Looking back at 2017…and forward to 2018 (it will be a year of changes)


2017 was not outwardly the most exciting year on the blog. We spent most of the year in Split (Croatia) setting up a base and getting temporary residency for a year. In all I spent 13 weeks out of Croatia during the year, going to Canada (to clean up some affairs), Mexico, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Lissette travelled even less, the only time she left Croatia were the 5 weeks we spent in Prague.

2018 will be different. We won’t be renewing our temporary residency and will be leaving Croatia on March 1st. We will be out of Croatia until at least the end of September. So we will be getting back to travelling full-time. A bit more on that decision further below.

I love these yearend posts because it means re-reading my post from this time last year…and seeing that what we thought was going to happen was actually very different than what actually happened in 2017. 
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Our much more exciting Year End post looking back at 2016…and forward to 2017.

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This time last year we thought we would stay in Split for 3 months before travelling through Eastern Europe. We thought that we’d maybe go back to Africa, but we also worried about our tenants in Montreal and whether or not they would renew the lease on our condo. All our plans were contingent on that (as they have been every year we’ve rented out the condo). Finally, we’ve been thinking of setting up a base somewhere and wondered if 2017 would be the year.
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Here is what actually happened in 2017

Note: I’m writing this down for ourselves as much as anyone else. Both Lissette and I have bad memories.


January and February (Split)

We had talked of making Split a base later in the year. But since we were here we decided to look into it some more. We got advice from a lawyer and consulted a real estate agent.

Above: Bacvice beach, just a few minutes from our apartment in Split.

It’s not something that we had planned, it just happened. Everything fell together. We found the perfect apartment within a few weeks and the lawyer made everything easy. In early February we signed a lease and a few weeks later we submitted all our paperwork to the Croatian Police for a 1 year Temporary Stay.
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March – May (Split)

March 1st we moved into the new apartment and spent 2 weeks cleaning and painting. It was around this time that we received word that we were accepted to stay in Croatia for a year.

I’m of course skimming a lot of details. Much more detail on these 2 posts:
1) Getting a 1-year Temporary Stay – Part 1
2) Getting a 1-year Temporary Stay – Part 2

It was around this same time that we received word from our tenants in Montreal that they would not be renewing their lease with us. That left us with a decision: find new tenants or sell the condo? We also had all our belongings in storage in Montreal and were paying almost $300 a month for the storage unit (for the last 3 years). We decided to: 1) sell the condo, 2) ship all our belongings to Split (our apartment here comes with a large basement). We basically decided that it was time to divest ourselves of all the physical assets we had in Montreal.

Much of this period was spent trying to sell the condo (which we succeeded on doing within 6 weeks) and arranging for the shipment of our belongings.

More detail here on shipping belongings from Canada to Croatia (which is quite complicated).

 

Late May – early July (Montreal and Mexico)

In late May I left Lissette behind and went to Montreal. That big event that first week was to load the truck with all our stuff at the storage unit. From there it went to the port where it would be shipped to Split (to arrive a month later). The second week was about signing off on the sale of the condo and getting a big fat cheque. During this time I also saw friends and family that I hadn’t seen in a few years. I was especially happy seeing my son who is currently in his last year of university.

Above: On El Chepe cutting through the cliffs of the Copper Canyon.

From Montreal I went to Mexico. The first week was my travel highlight of the year – riding El Chepe from Chihuahua to Los Mochis . From Los Mochis I went to Guadalajara and then on to San Miguel de Allende where my mom lives. We spent 10 days together, visiting San Cristobal de las Casas (in Chiapas) and Mexico City. Over the course of the last 5 years my mom has introduced me to most of Mexico.

Below: Cathedral in San Cristobal de las Casas

July 1st I flew back to Montreal, took care of a few last details, saw my son again – and then flew back to Split.

 

Early July – early August (Split)

During the last week of my time in Mexico Lissette had received the container holding all our belongings. She had spent night and day cleaning and organizing and was exhausted by the time I arrived in Split. But she had succeeded in making the apartment looked fantastic.

