Split, Croatia – September 21st to 23rd 2013
Initial Thoughts: My initial impression of Split was clouded by my bus induced motion sickness. The journey had been hot, crowded and bumpy so my mood wasn’t the best when we met our Air BnB host at the bus terminal and walked the 10 minutes to our apartment. While the apartment itself didn’t offer the amazing views of Zadar, it did have one thing I was craving – a little room all my own. For the last month I had been sleeping in dorms or living rooms and the chance to shut the door on my own space was truly exciting. So when my parents left to go for a grocery run at the market, I decided not to go along in spite of my love of food stalls. I simply closed the door, shut my eyes and took a peaceful, quiet nap. Not the most glamourous introduction to Split but exactly what I needed.
Best Moment: After spending a couple weeks with my parents exploring Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and Zadar, I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. I haven’t lived at home or travelled with my parents since I was 17 and in the ten years since I’ve become more than a little bit independent. The chance to see them after six months abroad was great but at this point I needed a day to myself. So while they ventured to a nearby town for the day, I enjoyed Split alone. I did all the things I love to do in a new place – I strolled through the back alleys, I visited the fish market, I asked around until I found the english language book store, I sat in the sun and drank a cold beer and after a busy morning, went for a swim in the sparkling Adriatic. It was a perfect day to relax, recalibrate and prepare for more adventures with my family.
Take Away: On this particular leg of the trip, my father and I got into a fight. He and I rarely get upset with each other and this was over a small issue. But the fall out was so bad I seriously considered leaving the following day and letting them finish the next two weeks in Croatia without me. We did eventually smooth things out and I remained on the trip with them, but it reconfirmed to me that traveling with someone else is very very challenging. I realized that I enjoy spending time on my own and I find the freedom and inherent adventure of solo travel to be what I want and need at this time. As much as I loved seeing my family, I learned that I needed to balance time spent as a group with time spent on my own following my own plans for me to keep a positive energy.