Notes from the Bus – Driving down the Croatian Coast.

I’m currently 6,275 miles from Los Angeles, on a bus that is traveling down the coast of Croatia. I am en route from Zegreb to Split and then when I arrive I will catch the next bus to Dubrovnik. I hadn’t planned on taking this bus.. I had a ticket for a 7:35am train but the universe had a different plan for me. On my way out of my AirBnb, the front door to the building closed and locked behind me before I realized I had left my phone charging inside. By the time someone walked out of the building I had missed my train by 8 minutes.

I often find myself telling people that I’m never late to work or the airport, but I’m pretty much late for everything else. Somehow I need to learn to add “train station” to that list. I have missed 3 trains already. The other two were inconsequential because there were frequent trains all day between those locations but there were only two available trains from Zagreb to Split, and the second one wouldn’t get me into Dubrovnik until after 1am and that was too late to check into my AirBnb.

I quickly looked up the next bus and it was leaving in 30 minutes. It was a 20 minute walk to the train station, maybe more with my backpack which somehow seemed a lot heavier even though all I had purchased on the trip so far was a keychain from an Easter market in Vienna that said “Today is my Favorite Day.” I had to figure out how to get a ticket and get on the right bus in the next 30 minutes. It ended up costing me $25 for a bus to Split from Zagreb on top of the train reservation that I missed. Thankfully I didn’t write the information for the train on my Eurail Pass yet. Apparently they can be pretty strict about it and I would have completely surrendered a full day of travel.

I made it onto the next bus! Even with the exhaustion and panic, when I actually accomplished something, I always feel this strong sense of pride as if my angels are saying “Go Lisa! We told you that you could do it!”

While the seats are less comfortable on a bus than a first class train, it’s an experience I’m glad I’m having, and I’m telling myself the view from the bus window is probably prettier than the train would have been anyway. (I guess I’ll find out on the way back up.) I definitely didn’t expect to see snow capped mountains. Sometimes not knowing anything about a place before you go is stupid, but it often surprises you in beautiful ways.

*pause*

Okay so I arrived in Split and ran right onto the bus to Dubrovnik as it was about to drive away. About halfway there we stopped at a rest stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a town called Neum. I saw two women, who I would later learn are sisters named Lois and Cindy, taking pictures of each other in front of the sunset. I asked if they wanted me to take a picture of them together. Cindy said no at the same time Lois said yes, so after I took their picture we started talking. I found out they had been on that same 7:35am train that I had missed from Zagreb, and this was the earliest bus to Dubrovnik! So, after panicking all morning about arriving later than planned, I realized I would have arrived on this exact bus. Reminder: Worrying is useless… Although the woman at my AirBnb was actually still upset with me because I didn’t realize that Booking.com had check in times listed in 24 hour time since I was in Europe and so the woman thought I was arriving at 7am instead of 7pm… and thus she had been waiting for me all day. I’m kind of an asshole. Lesson learned.

All for now.

Check in soon.

Love love love love,

Lis

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