06 August 2017

To my readers... 💓

When I first started this blog I never thought about who would read it, I never thought anyone would read it 😅 let alone it would lead to writing a personal column for Croatian online news portal...but it did.

Some situations in the last few months, actually, ever since I moved back home made me realize there were more than a handful of readers who followed me around the world through  my stories, more than I imagined. People who I knew nothing about started to get a name and a face. Well, some of them. 😋

Back then, writing in my own language made it so much more easier for Croatians (mostly girls) to contact me and ask questions, to ask for advice or to simply read about certain experiences and travel around through someone else's words and photos. 
When you come from a small country like Croatia where 'everyone knows everyone' it's most likely you'll have mutual friends with the person who contacted you or you'll end up having mutual friends eventually. Small country = big expat community, where everyone knows everyone, literally. 

That's how I got to know a lot of men and women, girls and boys who live(d) abroad who sent me those kind of messages. Nice and friendly, whether to just to say hi,  to share their experience or to just say I know how you feel, I've been there... At the time it meant a lot, more than you can imagine.

Some of the girls who contacted me with questions about the cabin crew job, application process or life in Dubai and everything else that followed, I got a chance to meet in all sorts of crazy coincidental situations! 😊

I was happy whenever I could've helped with any kind of advice, suggestion, piece of information cause I knew how it felt not knowing anyone and not having anyone to ask for that kind of help. And trust me, you have a gazillion questions and need just one person to make you feel more comfortable, to calm you down, to tell you it's not that hard, before you pack your bags, leave home and start that crazy expat (cabin crew) life. 
Even today, almost two years after I quit the job I'm getting the same messages with the same questions, and I still feel more than happy to reply.

Some of my readers I met on board... Croatian passenger on a flight to Kabul, Afghanistan I operated on recognized me and came to say hi after which my colleagues thought I was someone famous back in my country hahahaha! 😂 
I still owe her a drink 😄. 

As the time goes by, especially now when I don't write as often and since I stopped writing for Index.hr it's even more heart warming to hear that some person, there in the world, someone who I never knew existed, still reads and follows what I write or post about. It's so incredible to hear my friends meeting someone who 'knows' me just because that someone read something I once wrote. 😌
It's kinda weird for my father to call me from his business trip to tell me someone asked if he's related to me 'cause everyone in that company loved my stories.
For a nice pizza delivery girl who brought me pizza yesterday to tell me she recognized me from the pictures and ask if that's really me, to give me goosebumps and make me feel so happy (not only because she brought pizza ☝😂) by wishing me as many more travel miles as the wordy ones... 
It makes my heart grow! 💗

Sending you love!

09 July 2017

365 days later... :)

Hi there everyone,

it's been a year since I moved back home, back to my beautiful Zagreb... ♡

Wasn't as hard as many thought it would be! I heard so many opinions about everything, how I won't be able  to find a job, how I should forget about traveling once I get back, how crazy I am to even consider going back to Croatia, how I haven't thought it through or how I'll miss my old life for sure. What to say, I proved them all wrong! 😜

People who never left Croatia told me not to come back, but they couldn't have known how it felt to want to come back, the ones who left told me to think it through carefully but they supported me, the ones who left and came back understood me best. At the end it's all personal, subjective decision that varies from one person to another...

My decision to return to Croatia wasn't impulsive, hasn't been based only on emotions and it wasn't stupid (yeah, I heard that as well), not at all. I knew what I was doing, I thought it through so many times, gave myself time to process, I put everything on the paper, all the pros and cons, talked about it with family and friends a lot, calculated my financials and did all the homework before making this decision. The one that was best for me, knowing I can always move again, change my plans along the way, cause I am capable and not afraid of doing it.

Coming back is not a final, it's not my last stop and I never said it was forever. On the contrary, I still feel restless, I still have this wish to discover, explore and challenge myself, but for now is what I need. If the opportunity falls in my lap to go somewhere new again I'd take it, I'm open to everything, but I'm not desperately looking for one, not yet at least.

