You are a woman!

Branka ValcicIsland life4 Comments

Olives have been picked. Next stop: uljarnica! Uljarnica is an olive processing facility and in many of the Croatian Adriatic island villages it is the most prominent building in the village. During the olive picking and processing season uljarnica is the epicenter of village activity. Ever since it has opened its doors this season (and it has been open almost … Read More

Olives Are Gold

MaretaArtist in me, Island life0 Comments

As I struggle to meet my National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo) targets (and am terribly behind), a fever engulfs the small island in the Croatian Adriatic Sea I currently live on. The fever of the olive-picking season. It is the one time in the year when all hands are on deck. Depending on how many olive trees one has, … Read More

When we take a chance…

Branka ValcicTaking chances0 Comments

Are you mostly stuck in a rut wishing things were different? Are you obsessed with planning out your life and finding it upsetting when most of the time your plan does not happen exactly the way you wanted it? My answer to both of these questions until recently was a vehement ‘yes’. So here is another question: How often do … Read More

Beginner’s Mind

Branka ValcicArtist in me2 Comments

Today, the artist in me is on the fritz. Self-doubt is wriggling its ugly head. What am I thinking having a blog? Who am I kidding? What do I have to offer? I knew there were other blogs and other online material about getting off the hamster wheel of life, each one unique, each one offering precious nuggets of wisdom. … Read More

Salty Sardines

Branka ValcicArtist in me, Island life2 Comments

By now it is likely more than clear to all of you reading my blog that I have a conflicting relationship with my home country, Croatia. I hope some day something good will at last come out of it. According to a movie I recently saw in which a senior writer shared a nugget of his wisdom with a budding … Read More

So You Are Unemployed, or What?

Branka ValcicArtist in me4 Comments

You know how I quit my regular job and this time didn’t want to get another one lest that put me back on the hamster wheel? The kicker is that by putting myself out of the wheel and getting myself off the single career track, I’ve also placed myself outside of most recognizable boxes Croatian bureaucracy and a large part … Read More

Croatia the Beautiful

Branka ValcicTaking chances6 Comments

Growing up I resented my home country. I thought that having been born in Croatia, the world saw me as an end-of-the-rope, pathetic, never-going-to-make-it-in-life loser. I felt sorry for myself. I felt angry. Why couldn’t I have been born with a passport that meant something in this world? I left Croatia wanting to never go back. Ironically though, it seems … Read More

Snake Dreams

Branka ValcicTaking chances0 Comments

Last October I dreamed about a snake. It wasn’t just an ordinary snake. It was a sly snake carrying a message. She bit me on my index finger. I jumped in surprise and grew angry. How dares she bite me? She made camp on my parents’ balcony and feasted on leftover food my parents kept there. She seemed to enjoy … Read More

Best, Tough Decisions

Branka ValcicTaking chances1 Comment

I honestly cannot remember when I’ve made the decision to quit my job. It was a process, of course, and one that went on for some time. Like everyone else I weighted my options. I wanted to know for sure what the future would bring. How would I live? Where would my income come from? What would all this mean … Read More

The Hamster Wheel of Life

Branka ValcicTaking chances1 Comment

I have been writing for years, but never actually thought I have something to say that people may want to read about. How could I follow in the footsteps of one Julie Powell, the blogger featured in the movie Julie & Julia, or any other writer for that matter? But then something happened. Not that all of a sudden I … Read More