How London living changed me

Have you noticed that time flies whilst you’re having fun?

Me too. I still can’t believe I live in London even after three years.

I still get chills passing next to London eye, Big Ben (although is all wrapped up), Trafalgar Square and Buckingham palace and my heart still swells when I walk down the Oxford street or sit in a cab that’s driving on Tower bridge. I mean I obviously love it here otherwise I would have only stayed a year as I firstly planned BUT I fell in love and hey, I is still here.

Tons of you asked and keep asking about life in London, what do I do, where do I go, how come I moved here and all that shebang and I promise it’s coming, it’s coming but before that I feel like I owe you this one. I want to share how living in London changed me and my perception of world (hold on there is a list)

  1. I became absurdly impatient. Every single time I’m back home in Croatia, or just anywhere outside London I seriously have to fight back tears and practise deep breathing if I have to wait for a bus more than three minutes.
  2. Paradoxically, I’m more than happy to queue up for an hour to get a table at the restaurant I want to eat at. Yes I am very choosy, even with my patience.
  3. I no longer give a shit about my personal space. It has been invaded so many times during rush hour that now days if I’m on the tube and there is no crotch in my face, WHAT IS THIS?
  4. My coffee intake has inexplicably risen by like a lot. And thankfully my local barista knows my order by heart now.
  5. I strongly believe that whoever invented CONTACTLESS should get a Nobel for peace. Because having to spend ten extra seconds to put your pin in is such a waste of time, and carrying cash is just so 2008.
  6. I am never bored. I kid you not, N E V E R . There is no excuse with all parks, and pubs and events and museums and excuse you NYC, but I think it’s time to hand over your “City that never sleeps” title.
  7. I can handle a hungover like a P R O. No, I am not an alcoholic mum, but it just happens that now drinking is not reserved just for the weekends. So I mastered faking looking easy breezy at work the next morning whilst holding down my stomach content.
  8. I feel like travelling more than few zones on tube feels like forever. Meet you in North London? No I can’t possibly go to North London, that’s the longest trip on Earth. *only looking to date men in south London*
  9. I became an utter food snob. Living amongst fanciest cuisines is not easy because it costs you an arm and an leg to eat out, not being able to zip your skinny jeans and spoiling your taste buds rotten so at one point Mc’Donalds won’t cut it anymore.
  10. I lost all perception of what affordable means. That’s why I am more than willing to spend £27 on one meal out, cute ASOS top or an Uber (in that order!) but why are detergent and toilet paper so expensive???
  11. I h a t e tourists. I know you all are excited about being here and taking your photos BUT COULD YOU PLEASE KEEP FUCKING RIGHT IF THE SIGN SAYS SO??????????
  12. I started to mind my own business. All wackos and weirdos became normality for me and frankly I couldn’t imagine not seeing them around.
  13. I fell in love with the city. And I might stay forever.

Dress: old H&M

Boots: Dr. Martens

Necklace: old Accessorize

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Barb recommends: 3 places to visit in Croatia this summer

Hiiiiiiii you beautiful people.

How’s was your May?

 WAS?

WAS!!!

 HELLO JUNE!

‘ELLO BIRTHDAY MONTH.

 Hi SUNSHINE.

Hey chilled ciders.

AND roof top cocktail bars, beer gardens and barbacues.

ALSO, WELCOME SUMMER. WE HAVE TRULY MISSED YOU.

Summer in London is something else, let me tell you.

Everything just comes back to life. EVERYONE IS IN BETTER MOOD (YES, Jeremy Corbyn and my local barista I’m talking about you). We all take our Birkenstocks, straw bags, hats and flouncy dresses out of the wardrobe. Everybody on tube seems to forget wearing a deodorant. We swap our usual go-to coffee with an iced latte. And instead of usual eggs with avocado we now eat salads WITH eggs and avocado. There is also all the festivals and activities we can attend and have so much fun and then the day after we all get together on a common and we have a picnic and we chill whilst talking about how bad out of ten is our hungover. FYI, mine is like always somewhere between 2-4/10, because WATER. (but a post about hungover is coming later this month)

But being from Croatia I got used to spending my summer at the seaside. Not England kind, but a proper it is so hot *you could fry an egg on your brothers head if he even tries to sit anywhere near you*  kind of hot.