Why the rush? August is high season in Split and we wanted to rent our apartment while getting some much needed dental/medical stuff done in Prague. We succeeded – on short notice we managed to rent 3 of the 4 weeks of August.
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Early August – early September (Prague)

We spent all of August in Prague. It’s where we always go to see the dentist and to get our checkups – the price is good and the quality great. Although it didn’t feel like much of a vacation (because getting 3 cavities filled and having endless medical exams isn’t a vacation) we still had time to enjoy Prague. We’ve spent a lot of time here over the years and we’ve come to love it more with each visit. It’s a place we could live (at least in the summer).

You might enjoy this one:
Guns, Strippers – and other Unusual things to see and do in Prague (don’t judge us – we had to let loose a bit in Prague)

 

Early September – late November

After 8 months pretty much filled with organizing, paperwork, setting up the apartment, and getting medical stuff done, we finally felt that we could relax and enjoy our time in Croatia. We had weekend trips to some of the Croatian islands (Brač and Korčula) as well as to the coastal town of Makarska. In between we’ve enjoyed just living in Split and doing activities with friends.

Below: Makarska

 

Late November – 1st week December

In late November I took the train from Split, stopping in Zagreb for a night before continuing on to Budapest where my mom was staying for the month (on her way to Thailand). I spent a week showing her around Budapest (another of my favorite cities) and then, spontaneously, decided I would go back to Split via Sarajevo. I spent an interesting week in Sarajevo. From there I took the bus back to Split.

Below: with my mom in Budapest

 

1st week December – end of the year

We’ve started to grow roots in Split: we have a nice bunch of Croatian friends and I’ve also played football (soccer for North Americans) with a group of Expats on Monday nights. Over Christmas we were invited to a friend’s house for a typical Croatian lunch with their family. On New Year’s eve we’re hosting a party that includes our Croatian friends as well as a Canadian couple that decided to come to Split because of the blog (it’s always nice to know we help in inspiring people).

 

So that was our 2017.

Looking back it wasn’t the most relaxing year. We did achieve a few things however:
1) We have a base in Croatia.
2) We’ve sold the condo and moved all our belongings to Croatia. Lissette and I have known for quite a while that we didn’t want to move back to Canada. Liquidating our assets there feels like a relief. We also no longer have to plan our travels around tenants. What we did this year just makes our lives simpler.

 

 

Our Plans for 2018

We had hoped to renew our Temporary Residency in Croatia in the hopes of working towards Permanent Residency (which you can apply for after 5 years). But after meeting with our lawyer and reviewing the conditions for both Temporary and Permanent Residency, we decided that we just weren’t ready to commit. I’ll write about it more at some point…but the major sticking point is that working towards Permanent Residency would require us to stay in Croatia an average 10 months per year for the next 5 years. We love travelling and I also have family outside Croatia – so staying put is something I’m not ready to do (maybe at some point, but not now).

Are we disappointed? A bit. Especially Lissette. I don’t think you’ll meet anyone who loves Croatia more than she does. If Croatian immigration policy was a bit easier we would probably have decided to work towards Permanent Residency. But it isn’t.

So we’re going to go back to what we were doing before, that is visiting Croatia as tourists (where we are allowed to stay 3 months within a 6 month period). It actually works out perfectly: we can stay up to 6 months of the year in Croatia, enjoying our base in Split, and spend the rest of the time travelling while renting out our apartment. Our plans at this point are to do that as long as we can (or want). After that we’ll see…

So our travel plans for this year? We’ll be in South East Asia from March to June, spending time in Thailand and Malaysia (and maybe Bali). We haven’t been to SEA since 2014 and look forward to the great food, massages, and seeing Buddhist temples.
In June we’ll come back to Europe and plan to spend 3 months exploring Poland, Ukraine, and Moravia (the eastern part of the Czech Republic).
We’re planning to be back in Split in late September/early October and spend at least 2 months here before going somewhere exotic in mid-December. Maybe Africa? No idea at this point.

