Why Croatia?

Vineyards, olive groves and truffle forests of the Motovun Valley

We’re moving to Croatia.

The first question everyone asks is… Why Croatia?

In October of 2017, Alysia and I discovered Motovun, a small medieval town in western Croatia. Rather, we discovered each other. Love at first sight was the direct experience of the place. The town and people in it was a piece, but it went deeper than that. It was the rich presence of the land itself. It defied logic and reason and was both deeply visceral and wildly synchronic.

Doors opened, magic happened and we found ourselves feeling HOME and looking at a for sale sign plastered on the side of a large stone building. As the experience unfolded we realized we were in love and the only thing left was to work up the courage to respond with an honest acknowledgement.

Not unlike our own relationship.

We met in a damp construction site office in the basement of a Cirque du Soleil theater in Macau. We were slow to allow our relationship to exceed those bounds, but with time and the realization of what we meat to each other, we managed to access the courage to live our truth and married in 2012.

Tea and conversation with new friends on the balcony of the BnB.

These things, these truths, surface in our lives when we’re willing to let them in, and they can’t be unseen. Ignore truth at your peril.

We went home to Colorado and begin to examine the experience and learn more about Croatia, Motovun and Istria (the region). In addition to the direct experience of the magic, what we found in our due diligence kept pointing to an extraordinary opportunity. The mild climate, clean water, accepting society, peaceful history, central geography and long standing position as a primary resort destination for Europe together with an economy on the edge of a massive wave of development all pointed to the right thing at the right time.

In March of 2018 we went back to Motovun to see if it, the experience of connection and rightness, was real. Did we imagine it? Was it a fleeting experience?

The answer we found was no. It was truth and our relationship with the land, the town and its’ people only deepened.

We said Yes.

Standing in the middle of the street, we ran some numbers on the building, construction costs, programming models, the geopolitical situation, culture, geographical location, etc etc etc. and it added up. (We’ve had a lot of practice at that). We met with city officials, talked to locals and continued to put a critical eye on the results along with the soul searching necessary for full commitment. It kept adding up and we kept saying yes.

On our way to the Istria county offices to register Elemental Studios D.o.o.

October saw us back in Motovun with an envelope of cash from our savings for a capitol deposit to open a business. The synchronicities continued and we managed something native Croatians told us is amazing and unheard of. We established a business start to finish in 4 days.

Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present Elemental Studios D.o.o., a sister company of NEI and our initial base of operations in the EU. We are particularly grateful to our stellar team of legal and financial professionals in Istria that made this all happen. The collaboration was world class and a deeply inspiring experience for us.

NEI and related organizations are now global.

Let’s have a moment to take that in, shall we?

Now back to the question, why Croatia?

Look at the pics. Feel the land and the history and the people.

Are you moved? We sure are. I could give you lists of various data points that support this decision as well as some very good ones that contraindicate it but at the end of the day we are here in this world to do the work of our hearts and we will follow that to our utmost. The rest is skillful means. Or maybe style choice.

We began offering gatherings in the fall of 2018 and are steadily adding to the programming of NEI in its mission to transform lives through creativity. If you’d like to stay in touch and hear about up coming events please sign up for our mailing list here.

Our move is scheduled for October of 2019. The next program we offer in Motovun will be the Spring Leadership Symposium, a gathering of creators and leaders seeking to deepen their truth, explore new territory, eat good food, share inspiration, have fun and squarely engage their passion. This event is invitation only, curated and lightly facilitated, with plenty of room for following the thread. If you’d like to be part of it, drop me a line. Lawrence@novaearthinstitute.com.

  • Lawrence

ps. Croatia was just ranked 22nd safest country in the world by Global Finance Magazine with the US being 65th. Largely due to the proliferation of violent crime in the US. Any other questions?