Food and garden
When we decided to leave the US and move back to my home country, we had an idea in mind about what to do to make a living. Our plan was to open a cozy bed&breakfat on the Adriatic coast. For an introvert like me, interacting with people, advertising ourselves on social media and writing a blog about our life were some of the biggest concerns.
For most Croatians, offering accommodation to tourists is an additional income source. For us, it’s a livelihood. In the ocean of family apartment providers, we had to distinguish ourselves somehow. And we found a way. It’s simple. We offer more than just accommodation. To be specific, we offer what we love to do: our home cooked food with gluten free and vegan meals available, our produce and fresh food from other producers near us, and active vacation opportunities, like hiking and cycling. We also take s different approach with our guests. We engage, greet them as they arrive, offer tips, let them know about best beaches, food, walks, etc., listen to their needs, and go above and beyond to make everyone's stay pleasant and relaxing. That means we are out there a lot, talking and socializing. And, to my own surprise, the social aspect of our job as hosts is one of the best parts of what we do. Showing my extroverted side in this way works because I create balance between socializing and doing what rejuvenates my soul.
Just the other day, after a day of cleaning and getting the house ready for the next round of our US friends coming to visit, both Joe and I spent and afternoon doing what we love to do alone - cooking for him and gardening for me. We had a Croatian family over for dinner, who dared to try a different cuisine. Joe let his creativity take over fully and spent hours in the kitchen, preparing an Indian meal. The smells of naan, butter chicken, daal, curried eggplant and warm- pickled beets and carrots, aromatic rice were spilling out of the kitchen and spreading all over our yard, tickling my nose and making me hungry.