Croatia has won our hearts. Honestly the most friendly country we’ve visited so far. Yesterday after the jump-start-wine incident (see post below) we briefly met a general from the Croatian war of Independence who is a legend in his own lifetime around these parts – so much so that after he left people came to talk to us to tell us who he is and took time to explain just how much they admire and respect him. Then we met this amazing family who literally kidnapped us, took us back to their home, fed us, gave us hot showers; filled us with stories of Croatia and beyond; filled our map with ‘places we must visit’; filled a bag with local honey, olive oil, sweets and nuts. It’s the strangest thing but travel is really getting me over my social anxiety. I still have to furiously think of questions to ask at times and can feel my heart racing but also I’m getting better at relaxing – I am not responsible for this conversation or in control of it, I can just sit back, listen, and enjoy the flow. Weirdly, being around strangers in this way helps – everyone is equal, there’s no expected prior knowledge of who is who or who does what; it elicits genuinely interesting conversation about politics, languages, travel, history and art that I just really love. And check out their van!
Earlier this morning we met a local guy walking his dog. After an animated mime conversation (he speaks Croatian and German, we speak English, Cymraeg and some French) he managed to convey to us that the battery on his car had gone flat and did we have jump leads? Sometimes I joke about how organised Andy is – we are polar opposites on this score – but he sorted the guy out and got him on the road in no time. It felt good to be able to help someone on our travels. Anyway, the guy came back half an hour later with this water bottle filled with his own home-made wine. Happy days 😊 karma wins ✊ #vanlifeeurope