Coursing through Croatia


I’ve realised now that my travel journeys are far more meaningful than just having fun. I learn something new about myself every time I go abroad, as well as a new perspective of how I view life. I’m going to be writing more as a means to express myself as well as to (hopefully) inspire my readers along my journey. 
      Many of you may not know that I meditate, and have been doing so the past two years. It’s quietened my mind and opened my eyes to so much more, and has benefited me in so many ways. One of the advantages that I’ve gained is being conscious of my own thoughts. It's helped me to be present in the moment, and to easily reflect on my experiences in life more. Not only that, my belief in God has strengthened and I feel more connected to my inner self. 

This trip was a destination that fulfilled and exceeded my desires at the time, and it was great being able to experience this with my best friend. I revelled in emotions such as joy, excitement, laughter, peace, and saw signs revealing to me my hopes for the future. Life felt rhythmical as though these events were delivered to us knowing that we would make the most of it, and learn from it. I believe the reason of having enjoyed each experience that happened to us, was purely because of not having any expectations in the first place. Unfortunately, I won’t be mentioning all the details of events that happened to us, as some best memories should be kept a secret.

Everyones journey and experience in life is different to one another. So, I’ll write at the end what we did and saw, but it does not necessarily mean you will have the same experience as me.

TRAVELLING IS ABOUT FINDING YOUR OWN ROUTE AND SEEKING PLEASURES IN THE EVENTS THAT OCCUR THROUGHOUT YOUR JOURNEY

These are the life lessons that I learnt along the way which brings me more richness and meaning to my life...

MAKE FRIENDS

We spoke to and made friends with anyone we crossed paths with from Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar to Zadar. It was refreshing to talk and share experiences with people from all over the world, including places like Texas, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Italy and the Croatian locals. I learnt that life feels more enriching when you build relationships with people who to think were initially strangers, are now friends that you remain in contact with. It’s in our nature to communicate with one another, and it’s what defines us as being human; making the world feel like a smaller place. Not only you have fun, but you become more willing to be open with others. Maybe next time you sit down besides a stranger, you’ll enable to strike up a conversation more easily.



LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS

It’s great to have a rough idea of what you want to do and see when abroad, but you don’t know what else there might be that may want you to change your plans. My best friend and I booked our accommodation along the way each day, and it worked out for the best. It turns out that we preferred Hvar as our favourite stopover, which resulted in having booked an extra night there. We lived our best experiences in Hvar, considering we made no plans to actually do anything besides to just…have a good time! It is only when you let go, you are present. You’re in a blissful state of mind, enjoying the moment you’re in. Before you know it, a spontaneous turn of events can take place, which it did for us. It involved a yacht, a secluded island, music and fresh food! That’s all I’m giving away to use as an example for you guys.
    I’ve contemplated long and hard about whether to mention this next lesson, as it means the most to me as it relates to my current journey in life. I learnt what it means to be successful, and to enjoy the finer things in life. My reasoning for mentioning this is because I wanted to use it as an example to express that at everyone will receive signs in their own way. No matter how big or small it presents itself to you, it will be impactful relating to your story. In other words, Life will present you with signs in different forms to guide you to your next step in life. This brings me to the next section...



SAY ‘YES!’

You have 3 brains. Yes, it’s true. Our gut, heart and brain thinks for us in a way that even science can’t explain. It’s the way our three organs or “brains” should I say, gather up information, recognises patterns in an abstract way to give you a ‘just knowing’ feeling for you to act/not act on. Let’s start from the top. You have your remarkable brain that you carry in your head, which does all the logical and analytical thinking. Your heart, which speaks to you on an emotional level. And lastly, and your gut which delivers the intuitive feeling. To summarise, our decision of saying ‘yes’ to things, comes from using all three brains.

