As my departure date is right around the corner, I can’t help but think back to a year ago. Last summer was without a doubt the best summer of my life. I know I say this after every summer….but I’m being serious this time. Summer 2015 TAKES THE CAKE! I shared a couple beautiful pics of my time in Portugal and Barcelona but very few people got to see photos of my last minute, spontaneous trip to Croatia.
Quick recap: I spent 2 months last summer working at UrbanyGo Hostel in the center of Barcelona. It was 2 months of meeting travelers from all over the world, paella and sangria on a daily basis, and endless strolls in one Europe’s best cities. My coworkers came from every corner of the planet(Ushuaia, Argentina, Sydney, Australia, Helsinki, Finland, Montreal, Canada and many more) and everyday was a new adventure. My summer in Barcelona was amazing thanks to them 🙂
Neringa(Lithuania), Courtney(Chicago), Baptistine(France), Sara(Wales), Margit(Estonia), Dexter(Australia), Akos(Hungary).
Chef Bobby with his traditional Spanish Paella, aka my diet for the entire summer.
Aimlessly wandering through the streets of La Barceloneta, one of the city’s neighborhoods right by the beach. Where everyday is laundry day, according to the balconies.
Right around the last week of July, my time in Barcelona would soon come to an end and back to Miami I would go. As I dreadfully started packing my bag, I received an email with a job offer to work as a hostess aboard a sailboat in the Croatian Islands. I have no idea how this insane opportunity fell into my lap. I thought maybe the guy messed up the email address, or maybe he thought I was someone else. Then I thought, let me stop thinking about this before he realizes the mistake. So I finished my sangria, accepted the position, bought my ticket to Dubrovnik, and agreed to meet this random skipper at some random Croatian Marina the following weekend. Some would call this insane, I call it, livin la vida Laura.
You can already imagine my parents weren’t too happy and were saying anything for me to come home….but they weren’t going to cross the Atlantic to drag me back, and the plane ticket had been paid for(no refunds), meaning….”hasta la vista!”. They thought this was too good to be true and saw the offer as a sketchy, human-trafficking ploy, and naive, little Laura running straight for it. Oh well.
Going to a Balkan country thinking I might end up like the girl from the movie “Taken” and then ending up sailing the Croatian Islands is the best story ending I could have asked for! Nothing beats that!! Rest assured, I totally rubbed it in my parents’ face when I sent my goodbye text…
with THIS photo
In any case, I wanted to attach a couple photos of a true week in paradise. I spent my days waking up to the gentle rock of the boat and would prepare breakfast for the 4 Austalian guests on board, the skipper from New Zealand (Geoff), and myself. As we munched on croisants and fruit, we sailed out of marinas and set off for the days island hopping trek.
The afternoons were spent anchored in pristine bays and coves where we spent our time swimming, sun bathing, and chit chatting (all 3 of which are my professions). I would then prepare a nice, Mediterranean-insprired lunch to hold us up until supper. Sometimes we’d explore the islands and the cute city plazas if we felt we’d seen enough water for the day.
Dinners were spent at local, seaside restaurants run by Croatian families who spend their days catching and serving fresh, delicious fish. On islands that were busier than others, we’d anchor, stroll around, buy local wine, pastries, jams, meats and cheeses, and have a nice spread on the boat, under the stars. Once we called it a night, I’d rock-a-bye-baby to sleep. When I’m telling you this is the life,
THIS IS THE LIFE.
This week of sailing and island hopping was SENSATIONAL.
The Aussie guests on board and the kiwi skipper were incredible company. We shared food, stories, and so so many laughs; the time we spent on that boat will remain a surreal and very happy memory for me.
For those curious of the itinerary, we set sail from Split and headed south, Dubrovnik being the final destination. The islands we visited along the way included Brac, Hvar, Vis, Korcula, and Mljet. Apart from island hopping, I spent a few days before the sailing trip in Split and a few days in Dubrovnik after the trip. Those were completely separate adventures on their own and will be brought up eventually! So be sure to keep up.
The Croatian Islands for me, are prettier than the Greek Islands. I understand saying that might lead people to believe I’m on drugs right now, but I’m not. The Greek Islands are stunning, however, I found them to be much dryer and rockier than I expected. I loved how the Croatian Islands were much greener and not entirely spoiled by tourism. Seeing massive green mountains and cliffs shoot out from the Adriatic with small, charming, seaside towns all along the coast, was something out of a fairytale. I’d go back in a heartbeat and recommend everyone to go as well! These islands are no longer the secret they once were, big thanks to the Europeans who flock there over the summer, and me….for writing this.
Anywhoooo, thank you for reading till the end!! You’re the real MVP.