HERE I THOUGHT THE AREAS AROUND TRAIN STATIONS AND PORTS WERE THE NICEST PARTS OF TOWN

Perhaps I had been a little overly optimistic.

Lol, last night I went to get something to eat in the area in which I am staying. They seemed to speak and understand English fairly well when I asked what the best thing to eat was, and enthusiastic to boot. When I pointed to the prepackaged paperboard container the chef was pulling from the microwave and asked, if that was my food? Lol, cooked in the microwave? They had spontaneously forgotten any English they once had know and lost all interest in me.

Now I am not a full-on foodie, whatsoever. I enjoy nice meals, tasty, nourishing, interesting, inspiring meals. But I certainly focus on and remember the company with which I’ve shared fantastic meals.

I have a dazzling memory of first having Coney Island Dogs with my friend Todd in his local area of Massachusetts. Lol, I can still remember the surroundings and the taste. We were visiting where he had most recently lived and we went to the “package store” for lunch. Of course I said, I would have whatever he suggested. A Coney Island dog is not a culinary delicacy, and probably considered far from. But it is a wonderful memory for me.

The other night, the Norwegian couple invited me out to dinner with them. Another female friend from Sweden and her male visitor came along as well. I had the un pleasure of sitting next to said male friend. Apparently he had visited the Caribbean at some point as it came up in conversation. The company inquired about the local cuisine which he quickly discounted as just bad. I tried to er a word in edgewise, which was quite a challenge. And then when you feel you have to burst into a conversation to even participate, it certainly dulls the sparkle of the moment. So I tried to contribute that during one of my many family trips to the Caribbean, British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Northern Antilles (?)… that the memories I have were not of the food itself. When you are in such an incredible place, enjoying those closest to you, what is the point of a meal beyond gathering together for replenishment.

Some of my favorite memories are of being on a sailboat with my sisters and parents. As well as being on a sailboat with friends. Waking up together. Breakfast, coffee, bathroom run if possible. Pulling anchor and setting sail. Snacking or a light lunch while underway. Dropping anchor, swimming, showering. Dressing in dry clothes and either taking the dinghy to shore for a meal, or cooking what we had or had caught on the boat. Evening were a time of lingering at the table. Playing cards, talking, laughing. Then slowly one by one retiring to our bunks with the anticipation of doing it all over again.

Not sure where this story started, but it has finished in a very comforting, cozy and happy place in my memory.

Xo

AND THERE I WAS

Today marks two weeks of this stretch of travel.  There have certainly been highlights and lowlights, but not a lot of nav lights.  I have spent only a single sleepless night on a sailboat, the boat I had come across to get on to begin with.  That may be another story, but a story indeed.  I have spent many nights on ferry boats, but there is no way that counts for sea time.

These past few days are a story in themselves as well.  I have to focus on continuing to share my experience as it happens since I struggle terribly to recall the sights, smells and feeling that make up my experiences once they have passed.

So I currently am sitting in a café in Cecina, Italy, in the Tuscan area, Liverno region.  I’m not sure about the details.  I know I arrived here terribly exhausted and may have learned a lesson that I cannot enjoy myself if I travel so terribly hard and overnight with little or interrupted rest.  My tank was empty and I was feeling vulnerable and emotional.  I just wanted to curl up under the covers for a few days and cuddle, rest, and replenish myself.  To a degree that did happen and I feel so much better.

I have realized that I would prefer to travel with a lighter bag and intend to remedy that at my next stop.  My Russian friend from Germany told me to just unload my bag at a local flea market.  We laughed a lot, particularly since we met on the ferry from Zadar, Croatia, to Ancona, Italy and when we arrived, a group of us all dragged our luggage about… I don’t know how far to the train station but I was so hot and sweaty carrying that bag, we were dying laughing.  Four trains later, and a car ride, it was straight to the shower for me.  Blech, that was a stint on about 36 hours straight of traveling, overnight.  I think those wipe me out pretty seriously.  As cozy as I think I can get myself in a little sleeping cocoon and eyeshade on a ferry, it cannot be the kind of rest that is actually rejuvenating.

