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Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

The spirit of new adventure has returned to Dubrovnik

Written by  May 24, 2021

“Stay open to new adventures”.

It’s become my new mantra lately, especially after what seemed like a year of very little freedom; it feels like the spirit of adventure has returned and there’s a beautiful new world emerging in front of us.

Especially, it seems, in and around Dubrovnik right now.

Yes, of course, we are still in a period of recovery, on so many levels, but I believe that what we have been through is a type of “healing crisis”, a worsening of symptoms that arises as we go through the healing process.

If you look back to the most difficult times in your life, wasn’t it often the case that you came back stronger and better?

We had to dig deep, but we got there, and there’s no doubt, there were lessons learned, and many silver linings.

Perhaps one of these is that we’re all ready to embrace life and all the exciting adventures it has to offer. No more procrastination, as we realise that the freedoms we once took for granted are no longer guaranteed. Things can change in a heartbeat, and the future is still uncertain.

What we do have is the present, and that is the gift we must hold close to our hearts.

For me that means saying yes to new adventures, even if it’s not what I would have done before. Everything is different now, from walking down the Stradun, to spending time with others, and even planning for the future.

Things aren’t going to go back to how they were, so maybe this is the opportunity for us to re-define ourselves too?

The more we try to hold onto the past, the more we will be disappointed, because it’s not going to be the same.

“There’s no point looking back, you’re not going that way”.

It’s time to move forward. 

As far as I can see the world has changed anyway, and in many ways it’s for the best, and if we can just stay open, we may start to experience life in a more fulfilling way than we did before.

Just this week I had one of the best days of my year, a random weekday, when I accepted a date with someone I hadn’t met before (a first for me), and spent a magical day in Dubrovnik showing him around my favourite hidden gems off the beaten track. It was new because I felt more like a local than a tourist, and I realised just how proud of become of this incredible place.

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It’s time to move forward

Then today I went against my usual grain once more, and decided to join a trip up past Ston and the Peljesac peninsula with a group of twelve others. It was a Sunday morning, my only day off this week, and it required getting up at the crack of dawn. I usually hate this type of group tour, it brings out the rebel in me, but I loved every moment, and as we sang our hearts out to Oasis on the journey back, I felt right at home once more with these near-strangers.

We were singing “Wonderwall”, but in my head I had the words, “Don’t look back in anger”.

For me the gift of this pandemic had been teaching me the importance of social interaction, that we are hard-wired for connection, no man or woman is an island, and when I open my mind to new adventures, new experiences and new people, there really is a whole new world to go out and embrace.

It’s not all about the Old Town anymore. It’s about Zupa. It’s about Konavle. It’s about oysters and Rukatac wine in Ston. It’s the bay of Zaton and Mokosica. It’s watching the Peljesac bridge starting to emerge and all that means for the country.

It’s about co-creating with curious minds. It’s about catching the best sunsets from way up high above the City. It’s walking the roads less travelled and getting excited about taking a new turn. It’s enjoying the perfect moment in time, which is right here right now, and being fully in it.

It’s just staying open and saying yes to new adventures.

What a time to be alive!!

Read more Gillie here...  


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

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