My family has a house that’s like five minutes away from the beach and okay I might got spoiled with being able to dip my toes in the sea whilst sipping my cocktail during happy hour from mid June to late August for the most of my life. But can you blame me really?

Which brings me to: THE QUESTION! The question people ask me once they find out I’m from Croatia, no matter is it during pub quiz, on a tube, in toilet queue in club in Shoreditch, waiting for dodgy looking kebab in Fulham, Hinge dating app, in front of Balham Mc’ Donalds at 2am or just my usual Saturday morning gym class.

It always comes down to this: *MILD FREAKING OUT MOMENT with overall excitment*

 WHERE IN CROATIA SHOULD I VISIT?

SO, here I am. Approx. 20 YEARS of living and breathing there and I finally feel competent enough to recommend some places I think should be on your *must visit* list. I tried to summarize where to go and what to see, but also dropped few places that I loved for food and drinks. Hope it’s helpful…

HELLO MTV AND WELCOME TO MY HOMELAND!!!

  1. ZAGREB aka the capital

Although everyone is utterly obssesed with Croatia’s remarkable coastline, Zagreb is a little gem hidden in the NW of the country. It is only 2 hour flight away from London, on a relatively cheap (depends on a day) flight.

It is a city that can offer you everything.

It is made for strolling, eating, drinking and partying but also for museum visiting, nature exploring and art seeing. It is very cultural and historic yet vibrant and exciting.

Once you’ve been there you will see what I’m talking about.

In a past few years Zagreb became a very multicultural and open-minded city (rather it’s people) and it developed into a hot european destination.

It can offer more than just it’s best voted destination during the winter.

Where to go: During the summer you get to spend some time in Zagreb’s parks, my favourite is Maksimir where you can also visit the ZOO.

It’s public transport can get your from north to east and west to east easily, but it might be hot in there during summer months so I highly recommend either renting the bikes or walking. The beauty in our small country is that you can walk everywhere.

If you are after more historic part of the city go and visit Upper town, where you can get by using the funicular. Zagreb’s funicular is the world’s shortest cable railway used for public transport.

Once in there, take you have to visit St. Mark’s church which is located next to our parliament and also a very short walk away is the Cathedral of Zagreb.

To find out all about history of these buildings you can sing up for a walking tour which start from cca. £10.

Food and drinks: Food and drinks are very cheap comparing to London, so make sure you go for quality as it will still be within your budget yet very delicious.

My fav resturants are Boban & Kaptolska klet, for more traditional food but you’re only one Google search away for more suggestions of your liking.

What to do: Night life in Zagreb is ONLY VERY AMAZING. If visiting in June, make sure to check out INmusic festival as they always have the coolest lineups.

There is also plethora of night clubs with very diverse music so no doubt you will find somewhere to enjoy.

If you’re more of a chilled person, open-air Summer Cinema should definitely be on you list.

If very hot (and yes it will be), make sure that you and your swimsuit visit Lake Jarun, in the middle of the concrete Jungle this oasis will most likely convince you that you are at the seaside.

What I love the most about it is that you can easily take coach anywhere to make a day trip and it doesn’t take longer than 2-3 hours. Try visiting Lakes Plitvice, one of our eight national parks or Trakošćan Castle, museum that’s located in the middle of most breath taking nature you will absolutely love exploring.

PRO TIP: If on a budget rent a Airbnb rather than a hotel, and try to buy come fresh groceries from Dolac, famers market located right next to the main Ban Jelacic square.

2. SPLIT

Not only is Split the very center of Dalmatian coast but it is also stunningly located between both the sea and the mountains. Split is a perfect mix of modern life and ancient history. It is busy and it is big. But everything is walking distance.

Where to go/ What to do/ What do eat: It’s Old town is perfect for getting lost between visiting Diocletian’s palace, climbing bell tower of St. Dominus Cathedral for the best view of the town, eating world-class seafood ( I’ve personally been to Bokeria kitchen and wine bar, and Dvor resaurant and can say that never had a reason to go anywhere else) drinking fine wine and having very tasty icecream. You don’t want to miss out on drinking coffee on Riva, which is a promenade that has many palm trees, beautiful old buildings and a view to the Adriatic Sea.