‘WHEN YOU TRUST YOUR GUT, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, AND USE YOUR HEAD, MAGIC HAPPENS’ - JODI LIVON

One of the decisions we decided to say ‘yes’ to was actually a very risky one. It was risky to a point (and I don’t know why I’m laughing at this as I’m writing it ) where we felt the need to send our current location point to our best friends, incase anything goes wrong! But in the end, it became one of our best memories that will make us laugh for years to come! So, learn to trust your intuition, say ‘yes’ and welcome to what feels right to you with open arms. You don’t know where saying ‘yes’ will take you, but I promise it’ll take you where you’re supposed to be! 
      There’s a quote I love from Richard Branson that is somewhat relatable. “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later!’



ENJOY THE MOMENT 

Above all - enjoy the moment. It’s the only remaining valuable thing that adds to your life. Whether it’s for a brief moment or a long duration, just be. Stimulate your senses, be mindful of your breathing (as corny as it sounds, its a proven fact that it diverts our attention), contribute to conversations, laugh, and be accepting of your environment whether in sun or in rain. 
    I say this as, after returning home to the UK, the holiday blues hit me HARD! And I wanted to understand why I felt the way I did. What does the holiday blues actually mean?! The common reason is due to having to go back to reality, and that depends on whether you love your reality or not. But after some thinking, my explanation is this: it’s an intense feeling that is felt when a thing, place or person fills a space within you, that brings you joy. And this is more or less the definition of the word ‘miss’. 
     Of course it’s all good and well to miss (worthy) people who mean a lot to you, however, truth be told, nothing and no one is permanent. We’re going to dig deep here now guys. Think of it this way…if you’re whole as a person, and you find pure joy from within you, can anyone/anything external affect you or your happiness? Should you feel the need to “miss” at all? If you are “missing” a place, person or belonging for a good reason, and can change the circumstance to not miss it, act on it. 
    Over time, I’ve learnt to mentally detach myself to a point where hardly any external happening can alter my state of mind. I’ve learnt nothing is yours forever to keep. No belonging or person, and the only thing you do have is now. So guys, enjoy the moment, and make the most of it by relishing in it from a place of gratitude.


There you have it - lessons I have learnt from Croatia. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog post. It’s a change from what I used to blog about, but it resonates more of who I am today, as I experience and go through changes in my life. Who knows, I might take a different route next time as time goes on. But, if you are enjoying reading this right now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece and whether you can relate to any phenomenas that has occurred in your life to guide you, with lessons you’ve learnt along the way. 


Holiday plan: 

DUBROVNIK - 2 nights 
Things we did: Dubrovnik Cable Car, Game of Thrones Tour, Explored
Breakfast: Gradska Kavana Arsenal Restaurant - sit at the port side
Beach: Banje Beach
Going out: Old town bars, Skybar (EDM music - if you’re a fan)
Accomodation: Random apartment set on a hill of endless steps

SPLIT - 2 nights
Things we did: Krka National Park & Waterfall - bring your swimming costume! 
Breakfast: Veneranda  
Going out: ROOF 68
Accomodation: Random apartment 

HVAR - 3 nights
Things we did: Paddle boat in Vrboska, hardly slept and had lots of fun! 
Going out: Seven, Circle, Carpe Diem, Hula Hula Bar
Beach: Whichever was nearby
Accommodation: River Harbour Hotel - perfect location

Funny story: I paddle boarded 2km in the wrong direction of the island and had a rescue boat come and find me. It took them 40 minutes to look for me. In that time, my best friend rang her mum because she was genuinely scared, and didn’t know how to deliver the bad news to my family incase it had to come to it. 

ZADAR - 2 nights 
Things we did: Plitvice Lakes National Park. We booked with tour guide, Ante whose heaps of fun, full of fun facts and stories! Also, very patient with those who are late and lost. i.e - me! Met up for drinks in the evening and drank some deliciously cheap cocktails!
Accommodation: Old City Rooms. Made friends with the owner, Hrvach and had a lovely morning coffee with him, whilst listening to him telling the story of his movie script!  

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