Are you thinking of moving to Serbia?
If you are Serbian, and you know the language and what you are in for, I say go for it! It is your homeland and getting around will not be that hard for you.
This page is mainly geared towards women who have married Serbs and are thinking of making the big move to his home country. This is what I would tell my little sister if she were in this situation.
Lately I have been getting lots of emails, comments from people thinking of moving to Serbia. If you are, THINK HARD! I do not post the bad about living in Serbia as I get lots of Haters commenting. I also want to keep this fun, light reading. But I would majorly vote against it. Especially if you are a woman. If you are bringing children. My most strong oppositions would be if you will live with in-laws.
Around the world there are in-law jokes and problems. Intercultural in-laws are a whole new ball game! I am lucky to have wonderful Serbian family, including the most awesome Mother-in Law. And most often a supportive husband. I am one in a million. I have heard some horror stories. Be advised!
In my humble opinion:
In Serbia, life is much harder for women. Men are catered to and never have to fully grow up. Most mothers cater to their sons. Most men expect women to cook, clean, and even pack for them when they go on trips.Seriously!!
Do Not think your hubby will be the same when you move. He will change. And so will YOU! Trust me! Living in another country is a huge challenge. Going back to your home country has its own challenges, but you snap back to yourself in an instant. This is true for all cultures as far as I can tell from all the people polled on the subject.
Serbia has many lures, beauty, history, and cheaper living conditions. But most Serbians would tell you the cons are a much longer list. If you move there, they will ask you why?!
Expat couples will tell you moving abroad is hard on a marriage, I would say intercultural expat marriage has even more challenges. With the tiny advantage of having a local in the country.
If you are having marital difficulties, this kind of move will not help! My hubby and I almost split after our first visit. Marriages take time and work. Mostly honest constant communication. Get things in order before you go.
Make sure you have your own source of money, or someone other than your husband who can help you. If you think you will find a job, Mala sutra (fat chance) is the expression that comes to mind.
Getting citizenship will be a process that takes a few years for the spouse of a Serb. It is relatively cheap and painless compared to the process we went through in the U.S. But any children you have will have automatic citizenship even if they were born elsewhere. Once you take your child to Serbia, if you chose to divorce, you could have a huge battle getting your child back to whatever country you came from. Think about this Seriously!
Moving abroad is hard enough. Learning a new language, how to shop, and cook are major obstacles. Finding out they don’t have most things you are used to makes your first, second and millionth trip to the grocery store a challenge they may leave you crying more than once. I am not kidding.
Don’t get me wrong. It can be fun. Life is an adventure daily. I do love my life, but I think of moving home sometimes.
If you are living in a city or close to one, you will be better off. You may find some good expat friends and events.
Healthcare is cheaper, but so is the quality in most places. Not the same level of care. But usually the people are nice.
Traveling with children in Serbia is easier than in the U.S. Families are catered to. Children are valued highly. But the customs you may be forced or pushed to follow are outdated
ie: A draft could kill you. (They call it promaja.) Sitting on the cold ground can ruin your eggs and leave you barren! Going barefoot can do the same. I wonder what Baba created this farce. She wasn’t thinking logically. The first people had no shoes and no chairs. And, guess what, we made it this far.
Even though life is easier with children, playgrounds are not well cared for. Things are often broken. Trash will most likely be scattered, and going barefoot is not advised. Broken beer bottles are very common. You’re not in Kansas anymore or even NYC Central park. It is dirty.
I beg you to think long and hard and have a plan B if you do decide to make the move. I am all yours for questions. I will be honest.