Taking the Plunge: the Other Side of Rovinj
I woke up last Wednesday with sun lighting the floor of my room. Stepping outside onto my balcony, I breathed in the fresh, salty air—the air of a Croatian summer. It was a beautiful day, and one that marked the beginning of Rovinj’s summer season. Last Wednesday was also a national holiday, Worker’s Day (the European equivalent of U.S. Labor Day), and pretty much all Croatian employees were free...
Croat Chit-Chat with Marija Durakovich
Creative, open-minded, and overly-analytical are three words that most accurately describe Marija Durakovich, which she attributes to her Croatian upbringing within American culture as well as to her education at the University of Michigan where she cultivated her worldview; and to fresh experiences which she has independently ventured through. She pursued a Master’s Degree in...
Walking Croatia's Kvarner Region
Winter has finally come to an end here in Istria and warm, sunny spring weather has been dominating most of our days now. As the second installment in my Istrian road trip series, last Sunday I spent the day touring Croatia’s Kvarner region with three of my good friends. This was one of the first days we experienced summer-like warmth and all-day sun, which of course made the day all the more...
Croatia’s other walled towns
New article on LikeCroatia.com! :D “Dubrovnik always steals the spotlight, and for good reason. Considered ‘the pearl of the Adriatic,’ the city’s famous historic walls, energizing summer weather, and pristine coastline continually captivate the hearts and imaginations of thousands and thousands of tourists that visit each year. But what about Croatia’s other walled towns? This...
The only 4 things I learned in Turkish
Usually when I go to a new place I make it a point to learn just a little bit of the country’s language so that I somehow feel more connected to the people and culture. Plus, it’s always a delight to see the smile on a local’s face when you say something in their mother tongue. The Hagia Sophia When I was prepping for my trip to Italy last year I borrowed a language MP3...
A perfect spring break in Istanbul
Oh Istanbul, how I miss you so! Stephanie and I spent about 5 days in Istanbul and it was perfection! On many of my previous trips someplace, I feel like I’ve always had to cram in all the sights, museums, etc. into a short time frame to see everything so I really liked the way Stephanie and I did things this time. We of course saw many of the major sites, but we never rushed and we didn’t...
Croatia’s top ten beaches revealed
Check it out! My new article on LikeCroata.com! Read it & be inspired to book your summer vacation ticket to Croatia! “Looking for Zen? Then Croatia’s got you covered. Shimmy into a swimsuit, pack up a bag, and head out to one of Croatia’s top ten beaches and you’ll find yourself bathing in bliss.” Discover which beaches top Croatia’s best of the best list! More LikeCroatia News &...
The writer’s guide to Croatia
Check out my new article on LikeCroatia.com! “Without question, Croatia has enough intriguing characters, allusion-worthy history, cacophonous city streets, and village secrets to fill hundreds of thousands of pages. The country has been inspiring many writers, both native and foreign alike, for years. They include Dante Alighieri, Josip Novakovich, Rebecca West, and Antun Soljan. Come and...
Off on Vacation
I will be taking a little break from posting for about a week or so. Going to Istanbul on vacation! Thank you to everyone that has followed, reblogged, and liked my posts! Happy Spring Break! :D
Some Kind of Wonderful
It’s the busy season for me—filled with school work, new work, and lots and lots of writing. It’s great and my time is made all the more fantastic by my wonderful group of friends. I remember when I first came to Rovinj. I was excited, nervous, too serious for my own good, a total control freak, and filled with expectations about what my experience here would be like. During the first half of my...
Road Trippin’ ‘Round Central Istria
Four of my great Rovinj friends & I set out on a journey through Central Istria to towns many people would never consider visiting unless there’s some sort of festival going on. What follows is brief summary of our beautiful little trip. Dvigrad—our first stop. It was super foggy when we set out in the morning. We trekked through the medieval city of Dvigrad, which slowly but surely woke us...
Fun with France throughout Croatia
Check out my first official published article on LikeCroatia.com! Celebratory applause and hot chocolate are in order. Stay tuned for more of my LikeCroatia articles in the future! “The French are coming! The French are coming! And they’re bringing literature, art, and culture to be featured throughout March in eight Croatian cities for the Month of Francophonie.” Read on about Croatia’s Month...
