Dare to live the life you've always imagined ...

IN CROATIA JULIE LOVES

Dubrovnik has taught me that destinations call you when you’re ready to know their lessons. Sometimes, those destinations plant seeds, deep inside you, so that when the time comes for you to travel there you’ll know without question or reservation to pack a suitcase and buy a ticket, even though you know no one there; you don’t speak the language; you’re not even sure if the country is still at war or even if it’s a safe place for a woman to be travelling solo.

In 2006, when I needed a destination to run to, to hide and heal from grief, having just lost my husband, Dubrovnik called me loudly. And in its calling, I was reminded of the seed it planted in me some 16 years prior when the nightly television news played live footage of the ‘Siege of Dubrovnik’. Bombs were being dropped on one of the greatest examples of European history. Lives and livelihoods were decimated in minutes of foul strikes. The anguished faces of women and children haunted me well after I turned my television off. Dubrovnik’s isolation in fighting its enemy to save itself, undertaken by civilians - those who mostly lived and worked within the Old City Walls,  affected me, even though I had no ties to this country or its people so very far away from my home, and my peaceful life in Australia.

It would be a sequence of unlikely coincidences that turned up the volume of Dubrovnik’s voice in my ear, in 2006. Since that first visit, I’ve returned every summer. I’ve stayed inside and outside the Old City. I’ve travelled inland and along the coast roads - north and south; as well as sailed from the south to the north, as far as above Split. Every year I leave, I wonder what the reason might be that I might ever return, and then I give over my control to the power of Dubrovnik’s call and I trust in its reasons. I’ve never been disappointed. My lessons so far have been many. Dubrovnik is a perfect destination for the solo woman traveller. It’s not just the most perfect place to hang out if you love summer and all the expected things that come with a Mediterranean summer. It’s the unexpected things that always happen in Dubrovnik that have me coming back. Plus its a perfect landing  place to launch yourself further into the depths of Croatia, both inland and to the many hundreds of islands - each with their own unique history and raw, beautiful landscapes and stories beyond just entertaining. 

The people of Dubrovnik have healed their wounds from a difficult period in history, and they’ve taught me how to heal from grief too.        

GRAND VILLA ARGENTINA

WANDA RESTAURANT

KOMPASS HOTEL

PRIJEKO PALACE

SENSUS FINE-DINING RESTAURANT

NAUTIKA RESTAURANT

VILLA WOLFF

VICTORIA RESTAURANT

PRORA BEACH RESTAURANT

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VALAMAR HOTELS & RESORTS

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© Julie Stafford 2017. Proudly created by Evie Foster Creative.