Originally Answered: My partner & I want to leave the UK&have contemplated Bosnia or Croatia as a potential home.Anyone done this?
Yes and no. I have considered it several times, but realistically taken the decision not to do it yet.
My husband is Bosnian and we visit there 1 or 2 times each year and love the country. We built a house there on the mountains which is beautiful year round, and in an ideal world would love to live there - great food, good people, beautiful nature, good air and of course the weather is ten times better than the UK or Netherlands :0)
However, having been there for the last 7 years or so, I can also appreciate the hurdles that would be in place, even having a Bosnian husband (so language hurdles and so on would be easier)
The fact is that you face hurdles with both countries in the form of language (and indeed culture) and also visa regulations.
Concerning the viability of visa's, then it might be wise to contact the consolate/embassy to find out the exact requirements for a work permit/visa. I have never really done much homework on this side of things as I would qualify under a different route (spouse of a national and my husband would have to sponsor me)
The language issue is going to be a bigger hurdle. Whilst in the typical tourist resorts in Croatia and a couple of major cities in both, you can find English speakers; actually finding work as an English speaker is a different prospect.
At least speaking for Bosnia, finding decent paid work is really not easy. Indeed my sister-in-law is a graduate and my brother-in-law in the process of being one (along side working) in accountancy. In order to get a decent paid job, they had to move to Sarajevo to get this (without facing a long commute).
Sarajevo is very beautiful, but actually remarkably more expensive that you would imagine. An apartment (not in an especially nice area) with two bedrooms and a small living room was €105,000 and house prices are still going up now. Sarajevo is lovely to visit, but I would not want to live there. You may as well live anywhere in any major city, thus defeating the point of moving in my case. It is very population dense and exceptionally humid in the summer months. Having lovely weather is nice, but 90+% humidy is a different matter!
Concerning adoption, my husband actually did a little research on behalf of some of his collegaues who asked him to do so. Whilst 15 years ago there were many orphans seeking homes, with relative stability returning to the area, then so has the number of children seeking adoption. So at least as far as foreign adoption goes, it was not really an option. However, again, this is probably something which the consolate could give you more info about (e.g. how long you need to be resident for, if you need to be a Bosnian citizen etc etc
So, the first stop I would make is to contact the consulate/embassiies of Croatia and Bosnia in the UK. Explain what you are looking at, and ask them for as much info, or links to info as you can possibly get, and then read and research.
Then also take an extended holiday to get a feel (and the chance to ask locals questions) of the country and see if this is really somewhere you could call home
Also look online for expat groups/societies in both countries as "been there, done that" is indeed a very valueable source of info. I have lived in three different countries and used this method a lot in advance (and during). If they have a forum of active members then it is especially useful
Best of luck, and I hope you achieve the dream :0)