If you need some therapy after a sudden and unexpected life change, I highly recommend a couple of weeks on the coast of Croatia.
If you’ve been reading along lately, you know that we spent three very stressful and emotional weeks packing up our life in the UAE and saying goodbyes. In the midst of that storm, Dwayne accepted a teaching job back in Chilliwack for the fall and we had to decide what to do for the summer. Because we had anticipated still being in Al Ain this coming year, we had already planned and booked another 6 week European adventure. This year’s itinerary included Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Our flights and the deposits on 8 different apartments were non-refundable, so when we found out we wouldn’t be returning to the UAE, we had to decide quite quickly whether we would cut our losses and return to Canada for the summer, or use the money we’d already saved for the trip and carry on as planned. We figured it was highly unlikely that our family would ever get an opportunity to do this trip again, and hey, we’d need place to stay all summer anyway….so, Europe it is!
And honestly, the reality of our return to Canada was still sinking in, and we really felt we would benefit from some space and time to grieve the life we were leaving behind and prepare for our new life back home. Europe seemed like a pretty appealing buffer.
So we flew to Croatia and spent five days in Dubrovnik, aka the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” five days in Jelsa on the island of Hvar, and five days in Zadar, voted one of Europe’s best destinations of 2016, for good reason. We swam, scootered, hiked, ate, and strolled inspiring city streets. We slept, read, wrote, played, and talked. We bantered back and forth about what we’ll miss about the UAE, what we’re looking forward to about returning to Canada, and how our new life might look.
I sent a few of my friends a photo of me on the sea wall watching a sunset in Zadar and some of them commented on how relaxed I look. And that’s exactly how I felt. Relaxed. Content. At peace. That’s no small matter, all things considered. I feel blessed to have had the life experience we’ve had the last two years and ready to return, with new perspective and altered priorities. Croatian therapy. Worth every penny.