Summer of 2016 was my summer off, after which I applied for A job, and got that one, after a few months I applied for another ONE, and got that one too... Maybe I was just lucky but it wasn't hard to find one, like everyone predicted it'd be. It's a 9-5 office job and I like it! The job itself and the fact it's a 'steady, boring, same-people-every-day, office job'. 😃
I like the fact I have a schedule, to know when it's time to eat, sleep, work, work out, and I haven't been sick all the time! Plus plus plus. 😁
Who knows what will happen when my feet become itchy again...but I do enjoy this for now. 😊

Yes, I do miss certain things from my expat life. I miss the food, oh halloumi cheese, hummus, tabbouleh, dumplings, tropical fruits... I miss my friends and our days off, nights out, driving around on a scooter, my little students, living with my best friend. I miss Mc'Donalds delivery and sunny warm weather all year long. 😋 But do I miss the job? Would I go back to it? No. Not for one second I considered that option. I had a great time working as cabin crew, then it stopped being so great and that's why I left. As simple as that. Also Tainan, moving there I accomplished what I needed and wanted and when I felt it was time, I left. And it all felt sooo good! So no, I wouldn't go back to cabin crew life in Dubai if I had a chance to do so once again. 😉

The last thing that was pissing me off (pardon my French) was everyone telling me how I can forget about my far away travels, maybe once a year they said, maybe.
But once again - everyone is different. My priorities are not same as yours, my way of handling my salary is not the same as yours, what's important to me doesn't have to be important to you...so YES, I STILL TRAVEL! ☝✈

Not on daily basis, not with a discounted standby tickets, and not with a salary I used to have, but I do travel every few months, on my terms, the way I like to, with the people I choose to.
In the last year I've visited Dubai in November (yes, again, I know), Czech republic in January, Bali in March and now it's time for summer in Croatia! Don't think that's bad, not at all, considering plans for  the rest of the year and for the year 2018 are all in place already. 😄😎💪

I'm not saying and I wasn't going to say it was easy to come back, but it wasn't so hard either. Of course there are moments when I still feel like I don't belong here completely, I'm still finding myself lost in a way, Things have changed, little stuff you don't fully see while you're away, relationships changed, not for worse or better, they just did, some people left your life and some new came along.
I changed and only now and here I see how and in what ways. Other things stayed the same. Certain expectations got higher, there's a lot of explaining and adjusting, realizing all of the above and accepting it because YOU are the one who left, YOU are the one who came back and most definitely YOU are the one who has to adopt to everything, once again...

Moving back was as challenging as it was moving away, however I wouldn't change one thing, not one decision, not a day in my life, if I could. 💗


03 June 2016

Birthday trip!

Five months in Tainan just flew by and what can I say - it's been great five months so far :)
Not what I wanted to talk about today so let's just leave Tainan for another time, today I'll share with you a word or two about my last vacation in Philippines...

"Don't listen to what they say. Go, see!"

In my last post I told you about a birthday gift to myself, a plain ticket to Philippines! 
Buying an airplane ticket is so much better than buying shoes (and I LOVE shoes!), it feels like opening the first page of a new book. The feeling of not knowing what's waiting for you on the next page. You can imagine it,but before you get there and see it with your own eyes nothing can describe it so perfectly. The sweet waiting and anticipation...

To pick one of more than 7000 beautiful islands this country has was not easy, however, when the tickets are cheap(er) for one of those destinations it helps you decide. Palawan it was!

Two years ago I planned a vacation in Boracay with my friend Adri but ended up in Zanzibar instead because of visa requirements which was a bit tricky to make happen at the last moment considering the job we were doing back then. Nowadays Croatians don't require visa to enter this SE Asian country which was one more reason to chose it for my trip
The third reason 'why?' was the beauty of its nature, yummy food and friendly Filipino people. Well, those are actually three reasons but I count them all in as one category. Why? Because those are the only actual memories you will remember long after your trip...

You won't remember how your hotel room looked like but you will remember nice staff who helped you around, with a smile on their faces at all times! (and all the other people for that matter)
You won't remember how much you've spent but you will remember some of the most breathtaking sunsets, beaches, woods, mountains, waterfalls you've seen.
And for sure you will always remember where you had the most delicious fresh coconut, fish platter, burger, slice of cake or any other local dish in the country you've visited.

Since I've already been to Philippines many times before, but only in Manila, I couldn't wait to experience its other side - easy going, relaxed, poor but happy island of Palawan.

Must say my first thought about the place was that it looked a lot like Zanzibar. As I said, easy going, relaxed, poor, the same climate, similar food, approachable people...
Five days in a small hotel in the city of Puerto Princesa was really cheap and easy to find and book through Booking.com, but five days was not even closely enough to see all of what this island has to offer. 

