place to stay for the week. It’s really that easy, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

I guess some people need more certainty than others, but for me, freedom is more important. That’s just the way I roll.

Anyway I always have the same words in my head when it comes to planning:

“God laughs when we make plans!”.

Surely if the last two years had taught us anything it was not to be too attached to how things are going to pan out.

Things always turn out ok, and I now find myself staying at the Hotel Croatia, a spacious and luxurious hotel in natural surroundings just on the edge of the water where I go paddle-boarding.

Taking time out, having that space, my “plan” starts to unfold.

I’m going to spend May in Zadar and June in Cavtat, and leave July and August relatively open for now.

I can have it all. In Croatia I can anyway.

I can have the sea and the mountains.

Maybe I can have winters in Zadar, and summers in Cavtat.

Maybe I can go and explore a new island when I have time off in summer.

Maybe I can go and stay in Paklenica for a month.

One thing is for sure this is the country with the most diverse landscapes and natural beauty I could ever imagine.

The possibilities are endless, I can’t believe I live here now, this is my home, and for that I feel truly blessed.

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 Cavtat. 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


The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook