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Old 22-01-2019, 06:50   #1
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Location: Tivat, Montenegro
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Greetings from Montenegro

Hello all! I grew up travelling, and always near water, which brought me into sailing dinghies as a child and occasionally working off scuba diving boats as an adult. A while back I decided I didn't really feel like ever settling down in one place, so I retrained in IT so I could work remotely from anywhere, just so I could move aboard a boat. The first step was getting RYA Day Skipper certified, and I recently did a refresher in Croatia to boost my confidence.

Well, it all worked - now I have my own IT business with a full-time remote client, so I could start looking at yachts! As a result I moved to Montenegro, and recently bought a 28-footer on the basis of "start small, start now" - got a great price on a well-found vessel as the registration had lapsed and the seller was desperate to use the berth for another boat. (thread on registration questions here!) it'll be great for getting more practise on the Bay of Kotor once the minor refits are done. I dream of trading up for next year and heading to the tropics with my first mate/girlfriend.

It's a pleasure to be here, I've been lurking occasionally for years and this is a great resource. I'm sure I'll have many more questions later on, but I hope I can contribute as well!

Thanks and happy sailing!
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Old 22-01-2019, 09:25   #2
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Toffe.
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Old 11-02-2019, 22:52   #3
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Hey Toffe!

Very cool to hear about someone in Montenegro. Can you tell us a little about living there?

A friend is in Herceg Novi but it doesn't sound like my cup of tea..

I've been reading articles, blogs, looking at photos, watching videos and finding anything else I can - from what I can tell Prčanj or Muo will be a good fit for me.

I've read the biggest hangup is the language - it's really difficult to learn, but otherwise it's an incredible place to live...

https://montenegroguides.co/life/liv...o-as-an-expat/

Do you agree? Can I get away with English? Will I be ripped off left right and center if I do?

I'm planning to visit later this year. All going well I may switch my residency to Montenegro, possibly buy a small place to store some stuff and as summer house.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:00   #4
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Greetings, tackleandtax!

So, about living here... There were many reasons for me to come here, but the biggest were cheap cost of living and the opportunity to gain confidence sailing a yacht (as opposed to the dinghies of my youth) on the bay of Kotor - big enough that you get the full sailing experience with all kinds of weather, but being a bay, there's no actual danger. It's also ridiculously beautiful. I spent most of my life in 3rd world countries, so I have no patience for 1st world problems. Montenegro is great for me, it has Mediterranean quality of life, minimal state presence, and just enough chaos to keep things interesting. I do intend to move on in a year or two, but that's not because there's anything i dislike about Montenegro, it's just because I want to sail around the world.

For your specific questions and comments:
  • I've only ever driven through Herceg Novi by bus. I don't like cities anymore except for tourism. Tivat is more than enough for me, about 14K I think. I'm just outside Tivat in Seljanovo.
  • Prcanj or Muo are quite nice, though it rains too much there. They're not very protected for boats - Muo's "marina" is essentially a town quay, locals looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if that was an option for mooring long-term. Both places are a nightmare to get to by land in the summer months, as the coastal road is too narrow and the tunnel to Kotor is insufficient for the amount of traffic it gets. You often need over an hour to move 5 kms by car. There's a shortcut to Prcanj over the mountains, but even most taxi drivers don't know it. The Kotor region in general is colder and gets more rain than the Tivat area. Tivat also has less traffic problems and better weather - I prefer it. If you're set on Kotor province, maybe somewhere around Perast instead of along the Kotor-Tivat road? Better weather, and far less busy as it's on the Kotor-Herceg Novi road instead.
  • The language is no biggie. Compared to other Slavic languages it's easy, but virtually everyone you will meet speaks English so I haven't needed to learn much. I don't even know any expats here, but my Montenegrin buddies all want to practise their (already fairly fluent!) English.
  • I have no concerns about getting ripped off, and all over the world I find it's more about how you behave rather than what language you speak. In general everyone is just really relaxed, I think the only crime here is the various mafias - but the Montenegrin and Albanian mafias only care about smuggling stuff overseas, while the Russian mafia comes here on holiday and don't mix business and pleasure, so I don't worry about crime at all.

