This year I have been experimenting with living in single cities for longer periods of time. Each time I return to the United States I feel noticeably unhappy; not a typical reaction to returning ‘home’. Aspects of of American society that are incompatible with the way I now want to live my life are frustrating: the cost of living, traffic, public transportation but also cultural considerations like politics, media, news and the collective, schizophrenic personalities comprising the ethos of the USA. Increasingly it is a struggle to locate the parts of America to which I feel a shared set of values. To such an effect that it feels a misnomer to refer to myself as an American.
I wanted to try living in Split, Croatia where I visited last year for the first time for three months to see how it would feel staying in one place. It turned out to be the best summer of my life. I was barefoot all day, and got plenty of work done in the amazing co-working space that I was a short walk from the apartments I lived in. The accessibility of the Adriatic sea being only 150 meters from the office was an ideal solution to achieving a work-life balance. I would take afternoon breaks to soak up sun and cool off in the sea before returning to work with better focus and energy. I cooked all of my meals which was not only healthy but inexpensive. I set a personal record for my back squat at the gym — I thrived. Everything was so easy to take care of.
When I wasn’t just living I was enjoying everything the Dalmatian coast has to offer. I visited the island of Hvar twice, the national parks of Plitvice and Krka, took a weekend trip to the Croatian capital city of Zagreb and twice rented boats with friends to island hop, swim and enjoy the sunshine. Ventured for a day trip to the nearby town of Trogir. Spent an afternoon on the island of Solta. Beyond the diligence required to take advantage of Dalmatian summertime, I was able to focus on my work goals very efficiently.
I was in the zone when it was time for me to leave Croatia. If not for standing obligations that I have elsewhere I would be happy to stay for another three months. And I’m excited to return next year as I continue to explore the notion of curating places like Bogotá and Split which to continually return to.