@Karpivna such action takes a lot of courage. First, Yugoslavia wasn’t in such bad state like the USSR or most of the Eastern Bloc was. There were a lot of people who worked temporarily in western Europe from these parts, mostly in Germany and Austria. Some moved there permanently. Later some worked in the Middle Eastern countries (Yugoslavia had really good relations because of the non-aligned movement). My mother’s family moved from less developed part of the country to more developed part and they weren’t the only ones. A lot of people moved to the cities in after war period. At one point Australia was kind of popular and plenty of people went there too, for some reason it was really popular with Slovaks here (or at least I get that impression). It depends on the region too, for example Bosnia has a lot more people abroad than my region (Vojvodina).
Yugoslav’s had it pretty good at the time. They had freedom of traveling, western culture wasn’t suppressed, state apartments, free education, almost guarantied job and decent money for it, state owned sea resorts etc. Of course that was pretty bad in the long run, but until the collapse of the country (or few years prior to that) they had pretty good run.
My parents went to Poland and Czecho-Slovakia in 89/90 and they couldn’t spend the money they brought. Slovaks couldn’t believe they didn’t bring anything to sell (jeans, vegeta-spice, Cezar vinjak-alcoholic beverage). They only brought few things to our relatives, but Yugoslavs went there with practically no money, just few jeans or what ever and lived on that during the stay. In Poland they got into a “fight” with another couple at the same restaurant table because they all wanted to pay the bill, just to show it back home, at one point waitress refused to bring one guy what he ordered because it costed more than her monthly wage… Besides that eastern tourism really popular thing to do was shopping in Trieste, Italy or Thessaloniki, Greece, depending on your location.
I don’t think Yugoslavs ever though they’ll run out of money or that the country will collapse.
Nowadays people are emigrating in a very fast rate, 30 000 adults leave Serbia every year. That was the number last time I checked, could be more. The worst part is that our government spins that fact as their success. They never mention how many people leave the country, but they never forget to say how they lowered the unemployment rate, which naturally falls when unemployed people leave the country. Most people I know want the same things they can’t get here. They don’t want things like car, summer and winter vacations not to be a luxury, they want to be able to support themselves and family to come. Can’t do that with ~240$ minimum wage or ~500$ average and high unemployment. And that’s if you’re working legally, grey and black economy flourishes here.