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Since we plan on renting out our apartment much of the year, I’ll shamelessly plug it here. Just this month we’ve invested in a 2nd bed and a new stove. I’ve updated this post on our apartment with new photos. Note: it’s available for rent March 1st to the end of September (on Christmas day we got a booking for a week in September – otherwise everything is open at this point).

 

Thanks for Reading!

 

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Comments

  1. That’s a hard commitment for those who like to travel full time. 6 months is a great option. Looking forward to your 2018 adventures 🙂
    Paula recently posted…Castles of Wales – Cardiff AreaMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Yes, I’m actually itching to travel again. I think 6 months is perfect and it’s what I had hoped for anyway – it’s just that without the residency we absolutely have to be out by certain dates. But in the end it just means more travel!

  2. Nice reading you as always. Happy New Year! Looking forward to read you in 2018!

  3. Wow! That will be a change :-). Yeah..they do make it really tough when you apply for residency. That is the same policy for most countries, including the U.S. I remember only too well. 10 months out of the year in the country. I remember my mom going over the allotment when my father died by a few days and the clock was being reset and said f**k it! The only consolation is that time kind of goes fast, I mean you have been there a year already and it seems like yesterday. Is it possible to do it end to end? like last 2 months of the previous year attached to first 2 months of the next year? I seem to remember that was a thing years ago. I know you guys must be disappointed somewhat but you have put it to good use, being able to rent out the place in your absence. I hope you guys have a better time this time around in Asia (especially Spanky 🙂 ). We were thinking about Bali too. We’ll see. Feliz Ano Nuevo!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Kemkem, the actual rule is that you can’t be more than 10 months out of the country over 5 years. It’s only 3 years that we left Montreal and I’m just not ready to be restrained. Maybe in the future, and if you’re 65 and over you don’t have to do the language test (Croatian is a tough language). Otherwise, as Victor brought up in another comment, we can fast-track things by buying an apartment. So that’s an option if we really decide 100% that we want to live our lives here.
      Happy New Year!

  4. I am sorry about Croatian immigration policy. Did you ask your lawyer, if you BUY an apartment in Croatia, do you still need to live there 10 months every year to get citizenship in five years?

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Excellent question. No, you don’t. You can fast-track your Permanent Residency by buying property. I think you don’t even have to do the language test (but I’m not 100% sure). And we’re keeping that up our sleeve in case we ever decide for sure we want to stay here. I’m a bit averse to investing in a country with shady politics and laws, but it’s an option and we can do it anytime and stay.
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Looking back at 2017…and forward to 2018 (it will be a year of changes)My Profile

  5. Hi Frank. Wonderful retrospective on 2017 plus very insightful 2018 playbook.
    Question: Thought one of the benefits of your original plan for long-term residency in Croatia was the national health care insurance, that I believe that you guys were pursuing. So, what are your plans for healthcare coverage now that you will not have residency status? Just curious. Also, my wife and I currently live in Chiang Mai, where the dental and healthcare is outstanding and extremely affordable. Just curious as to more details on your experiences with the cost and access to healthcare in Prague. Perhaps you could elaborate a bit more on that? Thanks again! Love your blog.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much Bruce.
      Yes, definitely health insurance is a benefit in Croatia. We’re going to go back to Expat Insurance starting March 1st, that’s what we did previously (we had a policy with Allianz which is reputable). It’s good for now and only slightly more expensive than what we have to pay for Croatian Health Care. Unfortunately for many, they don’t cover past 60 years of age (we’re in our early 50s). But other insurance companies have Expat insurance past 60, you would have to talk to an insurance broker if that’s your situation. I wrote this post on Insurances. Most of it covers Canadian insurances but the Expat part applies to anyone.
      We are actually going to be in Chiang Mai in March! Wondering – did you get a local policy or do you just pay as you go? (my mom lived there for 7 or so years – she also has great things to say about Thai healthcare).
      2 great places for dental care are Prague and Budapest. We find that we pay about half what we paid in Canada. This for example is our dentist in Prague. You can have a look at their prices on that site. I guess I should have a detailed post one day, you’re not the first person to ask.
      Thanks for the kind comments, always nice to hear from people who read the blog.

