Mandie Sanders is an American marketing and social media strategist who believes good wine, a bit of nonsense and traveling the world benefits one’s soul. We like her approach, and we also like her five-tip guide to solo travelers in Croatia, powered by Chasing the Donkey.
When I first mentioned to my parents that my vague travel plans included Croatia, their faces blanched. When discussing it with their next door neighbor (a retired Army sergeant) he flat out grimaced and suggested I skip ahead to Italy.
“Is that…safe?” my mother asked.
Unfortunately, like many Americans who remember the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, their concept of Croatia was a war-torn country still suffering from the aftermath.
Anyone who has ever been to Croatia can tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a reason this country has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. In my opinion as a solo female traveler, Croatia might be the safest, and arguably most picturesque, of the Balkan countries to travel through.
The first two months of my solo trip were spent volunteering in exchange for room & board, which was a nice way to ease into my first long-term solo trip. I spent several weeks in each destination with hosts that graciously took me under their wings & showed me the sights.
Then I reached the end of my Workaway projects and the beginning of the unscheduled section of my trip. I was excited, I was terrified, and I was heading toward Croatia.
Your confidence as a solo traveler is something that develops the longer you’re on the road. In Belgrade I got over my fear of taking public transportation without knowing where my stop would be. In Mostar I got over my fear of bargaining in street markets. In Sarajevo I got over my fear of approaching strangers and asking if I could join up with them for a while.
It wasn’t until I arrived in Split that I really felt like I had found my stride. Read more.