FLASHBACK: The Deluge in Zagreb

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It’s been more than three years of nomadding now. Such a whirlwind of places and experiences and feelings. I thought it’d be nice to start a little thing: Flashbacks.

First up? Zagreb, 2015. My very first city as a nomad, my first time ever being anywhere with a foreign language, never mind being alone there!

I arrived on a nice day, but knew the forecast was akin to “something dark this way comes” — rain, for days.

Little did I know, it’d be country-wide flooding, three weeks of rains hammering down on Croatia, an unseasonably early advent of winter, and humidity near a hundred constantly.

After months of being pedal-to-the-metal with working and prepping for going nomad, this was the start of my adventure. Deluges, back pain, floods, bronchitis, and one of those times that life pushes all your buttons in an effort to see if you really, really want what you’ve signed up for. (Yeah, I still wanted to be a nomad.)

Deluge Days in Croatia

And so it happens that I had to stroll home after a brutal sports massage with a woman who worked me over like I was a $2 steak, and then stumbled on this scene of a soaked plaza and a couple discarded, busted umbrellas — one with the Croatian flag pattern — and a dreary afternoon.

I was so young, as a nomad. I had no idea what was to come for me, where I’d go, the experiences I would have, the people I would meet. I had no concept of how strong I’d become, how resilient I’d prove to be, or how open-minded I would grow. How could I have known?

Since then, I’ve returned to Zagreb. I found it more bustling, more trendy, and, of course, more expensive. It seemed like a city that was on the edge of being discovered and appreciated, and I must have been right, because Zagreb has definitely grown and matured in the three years since I first visited.

Being a nomad is lucky, sometimes, because it means I can visit a city like this in the off-season and see it through different eyes — but off-season comes with risks, like unusual flooding.

Luckily, with five years at hand, I found myself a little time for revisiting a place that made me want to see more under better conditions.

A busted umbrella with a Croatian flag, crammed into the trash can in an empty part of the old town, well, it says it all, really.


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