I pulled up hostel after hostel, bus schedule after bus schedule, as I sat on my bunk bed in Zadar.
I had wanted to go up the coast to the Istria region of Croatia, to hop some islands before I boarded my flight from Zadar to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt to Washington, DC.
No hostels. No beds. Too expensive.
What the hell am I going to do?
Staying in Zadar for four more nights was not an option. I didn’t need to go back to Zagreb. I had no desire to go back to Split and party away my remaining days in Europe.
I had wanted to go there, but opted to head to Zadar with Katie instead.
It’s a quick bus ride back.
Could I do three nights there?
It didn’t matter. I was going to.
The next morning, I crept out of the dorm room and walked to the bus stop, headed to the bus station, and boarded the first bus to Trogir.
Zadar and I don’t have the best bus relationship. Not even a year earlier, it was the scene of my bus riding debacle. Now, I have the whole riding-the-bus-thing under control, but on that afternoon, it didn’t matter.
As the bus wound around the inland road, it began to putter a little bit.
Then, we were pulled over at a little bus stop in the middle of nowhere.
The driver got out and walked around back. My eyes followed him as he returned to the bus, grabbed some sort of tool, and turned off the engine.
For 15 minutes, we sat there. Finally, the heat began to get to me, so I grabbed my messenger bag and got off, sitting at the glass-encased stop, waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
After 20 more minutes, the driver motioned for us to get back on the bus.
He started the engine. Then, a moment later, he turned it off.
There was little communication between him and the passengers. Everyone just got off of the bus.
“What’s going on?” I asked someone who spoke Croatian.
“The bus is broken. We have to wait here 20 minutes and a new bus will come and get us.”
Thank goodness I had no place to be. No flight to catch. An hour later, we were back on the road, in a new (and functioning) ride.
We arrived to Trogir shortly after and I found my way to the hostel, crossing a bridge over the water.
The hostel was cute, tucked into a little street behind a church.
There was nearly no one there.
I got a map, found out how to get to the beach (take a water taxi) and then went to get dinner. And a bottle of wine for later.
That night was a quiet one for me. I sat outside on the terrace messaging with Katie who had arrived safely to London (she hated the flight) and writing. And talking to my mom about my grandma.
“I just don’t know, D. I can’t tell you how long it could be,” she said. “It could be hours, days … I just don’t know.”
I’ll be home soon. It’s OK.
I could visualize my arrival on four days …
A group of people from the hostel parked themselves at the table next to me and we all began to chat. They were headed out. I was headed to bed.
The next day, I took myself to the beach. A gorgeous stretch of coast lined with little cafes and restaurants. I spent the entire day there. It was relaxing. It was beautiful. It was perfect.
What a great place to end my adventure. I’m so happy.
And then, when I got back to the hostel, that’s when everything changed.