by Hazel Jane - Scotland-based Independent Celebrant

Journal

Journeys | Croatia

I ran away, just for a bit. 

I practically sprinted down the harbour in my excitement to find the boat. There she was, Margareta, drifting just off-shore; I didn’t dream her up after all. Three years ago, I found my Fairy Godparents on her decks, and now we were reunited.

Barely stepped off the plane, I was suddenly sunning myself under a sail. The Meditarranean has a unique divinity; these warm waters have a sense of humour. 

On the first day, the wind blew, fiercely, and it was so much fun. Playful waves tossed us back and forth until we made it to a spot for lunch. We caught up over wine and gin and tonics and later over cups of tea sitting on the foredeck. We read books, and played music, and sailed from this island to that one, waving at the other boats as they rocked by. 

There is something about sailing that is hard to describe. It’s not the quiet solitude you might suspect, in fact it is quite the opposite. I found such comfort in looking around for miles, hearing the waves, smelling the sea air and having nowhere else to be. We only took to shore once, to scooter around an island and test out the rubber dinghy. 

The mornings were my favourite - even over the constellations that wrapped up the sky at night. Picture this: the sunlight wakes you up early, you doze for a while, and then climb up onto the main deck. The world is wide open and everything is a warm shade of blue. There is fresh fruit, and coffee, and before you bother to let any more thoughts into your brain, you launch off the side of the boat and...float. 

After four nights of bliss, I bid the Fairies goodbye and made my way to Split alone. The streets there are humming, and you need only to follow the sound of the city to find where they dance in the square and clink glasses over the freshest food. 

It was all exactly right. Even down to my eccentric apartment host (“You are a Leo? Ah, that explains your energy” in response to checking my passport).

The Plitvice lakes were wonderfully beautiful, and mild tempered with our small tour group. I met a Scottish couple for lunch and again for dinner the next day. I paddleboarded down a river at sunset and jumped off a cliff for cheap thrills.

The final night took me to the beach with a group of new Danish friends and an early morning let me stand in the main square of Diocletian’s Palace, all but alone. 

Let me tell you about the first time I went to Croatia. That year, I wanted to go on holiday, someplace warm, but I didn’t know where. I entrusted the choice to my father, and I found out on Christmas Day where I would go that summer. It was Dubrovnik, and it changed the course of my whole life. 

Friends, can we make this a thing? Let’s send each other on adventures, and tell the resulting stories forever.