Croatia by Boat: My First Holidays on the Sea

Sun in the hair, salt in the air, glittering seaside and a swinging boat. A concept I would be scared of a couple of months ago – which is when the offer for a boating holiday came in. But then I thought, why not! In January, I had no idea what I was agreeing to but now, free of all worries and gently roasted by the sun, I realised that a boating holiday can be both, wonderful and worrying. Worrying because sailing can be a lot of responsibility, wonderful because nothing can compare to the feeling of freedom and liberty when you surrounded only by water. Sea on your right, the sea on your left. Only a boat, a few friends and some wild thoughts in the middle.

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Sailing is a hobby, a fun activity, a crazy challenge. For me, sailing is not a big deal. You wish to change the sails, you go ahead. I lay down and sunbathe if that’s okay. I also sit and watch the passing sea. I admire the seagulls, dolphins and flying fish and comment with excitement. I read a book and think about what is it I want to do in life. But my thoughts are not allowed to go as deep as the sea, I am on holidays – this is the time to stop and not to think! This is the time to relax.

I could not love it more. We set off from Dubrovnik, a beautiful historical city, providing the film set to the Games of Thrones, and left the harbour to discover the surrounding islands. We started with the beautiful Mljet. There was the most memorable mooring, carefully hidden in a yet-to-be-explored Okuklje bay. Not only was this place a heaven, it also had a heavenly kitchen (to which we plan to return). It’s called the Maestral. From the black risotto to the sweetest chocolate cake, the family-run restaurant with a beautiful view over the bay is perfect in every way.

Our boat then sailed to Korčula. A popular Croatian harbour with a historical town centre. The town is as beautiful at night as it is at dawn. I really started to feel like I was taken into another reality, the one which is far away from what my life brings (with all its good and bad) in London.

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After day three, I started to realise how lucky I am to be right here right now, with people who love me without saying it, the ones who I love without having to prove it. I feel settled and at peace with everything that surrounds me. It feels good to be here, sitting at the front of the boat in the Polače bay, waiting patiently for tomorrow to come to return to the Okuklje bay to experience some more serious #foodporn (excuse the language). Meanwhile, celebrating the beauty of the various corners of the Mljet island in a local ‘konoba’, sampling delicious local wine and freshly caught seafood.

I love watching the settling sun, admiring the local people and produce, letting the gentle waves bring me to sleep every night. Croatia, I thought I would never find the words to say this but you are, in a very unexpected and unusual way, beautiful and I think I might be falling for you. Thank you for all your hot sun, welcoming harbours and delicious cuisine to let me enjoy the beauty of life. I will return, but these memories will stay in my mind for a long time to come. Let’s love life!

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