      • Hi again Frank. To answer your question, yes, we pay as we go for all medical and dental. Doctors here in CM are excellent and most are professors at CM University Medical School. You can walk into any private hospital and see a specialist, 7 days a week. Typically in no more than 1 hour you are in and out. These doctor’s visits are about $15 USD. Also, just a quick note on the dental prices. Don’t know if its an apple-to-apples comparison or not. But we get dental cleaning by a local Thai dentist here every 4 months. Dentist does the cleaning with ultrasound device. Total price, including exam is around $15 USD. The link to your dentist in Prague has a “Complex” cleaning for around $80 USD. Again, may not be the same thing, but interesting comparison. Beware that the agricultural burning will most likely still be something to contend with in March. Wife and I will be down south in Koh Lanta in March and April to avoid the smoke. We are actually looking to move as the air quality in CM is horrid, even in the summer rainy season.

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          Yes, costs certainly don’t compare to Thailand! Wow! The $80 US sounds right for Prague, it was an in depth clean that took about an hour and included the x-rays which are usually extra.
          I know about the burning and hoping March won’t be too bad before going further south. But we’re glamming it up this time around – staying in a suite with a rooftop pool and fitness center. So we’ll stick to our AC’ed room if too smoky 🙂
          I’m curious about Koh Lanta. How is it as a base? Islands can be really boring if they don’t have a town or shopping nearby.

  6. It’s always interesting to go back 365 days and see how right your predictions for the next year are. And I know about the “bad memory” thing. I’ve kept a pocket calendar diary with post-it flags for years so that our travel whereabouts/plans don’t end up a confusing blur plus it’s helpful to track what we’ve done and when. I’m so glad that you’ve come up with a workable solution for continuing your travels and combining it with your love for Split and Croatia. Your residency has involved more hoops to go through than ours but, hey, you’re an expert now! It’s funny when you mentioned Canadian expats who’d read your blog and ended up moving to Croatia. We seem to be importing Canadians to Portugal as well! (You’d think more Americans would be migrating. 🙂) Looking forward to reading about your 2018 adventures and also hoping that 2018 is the year our paths cross! Happy New Year!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      These Canadians are just visiting for a month – but we’ve met a few people who’ve had long stays here through the blog and who’ve fallen in love with Split. It’s a beautiful place and, if you’re self-sufficient, the living is easy. But the residence situation isn’t 🙁 and it’s not always transparent – as my lawyer said, the rules as they’re written are vague and you always have to refer to someone official…and depending on who that is and the given day may lead to a different interpretation of the rules. It can be frustrating.
      Always love hearing from you and maybe our paths cross sometime. I hope you and Richard a fantastic 2018! And thanks again for helping out my mom with her upcoming trip to Portugal 🙂
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Looking back at 2017…and forward to 2018 (it will be a year of changes)My Profile

  7. hey Frank
    great review. How are your plans for SE Asia going? We’re going to India and Sri Lanka -4 week trip March and April.

    Happy New Year!
    Andrew Boland recently posted…In Search of Stalin’s Seven SistersMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Andy. Those are exciting plans! Unfortunately we won’t be in that area – our plans start off with Thailand and then continue through to Penang and further into peninsular Malaysia. All a bit up in the air but we like being spontaneous.
      All the best in 2018 Andy! Happy Travels!