So I am now making my way to Mur de Sologne for a European Yoga Festival and I am incredibly excited.  I do not have a ticket or any accommodations planned, and it looks to be about a two day trip to arrive.  I have participated in a similar event in the Massachusetts Berkshires last summer and I feel it changed the vibration of my being.  Higher.  Clearer.  The positive energy of the group is something I had never experienced before.

*The above photo montage is entitled: “What actually is a Macchiato? | Something to try. | Not my preference.” Lol

 

Ok I want to get something up while I have internet and before I board to train this evening.  I realize I was struggling since I don’t know that my travel experiences have ever really been about the place, as much as they have been about the interaction and experiences I share with those who are in my company.  It certainly is a realization and I am working to listen to myself as the loudest voice of direction and take everything else as ideas.

 

Xo

 

PLANS MAY BE CHANGING

After I made my way, essentially chasing the sailboat down the coast, I spent one night onboard and jumped ship.  I struggle with the line between the experience I am having and respecting the lives and privacy of those that are part of my reality.  As I want to share the good and the bad, but I cannot decide if I should share it all on here.

A few previous experiences have been left out, or at least left unpublished.  But I have still told them to family and friends verbally, and they were terribly entertaining to tell and seemingly so to hear.

I am torn with holding on to my original plan and being open to what I am meant to do in the moment.  I am currently very happy to be back in Croatia for at least a few days, staying with my Norwegian friends.   I need to rest and recoup a little from traveling.  I am looking at my bigger plans and I may have to incorporate some of the yoga training into this experience while I am traveling inland.  I am hoping to go to Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal and Morocco and see what I can find for myself there.  Randomly, a life-changing yoga festival I attended in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, has a European counterpart which is happening in the south of France in one week’s time.  I am currently looking at the train schedules for Austria and Switzerland.

HOW HAVE I GOTTEN THIS FAR?

I realized that my inReach battery must have died at some point and stopped tracking me, but for the most part this shows my movement since I’ve crossed the ocean.

How have I gotten to where I currently am?  Sitting at a cafe called Chocolate in the port of the Greek island Igoumenitsa?  I will avoid the philosophical joking and focus on just literally the planes, trains and automobiles that were involved in my long and winding road to this seat.

train to Boston > flight to Lisbon > flight to Rome > flight to Ancona > ferry to Zadar > bus to Split > ferry to Hvar > ferry to Dubrovnik > ferry to Bari > ferry to Igoumenitsa > bus to Lefkana and that’s all I have planned.  I will figure out getting to the marina once I get there.  I have had to accept the fact that sometimes you just get on and figure out the next leg when you get there.

IN HVAR

How have I never really heard of this place before?  It is absolutely incredible.  My newest fascination with Croatia is how smooth all of the stones in the streets and sidewalks are from ages of being walked, rained upon, etc.  I will add more photos of this later.  I just wanted to add something for now.

Xo

This looks about what I can accomplish today.  I will take a taxi to the Sea Organ and the attractions around there; Morske Orgulje.  Then get on the bus at either 2:15 or 2:20.  There are two routes that leave around then with varying numbers of stops, but both seem to ride the coast pretty well, so I am thinking I will have a beautiful ride either way.  I will stay in a hostel in split tonight and make my way down to Montenegro tomorrow.

It would be nice to have a water bottle or purification system of some sort that one is able to comfortably drink water out of the faucet wherever, since that was not an option on the ferry and I stubbornly let myself get dehydrated rather than buying bottled water.  There is also a part of me that doesn’t like to use single-use plastic bottles, which is why I brought my own refillable water bottle.

Current Observations: They bring a little glass of water with every coffee which no one really seems to drink.  People also seem to smoke a lot of cigarettes, being a little sick it is hurting my throat to even watch.

