REMOTE YEAR — YUGEN MONTH ONE — SPLIT, CROATIA

It’s a marathon not a sprint, but we’re sprinting this marathon.” @spees @mitch.walker @jordanrose @jacob

I stole this from our Yugen quote board and I’m not even sure what it’s referring to, but it’s a true statement from some fellow Yugens. I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I would like to document this Remote Year adventure, but it’s hard when there’s something to do ALL the time and you want to do ALL the things. We’re only through month one, but my body feels like it’s been a year and I’m already exhausted. It’s been awesome, but trying to figure out how to keep up the sprint of this marathon is tough.

At the same time, I want to remember Croatia and ALL the things, so I’m attempting to recap some randomness here. I’ll admit, this is more for me than anything because I want to do my best to remember everything, but hopefully you’ll find some amusement in it, too.

Here goes… memories from Remote Year month one in Split, Croatia:

· First night dance party on some random beach volleyball courts (pretty sure we crashed some sort of event)

· Staying out way too late to the point it felt like we were the only ones left in the Palace and discovering a random dance party complete with Tweety Bird.

· Going on a random run and discovering one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen.

· Having an impromptu dinner party at a fellow Yugen’s apartment where we had to (hilariously) learn to use the stove, but the end result was delicious and the night gave us laughs, tears and new best friends.

· Going to orientation day and realizing you have the most bomb program leaders ever. (And picking up using the word “bomb” from somewhere…)

· Surviving heat wave Lucifer that produced temperatures well above 100.

· Those moments when you’ve been out partying and you find yourself by the water staring at the night sky and having to just take it all in.

· Attending a Hadjuk futbol game with a very nice and patient local who helped us survive the Hooligan section despite a brief altercation a Yugen had in line. Experienced Hadjuk tailgating and my first Cevapcici. Also, being so thirsty because it was SO hot and they didn’t sell bottled water, that we actually bought and shared a bag of ice from the random ice machines around the city. We carried that thing around with us for at least 30 minutes.

· Waiting TEN YEARS for your check if you eat out. Servers did their best Houdini impression once you didn’t have any more food or drink and wanted to leave. Seriously, the weirdest and most annoying thing. Had to learn more patience in Croatia.

· Our first boat day where we visited the Blue Cave, multiple beaches and ended at a bar on Hvar before getting back in the boat to witness a glorious sunset. So much fun, I lost my first koozie that day…

· THAT HILL!

· Girls side trip to Bosnia to visit Mostar and Hercegovacko-Neretvanski. Witnessing the crazy that is the bridge jumping from the locals pandering for money so tourists can watch them jump.

· Bobbing and weaving through ALL OF THE TOURISTS at KrKa Falls. It’s okay, it was worth it.

· Fast Food and how it’s not actually fast food, but more of a super awkward experience where you don’t know if you’re going to get what you ordered or not and could take between 10 minutes to an hour and a half.

· Meeting a local brewer who owns Barba Beer and learning about how his entrepreneurial spirit is actually extremely rare for a Croatian.

· Jumping off a 26 ft cliff into the sea and then realizing the hardest part is the mountain climb back up to shore.

· Worst Uber drivers ever. You never know if they will randomly cancel on you when they’re only 1 minute away, or start at being only 5 minutes away and suddenly they jump to 20 minutes away. Again….patience.

· Spending two hours in the grocery store because you have to use Google Translate to understand any labels and items are stocked in weird places. (I learned the peanut butter is actually by real butter in my last week.)

· Winning gold in our remote controlled sail boat races!! (After realizing we didn’t actually get to go on a sailboat.)

· Visiting a local fish farm where we met with a Croatian activist in support of the Island Movement before jumping in to swim with 18,000 fish. Then the owner of the fish farm caught said fish, cooked it right then and served it to us (all while wearing a speedo no less). One of my favorite moments as we all hung out in this secluded hut talking and laughing over wine and Johnny Walker (or Jimmy).

· Sunset hike up Marjan Hill complete with wine.

· Tanner selfies… all of the time. Learned the hard way multiple times to not leave my phone unattended.

· Having to go to the dentist in a foreign country where a mother/son team tag-teamed my mouth. Then was reprimanded for not taking proper care of my gums … apparently Americans are doing it wrong.

· Finding tacos that were the best ever (Even if it was only because I hadn’t had them in almost a month. Still no Barrio.)

· NIGHT SWIMS! Especially when the moon is high and you see the reflection across the ripples of the Adriatic Sea. Just magical.

· Mountain climb up to Starigrad in Omis. Seriously scaled a mountain, but the views were incredible. Followed by zip lining 150 meters above river Cetina at speeds of up to 65 km per hour. This may have also included a cliff dance party to LMFAO.

· Beach day that turned from casual to aggressive, complete with inflatable koozies (thanks Kirsten!) and dinner at Mom’s.

· Hopping on an Uber boat to explore the Blue Lagoon and have lunch on the island of Trogir with super fun people. Perfect way to spend one of the last few days in Croatia.

· Sitting on the beach in front of Joe’s Beach Bar on our farewell night where an impromptu jam session broke out, hearing the voices of multiple Yugens singing along and just enjoying the intimate moment.

· Can’t ever forget Sanctuary, Congo, Fabrique or Tropic (for better or worse).

· Spending my last night in Croatia drinking jug wine on the beach and just chilling out with friends.

· Knowing the difference between big Tommy’s and little Tommy’s

· Waking up on our last day in Croatia, on my birthday, to friends taking over my apartment, complete with mimosas and helping me pack cause I procrastinated…. (more birthday shenanigans to be told from Prague).

· Believe it or not, I somehow was still able to launch my freelance business and collect some clients thanks to the wonderful help of Jordan and Lindsay (and a few other remotes). Going to have to work a lot more in Prague…

· By far the best highlight is getting to create all these memories with some of the best people you’d ever want to meet. I’m confident we have the best RY group full of talented, respectful, loving individuals. I’m constantly impressed by these people each day, and I can’t wait to get know more of them as we continue to travel.

Also have to give a shout out to our AMAZING local experience team who helped shape all of these memories by putting together our tracks, sharing local recommendations and making sure our accommodations and work space were in tip, top shape.

Hvala, Croatia! Zivjeli!

One hell of a first month (and I’m sure I forgot some things). Now you can see why I’m exhausted. I’ll add pictures later.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to my Croatia photo album! https://photos.app.goo.gl/yjmgqO6y7lGgt3uK2

Now bring it Prague! (Who needs to sleep?!?)