Dare to live the life you've always imagined ...
DESTINATIONS CALL YOU WHEN YOU ARE READY TO KNOW THEIR LESSONS
IN CROATIA JULIE LOVES
GRAND VILLA ARGENTINA
Julie Stafford first visited Dubrovnik in 2006. She needed a safe destination to heal from overwhelming grief, having just lost her husband, to mesothelioma (asbestos cancer). He was the love of her life for more than thirty years. Suddenly Julie found herself alone and needing to rebuild her life.
Dubrovnik planted a seed some 16 years prior when the nightly television news played live footage of the ‘Siege of Dubrovnik’ in Australian homes. 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 Julie well after she turned her television off. Dubrovnik’s isolation in fighting its enemy, undertaken by civilians (those who mostly lived and worked within the Old City Walls) affected Julie deeply, even though she had no ties to this country or to its people so very far away from where she lived in Australia.
It would be a sequence of unlikely coincidences that turned up the volume of Dubrovnik’s voice in Julie's heart, in 2006. Since her first visit, Julie has returned every summer. She has stayed inside and outside the Old City. She's travelled inland and along the coast roads (north and south) as well as sailed from the south to the north, above Split. Such was Dubrovnik's impact on Julie, she has travelled back every summer since that first summer.
Julie says, "My lessons in this beautiful city 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 each year. 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 the raw, stunning landscapes and stories of a grand history. The people of Dubrovnik healed their wounds from a difficult period in history, and they’ve taught me how to heal from grief tand move on too.
Dubrovnik taught me that you don't travel to destinations by chance, 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."
SENSUS FINE-DINING RESTAURANT
Julie has a great sense of this city's heart and soul and its history and culture. Having spent more than fifteen summers in Dubrovnik it's not surprising Julie is considered a local. Visiting the city as often as she has and having an insatiable curiosity to know the city intimately Julie discovered the true spirit and energy of this city lives in its back streets and alleyways and off the typical tourist track. The stories of the city can be found in the voices of the locals who live and work in art galleries, cafes, restaurants and who grow the produce that they sell in the daily markets in the city's heart. Julie is a regular visitor to local art galleries and she can tell you where to find the tastiest mussels and sensational grilled scampi. Local chefs have become friends. Waiters remember her year after year and know that her preferred wine for the summer is the local famous Posip wine. Julie will share what you should buy as a memonto of your visit to the city and she'll share her favorite spots to get those amazing photographs to make your Dubrovnik memories magical. To see Dubrovnik through Julie's eyes is a priceless experience far beyond what the tourist ever gets to see.
PRORA BEACH RESTAURANT
VALAMAR HOTELS & RESORTS