Renting a scooter is also easy and cheap but be prepared to leave your passport at the rental place for insurance. Not the most comfortable thing to do though :/
Beaches around the city are not like the ones you see on the pictures online but if you take an island hopping tour you will enjoy the day swimming and snorkeling on those magnificent, surreal looking beaches you once only dreamed of visiting.

"The mind will not always remember exactly what happened,
but the heart will always remember the feeling..."

The other day trip we took was to the Underground River - one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Something really different and memorable, specially the part when your guide tells you to keep your mouth closed if you don't want to taste the bat poo falling from above! (...how do you know if all those drops are water or poo? Well, water is cold...) ;)
After 45 minutes in those dark scary caves I had to go and try the zip line. Nothing can beat the rush and excitement of a free fall out of the airplane but this was also fun and I ticked it off of my list!


Dining experiences were all more than satisfying. Whether you eat in a well known restaurant, beach bar or at the stand by the road the food will be delicious, service will be fast and you will leave happily full! The only thing in question is how much are you willing to spend on food and drinks? If you are a foodie like me prepare a little extra just in case you can't say no to tasting everything from the menu in every restaurant you go to :D
Just kidding, Or not? :p

Before you exit the country, at the airport, you have to pay a certain fee. My golden fish brain can't remember how much was it but don't exchange (or spend) all the money, local currency before you pay that fee. Be prepared ta wait because most of the times there are flight delays, and always and I mean ALWAYS have a mosquito repellent or two with you! Those little, flying, blood sucking beasts are merciless! Other than that you will have a really great time meeting interesting people along the way, making memories, trying out new things...

"The best things in life are the people you love,
the places you have see and
the memories you have made along the way."

Enjoy your upcoming vacations and summer/winter trips!
Happy and safe traveling everyone! :*

02 February 2016

Living in Asia :)

This post I want to start with a quote that inspired me this morning...

Waking up early and going to bed early was my routine since...forever! Then everything changed when I went to Dubai and for years worked at any time of the day and night.
It messes you up, trust me, it really does. Still, I'm trying to catch my old rhythm that I love so much, even now after almost two months I'm not completely myself, but getting there, slowly... It's Tuesday, I woke up at 8 am, and I'm writing again! Woohoo! High five me :)

(street art photographer took this photo of me, yaaay,
too many selfies since I can't pester my girls for a perfect photo anytime I want hahah)

The weather here in Taiwan is, well, nicely put - crazy! The worst winter in the last few decades, sun and rain playing hide and seek day in and day out, it's warm during the day and we sleep in two long sleeves during the night. I'm actually using winter gloves and had to buy a warm winter jacket for scooter rides...brrrr... Yes, a scooter!

In the land where everyone live on that thing (not the biggest fan of motorbikes, scooters etc.) it was about time to get my own, as much as I would love not to, and get to know the city easier and much faster than on foot or bike. The secret, the unspoken rule in traffic around here is (and by here I mean in most of Asian countries) the bigger, the stronger, the faster - has the priority! Accidents on the roads are so usual. Not everyone will turn their heads to see what happened, just another one down. Don't be scared, people are not dying daily on the streets, I know it sounds like it, but it's not fast and furious around here, I just want to point out how common it is to see an accident whether it was a serious one or just a minor bump.
Anyhow... I'm driving a scooter now, another thing I never thought I would do hahaha :)
For some of you it sounds ridiculous but, as I said already, I don't like them, they don't look safe, I already have a running nose and... Hmmm, those two reasons are more than enough for me.

On the positive note, it feels like I'm in Disney world once again!
Asian girls are well known for their love of funky fashion and cartoon characters all over their clothes. Not just clothes but everything they have! And did I mention how much I love cartoons? And glitter? Minnie and Mickey? Minions? Snoopy? Fairytale princesses? No? Well I do now - I LOVE IT #iwannabeaprincess <3
That being said imagine what was the only thing that made me happy about buying this monster on two wheels? A possibility of buying super, ultra, cool, awesome, cute HELMET with...guess what - cartoon characters :) :) :) #happyasachild

When I went to buy myself one, I was lost like a kid in a candy store, which one to get, which one I like best, which one is the prettiest??? So the decision was made - I'm gonna have one for every single day of the week hahahaha. No, I didn't buy 7 of them, for now, but with time I will have a pretty little collection for sure ;)

Prices of these kind of helmets are between 20 and 60 USD, and the prices of used scooters 50ccm are between 60 and 160 USD (depending on your negotiating skills - that's why my friend did it for me, cause you remember, I suck at it) :) 
(just some street art in Tainan)

