Hello, I'm Ines Curin, founder of Girls Talk Business. I'm excited to share a part of my recent journey to Croatia. Join me as I recount "How I Turned My Dream into Reality - and You Can Too!" I'll share how I overcame the fear of expressing my dreams and discovered their power by simply dreaming out loud. I hope this inspires you to become a strong dreamer because there's a certain magic that happens when you do, and you never know what unexpected surprises may unfold for you along the way.
I recently watched David Chappelle's latest Netflix special, "The Dreamer," prompting me to reflect on my dreams. Chappelle shared a profound life lesson, concluding with the affirmation, "I consider myself a strong dreamer!"
While I've always felt the power of dreams, I used to play a quiet game with myself, silently hoping my dreams would come true. I was somewhat hesitant to vocalise my dreams, fearing they might not come true. Until last year, I realised – putting dreams into words can make them come true.
Have you tried this?
Let me share my story of how I turned my dream of living in Croatia for six months into a lived experience firmly convincing me that dreams indeed can come true.
2023 was the year my dream came true. With the whole pandemic thing and not being able to travel for a few years, my family and I were desperate to have a family holiday. So, we decided that 2023 was going to be the year we were going to fly away. We booked a one-way ticket to Croatia.
Now, you might be wondering why one way. Well, opting for a one-way ticket symbolises a sense of freedom, you know, a feeling that the world is full of untapped possibilities. The prospect of simply boarding a plane and flying to Croatia on a one-way ticket has been a shared dream for all of us over the past few years.
From the moment I booked our tickets, I started telling everyone that I was going to live in Croatia for six months. It became a bit of a joke, given only two of us could do so having dual citizenship.
Turning My Dream into a Reality.
In the middle of July, we landed in Croatia and began an incredible adventure exploring the country's coastline, visiting charming towns, and reconnecting with family and friends. We made a sentimental visit to my grandmother's village, shedding a few tears along the way. Most of our time was spent in Hvar, soaking up the sun, discovering picturesque bays, and exploring ancient stone buildings. As our time here progressed, the thought of leaving my birthplace became increasingly daunting.
Three months in, I had a tough decision to make—whether to go back to New Zealand or stay in Croatia. At that moment, the idea of living in Croatia, initially thought of as a joke, started feeling like it could become a reality.
After we waved goodbye to my husband as he left for New Zealand, the reality of our decision to stay sank in. It felt surreal, and I had to pinch myself, unable to believe how things were unfolding. It became evident that Sasha (my daughter) and I were determined to turn my dream into a reality.
The Charm of Split
Family and friends were sceptical, saying finding a month-to-month rental in Split would be tough on such short notice. But we rejected the idea that things should be that difficult. We put our desires out into the universe, and in return, we found a charming two-bedroom apartment just a 10-minute walk from the heart of old town Split. In that quaint block, surrounded by buildings covered in artful graffiti, we set up a temporary home for two and a half unforgettable months.
We fondly refer to our apartment block as Skalice, loosely translated to “The Staircase”.
The apartment was located on the fifth floor without an elevator, and while it was great for staying fit, we found ways to avoid going up and down those stairs. The reality of life in Split without a car meant we walked everywhere, averaging around 5 kilometres most days. Sasha and I fell into a routine: every day, we would head out to our favourite cafe to work until our eyes could no longer focus, and then we would reward ourselves with a visit to Zara and dinner out.
Most evenings, we'd savour a cevapi burger at a local takeout, and when the servers would ask us what dressing we preferred, we would always reply excitedly with ‘everything’. On other days, we'd eat a simple Croatian meal, grabbing fresh bread from the Konzum and pairing it with traditional prosciutto and local cheeses followed by a “gusti sok” a juice made from nectarine and apricot pulp. Oh, and we stumbled upon this quaint local restaurant called 'Maslina', a must-try if you are planning a visit to Split.
Work, Play and Reward!
We created a perfect mix of work, play and reward, and while we initially spent time working on Girls Talk Business, we discovered an opportunity for Sasha to create her own business online. Having just completed her marketing and economics degree, it felt like a perfect time for her to launch her own business, specialising in Digital Planning. I'm incredibly proud of her and excited to see her flourish in this new role. I have loved sharing my knowledge with her to get her started. With Sasha's planning skills, we were able to dive into the backend of Girls Talk Business, sorting out all those little annoying things that, as busy business owners, we keep putting off.
A standout moment while living in Split was organising the Girls Talk Business Networking Event. Without any prior connections to business owners in Croatia, we managed to attract 15 attendees. I’d call that a successful event, wouldn't you?
It turns out Croatia rewarded us with more than my initial dream of living here for 6 months. I experienced a freedom I hadn't felt in a long time. Reconnecting with my ancestral land grounded my soul, providing the inner calm I've been longing for. The time spent with my daughter created numerous wonderful memories and a bond that words can't describe. On reflection, maybe it was more about spending time with her than just living here. Isn't the universe amazing, guiding us both along a path meant to be taken together?
Farewell, Split, Hello, Zagreb.
We bid farewell to Split about two weeks ago and welcomed Christmas and the New Year in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. We are both excited to be living in this bustling city with its trams, dazzling lights, and amazing shops, but I can't help missing the charm of Split and our apartment in Skalice.
What started as a dream and a bit of a joke has led me on a life-changing adventure. I'll forever treasure the deeper connection not only to Croatia but also to my time spent with my daughter Sasha.
I'm really looking forward to 2024 and the exciting opportunities it holds. I hope you will stay connected for more updates as I ease back into life in New Zealand. I'll be sharing a few more blog posts as I get used to the new me. I’ll share more details of my plans for Girls Talk Business and Beyond Small Talk.
Become a Strong Dreamer.
As I reflected on why I wanted to write this blog, I realised David Chappelle's Netflix special inspired me, altering my perspective on my dreams and challenging me to become a stronger dreamer. And, as you embark on your journey, my hope is that this blog inspires you to dream out loud, believe in your dreams, and become a strong dreamer. Express your dreams openly, and you might uncover the unique magic that leads to wonderful surprises along your journey.
Feel free to share your exciting dreams here or drop me a message—I'm eager to hear about the dreams you're looking to manifest this year.