My first solo trip: Croatia and Montenegro.

2022 I finally bit the bullet and went on my first solo holiday. Booking it felt incredibly liberating and wild, and a bit nerve wracking . I’ve always been ‘the organiser’ so I felt confident my days would feel so busy and I’d be doing so much sightseeing that I wouldn’t have a chance to feel lonely. Well this did and didn’t work.

On my first holiday in Dubrovnik, Croatia in May, I had one activity per day, some in the afternoon, some in the morning or evening. Being a huge game of thrones fan I couldn’t wait to see where Kings landing had been filmed. Can strongly recommend the Game of Thrones tour by the way, it takes a few hours and the views were beautiful (Dubrovnik Walking tours company). As tours go this one was quite couples heavy, with one of two families, maybe one or two other solo travellers. As the guide was talking most of the time there wasn’t any time for mingling or bonding as such. The following morning’s city walls tour was very similar (two besties and me as their third wheel). The tour was good and learned about a really cute bar literally on the rocks outside the city wall and overlooking the sea (Buza Bar Dubrovnik). The bar is so unique, literally you’ve to climb up rocks to get a seat, it’s tiny though so there can be a wait and so you’re not disappointed, the sun doesn’t set that direction.
The following day I had a day trip to Montenegro (Super tours) this was by far the best day of my trip. Was in a mini bus with 6 or 7 other people, who were lovely and the majority of the group were solo travellers too so lots of chat between us all and offering to take pictures for each other. Something important to remember (which I had not), is that Montenegro is not actually in the EU, so it’s important to bring your proper passport, the book one rather than the card us privileged Europeans can use. They let me away with it, but coming up to the border I was worried I’d be left at passport control for the next 8 hours until the bus returned. I hadn’t even bothered to read what the tour consisted of so the extra stops really felt like a bonus. The following morning and last day I had kayaking in the sea and snorkelling, which was also incredible but I’d definitely forgotten how hard it was kayaking and had blisters on my thumbs for the next week or so. Also, try and be able to swim yeah? Otherwise the snorkelling may not happen for you! And for the love of christ have sea shoes or a pair you’re willing to wear in coz the stones will fucking kill your feet. I couldn’t swim properly and that in combination with the pain in my feet and my mild fear of fish meant I didn’t get to actually see any fish, next time though I’ve promised myself.

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In terms of veggie options it wasn’t great. That being said I’m much less picky now than I was in May, one of my goals this year. I got really sick of being limited in foods and knowing how much travelling I want to do and not wanting to be the person using google translate to ask for chips, I’ve started trying everything without meat.

Final words on Croatia. This was a life changing trip for me and very much feel like it opened a door for me to a whole other world. The first few days eating by myself in restaurants was weird, but by the end of it I really enjoyed it. I went for a walk to the side of the city I’d not seen and found a beautiful little restaurant overlooking the bay at night and just got some cake and tea and enjoyed the views and this desire to write came over me. I very rarely feel this desire but it was so strong I was mad I didn’t have m laptop with me. I remember seeing solo travellers when I was 19 in Sydney and feeling sorry for them, thinking god that must be so hard and so lonely. Now I only wish I had done this sooner, I waited until I was 32 and what a waste! All the places I never went, never seen coz my friends or partner at the time didn’t want to go. Lesson learnt! The boost in my confidence meant I posted my first ever bikini photo online, something I’d never have done before. Not because I thought there was anything wrong with my body, I’m actually very pleased with my body, it takes me wonderful places and does wonderful things. I just never thought that was something I could do without being a bit cringe. Anyways, there I am, in my at the time brand new vans I’d just worn into the sea to try and see some very colourful disgusting fish.
Recommendations for Dubrovnik: Go kayaking, do the zip-line at the top of the mountain, eat at the mountain top restaurant and go on a day trip soon on in the holiday, its your best chance at making some holiday friends or at least finding some people to go to dinner with, the zip line at sunset was also great for this and met some lovely women up there.

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