The other thing I bought this week was an airplane ticket! Surprise, surprise? Not really...
When I made this decision of coming to Taiwan I made another decision - I will try to travel around Asia to the places where I haven't been yet or to the places where I want to go back to. And I'm not coming back (home) for good until I cross over a few more destinations on my list! First of them is the amazingly beautiful country of Philippines and its Palawan island. Plan for now is to go alone, while crossing fingers a friend of mine gets days off to join me on this weekend getaway at the end of March. Let's call it a pre-birthday gift to myself :)
It's not going to be my first time in the Philippines but it is going to be the first time on the island. Manila can't be compared to the nature of the islands so I'm expecting a whole different experience! One more thing I can't wait to do there is to be pampered in some nice beauty salon...
Ohhh, the best beauty technicians in the world come from the Philippines (you should all meet my friend Maggie in Dubai)! Sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, delicious food, friendly people, cocktails, my camera, a good book... Can I skip right through and go there tomorrow?! :)

"A little reading is all the therapy a person needs sometimes."

Talking about books... Still didn't find a proper bookstore where I can find and buy books in English. There is one but it has, like, 10 titles which is making it hard to choose from when you have read half of them already :D
But all the bookstores and used books stores I found were all those kind of places where even the most grumpiest person in the world would feel calm and happy, where the book haters would start loving to read, where the atmosphere is just like an old book - has that special heart warming scent, occupies you with all its content and makes you wanna come back again. After visiting one like that, I'm not even sad I haven't found myself a new one to put on a shelf, I'm happy to know those kind of places exist absolutely everywhere I go in this world and I can go there anytime I want and just be...

"A library is a hospital for the mind."

Have a beautiful day, week, month, LIFE of memorable travels, magical words and books to read, countless memories to remember and unforgettable loving people around yourself...

Huge kiss from me to you!

15 August 2015

It's me again! :p

Hello hello my pretty travelers! 

I know I haven't been active lately, actually I haven't been writing to you at all! Shame on me :( but here I am again and will definitely try harder! With all the flying around, writing weekly for Index Rouge and chasing my feelings up and down the emotional rollercoaster it's been easier to just...let it be. 
What I realized is that this blog brought me my first followers, here and on Facebook, first 'you go girl' encouraging comments, this blog gave me the opportunity to write articles in my own language for the last 2 years and to help other girls, and boys, to become cabin crew. It brought me some new friendships and most of all - the courage to write and share my stories with the world! <3 Therefore, I promise to write more often ;)

During these last few months I have been everywhere, I've seen countries I wanted to visit since I was a little girl. These last few months were both hectic and boring, emotional and excited, hard and joyful. During that time I grew up a little bit more, decided what I want to do and where I wanna go next! I also learned how important it is to always have a plan B and believe in yourself and while making those plans always put yourself first! Decide what where and how only according to YOUR wishes! As selfish as it sounds it is your life, right? So, that's exactly what I did, or going to do, decision has been made but I'm not gonna reveal all the detail just yet, but soon enough... :)

I still live in Dubai, and it's still hot and sandy, I still work as a cabin crew and I still get a chance ti be left speachless and breathless every once in a while. That's the only constant in a life of a flight attendant :)
Now I wanna share with you a few amazing layover moments from around the world...

OSLO, Norway
After seeing this colorful, winter, Scandinavian sunset I asked myself if I still prefer summer sun?

"Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world has its own special sunset, and it's worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down..."

MOSCOW, Russia
Finally experiencing that 'I'm gonna freeze to death' winter feeling in Russia made my answer to the above question about summer sun much MUCH easier! :) But having fun with the crew made me feel tiny bit warmer. 

"In the midst of winter I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."

Some days you spend enjoying your 'my-time' and still have an unforgettable layover. Different face of China, if I can put it like that, left me hungry for more!

"Traveling is like flirting with life... It's like saying 'I would stay and love you, but I ave to go...'"

CHICAGO, Illinois
One of the most tiring flights E-V-E-R ended up being one of the nicest layovers in one of the American cities I wanna go back to. Soon!

"I love the feeling of exploring a brand new city."

The rest is coming up soon, so many stories to tell and experiences to share so stay tuned hehe ;)
Sending you all kisses from Croatia :*

P.S. Forgive me on possible mistakes, this is the first time I'm uploading a post from my smart phone :))