Who I met on the Croatia island Korcula
I think for anyone who’s ever traveled- and especially for the people who’ve traveled alone- there’s one conclusion to be made:
You meet some really amazing people.
And I met them on the Croatia island of Korcula.
Seriously. You kind of find a piece of yourself in them in some weird way, you know? You feel like you’ve known them forever. Maybe from a past life. Or soul mates. Or kindred spirits. Whatever you wanna title it.
The first girl/person I socialized with upon arriving at the island of Korcula, Croatia. She invited me to dinner my first night and after that, I was really never the same. Tina and I functioned like instant sisters. We shared clothes, beauty products, and days worth of coffee and drinks together. We even had a few bickering moments!
But all to lead to one thing: a lifelong friendship that would bring me to Croatia. She is funny, smart, and extremely loyal. She will be nuanced throughout my posts as she’s part of my “Croatian family”.
Zach was the first handsome man I laid eyes on (but definitely not the last!) and possessed one of the most beautiful souls I had ever encountered. He was calm, relaxed, confident, smart, funny- you get the idea. His ability to talk in-depth about any and all topics hooked me from the start.
And he had one quality that was so foreign and equally intoxicating to me: his ability to be “in the moment”. When you talked with him, he really listened. He wasn’t on his phone or looking around. He looked at you- or in this case, looked at me– with such genuinity, I swear he could’ve charmed anyone into getting what he wanted(and probably has).
The difference between this man and so many others I’d met was that he wasn’t listening because he was trying to gain something from you. No- he listened because of how in the moment he is. And because of that, he left a permanent mark on me that I will always appreciate, probably more than he will ever know.
Other Special People
Frano is an older man who is the head chef at the restaurant Konoba Komin (yes, I’ve mentioned it in previous posts and you haveee to go there). I met him again, through Tina, walking through the old town in Korcula and stopping at the restaurant to have a coffee. We connected one night and, when I returned home to the US, he was the only one who knew about my intentions to move to Croatia other than Tina and her mom. And he always supported me in that.
Frano is a wise, open, accepting, and fun-spirited person. He’s something like an older brother or fun uncle to me. Always there to help to anyone who needs it, can read people and situations in a way I strive to, and he also has a keen ability to stay happy and light-hearted even in the most chaotic situations.
Frano is another soul mate, a term I use not for romantic reasons but for like-minded and “like-souled” people. I’m so grateful to know him.
Vili is one of the owners of Zlatarna Siroka- it’s Zagreb name- and Prirodni Nakit (pronounced: pree-rode-nee nah-keet), it’s Korcula name.
I met Vili with Tina walking through the town past one of their shops. He was hanging out outside of it and we stopped to talk with him. Later, we all ended up running into each other and having drinks.
He was interesting and funny. Married with three boys, he possessed a young spirit and an open mind. I thought he was close to my age when it turns out he was, in fact, not! I laughed when he told me because I just couldn’t believe him. But I immediately took a liking to him.
I mention Vili as he will appear later on in the story of my Croatian life because I end up working for him and his wonderful family in Korcula a year later (sorry, you’ll have to wait for that part of the story!).
I also view Vili something like an older brother; he’s open, intuitive, and also possesses a keen ability to read people- clearly a trait I admire! For him, I’ll always have the utmost gratitude for giving me the opportunity to work for him and ultimately achieve my biggest goal: to spend one summer working on the island of Korcula.
This is an girl I met due to the fact that Tina walked by the sushi restaurant Nevena worked at every day. Korcula is very small- if you haven’t realized already, everybody knows everybody!
All three of us ended up having two “girls’ nights”, where a copious amount of alcohol was consumed and two out of three of us jumped into the sea late one night.
I right away could see that she was a good person and loved her. The three of us had so much fun together- I will always view those days and nights together as some of the best times in my life. We laughed, talked about life shit, and when we said goodbye, I knew I would see her again. It’s funny how you just know those kinds of things, isn’t it? And I did see that wonderful girl again, on my first day back to Croatia. But, that comes later!
I always think about the movie Almost Famous, when the rockstar says to the journalist, “Some of the people you meet on the road are really amazing people.” For me, it couldn’t be truer.
Standby- the next chapter of leaving Korcula is coming soon!
Who have you met on the road that impacted your life and in what way? What lessons did they teach you?