Cities / Towns Visited: 54
Countries Visited: 16
Steps Taken Today: 15,363
Steps Taken Around the World: 1,917,878
Once more rising early, it was time to properly celebrate my partner’s actual birthday, thus, as the day before, we popped downstairs to meet our guide for our second birthday adventure. The tour company had wanted to set it back because there was a chance of rain, but we weren’t scared of a little drizzle, and we had a bus to catch later that day, so off we headed, just us and our guide, until we reached a secluded off road car park in Brela. So what was today’s adventure you ask? Sea kayaking would be your answer, because seemingly we hadn’t abused our arm muscles enough while rafting. With life jackets on, down the precarious and rather lofty embankment we went, until we reached the tiny isolated beach where the bright orange kayaks were awaiting us on the shore.
Before long we were afloat, and paddling across the calm water of the Adriatic sea, behind the kayak of our guide, in the cool air of the overcast morning. There was something serene about the silence only being broken by the sound of our paddles slicing through the gentle, undulating waves of this body of water which has ebbed and flowed through time itself. It flowed before us, as it will flow long after we are gone.
We soon stopped for a break on another minuscule beach, only reachable by sea, or by a rather treacherous hike. It was just us, and a couple of people suiting up to go diving from a small boat they had anchored just offshore. My partner took the opportunity to do a little snorkelling, but I decided to sit it out, with the weather and the water being significantly colder than the previous day. I happily sat resting beneath a small rock ledge as a light rain misted down over us.
Re-energised, we slipped back into the kayaks and continued, past a stunning private house on the shore, which is, yet again, only accessible by boat, and must have been a nightmare to build; and off until we reached our final beach stop. Resting once more, and taking the opportunity to wade out a little into the chilly water, we pleasantly chatted while watching tiny fish dart out from the rocks and around our legs.
Back in the boats with us and we were paddling the rather arduous breakless stretch back to the start point. Whereas I’m sure the light rain would have been a turnoff to other travellers (and it obviously was, as we were by ourselves on the trip), we instead found it soul cleansing to be alone, just us, a couple of paddles, and the healing nature of water. By the time we dropped of the kayaks and hiked back up the embankment, we were thoroughly exhausted, and invigorated in equal measure.
Arriving back in Makarska, we trotted of along the shore and grabbed a kebab for lunch, to replenish the energy we had spent the morning expending. Then it was back to grab our bags, and very welcomely receive a lift from our kind Airbnb hosts to the bus station so we didn’t have to lug our bags there. A squished, but brief, bus trip, and it wasn’t long until we were settling into our new home in Split.
Now, of course, the celebration wasn’t quite done, thus we showered, tidied ourselves up and headed out. A little googling had found us a fancy restaurant, and I was keeping with tradition and taking the boy our for an all expenses paid dinner. That’s right ladies, it’s not always the man who has to pay. To be fair, in our relationship we always split everything 50/50 financially, but birthdays are the only exception. With a beautiful view down over the sea, we indulged in a delectable three course meal starting with a pumpkin risotto, and a squid risotto; followed by a steak, and sea bass; and finished off with a rich dark chocolate terrine. Coupled with some top shelf spirits, it is safe to say we left more than happy with the experience, even if it dinted my hip pocket a little. Money comes and goes, but memories are forever, and today was certainly memorable.
As we collapsed into bed, I thought once more about the conundrum of aging. Each year, getting older seems to play on my partner’s mind. He has dreams he still hasn’t fulfilled, and he does not own any financial assets; I know that weighs heavily on him. I try and take a moment each new year of his life to remind him not to be dismayed by the passing of time. Much against the norm, I am grateful for each year older I become. As someone who spent many of my younger years, and even some of the current ones, battling my demons just to stay alive, it amazes me that I was strong enough to make it this far. I suppose when you face death on the daily, it loses its fear inducing properties. That’s not to say I don’t worry that I’ll reach the end of my life without fulfilling all of my hopes and dreams, but I am comfortable in the knowledge that I was smart enough to ignore my teachers insistence I become a doctor, and instead followed my dream of becoming a chef; a job I still love. As the saying goes, ‘If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,’ and to be honest there are very few days that I dread going to work. I did that for long enough to now be wilfully unemployed and fulfilling another of my dreams; travelling. I am sometimes sad that it will most likely take us anywhere between five to ten years to see everything we want to see, including time to work and save to continue, but by the same token it’s all part of the adventure. At least I will reach the end of my life knowing that I did all I could to live the life I wanted, instead of the life society says I should. I will do my best to help make my partner’s dreams come true as well, just as much as I work towards mine, and I will continue to remind him that his aging is a gift. Old age is a privilege denied to many, and by this sentiment I live.