I am a bit tired of the festivities. Celebrating Christmas holidays in Dubrovnik is a marathon, not a sprint… and I dislike running in general. Croatians tend to take things to the extreme and this is especially evident when we celebrate something. This means there is plenty of protocol to go through every year in the second half of December and it involves meeting friends and relatives, getting dressed up, buying presents, going to church and so on. And then, there is food. Oh, my God, so much food. Anyone who knows me just a bit knows I enjoy food and all aspects of it. I love making it, eating it, learning about it, and I have even based my own business partly on the importance of food in local culture. I am a foodie through and through, and a sugar junkie to boot. However, even I can’t cope with the sheer amount of food being thrown at me during the holidays, regardless of how delicious it is. Generally, most of us in Dubrovnik live close to our families and if not, we tend to visit during the holidays. This means, we spend few days around Christmas surrounded by our parents or even grandparents who were raised in a more traditional society where this holiday is one of those occasions that involves cooking your butt off and making a feast for anyone who will visit. There needs to be plenty food left over as well, otherwise, how will you know for sure if you've made enough? Maybe your guests left feeling hungry! The horror!
What I am trying to say is, I'm going on a diet after New Year's, so my readers can brace themselves for a string of depressing texts that I am likely to produce in the grumpy, sugarless state I am going to be in. Speaking of the New Year's festivities, what are your plans? Do you hate this question by now? I am usually a fairly organised man and like making plans ahead of time, but this year I have decided to take the route many of my friends did and simply don't bother with New Year's celebration plans. So, I haven't made any and it's already 29th of December. I am truly living on the edge. In all seriousness, this year's celebrations are not really exciting me, not (just) because I am a joyless Scrooge, but simply because I have an active social life and don’t crave any more partying or going out. This year especially has been marked by plenty of socializing with all manner of interesting people. For a closet introvert like me, there was borderline too much human contact in 2016 and I am very happy because of it.
Yes, I am going to end the year and this last text of the 2016 on a happy note. Talk about subverting expectations. This year has been very tricky worldwide and plenty of people are looking forward to it ending. In my life there has been ups and downs, but 2016 was nowhere near as bad as some of the years of my life (2012, I'm looking at you). It wasn't spectacularly good either, but if I need to take something positive away from it, it's all the people in my life because of which I can only think back fondly on the past 12 months. I have been blessed to be able to spend time with my friends and family, I had plenty of fun, enjoyed good food and wine, broadened my horizons and gained new insights. My wife and I are building our dream business and as hard as that is, it fills me with joy as it gives my life purpose and takes me one step closer to my dream of being my own boss (I hate authority figures) and having a business I believe in. With all this going on, I am also happy for being able to have this little corner of the web to share my thoughts with all of you out there reading my ramblings. Thank you for that. Time is our most precious commodity and for you to be spending yours reading my texts is a big compliment and fills me with pride.
So, boys and ghouls, from the bottom of my heart, happy holidays and all the best in the upcoming year. Let’s make it a good one!
Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page. www.insiderholidays.eu www.facebook.com/insiderholidays