I originally decided to go to Croatia because once I saw a little snippet in an outdoor magazine about kayaking there. The picture was so beautiful of crystal clear water, and the thought of kayaking between islands in a country I knew little about – and that was not a top tourist destination – sounded delightful. This is usually how I plan my trips, by the way: I hear or read just a little something enticing about a place and become obsessed with it to the point of planning a whole vacation around it. Thus my week in Croatia was conceived.
To this day Croatia is still one of my favorite countries, although it is also the place where I decided I am done with solo vacations. It’s a romantic place, full of ancient stone-walled towns perfect for meandering with an ice cream cone or having a slice of pizza and a glass of wine at any number of sidewalk cafes. There are also amazing beaches all up and down the coast. Or rather I should say there is amazing water all up and down the coast. It indeed is crystal clear, and Croatians love to be on the beaches and swim as much as the tourists do. The problem, I discovered, with solo vacationing in a beautiful beach spot is that there is no one to watch my stuff when I want to swim. Thus, I did little swimming. But I did sign up for an island bike/kayak trip. I also did lots of walking around old cities, including much exploring of the old city of Dubrovnik. I even spent a few days with a high school classmate and his wife in the city of Split. We had planned to take a boat out to one of the islands nearby, but a cold front came through, and the temperatures dropped lower than the English ones I had supposedly left behind. So we toured a national park instead, which was not a bad alternative. And better I spent the cold days with company than in a hotel room by myself.
All in all Croatia was a fantastic, albeit lonely trip. I definitely want to go back, but next time with company.