Feel free to drop me a line if you do come by the Kotor bay region later on!
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:10   #5
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Gawd I don't get jealous often but you got me a little green.... I spent a lot of years near montenegro, and a lot of months living in a 1977 VW van parked in a grove of fig trees in Stoliv.... paradise on earth. The aesthetic of that place, Kotor and the bay, is just beyond this world for me. Swimming every morning in that water like a mirror, always 5 degrees warmer than anything within 400 miles, eating figs breakfast lunch and dinner until my stomach was bursting, watching the storms roll off those cliffs. Wow, you a lucky dude!

Anyone who doesn't know about Boka Kotorska, dig it, and go sail there today
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:25   #6
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Hiya Sojourner, that's it exactly! Sounds like you had the perfect Montenegrin experience.

Apart from the figs, there's the best lemons I've ever tasted. Plus the local approach to cooking in general - "stuff it with cheese, wrap it in bacon"

Apropos of nothing, here are the 10 Montenegrin Commandments:

1. Man is born tired and lives to get a rest.

2. Love thy bed as you love thyself.

3. Rest during the day, so you can sleep at night.

4. Do not work – work kills.

5. If you see someone resting, help him out.

6. Work as little as you can, and convey all the work you can to another.

7. In shade is salvation – nobody died from resting.

8. Work earns illness – do not pass away young.

9. If you have an urge to work, sit down, wait and you’ll see it will pass.

10. When you see people eat and drink, approach them. When you see them work, withdraw yourself not to trouble them.

Truly a wise people.
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Old Yesterday, 11:07   #7
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Re: Greetings from Montenegro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toffe View Post
Greetings, tackleandtax!

So, about living here... There were many reasons for me to come here, but the biggest were cheap cost of living and the opportunity to gain confidence sailing a yacht (as opposed to the dinghies of my youth) on the bay of Kotor - big enough that you get the full sailing experience with all kinds of weather, but being a bay, there's no actual danger. It's also ridiculously beautiful. I spent most of my life in 3rd world countries, so I have no patience for 1st world problems. Montenegro is great for me, it has Mediterranean quality of life, minimal state presence, and just enough chaos to keep things interesting. I do intend to move on in a year or two, but that's not because there's anything i dislike about Montenegro, it's just because I want to sail around the world.

For your specific questions and comments:
  • I've only ever driven through Herceg Novi by bus. I don't like cities anymore except for tourism. Tivat is more than enough for me, about 14K I think. I'm just outside Tivat in Seljanovo.
  • Prcanj or Muo are quite nice, though it rains too much there. They're not very protected for boats - Muo's "marina" is essentially a town quay, locals looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if that was an option for mooring long-term. Both places are a nightmare to get to by land in the summer months, as the coastal road is too narrow and the tunnel to Kotor is insufficient for the amount of traffic it gets. You often need over an hour to move 5 kms by car. There's a shortcut to Prcanj over the mountains, but even most taxi drivers don't know it. The Kotor region in general is colder and gets more rain than the Tivat area. Tivat also has less traffic problems and better weather - I prefer it. If you're set on Kotor province, maybe somewhere around Perast instead of along the Kotor-Tivat road? Better weather, and far less busy as it's on the Kotor-Herceg Novi road instead.
  • The language is no biggie. Compared to other Slavic languages it's easy, but virtually everyone you will meet speaks English so I haven't needed to learn much. I don't even know any expats here, but my Montenegrin buddies all want to practise their (already fairly fluent!) English.
  • I have no concerns about getting ripped off, and all over the world I find it's more about how you behave rather than what language you speak. In general everyone is just really relaxed, I think the only crime here is the various mafias - but the Montenegrin and Albanian mafias only care about smuggling stuff overseas, while the Russian mafia comes here on holiday and don't mix business and pleasure, so I don't worry about crime at all.

Feel free to drop me a line if you do come by the Kotor bay region later on!
Incredible info, thanks Toffee. Really helpful to know about the traffic too!

If I can get over there this year I'll definitely be in touch.
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