BACVICE BEACH! Vamos a la playa, because you want to have a swim in the most beautiful sea on this planet. Now, y’all better be prepared for a very over-crowded beaches because that’s how great our seaside is. However, if you walk a bit further and go visit Kasjuni beach, you will find less people there and more peace and quiet.

To sum up, Split is absolutely fabulous. You will most definitely NEVER be bored because there is so many experiences you can sign up for (day tours, rafting, etc) or you know just chill on a beach. Night life is ace. People are great. Flights from London’s Gatwick very affordable. And do you really need more reasons?

PRO TIPS: Use Uber instead of TAXI because you won’t get overcharged.

Use shuttle bus from and to the airport (aprox. 3O minute ride for about 30 kunas, or 7 euros)

Harbour that is located in the very centre is connecting all near by, MUST SEE islands and you want to get on that ferry man!

TAKE A FERRY TO: VIS

Have you watched Mamma Mia 2 last summer? That sea, that sun, that God sent beautiful nature Lily James was having a time of her life in whilst singing ABBA’s songs?

WELL, THAT’S VIS IN A NUTSHELL.

It is, if you ask me the most authentic island in Croatia. People usually visit to get a proper peacful getaway, to clear their heads,to rest and spend some time unplugged from the world.

Vis had great gourment delights, nature and bohemian vibe to offer, and although it is all very chilled you can still dance and jive, and have the time of your life.

3. ZADAR

THIS. TOWN.

Oh man. I spent the most beautiful 3 years of my life going to University of Zadar AND can personally vouch that THIS. TOWN. is one of a kind.

Many say it’s like a mini Split, BUT HELL NO.

It is it’s own kind of unique beautifulness and OMG now I’m crying.

Where to go: Let’s start with the Old town, because, well because I want to. Zadar’s Old town is basically a peninsula. Connected to the rest of a town via bridge (and a little bit of land).

It is all stones, white stones. Very instagrammable (I got your back and your Insta game girl).

You will probably want to take few photos in front of church of St. Donatus where FYI they don’t charge you an entrance during the mass but they do other times (so do make sure that you check that timetable out, OR just show up on Lord’s day aka Sunday)

Right behind that, there is a Cathedral of St. Anastasia with it’s very own bell tower (surprise, surprise) that indeed has a breath-taking view (and it also takes your breath away whilst going both up and down, DO NOT recommend if afraid of heights)

Then please do walk towards the sea, and have a walk on a promenade towards the Sea Organ that YES, is an actual instrument played by the sea.

AND if that’s not cool enough for you, there is a monument to the Sun that’s basically sonar panels right next to it and YES and it glows in a dark, so VOILA.

Yes, Zadar has a beach. Or I’d rather say, BEACHES. Anywhere next to the sea is a place to jump in and enjoy clear sea but DO NOT DO IT near SEA ORGAN, because you will be fined (I might have been there, done that BUT I was also celebrating my uni graduation). Kolovare beach will do for you, and there is also a very funky bar that is worth checking our because they make superb pizza.

Food and drinks/ What to do: On the other side of Old town (whole ten minutes of walking away) is a little park in the ancient walls with a  beautiful gate that are hiding fab coffee shop Ledana turned bar during night and is very recommended for chilling out or socialising during your time there.

There is also my favourite restaurant called Pet bunara. (try Squid ink risotto and homemade bread or any fresh fish they have to offer)

There are other few good restaurants to eat at. Couple museums to visit. And awesome walking tours to walk. When you’re trying to leave the Old Town there is an bridge you have to cross or simply take the bus, but near that bridge are many boats and agencies with whom you can book boat day trips to near by islands (like national park Kornati islands, where people usually see dolphins while sailing, but hey not Disneyworld kind of dolphins!!!) or just cruising day out.

PRO TIPS:  DO NOT PASS ON THE ICECREAM, IT IS THE BEST.

Buy your own booze and sit next to the Sea Organ in the evening and just breathe. It doesn’t really get better than seeing most magical sunset in the World. (rated by Alfred Hitchcock)

Take a bus from main bus station to Biograd na Moru or Krka National Park for a fun day trip to change the scenery.

So, have you packed your swimsuit yet? If not, WHAT are you waiting for?

And if you aren’t in the mood to plan your own holiday make sure to visit Tour Croatia and they will have you sorted.

Kisses and see you in Croatia this summer.

