Croatia trip 2021!

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    I planned this trip long before the pandemic began back in 2020 and the original plan was to celebrate my birthday on the island of Croatia last year.  Due to the pandemic and the world shutting down, my trip was postponed until this year but I was still excited to celebrate my 35th birthday by the sea.
    Once again I flew by myself (I have traveled alone for four years now celebrating my birthday in other countries and the truth is that I love it). I booked through a tour guide of various islands where you had the option to be with others on the tour or visit the islands on your own.
    I arrived in Dubrovnik on a direct flight from NY (trip starting from Reagan National in DC). The flight was approximately 9 hours and the cost varies between $700 and $900 depending on the season and how far in advance you purchase your tickets.
    On the descent to Dubrovnik you can see so many of the islands of Croatia and the old towns, it was super beautiful! I took a ferry to the island of Sipan which is located about one hour from the city, and on the island a guide awaited me along with the group that would become a huge part of my trip. Before getting on the ferry I must have looked like I was completely lost because a fellow tourist asked me where I was headed to and it turned out that we were headed in the same direction and were part of the same tour.  Her name is Kelly, who loves to travel, loves cats and practices yoga. We hit it off from the get go, but I’m going to call her “Uma Thurman” because she looks a lot like the famous actor from one of my favorite movies, “Kill Bill.”
    When we arrived on the island we got on a bus and there was 12 of us on this tour: 3 couples, a mother with her daughter, Uma with a friend from California and a nice guy from London whose name is Gordon, and I will call him the “Encyclopedia” because he knows everything about anything from anywhere in the world! He is a genius!
    The island is tiny, and everyone knows each other. The bus leaves at the same  hour every day, and there is only one store on the whole island that just sells the very basics.  There are three restaurants, although they sell the same exact food, and all of us in the tour stayed in individual apartments in homes spread across the neighborhood for the next 7 nights. Supposedly there was an introductory dinner planned for the first night that we arrived for us to get to know one another.  It turns out that our guide may have been more lost than us and was not the most organized person in Croatia though. However, this helped the group bond together more and gave us a reason to laugh each day because although there was a daily “itinerary,” it appears that it was more optional and up to the discretion of our “guide” without really knowing why.
    That first night I met Sherman, who I do not have another alias for because his personality and his sense of humor is so unique that there is only one Sherman in this world. Sherman is from San Diego, was always so mindful of everyone and is someone who without a doubt cares that you are doing well in all aspects.
    We did lots of fun activities like kayaking, bike riding, hiking, long walks, swimming, relaxing on the beach, drinking beer, making margaritas and of course laughing and having fun while we island hopped.  We went to Lopud, Kolocep, Lokrum, the city mural of Dubrovnik, the old city, and to various locations where the very popular show “Game of Thrones” was filmed. We had an amazing time!
    Among the other people in the group, there was a mother with her daughter who are from Wyoming.  The mother, whose name is Anella, is hilarious! She would play along with our silliness, and she was the clairvoyant of the group, foretelling whether the food, the activities and even the weather were going to go according to plan. Her daughter Adrian, was super chill but also very fun, and the coolest thing about her was her adventurous nature.  She jumped from a rock cliff twice because the first time we could not take her picture fast enough! She would swim anywhere, paddle boarded, would hit the bike hard and the two of them were the sweetest with me and shared a lot of great family stories.
    The other couples were in their own world but nonetheless were very  fun.  They would come up with strange questions or deep stories that would create a lot of curiosity among the group and made for memorable fun.
    I celebrated my birthday in peace, full of love, close to the sea and in the company of others who, although strangers, still gave me their time and their best wishes!
    Croatia without a doubt was a different and unique experience. If you are planning to travel there, the best months are between May and September and there are an endless number of tours that you can take to visit the islands.

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