October 2017 Recap | Croatia, Jekyll Island, NJ, NYC

When I returned from Ireland and Portugal in August, I have to admit I was in a mood. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and the decisions I’ve made that have allowed me to travel so much this year and last, but I was sad that it was coming to an end. I couldn’t stop thinking about traveling and couldn’t stop messaging with people I’d met during my travels and so, I took off again. A friend I’d met in Dublin was heading to Croatia, which has been on my list for ages, at a time when I had nothing else planned. So I found a cheap flight and flew back to Europe, feeling normal again on the way there.

Croatia

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I met up with my friend in Budapest, though Dawn at Delta sent my luggage to the Dominican Republic instead {a topic I still need to argue chat with Delta about}. I’m glad I already had spent time in Budapest this year because I spent a few extra hours at the airport dealing with everything and we only had time for dinner and a drink at a ruin bar that night. The next morning, we were off to Croatia for 10 days.

We packed a few too many stops into our trip and spent lots of time driving and on buses and trains before and after we picked up the car. As we both had work to do, we also spent a lot of time in Croatia’s caffes which were sometimes full of cigarette smoke and TERRIBLE music from the ’80s, but we definitely made time to explore as well. We visited the capital city of Zagreb {which reminded me of Prague}, the seaside town of Zadar {famous for its sea organ and Roman ruins}, and Split, {whose old town which made full use of Diocletian’s Palace I couldn’t get enough of}. We drove into Bosnia and Herzegovina for about twenty minutes to get to Dubrovnik where we stayed the longest. The stars aligned and through social media I found out one of my favorite coworkers was going to be in Dubrovnik for two nights while we were there so we met up with him and his friends and drank all of the drinks.

When I’m in Europe, I tend to spend a lot of time in the cities because it’s easier, especially if I’m flying solo, but I need to make sure I also explore the countryside as well. With a car, we were able to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is one of the coolest natural spots I’ve been to in Europe. The park was layers and layers of waterfalls, lakes, and leaves just starting to change colors for autumn, which somehow wasn’t ruined by the hundreds of tourists there that day, though I hear it is more challenging in the summer. Next time I’m in Croatia, I need to go during the busy season and visit some of these 1000 islands I keep hearing so much about. But I’d definitely return to some of the spots we visited as well.

Croatia was old towns, ice cream, sunsets, wasabi peanuts, making friends with the best puppies, wearing pajamas in public until I got my luggage five days into the trip, listening to great tunes and This American Life while driving past the strangest-looking mountains, and for dinner one night, accidentally ordering about 100 “small fish” which might have been anchovies or sardines, when I wanted just one small fish, without its head and tail on my plate. Just par for the course.

New Jersey/NYC

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I returned back to the states and stayed with my sister in New Jersey for a few days. We had a fun day at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, which has awesome French dining and large-scale sculptures on 42 unassuming acres. The next day, I drove up to North Jersey’s Fresh & Fancy Farms to attend a beautiful baby shower celebrating my friend and yours, The World Wanderer. It turned out to be a long-overdue Goa reunion with my friends Prachi and Kirsten as well. It’s truly amazing how much can change in a year. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I was in India.

I spent just a few hours in NYC the night before my next flight but fit in some much needed quality time in with some of my favorites, Jenna, George, and Traci, at the Shake Shack near Grand Central, naturally.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

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I flew into Savannah the next morning and my friend Brianne from A Traveling Life picked me up so we could enjoy a few days at the Holiday Inn Resort on Jekyll Island. Though it was just a few days, as I wrote about in this post, it felt like a true vacation, one I didn’t know I desperately needed. Brianne and I caught up from Bloghouse in Indy, rode bikes underneath the Spanish moss, learned all about the history of the island, and ate a lot (mostly seafood for me).

Jersey Shore

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I spent the last week or so of the month at home, mostly working and trying to get on a better schedule to put in more hours. I read one of my favorite books this year, Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing” and slowly absorbed season 2 of “Stranger Things” on Netflix, though if I were watching it by myself I would have definitely binged it.

My parents and I visited the Funny Farm in Mays Landing to pet and feed animals that had been rescued from other farms and who needed a little extra love. I celebrated a childhood friend’s engagement with champagne, lobster, and laughter. A few days later, I helped hand out candy on Halloween for the first time in forever, while roasting hot dogs on the fire as my dog was dressed as a hot dog. Even though we only had a handful of kids in the neighborhood participate this year, it was a blast, and that meant more leftover M&Ms for us.

And then it was November and once again, I find myself with no travel plans aside from a trip up to NYC, but that’s okay. I’m enjoying being on a schedule again as it’s been a while. Though I wouldn’t put it past me to take off again sometime soon.

Posts on 10 Miles Behind Me in October:

What Else I Wrote This Month:

xx

If you’re planning your own trip to Croatia, may I suggest using the experts at Tour Croatia, Ltd? They provided us with city passes and a fine dining experience at Zuzori in Dubrovnik as well as tips for less expensive dining in Zadar and Zagreb. Some links you may find helpful: A full online guide to all the regions in CroatiaThe Early History of Croatia; and A Traveler’s Guide to Croatia.

3 Responses

  1. Plitvice was awful to get to without a car! You definitely made the best choice. The area was so beautiful, although we were shocked at how expensive admission was. Awesome post! Let me know if you need your wanderlust cured again 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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