Q: Let’s start out with a really obvious question – how did you end up here?
Harvey: It all started with scuba-diving in Mexico, actually! That was where I met my wife, who is originally from Istria and introduced me to this place. We didn’t move here right away, though – we spent a couple of years living in Italy, and another couple of years living in London, before we decided a move to Istria was the best choice for a great improvement in lifestyle.
Q: What exactly do you mean by life here being better? What made you move?
Harvey: London is a big city, so life there can get hectic. If you compare the salaries to Croatian ones, sure, they might appear larger, but when you compare the costs of living in the UK to the costs of living in Istria?
We have much more spending money left at the end of the month here than we ever did back there. And don’t even mention the extortionate day care fees in the UK. There’s also the price to be paid for living in a huge city apart from the costs. Travelling times eat into your valuable family time, grey skies and pollution are depressing and detrimental to healthy living. Do I need to mention the weather?
Here, it takes me fifteen minutes to drive to work, the sea and the nature are at arm’s reach, there is so much sun – and it’s a much more relaxed and peaceful environment to raise my two kids in. Especially when you consider how much sunnier it is here compared to England’s capital.
Q: What about work? Did you move before or after getting a job at Infobip?
Harvey: Before. I actually took quite a risk coming here, not speaking the language and having no job yet – but Infobip was on my radar as one of the companies in the area with English as an official language. I went to the job fair in Pula some…four and a half years ago, met the recruiters there, left my CV highlighting all my customer service & tech experience; and got hired not too long after that.
My job as a Team Leader for Centili Support (the Mobile Payments Platform) is to coordinate the smooth running of support services provided to operators, content providers & end-users alike, handling inquiries and complaints and monitoring the system closely to make sure optimum performance is continually achieved. As we’re talking about a global company, it’s just as challenging and meaningful a job as I’d be doing anywhere else in the world.
I’d also like to point out that, considering the fact I left all my friends and the majority of my family back in London, it meant a lot to me that everyone in the office was very friendly and welcoming when I first joined (and afterwards, of course). My colleagues were willing to help me find my way around and we’d go for drinks after work too. It made me feel like I belong right away, part of the family, and that’s a pretty major bonus when you’re moving to a new country.
Q: Was moving here a smooth process, or did you encounter any difficulties?
Harvey: Should I even mention the administration issues to get all my papers in order? Hah – maybe if I’d joined Infobip first and moved after that, I could have utilized all the help the company offers in resolving such problems for their employees that are relocating. That would have meant a great deal to me…as well as some kind of language-learning support for newcomers that don’t speak Croatian but would like to learn it, like myself. Other than that, it was about as smooth as moving gets!
Q: Thank you for your time, Harvey – final question, would you recommend moving to Istria?
Harvey: I would – though that might be because I’m at that stage in life when you want to focus on raising your kids and spending time with your family in a more relaxed environment. I have enjoyed my fair share of London’s nightlife and excitement, so I understand the appeal of that, and know it is still only a short flight away!
For someone who likes nature and enjoys a more peaceful lifestyle, this is definitely the place to be. And, well, during summer, there’s plenty of nightlife and huge music festival excitement to satisfy as well!