Work – Life – Balance. Hmmmm – that old chestnut. I’m not the poster girl for getting it right but luckily I live with someone who is trying to improve my form in this area. Normally I wouldn’t consider taking a week off during the ‘season’ but Brent found very reasonable flights to Croatia and I followed the carrot.
We booked to fly to Split and then began to look at accommodation options. Generally speaking, I hate pop up ads on the web, but the one for Croatia Campers broke through the noise and a whole new adventure was born. Typically, we did zero research before the trip, instead we were shooting right up to the packing deadline with the philosophy that a pair of shorts, swimwear, sun tan lotion, a Time Out guide and some kit were all that we really needed.
As an adult I have always wanted to visit Croatia – when I went inter-railing as a 17 year old Yugoslavia was a bit of a no go zone and as a result it didn’t make the cut. If you have a bucket list (which everyone should have) then throw Croatia straight in, with an asterisk marked *sailing if you have the means. Cleary we don’t, so we booked a camper van instead!
I’m new to camper vans but am now an enormous convert – following our experience in Croatia we intend to do the same in New Zealand and Canada – any other suggestions welcome! The wheels gave us incredible freedom to make plans according to the weather, our mood, ferry times etc and they changed constantly but that is what kept the holiday an adventure and every morning we woke up not knowing where we would be sleeping that night.
We visited the tourist hot spots of Split and Dubrovnik and were not disappointed – as a history of art/architecture graduate the old towns are a visual treat. You will feel like you have been transported back to ancient Rome or perhaps Kings Landing if you are a Game of Thrones fan… Despite these crazy beautiful spots we were drawn to the sea and campsites that were quiet and set amongst 300 year old olive groves. That’s just who we are.
Kit wise we travelled pretty light: we took a pro DSLR body, 2 lenses, a GoPro and our iphones. It probably isn’t a huge surprise that the amount I shoot on holiday is directly related to how inspiring I find the location/light – after all I am supposed to be having a break. There was no issue with inspiration – what became a ‘problem’ was convenience, weight and size.
Our go to method of capturing the view was an iphone – just because they were always to hand. We did worry about the quality of the images should we ever choose to print them but this concern was always secondary to convenience. In terms of capturing the experience we turned to Brent’s old friend the GoPro.
A GoPro is a bit like Kylie Minogue – it comes in a small package but certainly packs a punch. Critically for us (both water babies from birth) the fact that we can take it underwater and use it to capture where we feel most at home, pushes it straight to poll position for holiday kit. Of course you still need great light and location to get something special and this is what inspired us to hire a little boat for the day and leave the camper on dry land. It was the best day of the holiday and the one where we felt inspired enough to pick up a device to try and capture what we were doing, our feeling of freedom and at times the magical light!
Most days I shared a handful of images and short clips via Instagram and lots of my friends have now added it to their location bucket list too. We have put together a very brief video to keep our memories alive and for my monthly Practical Photography column.
Until the next time Croatia – see you again. x