Friday, 19 August 2022

Seeing the world not just from our own limited lens, but in it’s full technicolour glory

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Sep 12, 2021

“Not all who wander are lost”.

It’s official, the gypsy spirit in me has been re-awakened.

It’s a Saturday night, and I find myself at a photography exhibition at Dodo bar in Dubrovnik, one of my favourite places, tucked away in a back street on Sulic beach.

I’m meeting my friend Becky, a fellow wanderer, and I don’t really know much about it, but I figure that, being in such a cool location, with a cool person, it’s going to be a cool evening.

So I hop on a boat from Cavtat and make my way through the Old Town, as quickly as possible. I’m not a lover of the Stradun until it’s much quieter, but I realise it’s been a few weeks since a Dubrovnik night out, so I decide “it’s September now, it’s time”.

I know I’m in the right place when I see a sign on the wall saying:

“Not all who wander are lost”.


The guys running the exhibition are Ivan Vokovic (the local legend that is Dubrovnik Tourist Guide) and Damjan Šulić, the owner of the bar.

I arrive on my own to a warm welcome, and Ivan gives me the background of the exhibition.

They have been volunteering at the Mali Dom orphanage in Kenya for many years, the photos were taken on their last visit there, and this evening is to raise more funds for the orphanage.

The faces of the children are full of life, joy even, and we talk about how travel taught us that there are people in different cultures, with more difficult circumstances, that are happier with less.

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I’m recalling in my mind all I learned on my travels, in particular, in India, and how my wanderings made me a better person.

Far from being lost, I discovered so much more about who I was and how I wanted to show up in the world.

I have a feeling it was much the same for Ivan and Damjan.

As they said: “It’s feels good to do good”, simple wisdom, and clearly they were inspired on their travels.

So this week, with a friend across from England, I’m determined for us to go off on an adventure.

It doesn’t take much planning. Just getting in the car and making our way up the Peljesac peninsular, stopping off at Ston for an oyster brunch, and we’re on a ferry to Korcula island.

We seem to have an 80s soundtrack the whole way, so we’re singing our hearts out, and I’m so happy to be taking my friend on this trip. As a Curator, it’s right up her street, and leaving her for a morning to wander the medieval Old Town, I know she’ll be like a kid in a sweet shop.

What I wasn’t expecting was to find my own special place, and to be inspired for the next exciting phase of my journey.

I’ve often been criticised for moving around so much, but I’m not a tree, I think to myself. I’m not rooted to the ground, I know myself pretty well I think, and I know I’m at my best being nomadic.

This last 18 months has meant staying largely in one place, but this gypsy feels ready to roam once more, and that’s so exciting.

I think about Tolkien’s quote again:

“Not all who wander are lost”.

There’s a lot to be said for wandering - a new perspective, different landscapes and cultures, seeing the world not just from our own limited lens, but in it’s full technicolour glory.

And what could be more life-enhancing than that?

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 Cavtat. 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.

To find out more about Gillie go to


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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