Stuck on a Croatian Island
Ok ok, it’s not like it sounds. I’ll explain how I got stuck on one of the Croatia islands in the best way possible.
In my previous post, I had no idea that I was being set me up for a world wind of coffee, gemist(pronounced g-em-ee-sht, half white wine, half mineral water), long talks, smoking, more coffee, pizza, drinks at cafe bars, candlelight, darts, pizza, swimming, a few drunken nights, and, most surprisingly, an unimaginable connection to a place I would’ve never guessed in a million years:
the Croatian island Korcula.
And then, by default, Croatia.
However, I should probably get back to what happened the next day.
Lumbarda is a small town about 5-10 minutes drive from Korcula town. There you can find vineyards, the amazing white wine of Grk (more on this later!!), and a few sandy beaches. If you’re planning on traveling to Korcula, you can easily take a bus there and see the countryside of Korcula! The breathtaking vineyards and enchanting quietness are what make any Croatian island worth seeing.
Zach picked us up in his car around 2 pm. Tina rode in the front seat and me in the back- equally amazed and nervous by this elegant man.
I know, I know: maybe it sounds silly. But this is my true recollection of it!
Dramatic? A little. Pathetic? Maybe to some. Honest? As a heart attack.
It was a strange feeling but you have to remember the combination of my insecurities- how do I even talk to a guy?– and his calm, cool, direct manner- maintain eye contact, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. I don’t know if it was just him or if I’d felt like I’d been deprived of real conversation with a guy for so long, but he really did emit an intimidating confidence. His focused eye contact and his genuine listening- it captivated me.
As I focused hard to relax and form sentences, which I do think I pulled off pretty good if I do say so myself, Tina sat relaxed and happy in the front seat. She made some jokes with him in Croatian as we drove the short drive to Lumbarda.
We arrived, sat at the cafe, ordered coffee, and sipped for about an hour before taking a swim. It was my first swim in the Adriatic sea! The water was perfectly warm and soooo clear, I could even open my eyes!
Then we dried out in the sun, played a game of volleyball, and took another swim. After all that sun, sea, and sand, we headed back to the old town where we decided to meet for drinks later that evening.
Turns out, I still had muhh gammeee
Tina and I went to Dos Locos: a cafe bar during the day and club by night. Zach wasn’t there yet but because Tina was a local, she knew plenty of people around us so we had some company. We started talking and the party really began. I still have pictures from that night! It feels like yesterday.
Zach showed up sometime after we arrived(he possessed a terrible habit of being late, something that I would find out later as a concerning, borderline social disability…. Aka, the inability to arrive on time to any social occasion). Regardless, the alcohol was flowing, decent music was playing, and I’ll always look back at that night as fun and free.
Later, in the wee hours of the morning, a drunk group of us decided to go swimming. We stumbled down to a nearby beach and, more or less in clothing, took a swim.
Afterward, everyone went home except Zach and me, who kept walking and talking around the old town. Btw, did I mention the moon was out? Yeah, I’m slightly obsessed with the moon- a selenophile, as they call it- so for me, it was a dream.
Zach and I talked until 6 in the morning when the sun was up and the birds were chirping.
We sat in the square by the old church, across from the pizzeria on some concrete benches. I was dazed by his intelligence, thoughts, and conversationality. The alcohol wore off and suddenly it was just him and I, relaxed and letting the thoughts flow.
I realized that I wasn’t so intimidated by him but rather intoxicated by his genuine ability to engage. He had a unique mindset. He questioned damn near everything. And his view of the world closely aligned with mine.
It’s truly amazing how you can travel the world and connect with a total stranger who had a completely different way of life than you.
So, I went to bed at 7 am. It was the first time in my life I’d ever stayed up and talked with someone that long. I was far away from home in a strange land, living my version of every travel romance that I’d ever read. I remember so many times after that day, feeling so happy, so alive, that I would just close my eyes or stare at the sea and pray that time could freeze.
But we know it can’t.
And all good things must come to an end.
For now, that’s where I leave you with my island adventure.
But it was decided: I would stay in Korcula until I felt ready to leave. Go with my “feels in the momes”.
And that’s how I got “stuck” on an island in Croatia.
More to come next Friday!
Have you ever ended up staying longer than you had planned while you were traveling because of the people you met along the way? What happened? How long did you extend your stay?