Close Your Eyes & Jump

A warm 82 degrees today in Split, Croatia.

The boys are all together.

We’ve been given the locations of all the untainted non-tourist beaches by some locals we befriended.

All in all, it’s the beginning of a beautiful day!

Being so conveniently based on the outer edges of the old town, we take the first half of our morning to explore just that. The old town looks as if time stood still for the last millennium and a half. Cobblestone streets & white stone buildings decorate the makeup of this part of the city. Local Dalmatians (not the dogs..) make up the demographic of the old city, along with the tourists that flock to this region every summer. The city has changed over recent years as more & more people have discovered this Adriatic gem that is Split. More restaurants, cafes, hostels & hotels have sprung up in order to cater to this influx of foreigners parading the nation’s second-largest city. Tourism has become a large economic factor to cities such as Split. They especially generate a lot of revenue from U.S. tourists. And for that reason I said “I’m going to Croatia.”

I’m kidding. I came for the teal-hued waters, otherworldly landscapes, & beautifully built ancient cities; but hey if it helps out the people then that’s cool with me too.

We head over to Diocletian’s palace, which Roman Emperor Diocletian had built to see out the final days of his time here with us.

Well not with us necessarily because the guy was around in the fourth century, but you get the point! Anyway, it is neither a palace nor a museum, rather the heart of the city. Filled with bars, shops, & restaurants. You’ll more than likely spend much of your time here while in Split. It’s a relatively large square, so it’s easy to explore here all day. It’s one of the loveliest neighborhoods in all of Croatia & makes for a must-see destination for all history enthusiasts. There are tours available to book in advance, which further explain the history of this Roman Empire Gem. They offer much more detail than anything you’ll read on the Internet. The Diocletian’s Palace should be a top priority on your to-do list in Split.

As much as I love learning new history, it gets tiresome at times. Especially when your mind is focused on laying on a pebble beach bordering the Adriatic. So, that’s exactly what I did next. I stopped by the apartment quickly to grab some extra essentials & made my way down to the plaža.

Tip: Learning a few words in the native language will be extremely helpful in communicating with locals & receiving assistance. Take a few minutes to learn a few basic words. It’ll go a long way.

There are a few beaches to go to here in Split. There’s the popular tourist one next to all of the night clubs & the local beach where you’re more than likely going to be the only American there. Go for the latter…

That’s what I did. I walked over to the local beach, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, and enjoyed the remainder of my day there. Comparing it to the tourist beach from yesterday I was pleased to see that I made a terrific choice in changing scenery. For one the number of people was far less than the day prior. The guys & I actually had room to put our towels down today! That was not the case yesterday. If you’ve read into Croatia at all, you’ve likely stumbled upon cliff jumping. There’s an exhilarating rush you get when facing the edge of a cliff 10 meters (30 feet) above the water. One that would be best explained by physically doing it, not reading about it.

You’re facing the horizon where the sky & the Adriatic Sea meet each other. You look down & you’re staring deeply into the aqua colored eyes of this beautiful body of water. You look even deeper into its eyes and notice particular details beneath it all. I imagine this is similar to when meeting someone you’re attracted to. A heavy lump in your stomach is coming about from the nervousness. You’re wondering whether you should go for it. The intensity of the build-up is fortifying. You’re inching up to the very edge wondering how you got yourself into this position. You close your eyes. Take a deep breath. And jump.

And there you are, swimming about in some of the most marvelous crystal waters you’ve ever seen, enjoying the company of friends over a delicious seafood meal, in the historical heart of what was once the Roman Emperor’s dominion.


About the author:

Kevin Czopek is an adventure enthusiast who has managed to travel through 20+ countries as well as 20 states over the past two years, all while juggling part-time jobs & obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Sciences. The devout explorer uses his photography & writing to tell unique, passionate stories about his travels. When he’s not hiking up active volcanos in Indonesia or camel trekking through the Sahara Desert, he’s most likely editing his photography portfolio or typing up a new entry for his blog . To find more of Kevin’s photos you can visit