  8. Hi Frank, Lissette – Interesting to see how things pan out … seems none of us can escape the requirements of officialdom in the longer term however its approached… Its a little ironic, ‘cos in so many ways you have or are ending up as most, if not all, Canadian ‘retired’ snowbirds (and their equivalents in other countries like Germany, UK etc .ie 6 months and 1 day in the (base) country, and 6 months less 1 day travelling outside of the base country… If one is a resident or wants to remain a resident for Health and/or other reasons, there is, almost everywhere, the standard 6 months & 1 day rule that has to be fulfilled if one wants to keep various benefits of residency – usually including but not exclusively limited to Health ! And almost every country has its own specific idiosyncracies on the details …

    I agree that most ‘snowbirds’ / retirees probably spend v little of their time away actually travelling – the vast majority remaining in one place – and often the same place – each time they are out of their ‘base’ country. but a great many others , do travel for their 6 months out. But it seems, with time, all of us have to have, or at least end up having a ‘base’ for several months of the year – whether slow travellers or not !

    In S Africa, a standard tourist visa allows an initial stay of 3 months , which can be extended by applying (and invariably getting) an extended visa for another 3 months. This can also be done by leaving the country (ZA) for several days (undefined) before re-entering and getting another 3 months tourist visa . But the easiest and best method is to initially apply for an extended tourist visa valid for 6 months right off the bat ( a ‘retired persons’ residents visa) . There are close to 400.000 European snowbirds (called ‘swallows’ there…) that come to ZA for the winter every year, primarily from Germany & the UK , who start arriving in October and remain through April or May (with the consequential high prices that result especially in specific popular areas like the Cape… ) We know several people from Germany & the UK who have purchased houses in ZA for their winter layovers – usually a better and cheaper alternative to renting, especially if not in a prime/popular area.

    In our case we have ended up having 3 “bases”, each with its attractions and use – Canada for 6 months and 1 day *** a year, France for 4 to 5 months a year, which allows Life in a beautiful climate and place in the world, with easy air / road / train connections , making for easy visits all over Europe by car, train or plane, and 6 – 8 weeks in South Africa – with 6 – 8 weeks annually to some ‘exotic’ and warm destination that we generally haven’t visited before, or in a v v long time .

    (*** And more interesting , is that since 2016, Canada allows unlimited trips outside of the country , each for a maximum of 21 days, which do NOT count against the “6 month & 1 day” limit – ie you can now (almost) spend the entire year travelling without restrictions – except coming back into Canada for a minimum of least 1 day between your 3 week trips… and before leaving again… Not ideal though, as it can and will increase spending on airfares of course, but a great way to travel and spend a good chunk of time (up to 3 weeks at a shot) wherever . But undoubtedly this ‘new’ possibility will affect our travel habits and plans accordingly.

    Admittedly we are not ‘slow travellers’ in your sense of the word. We find we don’t need 1 or 2 months in one place ; that usually 4 to 5 days is more than sufficient to get to know and feel out a place very or pretty well – and the stay can always be extended, or alternatively left for another time or visit if its really a great city or place to visit.

    And this new 3 – week option is also a great way to ‘re-visit’ favourite places without affecting ‘bona-fide’ travel time … You mention that you will be heading off the Thailand again (a destination you both know v well and hv visited on prior occasions amongst many others). That is the same with most travellers – its great to discover new and different parts of the world – but its also great to go back to pre-visited , favourite places too – ones that we know and love for what they are . But re-visiting previously known places seldom requires long stays – a 3 weeks jaunt is usually and often more than enough to ‘re-discover’ old haunts, simply because they no longer have to be “discovered” again at all ! (Just known more intimately perhaps ?)

    The (Private) Health issue just gets worse , more expensive and more complicated as one gets older, and/or if one has or gets a medical condition which requires extra or special coverage. Wait until 65 or 70 …. ! Its also one reason Portugal has become so popular too (see Anita above) as there, the Govt is trying to attract foreign retirees by giving them (after 3 years) a European (Portuguese) passport and citizenship, as well as 10 years of tax-free living if they emigrate to the country and buy a property there. Not at all bad eh ?

