Stop and smell the oranges.

„What is there to do in Dubrovnik? “ – is a commonly posed question by so many travellers to this medieval walled city, and why wouldn’t it be? After all, isn’t that what we are all looking for in our travels – something to do? Something to help us pass the time, an activity to serve as a conduit for new experiences? It makes sense.

However, if you think about it, isn’t this just a continuation of our everyday rush to have as much done in a single day? You know, the reason why you need a vacation in the first place? The pressures of modern day society seem to make us push ourselves beyond any limits, constantly. We want to excel professionally, be fulfilled emotionally, be in peak physical form, attain spirituality, and provide the best parental care there ever was – all at the same time. In order to sustain this hectic lifestyle you travel at least once a year to rest and recharge. Somewhere peaceful and serene, like Dubrovnik.

Wonderful weather, deep blue sea, friendly locals, great food, it’s all here. Ready to have you soak in the local flavours and immerse yourself. So, what do you do? You plan your vacation meticulously, go through hundreds of user reviews on everything from the friendliest hotel to the easiest-to-use cash machine in the city and come here determined to fill up all the time with carefully planned activities. I applaud your efficiency.

While I can only write about this critically because this is exactly the way I act when I travel as well, the point of this text is that every once in a while, you do need to slow down and take it easy. In places like Dubrovnik it is imperative to do so. Otherwise, you’ll miss the best this place has to offer – a feeling of times passed, making one realise the fleeting property of life. In this place, where the footprints of people living centuries ago are visible all around your, it is so easy to remember your own life is but a drop in the ocean, completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and yet, it contains your entire universe. When I guide some of my Dubrovnik tours, I always try to have my guests pause for a second every once in a while. For the first few moments they are busy taking pictures with their smart phones, but a good portion of them stops and realises for a moment they are in a beautiful place and they are allowed to slow down and do nothing but enjoy…   just being. This is the reward for hard work, this is what you really pay for when travelling. Don’t let it pass you by. Stop and smell the roses… or in Dubrovnik, wild oranges.

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