Waking up in Croatia

Lol.  I woke up this morning as we coasted along the shores of Croatia.  I realized I had been so sleep deprived I hadn’t really thought about what to do once I arrived.  I am now sitting in the shade at the ferry station, using the internet and mapping out a track.  There are so many islands here, I don’t know where I would start.  I was invited to join my new friends from Norway on a small island off the coast and I will see if that would work for a night, as I need to continue making progress towards Corfu.  I have just committed to arriving by the evening of the 17th, which gives me 3 full days.  This may not be enough time to fully enjoy the Adriatic Sea and Croatia and surrounding countries, but I will do my best and have every intention of coming back with a sailboat and friends/family.

So far, I plan to buy a baguette sandwich at this little cafe and make my way to the Sea Organ to experience that for a while.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/30/sea-organ-zadar-croatia_n_6959360.html

Other than that not too many other plans for the day.  I will probably try to stay in the area tonight as I am certainly not yet feeling rested, or maybe I can find a spot to sling my hammock.

Xo

NEW FRIENDS FROM NORWAY

I am so happy I met this couple from Norway and their son. They were so sweet and we got on so well. We all thought we would be on the same ferry out of Ancona that night and have plenty of time to get to know each other.

It must have gone thru the grapevine of our little group of passengers on the delayed flight this afternoon out of Rome, or at least via the gentleman I had lunch with who works in real estate in Abu Dabi. When we landed in Ancona, a man walked up to me and said he heard I was taking the ferry to Croatia. We decided to all share a taxi and the rest is history.

I told Elin, that I planned to come to Scandinavia on a sailing trip at some point and would like to connect with relatives in Sweden. She invited me to stay with them in Norway at some point on my trip. And I absolutely will. As exhausted as I was at the time I made their acquaintance, it took no effort to converse with them. Such an easy, meant to be connection. Feeling the flow.

Now sleep.
Xo

A BIG DAY HAS ARRIVED

Holy cow.  After a few days back in Maine, getting hit hard with a cold, I am now on the train to Boston… to catch a flight to Italy, via Portugal, to get on a ferry to Zadar, Croatia!  I think I planned it well, that I will have a sleeping cabin on the ferry with a shower that will be overnight so I perhaps can get rested after flying for two days.  And hopefully have a nice shower before I get off in Zadar at 7am.  I am actually pretty pleased with this plan as I tend to need a sort of “landing” experience once I fly somewhere, or else I am kind of running off kilter for a while.  I plan to make an effort to take as good care of myself as possible over the next few days of traveling and I am desperately hoping my cold will dissipate!

I did get a surprising bit of news that JojoMaria, the 50′ Beneteau I am boarding for the summer was unable to immigrate into Croatian waters.  I was told, they were told, they needed to have a captain with a Croatian license.  I found that out just after I pulled the trigger and bought my tickets to get over there.  But if I had known, perhaps I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see Croatia this time!  Meant to be, I’m sure.  It will also give me a chance to connect with the friend I made at the Air Bnb in Bermuda.  Did I ever share that part?  I made a friend who live in NY, but is from Montenegro and is currently home for a three week visit, I am hoping to connect with him and perhaps do a little traveling together.  I am making an effort to learn some Croatian phrases, but I do not have much in my wheelhouse to connect it to.

So I need to be in Corfu, Greece by the night of the 17th, in order to be on the boat to depart the 18th, which is the current plan to the best of my understanding. I would absolutely l-o-v-e to travel from Croatia by sea, and I will continue to put that desire out there.  that would be incredible!  The islands and the Adriatic Sea look amazing.

I cannot believe how lucky I am and how things have really changed for m hint he last year.  It has been pretty comical, reflecting on that with friends and family.  A year ago, today… Lol.  This past year at the Landing School seems as though it were destined to be, a lot of stars had to align to put me in those places at those times.