Tanja Dzido, 2019 WorldChicago Professional Fellow from Croatia

"I still remember the day I landed in Chicago in October, so excited to discover a whole new world of possibilities."

Tanja and Chicago Business Host Sam Letscher, Bossy Chicago

"The entire experience reminded me how much I enjoy new challenges and the adrenaline rush of finding my way in the unknown. The same experience that would later help me to find courage to move to London and finally fulfill my childhood dream."

Every day I spent in Chicago, going to networking events, meeting new people and talking about my business and services, just convinced me more and more that I can do the same in London. Because I’ve realized, doing business in Croatia, was the same as doing business in Chicago and then probably would be the same in London. Lot of events, elevator pitches and smart friendly conversations. I can do it. I enjoy doing it.

After my Fellowship in Chicago [Sam Letscher, Bossy Chicago] "I still remember the day I landed in Chicago in October, so excited to discover a whole new world of possibilities." I flew back to Croatia, spent some time with my family, took some quiet time and realized, I can do this. Now it’s the perfect time. I’m going to London. It’s now or never. And so I did. I booked my ticket for January 15th and decided to go for my dreams. Chicago was a successful trial, now it’s time for my dream life in London! But I loved my life in Croatia. As I’ve established a successful business, built really good network and found my passion, I didn’t want to lose that. I just wanted to become better version of myself so I can serve my community better. So, I’ve decided to move to London and come to Croatia one week per month to manage my business.

But life had different plans. Or coronavirus did. Just as I was setting up my business in London, rented office space and got my first clients, London went into lockdown. The entire Europe and world did. Everything stopped and so did my flights back to Croatia. My newfound clients started pulling out of the contracts and I was left empty handed. Luckily, my business in Croatia stayed stable but I had to manage everything from a 1000 miles distance. It wasn’t easy but I’ve realized panic and negativity won’t help me find solution, only good networking will and a lot of Zoom calls.

We all woke up one day in totally different world. Never in the history were we all in the same situation in every part of the world. Something about that humbles you and makes you realize it’s time to re-evaluate our lives and be thankful for all the ways we are blessed. Lockdown made me realize how many amazing trips I’ve had and the privilege to speak with professionals from all over the world, exchange experiences and exchange our worlds. Now we are in the same world, experiencing the same anxiety and fear of what tomorrow may bring.

When this all ends, I’d love to visit Chicago again, take a stroll through Downtown and meet so many more amazing people in Chicago, I didn’t have chance to meet. Above all, I’d love to have drinks with my business host, my boss lady Sam , toast to our blessings in a rooftop bar overlooking beautiful Millennium Park. Then Sam can come to Croatia, enjoy our sights, meet small business owners and exchange experiences over tasty Croatian coffee under sunny skies.

Until then I’m looking forward to learning how to be a better human being for this wonderful planet and truly appreciate all the privileges I have. And being part of WorldChicago family is definitely one of them! Truly life changing experience I can recommend with all my heart.

For more about Tanja, read her profile in Total Croatia News.

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