Saturday, 23 September 2023
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

What’s your favourite thing about Croatia, Gillie?

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Jul 25, 2022

“What’s your favourite thing about Croatia, Gillie?”.

It’s a question I get asked often, and the answer comes without a moment of hesitation:

The Adriatic Sea.

I’m in it every single day, and it’s the best medicine in the world.

The sea is closely followed by all the other natural elements - the mountains, the air, the sunshine, and perhaps most importantly of all - the space.

The fact that Croatia has a population of only 3.8 million people is one of the major plus points of living here.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the older I get, the less people I seem to want to be around.

Especially mean-spirited people.

Which is probably why I’m not such a fan of July and August. It’s too hot, even at night, there’s too many people, and everyone is just a little too cranky for my liking.

I get it. Seasonal workers putting in long shifts, in high temperatures. These people I feel for, and I can put up with their grumpiness. In fact, it’s become a little challenge I have with myself, to try to make people smile when they seem like they’re in a bad mood.

It makes me go all warm and fluffy when I think I may have offered a little bit of light in someone’s dark day. And maybe that’s going to then impact the lives that they touch that day. It’s doing my bit, I think to myself, to make this often-difficult world a little bit easier.

For kindness costs nothing, and if we all spread a little peace and love wherever we go, it’s going to have an impact. Happy people don’t tend to commit harmful acts. They tend to do good.

The harsh truth is, however, my approach doesn’t always work.

The people-pleaser aspect of my nature can also work against me.

“Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness”, as the saying goes, and last week I was more aware than ever before of this fact.

If my favourite aspect of Croatia is the sea, I have to say, my least favourite is how some people (not all) communicate.

I know us British are seen as being “too polite”, but being kind and thoughtful in our dealings with others goes a long way.

It may be the weather (we are blaming the heat, not the wind here for a change), but this last couple of weeks I’ve noticed quite a few people really losing their cool.

I can (almost) deal with it when it‘s directed at me, but when I see a cat thrown 8ft across a garden, and I’m the only one to react in horror, I struggle to reconcile this.

Some would say I’ve got too thin a skin, but I’d rather be sensitive than insensitive. I don’t want to be mean to other beings, especially those that are smaller and weaker.

I realised I’m in need of some respite from it all, and after a short spell in what can only be described as a “hostile environment”, I’m heading back for a holiday in the U.K. in need of some TLC and hopefully some nice British politeness.

It’s the first time I’ve felt homesick since I’ve been here, the first time I’ve felt the need to go back, the first time I’ve felt my spirit in need of lifting.

I’ve booked a one-way ticket, not knowing how long it will take before I feel ready to return.

However, I’m now only at Zadar airport, and I’m already missing the Adriatic Sea, so I’m guessing I’ll be back next week!

I’ll let you know how it goes…

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


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