Croatia Via The UK, Part 1 // We're Going
I could be wrong, but I think I have the best friends in the world.
No, no, no. I'm not wrong. I absolutely have the best friends in the world. Sorry, your friends. *Shrug emoji.* These women are five-star.
When you're an introvert whose ultimate happy place is inside of a sweater, on top of a couch, clutching the Roku remote, it's more than a small miracle that Life finds enough social time to gift you with top-notch humans. Like, I don't know how our paths have crossed at all, given that such a large percentage of my non-working hours are spent watching home chefs try to bake a Michelin-worthy pot de crème out of Kroger brand hot chocolate. But, somehow, the universe gave me Marie, Kristen, and Abi -- and they'll never shake me.
So when Abi, an incredible interior designer and Brit by birth, invited us to her wedding celebrations in Yorkshire, we were in. And before you knew it, our trip to the British countryside had evolved in to a three-part adventure -- London, Yorkshire, and Croatia.
Croatia?, you might ask. Of all the countries in Europe, why Croatia? Well, we'd been debating the possibility of tacking on an extension to our British invasion. I mean, when would we find ourselves over there again? So, we set out to uncover a destination that would be accessible, interesting, and (most importantly) affordable.
A few more popular destinations were kicked around, like France, Italy, and Spain, but given that most of us are independent creative types (Abi being the only one among us with what The Boomers would consider a "real job"), the prices tags there were just too prohibitive. Our 2-3 nights in London alone were costing a small fortune. If we were going to take two weeks away from work, we needed to make those dollars stretch. Like, far.
I'm not sure how it came up or who deserves the credit for this, but Croatia was mentioned, and as soon as we peeped those Air BNB prices and pictures, frans?! We were sold.
Croatia, you guys! WOAH. Look at this place! It's paradise. A thousand (literally, 1,244) tiny, perfect little islands, most of them uninhabited, practically littering the shoreline. Blue water, and seafood, fishing boats, and lighthouses. Hills, and countryside, vineyards, and tiled roofs. Churches, and cobblestone, and a perplexingly gorgeous language that -- like its territory -- sits somewhere between Italian and Russian. (More on that later.) And all of this for HOW MANY AMERICAN DOLLARS?!
Croatia is now one of the most popular (and affordable) travel destinations in Europe. I'm planning to do a post later talking in more detail about the financials of this trip once we've gotten everything booked. But just to give you a general idea of how bonkers-ly affordable lodging there seems to be, check this out; You can get a third-story hillside villa with a damn pool overlooking the Adriatic sea for under $100 a night. In some cases, under fifty dollars. What?! How?!
Am I dead? No, seriously, I think I've died. This can't be real.
Screw Christmas in New York. My family is gonna have to take a year off, because I'm pretty sure I can fly to Croatia and stay there for a week for about the same amount of money that it costs me to spend a week in Manhattan (at least when you factor in the cost of feeding yourself in the city.)
So. Yep. It's real, and we're going. And that's about all I know so far.
As I dig in to planning this trip with the girls, I'll share a few tips and travel tricks that I (hopefully) pick up along the way. I'll enlist the help of my math-y minded friend and booking extraordinaire, Marie, to break down the pesky money stuff. (Let's find out if Croatia is really that much cheaper than NYC.) I'll share what I learn in my research about the cities we're visiting. (When it comes to trips abroad, I like to be an expert before I show up, so I don't miss anything. The FOMO is real.) I also have a nice long wish list of stuff to order for this trip -- I literally do not own a rain coat, which I assume I'll be needing for an October in London -- and I'll also need to figure out how to get all this crap into a small, cobble-stone friendly suitcase. (I made the mistake of bringing a full-sized roller bag to Ireland once. Nuh-uh. Never again.)
But we've still got about 4 months to go, so for now, I'm starting with my Lonely Planet guide to Croatia and pocket Croatian phrasebook. (Thankfully, I have a Croatian uncle to help me with my pronunciation, because, holy shitballs, y'all -- this is one weird language.) Hopefully, by the time we get there, I'll at least be able to say "Hi, there. Sorry I'm butchering the shit out of your enchanting native tongue. I'm American. But, I promise I'm not an asshole... most days."
If you have any tips or recommendations for us while we're in in London, Yorkshire, or Croatia, please share them in the comments!
Until next time! Or, should I say -- Doviđenja.