Crossing the Globe


Japan and Globaligration

Into the Hill Tribes of Vietnam

Ali and Me

Return To Sender

Yo Estoy Aqui

There and Back

Open Letter

There and Back

Julian Bailey

Before reaching our second to last port on our voyage around the world, I called a close friend for advice about touring her home country. Anna Bura is a close friend of mine who is Croatian born and now resides in Canada. Our conversations via telephone and email sparked many questions about her homeland and her time spent there. After a few pointers about traveling the country where she spent the first 18 years of her life the conversations led to another topic. Why did she come to Canada?

Anna grew up in a small town about two hours north of Dubrovnik. She attended University in Zagreb for one year but with the advice of her parents regarding the political situation in Croatia she migrated to Canada. Like many students around the world, they realize that there may be more opportunity for education in a country such as Canada or the United States. Increasing political unrest questioned the stability of her country and her family’s employment. As discussed in The Age of Migration by Stephen Castles and Mark Miller the European Union was one of the top ten countries accepting asylum seekers from Croatia and Bosnia between 1991-1993. Due to the war and political unrest with the surrounding countries, she migrated to Canada to pursue her education. Although she was accepted into the EU, she opted to move to Canada because of past relatives who have settled there. Her parents encouraged her to establish a life in Canada where she could pursue career and gain independence. She spoke of the hardships she endured in order to detach herself from her family at the young age of nineteen. Looking back she says ‘it is the best thing my family could have done for me’. She has completed her degree in real estate and is enjoying her life in Canada.

In contrast to her situation, I met a man from England who had recently moved to the island of Hvar to manage a hotel in a booming tourist industry. Since the early 1990’s Croatia has gained independence, and with a booming economy is now attracting people to establish themselves there. Croatia is the first country I visited that is both migrant sending and receiving. It became clear to me that in a matter of only a decade, a country can go from migrant sending to receiving.  

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