In photos: Sailing on the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia

“She loved the sea. She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well.”

George R. R. Martin

Sailing in Dalmatia changed me.

Yes I fell in love, but there was more to it than that. I learned that with a lot of patience and a little help from medication I can overcome my lifelong struggle with (and fear of) seasickness.

I learned that the ocean is unapologetically wild, and in that is as much risk as there is beauty.

I learned that I can still party like the rest and the best of them... although I'm suffering for it now.

I learned that I can spend hours and hours sat in one place looking out at the horizon and not feel bored; in fact, I'd never felt so full or content.

In fact, I have seasickness to thank for that last lesson learned as it forced me to indulge in some much needed "nothing time". In other words, due to my seasickness I was forced to sit and do nothing and during those many hours, where all I did was gaze out into rolling waves which rose up to kiss a bright blue sky, I wasn't once bored or restless. In fact, quite the opposite. I've not felt so full or content in many years.

Sailing in Dalmatia changed me.

Yes I fell in love, but there was more to it than that. I learned that with a lot of patience and a little help from medication I can overcome my lifelong struggle with (and fear of) seasickness.

I learned that the ocean is unapologetically wild, and in that is as much risk as there is beauty.

I learned that I can still party like the rest and the best of them... although I'm suffering for it now.

I learned that I can spend hours and hours sat in one place looking out at the horizon and not feel bored; in fact, I'd never felt so full or content.

In fact, I have seasickness to thank for that last lesson learned as it forced me to indulge in some much needed "nothing time". In other words, due to my seasickness I was forced to sit and do nothing and during those many hours, where all I did was gaze out into rolling waves which rose up to kiss a bright blue sky, I wasn't once bored or restless. In fact, quite the opposite. I've not felt so full or content in many years.

Perhaps that's the most significant way in which I was changed; I found a place to truly do nothing.

I have also learned the value of new friendships. I have been writing for the Travelettes for nearly three years and hadn't met one of them until last week. As the trip was a celebration of Travelettes' five year anniversary, and Sailing HR kindly invited us to join them on a week's sailing, I arrived without really knowing any of them. Even at my mature age of 32, and knowing that we had so much in common, it was still a daunting prospect!

We met on a Saturday and by Tuesday we each knew we were going to get on and we did. At the end of the week we walked away telling each other that we were the main reason the week had felt so special and there were tears, because what other, better way is there to tell four other people that yes, you changed me too and I'm glad we're now friends.

I could easily say the same about this part of Croatia. Dalmatia, you changed me and I'm glad we're now friends.

And if you'd like to see more travel content about this beautiful country, check out this two-week Croatia itinerary.

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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