Expectations vs Reality: Orebic, Croatia…err Brna, Korcula

On our second-to-last night in Split, John and I had a second glass of wine with our dinner at a Varos neighborhood restaurant (the very nice but unimaginatively-named Konoba Varos) and started talking about our expectations for our next stay a little south of here in Orebic, Croatia. Here’s where we landed: we’ll showcase the reality when we realize it!

The town:

  • We expect Orebic to be quite a bit smaller than Split, geographically and population-wise. Maybe something like a Kastel Novi with more of a typical suburban feel. We also think it’ll have an authentic working harbor, maybe like the harbor at Sibenik or a little smaller.
  • We’re expecting fewer restaurants, but we’re thinking that’ll give us a chance to develop a “local joint” that we go to frequently. Maybe even get to know some of the staff and other patrons.
  • We think dogs will be welcome everywhere.
  • We think we’ll feel very comfortable in Orebic, and right at home.

Reality:

SCREEEEEECH! As we pulled up to our VRBO, the owner took one look at Trixie and Turbo and started shaking her head and wagging her finger, saying that we never told her we were bringing animals and that her son, who created the listing, didn’t tell her. She said, “Show me the listing.” John went ballistic! He told her that we HAD booked with two adults and two pets, and that SHE and her son were the ones who were changing the rules, that we had no place to stay and that it was not fair to deny us lodging at the last minute. Phone calls with her son ensued and, at one point the lady said we could stay IF we paid more… Needless to say that was a non-starter. We got a full refund, hurling invectives at her as we peeled out of her driveway (not true, it was tiny and John had to drive very slowly so as not to hit a wall on one side or her gate on the other). Apparently dogs are not welcome everywhere…

The people:

  • We don’t expect to meet nearly as many English-speakers as here in Split. This will help us get a better grip on our Croatian!
  • We expect a slower pace of life – both for locals and for ourselves. More time sitting and sipping coffee, watching the world go by.
  • We’re not expecting to meet up with many (if any) other expats. No expat or digital nomad Facebook groups. No Meetups.
  • We’d LOVE to meet a few Croatian people who live locally, especially ones with a kayak or a boat!

The economy:

  • We expect everything to be less expensive than Split.
  • We expect that transactions will be more cash-based with fewer options to charge purchases on cards.

Expectations for ourselves:

  • We want to meet/schmooze some sailors at the marina with the hope of finding someone who can either a) rent us a boat cheaply or b) is willing to take us out for a few trips on the water, especially to Vis island. We’d also like to find someone from whom we can rent a couple of kayaks.
  • We want to spend a lot of time outside on our patio – working, doing yoga (daily), building and cooking over fires, making lemonade.
  • We think we’ll likely do a lot more day trips. Right now, we’re planning on Dubrovnik, Vis, and likely several trips to explore fortresses and wineries on Korcula.
  • We expect to spend a lot of time being active outdoors, hopefully we’ll be able to rent kayaks and also go swimming in the Adriatic frequently.
  • We also want to continue our routines — walking/running with the dogs (both of us would like to run more); doing yoga (hopefully daily); practicing piano (John, and again, hopefully daily), writing. Ideally we’ll alternate “work/writing” days with play days.
  • We hope to get our travel blog/social caught up to the present day, and develop a workable post schedule.
  • Sarah expects to feel more comfortable driving as she thinks they’ll be fewer people on the road. She’ll drive more than she did in Split (which was pretty much not at all).
  • John expects to be pissed over the laundry situation (lack of washer in our place, and so far an inability to find a laundromat or wash/dry/fold nearby). He expects to have to ferry over to Korcula to do laundry. In other words, he’s going to be wearing a lot of dirty clothes!

Overall, we think we’re going to REALLY like living in Orebic. We’re expecting the month to go by really quickly, maybe even too quickly.

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