Croat Chit-Chat with Romana Prepolec
Romana Prepolec, from Zlatar Bistrica, born in Zagreb, currently lives in Zagorje, Zlatar Bistrica and used to work as a tour guide. She has been playing in the Tamburaški Orkestar (tamburica orchestra) KUD-a “KAJ”, Zlatar Bistrica for 20 years, loves to travel, and is a very social, open, and outgoing person. In her spare time, she plays the guitar at parties, listens to the music, and learns...
Celebrating My Birthday in Croatia
One week ago today, I celebrated my very first birthday in Croatia, and I must say it was really great! At first, as the date inched closer and closer, I was a bit sad because many of my friends and family wouldn’t be there to celebrate with me. But my new friends were as well as my Croatian family members, which really made the day (and week) that much more fantastic. I was completely in awe of...
Croat Chit-Chat with Bernard Jan
As a fun, new addition to my blog, I have decided to conduct two interviews per month with Croatians because I have been wanting to learn more about Croatia & interact with local citizens and thought this would be a delightful way to do it while sharing their thoughts with a bigger community. So please welcome my first interviewee, Bernard Jan of Animal Friends Croatia! ...
When students refuse to use English in my...
A Little Valentine's Day Message
While I’m certainly no sappy Valentine’s Day romantic, I will happily always do something for V-Day even while others around me seem scornful of the holiday. Photo credit: openfile.ca My thinking is as follows: Why should V-Day only be for lovers? True, according to the history of the day, it is in honor of St. Valentine who preformed marriages for lovers in secret when Emperor Claudius II...
Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself...– The Elders Oraibi, Hopi Nation (June 8, 2000) (discovered in the book Making Good by Billy Parish & Dev Aujla)
Spotlight on Zagreb: Croatia's Cultural Center
Summer, fall, winter spring: Zagreb is fabulous any time of the year. It’s Croatia’s largest city as well as its capital. Young people from villages all across Croatia flock to it each year in hopes of finding employment and entertainment. Compared to the likes of New York City, London, or Paris, Zagreb is relatively small with a population of just around 1,110,517, but you’ll never feel...
Message to My Students on Test Day
Reblooged from: teflnightmares
Check it Out! :)
Hello dear readers! I just wanted to make a couple quick announcements for a little bit of shameless self-promotion. :) If you’re a fellow writer or just interested in the topic of writer’s block, check out my piece titled “Writer’s Block: Inspiration’s Grinch” on Squalory’s blog. (And be sure to read their second quarterly issue here. They’re an...
He [or she] who is and remains true to himself [or herself] and to others has...– Goethe
Weekend in Munich: Bone-Chillin’ Cold & Jam-Packed...
This past weekend I spent my time in Munich with fellow coworkers and some of their students. We left Friday night on a midnight bus. Little tired me thought I could fit in a near solid 8-hour sleeping gig but due to a variety of reasons (i.e. noise, stops, the general discomfort of a bus) I was unable to get more than 2 hours of shuteye, which weren’t even that restful anyways. Once we arrived...
A New Year, A New Start
The new term just started last Monday but it already feels like it’s well on its way. I rang in my New Year not with a typical celebration but rather with sleeping, falling into a deep slumber at 11:00 pm and waking up at 3:00 am with a jolt. While this may paint me as an old woman figure, a restful nap was just what I needed. Even though my New Year’s started out with some sleeping and later...
No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in...– -John Ruskin (Taken from in The Happiness Project Quote-a-Day e-mail)
Finding a TEFL Job in Croatia
Compared to countries like the Czech Republic and South Korea, Croatia is rather underdeveloped in the TEFL teaching market. While there are jobs available, they are few and usually hard to come by. Today, in this post I hope I’ll be able to offer some insight for TEFL job searchers interested in working in Croatia that might make it easier to find employment in the country. Overview of Zagreb...
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for...– -John Muir
I Ain’t Got All the Answers but I Might Have Some:...
