23 Oct 30 DAYS ON CROATIA’S NATURE ISLAND, SOLTA
We are three weeks into our month-long sugarmoon (you know, that special time after you get engaged?), staying on the island of Solta in Croatia, and in a very strange way, it’s starting to feel a lot like home. Not home as in South Africa. Home in the ‘comfortable’ sense.
Staying still for an entire month has created some stability for us, it seems. We can explore better (not rush through ticking off only a few sites), and we can act like locals – really learning about where to go for the best beer, what time you can get the best lighting for a photograph, and where the secret (or difficult-to-get-to) locations are, because, well, we have the time.
Staying put also means we have created a bit of a routine for ourselves. When we first left on the journey, back in early 2015, we aimed to create a routine that would allow us to unlearn our past life, and explore this new freedom – setting aside hours a day to read, learn something new, meditate, practice yoga, and create. With the hype and mass travel of the two years that followed, it’s been difficult to stick to that “routine” swapping yoga poses and online classes, for much-needed naps in between the fights and frenzy of sightseeing (not to mention all the photography and filmmaking).
But not this month.
Most mornings we wake up with the sun (normally around 07:30am), stretch and meditate on our private terrace, just a couple steps away from our little stone house. We then cut up whichever fruit we bought the day before from the village’s tiny supermarket (having a small fridge also means shopping a little everyday), and then enjoy that fruit with some toast (or whatever freshly baked goods our #notsponsored amazing Airbnb host made that morning), as the sun lights up the valley, and the little fishing village of Stomorska glistens for us.
We spend most of our day working (a big reason why we decided to block book an entire month in the off-season Mediterranean – either completing unfinished projects, or catalyzing new exciting things) taking a break for lunch (which is undoubtedly fresh…and inventive), to enjoy the sunshine or go for a swim, then work some more, ending our day with an aperitivo (normally olives from the island and fresh bread from the bakery…and local beer and wine, of course) before taking a relaxed walk in the town and inventing yet another meal for supper.
Of course we’ve explored as well – finding a couple exquisite bays and coves (shout out to Solta-local @slavkosobin for the suggestions), and a diving board that has made me think about my days as a teenager, swimming and diving almost everyday after school. We went for a tour of the only hotel on the island, and riding around on a scooter has been a hoot again (definitely bringing back some Bali and Vietnam memories).
On a whole, our time in Croatia has been nothing but peaceful and productive. I’m pretty sure a Croatian cruise (what this country is famed for in the tourism industry) would’ve been the exact opposite, but Solta, you’ve been good to us, and we hope to experience your tranquility, and natural beauty (bar the mosquitoes) again someday.