    Frank, Lissette, we wish you the very best in your New Year of travelling , with lots of fun, joys and happiness along the kilometres !
    It looks like it will be great !
    Cheers
    Tony

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    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Tony,

      Interesting about South Africa and the 6 month extended Visa. Something to explore our next time there! Nice to see some countries are trying to woo tourists/expats…while other countries are a bit in the dark ages when it comes to progressive policies.

      The new Canadian law is also interesting but you wonder where they come up with stuff like this: unlimited trips of 21 days with only a day back in between. What’s the purpose of that 1 day “check in”? Sure, great for people who want to travel a lot for short durations but for most it’s quite inconvenient. I guess it’s one of those glass half empty/half full arguments. In our case it means nothing and the fact that we pay our taxes while losing all our Canadian benefits (of course talking primarily about Health Insurance) doesn’t fill me with happiness. So we’ll continue paying our taxes while also having to pay for expat insurance. That brings to mind the resident/non-resident issue which I had a long conversation with my tax accountant about not so long ago. That’s another post for another day though…

      “Slow Travel” for us is a requirement with Lissette working. We love having a place as a base and living there for a month or two and getting to know it. Our SEA trip will be a continuation of that with several month long stays broken up by a couple of week of “fast travelling” – she’s slotted in some vacation time so during that time we’ll be seeing other places and moving from place to place.Something to be said for both ways of travel but we generally enjoy it slow (unless we find ourselves stuck in a place we don’t like so much).

      Health issue – YES! It’s what always comes up first and it’s one of the reasons we have to eventually get settled somewhere. At a certain point we won’t be able to get Expat insurance and then what? It’s one of the reasons I want to travel as much as possible now because sometime in the future we may not have a choice bu so suck it up and work towards Permanent Residency somewhere.

      Thanks as always for the detailed comment Tony, you’ve raised important points as you always do 🙂
      All the best in 2018.

  9. GoBruins! says:

    Hi Frank……feliz año nuevo!

    Plan-Do-Check-Act……sounds like this post was a good way to do an autopsy of 2017! Regardless of the years outcomes, it’s always nice to know you have almost full flexibility to make adjustments to your living/travel plans. I would say the vast majority of people don’t have that option or are unwilling to utilize it.

    Yeah, I detest all those bureaucratic hurdles that countries put in place when all you want is to stay and enjoy their way of life, visit sites, etc (and contribute to their economies). Georgia seems so progressive with its no-strings 12 mo visa! So yes, I agree that a 10 mo commitment to maintain the Croatian residency is excessive given where you are in your lives (careers?). Anyways, going with the 3 mo in, 3 mo out plan sounds really good since you can easily alternate with the Schengen countries from Split.

    Great to hear you’ve got plans for travels in Moravia, Poland and Ukraine. I spent 2 months this past summer biking through Moravia, up the Labe R./Elba R. and into west Poland (Sudetes mtns). Also, the summer of 2016 I spent 2 months exploring parts of the old Hapsburg Empire in S. Poland and W. Ukraine all the way over to Chernivtsi and Kamyanets Podilski. I had a fabulous time in all these areas, you’ll enjoy them as well especially since they are mostly off the main European tourist routes. Anyways I’ll send you some ideas in separate email.

    best of luck
    d.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hola Don, gracias y feliz ano a usted! 🙂 (I’ll stop there, my Spanish rusty)

      Yes, I had never heard of any tourist Visa like Georgia’s until you mentioned it to me. I can understand restrictions, you don’t want any bum walking into your country and squatting there (like Thailand…guess that’s why they’ve gotten tough). But to turn away people with money who want to stay in your country and spend – it’s just not forward thinking. They should at least have an extended tourist Visa like the one Tony mentions they have in South Africa.

      You really get around Don and I see you enjoy some of the same parts of the world we do. We’ve had this Miravia/S. Poland/W. Ukraine itinerary in mind for a while and it’s always fallen through – look forward to finally getting there this summer. A bit nervous about the level of English we’ll encounter but we always seem to get by. As you say, the main attraction is that they are less popular destinations and “undiscovered” as far as we’re concerned – always fun going somewhere new and different.

