Stick It To Me, Croatia!
Brent and I got boosters! Plus, my name is Michael, and I'm addicted to taking pictures
Um, Aren’t We Supposed to be Slomads?
Brent and I spent the first six months of this year holed up in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, waiting out the pandemic. Then in May, we resumed our “digital nomad” journey, and we hit the ground running.
And when I say “running,” I’m not really exaggerating:
We passed through Seattle to get our second Covid vaccination — and spend time with friends and family! — then flew to Istanbul, Turkey, where we lived in two different places over the course of two months.
Then it was off to Romania, with stops in Brasov (ten days) and Sibiu (a month).
Next we spent a week in Budapest, Hungary, and six weeks in Keszthely, Hungary.
Then we popped over to Vienna, Austria, for four days.
Then we trained it up to Prague for a month.
And then we headed back down to Vienna for the Christmas markets (which were amazing).
Finally, it was off to Split, Croatia, where we currently are.
Whew! That’s a lot of travel for two fellows who call themselves digital “slomads” — nomads who travel slowly.
I’ve said before, I tend to get bored with a place more quickly than Brent, but I confess after whizzing around eastern and central Europe the past five months, even I’m ready to settle down for a bit.
Which is why I’m delighted to be here in Croatia for at least two months, and maybe even three. It’s going to be nice to put down some roots — at least until my feet get itchy again.
Out of the Frying Pan Into the…Stormy Weather?
Even though Covid vaccines are now widely available in Western countries, traveling during Year Two of the pandemic has been fraught with challenges. (We’ve written before about why we resumed traveling after being vaccinated.)
Borders closed, opened, and closed again. The Delta variant arrived on the scene, Covid rates spiked in different places, and fell, and spiked again, and recommendations regarding international travel changed daily. Every country also has its own set of regulations — and every county is also enforcing them differently, even in the EU, where things are supposed to be consistent.
Lately, infections have been especially bad in Europe, and this doesn’t surprise us too much. Mask usage was negligible in both Hungary and Romania — and there was a lot of superstition in the latter country about the vaccines. But even Austria has struggled lately, despite mask usage being really great there, and our vaccination status was checked repeatedly. This is obviously a very wily virus.
In fact, just after we arrived in Vienna for our four-day visit, the Austrian president announced a three-week-long total lockdown for the entire country, starting the day after we were to leave. Which means that everyone who scheduled a trip to Vienna’s fantastic Christmas markets had their plans ruined, and the merchants all stand to lose big bucks, especially if the lockdown continues through the end of the year.
Since the lockdown hadn’t started yet, we were lucky enough to see the Christmas markets — pictures to come! But on our last day, after the lockdown was announced, the Christkindlmarkt was so mobbed that we bailed after two minutes. (Pic post of Vienna’s Christmas markets to come!)
Then we were off to Split, the second largest city in Croatia. We’d settled on Split because of the mild Mediterranean winter and the fact that we were joining friends.
Unfortunately, Croatia has a low vax rate and a quickly rising Covid caseload, which meant we’d have to be even more careful than usual, especially since we were arriving with waning immunity — almost exactly six months after our last shot.
Then we learned Croatia was one of the few countries vaccinating tourists. And so, the day after we arrived, we each got boosters. Now we feel like we can relax a bit — still taking all our usual precautions, of course.
So, hvala, Croatia! We appreciate your sticking it to us.
That being said, the weather has taken a strange turn. Our first few days were great — warm and sunny. But then a storm moved in.
We’re just a five minute walk from old town and the waterfront, and naturally the storm didn’t keep me from heading down to snap some photos.
As you can see, it was quite the wild day. Some boats were damaged, despite it being a very sheltered harbor, but no people or businesses were hurt.
Here’s hoping things clear up soon!
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Brent and Michael Are Going Places to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.