It's not often that I hit a mental roadblock while trying to write. It's also not often that I come across a revelation of the heart while trying to find the words that need saying. I can't think of a single way to express where I'm at and I certainly can't wrap my mind around why it's so difficult all of a sudden.
It feels like my heart isn't in it. For the first time since we left at the beginning of the year, I'm starting to really question where to go next.
At the beginning of November we moved into a temporary flat outside of Split, Croatia, planning to stay three months. I wanted to rest, to recharge, to take a break from volunteering and constant movement. It seemed meant to be – an affordable studio with all we needed (sans internet), a balcony view of the Adriatic, a way to host couch surfers again, a time to hone my writing and music skills. A place to feel settled.
The funny thing is, all the things I wanted to take a break from are the things I miss most. I miss being challenged and stretched through volunteering. I miss using my backpack, which lies empty and unused in the closet. I also miss feeling truly immersed in a culture, staying with a local host family, figuring out my orientation to new cities and neighborhoods.
I love Croatia and I'm thankful for our time here. I love waking up to the sound of boats puttering by and watching the local fishermen mend their nets as I sip my morning coffee. It's the most beautiful place I have ever had the chance to stay.
It's dawning on me, however, that maybe I don't always know best. Maybe it's time to go. I don't need a hundred satellite channels and my own fancy bathroom. I need growth, obstacles, and community. In trying to repeatedly convince myself that staying here is best, I fell victim to the same danger I warn others about – letting plans get in the way of the experiences you actually need.
Where will we go? We aren't sure yet. My heart feels very drawn to Romania or possibly Bulgaria. All I know is that I can feel stagnancy creeping its way into my life, and I am not a fan.
So, Croatian apartment and life, I am breaking up with you. You are wonderful, but you are not for me, at least not right now.