B xxx

6 MAGICAL DAYS IN CORNWALL

“We are going to Cornwall and you are invited as well”, said my boss mid February. “Where the heck is Cornwall and why the hell would I wanna go there mid April?” said me, but obvs not out loud. One google search away and I shouted, YES I AM COMING TO CORNWALL.

So, why is Cornwall so cool? Well it’s only the most amazing place in England. It’s a county located on England’s rugged southwestern tip. It is basically one massive beach with amazing nature and plethora of harbour villages and towering cliffs.

I was on the verge of mental break down as was over-worked and felt like my life revolves around work, working out and Netflix by the time it was time to hit the road. So I promised myself I would actually take advantage of being away and do some reading, social media detoxing and self reflection. So knowing me and my weak self control I made a deal with myself to limit my social media/phone usage to 30 minutes per day and to ban Netflix completely as Michelle Obama’s book was shouting READ ME, READ ME, READ ME! from my bedside table since Christmas now.

Most days I ended up using my phone for less than 20 minutes a day just to reply to few messages and upload a photo on Instagram. And as a result I feel so refreshed and re-energized. I don’t feel left out or that I missed out on something like I usually do when I’m away or don’t spend every minute on my phone or internet.

If you’ve had enough of city life and need a break Cornwall is ideal place to go to. SO KEEP READING!!! And yes it is quite a ride to get there (ALMOST FIVE HOURS) but you could easily take a train or even fly there.

What to do there and when to go?

We left on Thursday morning and drove there, which is aprox. a five, five and a half hours drive from SW London (depends on how many times you have to go toilet)

We were in Polzeath, which is a small seaside village with amazing sandy beach. It is very popular place for families and surfers to go to. You can easily rent wet suits or boards and try waves yourself. Honestly, you DO NOT want to miss out on the waves. They are famazing!!! It is so much fun even with freezing cold water splashing your face and making you feel like you fell off Titanic.

If you’re not much of a beach person, there is plenty of nature to explore and walks to walk. No matter what time of the year you end up visiting you will want to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

What is great about Cornwall is that you can easily always find something to do although there is not that many thing to do there. We were very lucky with weather because it was mostly sunny and warm (only one day of rain) so we spent every day on a beach or in the sea but in the evenings we mostly played board and card games, read and just hanged out over good food.

What to expect, what to pack?

People there are very friendly and chilled. If you’re missing a pound whilst buying an ice cream, no worries! You can totally bring one later or tomorrow. You can also rent all the surfing equipment without paying in advance and with a big probability of being charged the lowest fee for it at the end of a day.

EVERYTHING IS SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN LONDON. Food, drinks, taxi, accommodation.

E V E R Y T H I N G.

Food choice there is nothing like in London. But you will eat first class fish and chips or superb stone-baked pizza on a beach. And whilst coffee isn’t the best (I was especially warned about that whilst being served a piping hot flat white) ice cream and beer are very much up to standard. Most of the groceries sold are locally grown and therefor supporting local farmers. Sea food is obvs fresh from the ocean, and milk from the cows you can see moo-ing on green fields while driving towards the ocean.

When it comes to packing, please please please go minimal. Take it from me, a queen of over-packing. I ended up using only one quarter of my over stuffed suitcase and was outraged. All you really need for a 6 day stay is: 3-4 t-shirts, a hoodie, pair of trainers, flip flops, jeans or any other trousers, shorts, pyjamas, rain coat, workout clothes (if you are planning on doing any, I WASN’T) sunglasses and a swimsuit (plus knickers, a bra and some socks). Also don’t forget to pack sun cream, a book and a water bottle.

My favourite things there: definitely the sunsets. I mean, OUT OF THIS WORLD. Also to being able to do yoga on a Sunday morning on a beach, IS THIS SOME SORT OF MILLENNIAL HEAVEN? Also, cheeky sausage rolls from a local pasty shop, YUM!

Although I am a city gal, when Wednesday arrived I was quite reluctant to go back to the big smoke. Cornwall felt like the time and the world have stopped. Everything was easy. Slow. And carefree. It was ideal escape from everyday routine and I am very much greatful for being able to turn off my alarm (and phone in general) and to just sleep in. I will definitely go back for more fresh air, breathtaking views and peace.

You should too! *casually inserts sunset photo to prove you so*