November 26, 2020 – Continuing our look at the digital nomad lifestyle in Croatia, it may be late November for some, but Croatia’s endless summer sport continues for some.
The Adriatic Sea is a focal point for seasonal visitors to the Dalmatian coast for good reason; it’s positively refreshing on hot summer days. But some people swim long after the crowds have gone, when the only onlookers are wearing coats.
(When summer tourists crowd Split’s beaches, everyone carves out their own spot on the sand and in the water.)
Ever since I heard that Split’s summer weather can occasionally extend into fall, I got it in my head that I wanted to swim as late into the season as possible. Swimming is one of my favorite sports for the feeling of being in the water as much as the exercise. Everything about it signals freedom and expansion, increasing my movement, thoughts, and bodily sensations. I love the open water and Croatia’s total seaside environment—sun, salt, azure sea, temperature, and rugged beauty—is perfect.
(Pine trees, white beaches, and teal waters are hallmarks of the Mediterranean coastline that draw visitors from around the world.)
Back in the spring, during early morning Žnjan beach walks, I’d end up sitting on a rock with my bare feet dangling in the water. Sure, it was cool outside, but I was bundled up in layers and my feel were thankful to be out of socks and shoes. As I looked over my surroundings, I craved summertime just to be fully immersed in the gorgeous water. When it finally arrived, I plotted my swims—whenever and wherever.
(Ramps and other accommodations are found all along the seaside; they allow people with disabilities to get into the water.)
A rocky enclave on Lokrum, the Blue Lagoon near Trogir, the famous Zlatni Rat on Brač, and diving off a sailboat were perfect staging grounds for my addiction. I was mindful to soak up every minute in these brilliant surroundings. Sometimes I’d pop my head above the surface and laugh at my good fortune and my happiness; it was pure joy.
(Shower facilities on every beach look like aliens from another planet.)
It seems any spot to enter the water is fair game. Croatians will climb through large rocks and pull their cars to the side of the road just to take a dip. I learned to toss my bathing suit and travel towel in a bag when meeting friends because an opportunity could pop up any time. After visiting a bee farm on Šolta, I swam before coming home because why not try another island, right? When biking around Marjan Park, I pumped my brakes at the sight of Kašjuni beach and promptly turned back to join the bathers. Dalmatians inherently love the sea and for them, this behavior is second nature.
(View from just above the surface, where colors and textures from above and below the water meet.)
September, October, now November… and I’m still checking the sea and air temperature daily. My bathing suit hangs on a doorknob as a visual reminder; each day I hope it’s the right one. So far quite a few have worked out, even though we’ve passed the Daylight Savings mark on the calendar. Back home my swim gear would’ve been packed away months ago. The Atlantic Ocean is not this agreeable.
Let’s be real though, things are cooling down. On both ends of these late fall days I wear proper fall clothes. Yet, today the water and air temperature were nearly equal at 18.8ºC (65ºF) and I swam effortlessly. A small admission: I get cold very easily. The idea of swimming in November is way past my comfort zone and I honestly don’t know how I’m doing it.
(The morning sky can create the best view for an early swim.)
Perhaps living in a new place brings new inspiration. Or maybe the cold is all in my head. I don’t need to figure it out, I’m still swimming and loving it.
Learn more at TCN’s Digital Nomads channel.
Story and photographs ©2020, Cyndie Burkhardt. www.photo-diaries.com/
For more of Cyndie’s experiences, check out her Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad column.