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Last summer, my time at university came to an end. All of a sudden I was an adult. I had responsibilities, real London rent to pay and work to do. It had been an intense few years in the city and I suddenly felt like I had been dropped into the world. For some reason, in a place of such uncertainty and instability, I decided it was the perfect time to run away and go on a solo trip I couldn't afford. I have a dangerous habit of diving into things without a second thought, but this was my biggest dive yet.
Traveling alone has always tested my anxiety, so going abroad and actually getting a plane by myself was a big deal for me. I was as nervous as I was excited though. My destination wasn't too important to me. As long as it was hot, cheap and pretty. One evening after watching a very sun-filled episode of Made In Chelsea set in Croatia, I had determined the destination of my first solo adventure, and boy was it a good choice.
In recent years, Croatia has become a popular tourist attraction having being a reoccurring filming location for Game of Thrones. One of those locations being the city of Split. Built around the preserved Roman castle remains of Diocletian's Palace, Split is bustling with tourists exploring the different tours and landmarks. Maybe it was the beautiful palace remains, maybe it was the live music that filled the streets every night or maybe it was the incredible (and super cheap) pizza but Split stole my heart and I will never forget my time there.
If you like a good night out, Split has a great range of bars, clubs and pub crawls. One of my best nights in Croatia was on a pub crawl that included free pizza and fantastic pubs ending with a huge club on a gorgeous sandy beach. Another destination for the party animals is the Island of Hvar, whose party Island reputation is well-deserved. An hour long ferry ride from Split, the Island is worth a visit for its beauty alone. The hostel I stayed at on Hvar provided a free pub crawl every night ending with a boat ride to a club located on a gorgeous little island. Yes, it was as fun as it sounds!
As someone who has never found it easy to to talk to strangers, going abroad alone was pretty daunting. I didn’t go away intending to make friends however I found myself meeting loads of people—some of whom I’m still in contact with today! If you’re going away wanting to be sociable my biggest tips are to stay at hostels and go on pub crawls—it’s almost impossible not to make friends! Croatia is super popular at the moment, so there are backpackers and travellers everywhere. This massively eased my anxieties of being in an unknown place.
When people ask me what my favourite part of my trip was, Plitvice National Park springs straight to mind. I didn’t visit Croatia just to sunbathe and get drunk (although I did do a fair amount of that). I also wanted to experience the incredible natural phenomenons of Croatia. The six hour hike provided landscapes more beautiful than anywhere I’d ever witnessed, overwhelmingly vast waterfalls and the freshest air that left me feeling fuelled with energy. If you go to Croatia, the national parks are a must.
If you’re looking for a break somewhere with crystal clear water, Island hopping boat trips, countless hiking trails and a buzzing nightlife, there is certainly a place for you in Croatia. If none of the above entices you, just go for the best and cheapest pizza ever. Seriously.