Within thirty days I managed to leave my job, pack my belongings, leave my apartment, see and say goodbye to as many friends, relatives and colleagues as possible, eat at all my favourite local food joints and then travel over six thousand kilometres to Croatia. Before I left I went to Yuk Yuks, Second City, saw the air show one last time from my balcony, traveled to Ottawa for the weekend, saw an old black and white movie outdoors in downtown Toronto and biked in Critical Mass.
I had goodbye cake and pastries, lattes and drinks, Adonis Chicken Sharawma on a pita…which is the best in the GTA, had Menchies do-it-you-self ice cream (they have seventy different toppings), ate sushi, more sushi and even more sushi.
Special mention goes to the Bushwacking Cooks family. There’s nothing like being lost in the woods for a few days to bring people together. And to Gerry, Andrew, Peter and Lisa for helping in the logistics of moving.
I was still packing and emptying my apartment the night before I left and the morning of. I had a dinner engagement that night with more of my friends including my buddy Sebastian who just finished bicycling across Canada. A toast to you Sebastian for completing a journey of a lifetime!
I left my old apartment at 13:00 EST and headed to the airport for my 18:10 flight. I stopped off for one last burger and latte with my friend, who was graciously giving me a ride to the airport. Then at the airport I met up with my folks, checked in my luggage and went for one last drink before takeoff. Sigh, there were additional fees from this airline because I brought extra luggage. This particular airline gave me food poisoning on my last trip out to Croatia in 2009 and on the way back they bumped, diverted and delayed me through the USA where I missed a connecting flight and spent an extra ten hours stuck at the airport and traveling back home. They had promised additional compensation for my ordeal but then reneged. Thanks A******n Airlines.
I had an eight hour flight to Vienna where the seat didn’t recline since I was seated in an emergency exit row, a four hour layover to a connecting one and a half hour flight to Dubrovnik, a forty-five minute bus ride into that city, a two hour wait for the ferry, a one and a half hour ferry ride to Mljet and then finally a forty-five minute bus ride to the small village, population one hundred and twenty.
It was twenty-four hours of traveling from start to finish, old home to new home. I was greeted with welcoming shots of liquor upon my arrival. It made passing out from exhaustion on my bed a lot easier.
During the past couple days I’ve unpacked, drank Turkish coffee, read , drank more coffee and with my nephews and niece went for a swim, a bike ride and rowed out across the bay in a small boat that looks like a plastic bathtub with oars. I’m living a day at a time and have no expectations from the days to come.