Croatia-Where it all Began

Croatia, where to begin. When I first saw that Croatia was on the Remote Year itinerary, I was in! This country has been on my bucket list for years! I was so excited to have the opportunity to explore this beautiful haven.

Croatia was adventure #1 on the Remote Year Exupery itinerary. “You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” Anonymous. I knew this would be one of the most emotional months of the year as I would be meeting 38 strangers for the first time in person! I was filled with so many emotions prior to landing in Croatia. When I saw Rodolfo (our program leader) for the first time, after I stepped off the plane, I knew I had made the right choice choosing this journey with this group!

Croatia was the precedent for how the rest of the year would start! I have always been a natural planner. I love planning parties, events, etc and bringing people together!

I was going to be pushed out of my comfort zone for sure this month. I was terrified but yet also excited! I was lucky to have such a great roommate, Leila, that made this transition so much easier for me. She has energy and I thrive off of energy!

Meeting everyone for the first time was so exciting yet frightening. It was like the first day of school at a new school all over again but there was no escaping! Luckily, everyone was so nice and we all meshed so well together right away! I was surprised that it only took me about two weeks to learn everyone's names (37 names + city team names)!

Leila and I pushed Rodo to have our first sunset party and that was a blast! We popped bottles of champagne, on the rocks, on the beach, and right by the ocean. We cheered and laughed with one another just like old-time friends! I had this great feeling that this year would be filled with so many amazing experiences with so many awesome people!

Some of my favorite moments are in the remember when portion below. However, things that you absolutely must do while in Split, Croatia are

  • Go Island hopping and/or pick a random island and stay there for the night

  • Eat with a local

  • Book a sunset cruise and definitely watch sunsets daily on the beach

  • Be one with nature- Be lazy at the beach and/or go hiking

  • Visit the Krka Waterfalls, walk around the waterfalls and you must also get in the water

  • Visit Plitvice National Park and soak in all the beautiful nature

  • Wander through the Diocletian Palace (you can book a walking tour-this might be helpful), then dance in the Peristil Square, then strut your stuff on the Promenade

  • Eat Gelato then go explore the Green Market

  • If you love adventure, definitely go zip lining and/ or rafting

To take a deeper dive with all things Split Croatia, check out the Croatia page under the travel tab or just click here:

Now, it’s time to start “remember when” reflections. These are memories that were fun, hilarious, or just silly that most people in my group would remember and be like “oh yeah, that was awesome”! It’s also a way to share my memories without getting off track.

Remember when….

When we all stripped down, jumped into the dark ocean waters (conquering a lot of fears here already), and played on the blow-up obstacle course?! I was the first person to complete the obstacle course without falling in the water! This was one of my favorite memories ever! (The water was cold but we all had an absolute blast)!!

We started the tradition of game night, especially Code Names! (Grab this game if you don't have it!! It's so fun)! This was the perfect gathering table!

When we swam in the Krka Waterfalls! This was epic! We hiked around the area and then got in these humongous waterfalls. The rocks were very slippery and the current was a little rough to swim in but it was so worth being in there and soaking in this magical experience.

When we went to the Barba Brewery and had a private tour with the owner. This is the first craft brewery in Croatia. We thought we were going to just taste a few craft beers but when he said "drink all you want", well, the party was on! This night was such a blast!

When one of our volunteer opportunities consisted of playing with puppies on the beach! Oh my goodness, this was such a fun volunteer experience and I don't really call it volunteering as it was so fun! These puppies were so loving and just having the best time ever!

When we went white water rafting and had an absolute blast minus Mike and Nick continually flipping their raft. (That was a little scary). The water was so darn cold, even with the wet suits, so you really didn't even want to try and get in the water.

When we went to the local bar on the beach and the owner was shooting a bow and arrow at random things! That was too funny!

When we rode bikes through the streets as our means of transportation. I once put a cushion on the back of my bike and drove Leila around through the city. This was hilarious and also so fun!

When Prosecco became a part of our daily ritual.

We island hopped and thought we were going to fall off of the boat while getting drenched! When Andy didn’t go to bed at all and was still wearing his clothes from the night before. When we popped champagne bottles on Parmesan Island while in the sea and chugged from the same bottles! When we hiked up to a castle in Hvar and just soaked in all the amazing views! When we shared an amazing lunch with amazing locals while learning some naughty words in Croatian.

When we started Wine down Wednesdays with Blair and others.

When birthday celebrations started! We celebrated Monica, Nick, and Helena's birthdays!

When Yoga with Kayla started!

When we started charcuterie board and wine nights. Bryan knew how to pour the perfect pour!

Oh, and when getting to the islands were half of the adventure! The waters were definitely a little rockier than we had all expected- just getting there was an adventure!

When we started movie nights at Mike and Rueben’s place!

When Rueben grabbed Kayla in the middle of the street and kissed her?! (Jill and I felt as if we were watching a Notebook movie scene)!

When brunch overs started. Free Sha Vac A Doo!!! (hahhahaha- inside joke). Brunch overs consisted of gathering all the food and drinks that we did not consume during the month and voila, that was our meal!! We mostly did this during the transition day!

When the love story of Charles and Amber aka ChAmber started.

When we took a sunset cruise, went to Ghetto Bar, and danced the night away (literally)!

Then we danced in the streets in the Diocletian Palace with no music in the wee hours of the night!

When we smoked cigars and drank whiskey at a local hang out.

We learned all about Slack and all the many channels.

When we roamed the Diocletian Palace on the daily.

When we ate some of the best Gelato in the world.

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