“These feelings won’t go away … they’ve been knocking me sideways …” For the two days after Grandma died, I walked around in a haze. Numb. Listening to the same song on repeat for 12 hours and not once getting sick of it, not once singing along. It was just background to my grief. “There’sContinue reading “The days after death”
I pulled up hostel after hostel, bus schedule after bus schedule, as I sat on my bunk bed in Zadar. I had wanted to go up the coast to the Istria region of Croatia, to hop some islands before I boarded my flight from Zadar to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt to Washington, DC. No hostels.Continue reading “Backtracking”
A wave of happiness rushed over me as soon as I saw Katie, sitting under an awning at the yellow bus station in Trogir. The bus ride from Split to Trogir had taken a little longer than expected, and I had told her I would do my very best to meet her there by 10:30Continue reading “The final reunion”
I never imagined my brain would tell me I wanted to go home. Early. But, it did that night in Split. I had 10 days left of my trip. Originally, and for months, I had planned on extending my adventure, heading to Spain (for the sixth time), back to Merida to see my friends andContinue reading “Realization”
1. If you want Zagreb’s Upper Town to yourself for wandering, it is deserted at 2 a.m. There is nothing more magical than having the city in your hands to breathe in. Even if nothing is open, to walk on the old streets, to see the gothic buildings, it is an amazing experience. Bonus pointsContinue reading “What I learned in Croatia (The List)”
We headed out of Zadar, the sun pushing through the curtains on the right side of the bus as we made our way down the coast. After about 20 minutes, the sun shifted and was no longer being shuttered by the curtains, but was instead behind us. I looked out the window and saw mountains and farms and roosters and stone huts pass us by.
OK, I thought. Clearly, I am on the bus to Split that meanders through small towns and eventually gets me to the city. I knew there were two buses that took people to Split, one that took three hours and one that took longer because of its stops through towns. I assumed I was on the longer bus ride.
When only a few people remained on the bus, I started to grow concerned. I got up and walked to the bus driver, asking him if he spoke English. He did not, so instead, I simply asked “Split?”
He looked at me, confused, and said “No.”
“Zadar?” I asked, my heart starting to race.
There were only a few people left on the bus. Where were we going?
To say Plitvice Lakes is a stunner would be an understatement. Its sheer technicolor natural beauty around each and every meandering turn is jaw-dropping. Its 16 turquoise lakes link together through waterfalls cascading down sheer rock cliffs. Unlike most water bodies I have seen, you can see straight to the bottom with astounding clarity. That twig resting on the lake floor? You can see even the most minute detail.
“What’s your phone number?” he asked.
Suddenly, the memory of my new outgoing voicemail message rang in my ears. Berry and I are on vacation. When I get back I will return your call. Oh. DAMNIT. Damnit. Damnit. Damnit. I had never set up my phone for international calls.
“I don’t have a phone,” I could barely whisper.
That’s when I saw Him on the street below. He caught my eye immediately. Perfect height (I’d probably recon around 5’9 or so). Perfect weight (the right blend between athletic and non-athletic). And completely different from the typical guy.
He wore plaid shorts, a dark shirt and shiny gold-framed sunglasses. He had a healthy serving of tattoos on his arms and legs, and a lip ring hooped through the middle of his bottom lip. His brown hair was cropped close to his head.
There was no way he was staying at Fulir. He just didn’t fit the mold of a typical backpack-hostel-goer. But, he walked up the ancient, red colored stairs, pulled a key out of his pocket and walked through the yellow painted door into the room I was staying in. When he walked in I caught a glimpse of a tattoo peaking through his hair on the back of his head and melted just a little bit.