My Slowest Ever Trip: Vis, Croatia

This is quite a claim for me, someone who advocates a slower pace of travel, but my recent trip to Croatia was my slowest yet.

We spent five nights in Croatia (two in Split, three on the island of Vis) at the end of July. Five glorious days of doing absolutely nothing other than swim, read and eat. A typical day looked something like this: wake up, pull on bikini, step outside and swim in the small beach in front of our apartment, read for a bit, wander to a lunch spot, read a bit more, swim, read, swim, read, go out for dinner.

In previous years, this type of holiday would have bored me senseless, but I now look forward to a calm and relaxing trip away where my biggest concern is fitting in as many swims as possible into one day. During these long, slow summer days, I lock my phone and camera indoors and only carry the bare essentials: a book, a towel, my sunhat and a bottle of water. I’m perfectly happy dangling my feet in the water, engrossed in a good book or conversation. When I get itchy feet or start to feel too warm, I put down my book and enjoy a swim. Swim, read, repeat.

Usually, there’s something else that I want to see or do during my trip. I might be determined to try paddle-boarding, obsessed with the idea of hiring a small boat for the day or have a couple of day trips in mind. This time, during our four days on Vis, I let myself be content with the daily routine that I quickly got used to. There are definitely parts of the island that I’d love to return to see, but for this short trip I was content with taking it nice and slow.

As a consequence of basically doing nothing the entire trip, I don’t really have any recommendations to share, other than to stay as close to the water as possible and spend as many hours as you can in the sea. I put off writing this blog post, as I didn’t know if there was any point in sharing a holiday where I literally did nothing for five days. There’s something to be said about slowing things down though. Rather than acting like a tourist, you find yourself slipping into the way of life that you would have if you were local (and didn’t have to work). I started dreaming about owning a holiday home on a Croatian island (or in Mallorca, or Italy, or France …) where I could retreat several times a year to swim, eat, read and do absolutely nothing else, other than take photographs and perhaps visit the local markets. I lay on my towel on the pebbled beach, daydreaming of a Mediterranean existence and wondering how I could fund this fantasy life.

Despite not even having a restaurant recommendation to share (to be honest, we ate nowhere remarkable, other than Fort George, which I would recommend for the sunset views rather than the food), I wanted to share my photos from Vis with you. I also wanted to encourage you to take a slow trip at least once a year, where you literally do nothing at all. Take some time to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of a destination, rather than trying to engulf it.