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"Smile" "Smile"

Let Dubrovnik turn your frown upside down

By  Ivana Smilovic Jun 07, 2017

I love to travel. I can’t say I have travelled that much, especially compared to those who circled around the globe, but all my journeys have one thing in common – pure hedonism.

It’s like a ‘click’ that happens in my mind when I pack my bags – I turn into the most optimistic and positive person alive. Hey, I had some shitty rides. I’ve been in horrific, filthy buses and I cleaned the window just enough to enjoy the view. One of the first times I travelled alone, the bus driver almost got into a fight with one of the other passengers. Even the police had to react. Believe it or not, I actually became friends with him and even decided to go back home with the same line. Had to get used to him cursing all the time, but well...

I was shaking and smiling at the same time as my plane couldn’t decide should it go left, right, up or down, so it went all the ways at once. I’ve been sleeping on the most uncomfortable beds, sometimes not even what you would actually define as a bed in the classic form of the word. Once I even slept in a room placed in a big garage. It didn’t even have windows that I could clean up to enjoy the view...the panorama on parked cars. I’ve had some disgusting meals that I completely overpaid for. And you know what? I didn’t complain. Because I was on a trip and I was the happiest person ever.

That gets me to my point – the trend of complaining. Ok, ok, I’m not saying that you all should be optimistic travel freaks like me, but why, oh why must everything be watched from the negative point of view? I see it and hear it all the time. Got me feeling like some people travel just so they can point out the negative sides of the cities they visit. We might as well call the summer season the season of complaining in Dubrovnik, because it’s starting to feel like that.

Crowds, heat, prices, bad accommodation – you name it, we heard it all. And I can’t argue with that, there are some problems that need to be fixed, but there are much more things that can be enjoyed. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about crowds and heat is – a cocktail in the shade. But don’t look at the bill! Don’t even think about the price. Just drink it and enjoy the fact that you are in the ‘Pearl of Adriatic’. Dip your toes in the sea, eat ice cream and sea food, go island hopping. Get the best out of the experience. And leave the problems to us.

Because honestly, locals around here are the masters of complaining. We love to do it and even have a special word for it - ‘’njorganje’’. We also hate the heat, the crowds and the prices, so we are more than willing to take over the negative way of thinking. We can even point out around 100 problems that you didn’t even notice.

It’s not that we don’t like our City, it’s just the part of our mentality. The fact is that we adore Dubrovnik, no matter what we say.

A few days ago I went to Lovrijenac to take some photos. It was so hot and I fought the crowds in the Old City before I came to the fort. And oh, those stairs... They killed me. I was pissed and covered with sweat. And then I looked at it. My beautiful Dubrovnik. It was enchanting. I fell in love with it again. Forgot about the heat, crowds, sweat. Forgot all the negative things that bother me every day. And I live here all my life. I can only imagine how other people feel when seeing it for the first time...

So please, during your visit, fall in love with the city. That crazy, stupid love that makes you ignore all the flaws. And let’s make another trend. Let’s try to find something positive in everything we do.

To be honest, I can feel that my negativity starting to kick in. Maybe it’s time to pack my bags...Or at least go to Lovrijenac again.

Ivana Smilovic 


Ivana Smilovic or "Smile" is a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times, passionate book lover and a self-confessed coffee addict. As a local, she loves to bring news and stories from Dubrovnik...

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