For many prospective TEFL teachers, the New Year brings hopes of finding that perfect overseas job. But, where to start? For a while before I began my job research, this question kept spinning around in my head. But once I was finally on my way skimming and scanning numerous TEFL websites, I knew I was getting that much closer to finding promising post-graduation employment. Though I am by no...
We will ultimately not be judged by our technology. We won’t be judged by our...– – Bryan Stevenson Check out Stevenson’s inspiring TED talk here.
Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help...– - Jane Goodall
It’s definitely been an experience living here in Croatia for these last few months. Not only have I learned how to be a teacher (which, of course, I’m still in the process of learning), but I’ve also discovered more about Croatia and its society than I’ve ever known before. Moreover, countless times my predetermined ideas and expectations have been tested and so I’ve definitely learned more about...
Winter Weekends in Zagreb
I must say, Zagreb looks beautiful in white. Zagreb, winterized This past weekend (as well as the one two weeks ago) I was in Croatia’s lovely capital city and had a fantastic time. On Friday, as the bus rolled away from Rovinj and across Croatia’s countryside I was amazed and so giddy about the sudden transformation I witnessed as the bus popped out from a mountainside tunnel. There was snow...
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it....– -Chief Seattle
Weekends in Rovinj: Hot Chocolate, Long Walks, and...
Ah, how I love the weekends. Mine usually start on Fridays as Thursdays are my last full day of classes. To celebrate the end-of-the-week, every Thursday night I slide into my PJs as soon as I get home from work, put on a movie or the latest episode of Gossip Girl, and grab some corn kernels, oil, salt, and a pot to make some stovetop popcorn. Yum! Actually, now that I think about it, my weekend...
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something...– Buckminister Fuller
Boat Rides, Relatives, and Relaxation
It’s been awhile since I last wrote and I apologize for my absence. Things here have been busy as always and so usually when I get home from work I just want to plop down and do nothing or collapse into sleep. But, now that I have officially declared today “Me Day” (meaning no work, no stress, just relaxation) I have some time to write up a new post! Since I arrived in Rovinj, I have wanted to go...
The fact that you can only do a little is no excuse for doing nothing.– John Le Carré
My Croatian Food Obsessions
In college, the only creative nonfiction piece I ever wrote was a short essay about a particular experience in Croatia when my cousins and I took corn from a neighbor’s field. We were hungry and cravin’ some grilled corn. No, we didn’t get caught and yes, we enjoyed every last bit of the stolen corn. By writing this piece I realized that there are just some things I can only fully enjoy in Croatia...
A Weekend in Zagorje
Friday I feel like I’m always writing about Zagorje. I suppose you could call me Zagorje-obsessed, but who wouldn’t be in such a gorgeous region? And now I am finally home again! Yay! Since there is a holiday on Monday here in Croatia (it’s the country’s Independence Day) I decided it was the perfect time to return to my dear second home. With every mile the bus rolled towards Zagorje,...
The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their...– -Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958
Work, Work, Work
I can finally breathe a sigh of relief tonight. This is the first time since I began teaching that I haven’t had to come back from classes and do more prep work. It feels really great to just be sitting at my computer typing up this blog post. Ah, relaxation. As I promised, today my post will focus on how teaching has been going and throughout the post there will be photos of my classroom. Yay! :)...
Rovinj So Far
Ah, dear blog, it has been too long since my last post! I am happy to finally be writing again. Little by little I am settling into my new life in beautiful Rovinj. I have been here now for about four weeks and began teaching two weeks ago. So far my days have been filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Some days homesickness and stress strike all at once, making for an unfortunate emotional...
Just a Quick Update
Hello! I just wanted to post a quick update before I go to bed. I’ve been way busier than I imagined and so it’s been difficult for me to find time to write some blog posts. One is in the works though, about my experiences in Rovinj so far, while others are just ideas, waiting to make it onto the page. For instance, I hope to do a post focused strictly on my first experiences as a new teacher and...
The world is not the most pleasant place. Eventually your parents leave you and...– Queen Elizabeth II
What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.– Mollie Beattie, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993-1996