      Always love your comments, you are always full of information.

      All the best Don for 2018!

  10. Well gosh you guys have had a busy year. Somehow I lost touch but it is good to read you again. Congrats on selling your condo and getting your stuff out of storage. I do know what a big deal all of that is and how freeing the end result is. Sounds like you have a great year of travel planned. Maybe you will stop by Sri Lanka as well? Wanted to give you guys the suggestion of using your apartment as a home exchange on http://www.homeexchange.com that way you can receive balloon credits when someone stays at your place and you can use those anywhere else in the world that someone wants a balloon. It is a great way to travel while lowering costs and allowing you to stay in people’s homes rather than hotels.

    Happy and adventurous 2018 to both of you!!

    Peta

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thank you Peta for the comment.

      All the best to the two of you as well. I’ve been following you guys and although I haven’t been commenting much always enjoy your adventures and political commentary (how depressing was 2017?)

      I don’t think Sri Lanka on this year’s plans but we’re curious about it. Another of those places on that list!

      Thanks also for your suggestion, good to know.

      Frank

  11. I look forward to your travels in 2018 Frank! I love South East Asia and went there myself for 40 days last year! Actually Vietnam was my favourite destination when I visited, followed by Thailand then Indonesia. I hope you have a wonderful start to the year.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Mike. Vietnam is a place we haven’t been yet that we’d like to see.
      All the best for 2018!

  12. Oh my goodness! Lots of great changes and back to travel adventures, and I have to say that sounds really exciting to me – especially since you have a wonderful home base in Split. Great post looking back Frank, and I look forward to reading about all your new experiences, especially Poland, that’s one country I really want to visit.
    Rebecca recently posted…Bodie – The Most Fascinating Ghost Town You’ll Ever VisitMy Profile

  13. “It’s not something that we had planned, it just happened”

    OMG! Frank. That’s my mantra these days. We are back in the United (Divided) States and we’ll be here for the near future, we’re actually in the process of establishing a home base in southeastern Maryland, to be near our son and daughter-in-law who surprised us back in late September with the news that they are expecting their first (and probably only) child. Our first (and probably only) grandchild. We flew home on Dec. 21.

    We worked with the SEF (immigration) office while living in Porto to process our 1-year renewal. But, like you, we learned just how much of a time commitment it would be to renew again for the 2-year renewal at the end of 2018. And, we actually left Porto without our residency cards in hand (see post) because of the length of time to process our renewals. Never say never, but we don’t see how – at this point – we could manage the time commitment to go through the 2-year renewal. Lots of lessons learned though, which is always a good thing. If the stars align our residency cards will find their way to the US, but will we use them is another question.

    You’ve seemingly found a great landlord in that he allows you to sublet your apartment, which must feel good, at least for now as you chart a new course, which who knows may lead you back to Split for the long term.

    For us, we will continue to travel but now that there is a little one soon-to-be-born we’ll travel for shorter lengths of time, which all circles back to managing (or not) the Portuguese residency. AUGH! 🙂 Safe travels as you venture off!

  14. Me again… I was telling Abi about the Croatia residency and he had an interesting question.

    When Croatia joins the EU, and as a result will have open borders, how would Croatia know if you were actually in/out of the country for the required time to glean permanent residency?

    Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
    Patti recently posted…Delays, SEF & Redefining Retirement Yet Again ~My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Patti – you mean Schengen? (it is already in the EU). They’ve talked about it and people say maybe 2019, but I don’t know….one of the problems is that Croatia has very long borders that are porous. But yes, were it to join it would be like any other Schengen country and I would think the immigration rules would have to change to reflect that reality. But lets see IF it actually gets invited to join Schengen.

      Congratulations on the upcoming grandchild! Yes, things happen that we can’t control no matter what (good and bad).
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…My week in Sarajevo (with lots of Photos)My Profile

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