brooklyntropicali brooklyntropicali

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Susan Ripley  💕Traveling full-time ◇Working from wherever ✨ @forbes feature:✨ 7 skills you need to be a housesitter ⇟

I've mentioned this before, but the entire old town of Split is one big Roman ruin - a palace. It's often crowded with tourists, but if you time it right, you can get these spaces all to yourself.

Early morning and an hour or two before sunset seem to be the optimal times. Then you get the added bonus of crazy soft light - like the golden hour light in this stone vestibule. .
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Split is seriously pretty - the orange rooftops, the imposing mountains lining one side, the green spaces here and there.

This shot is from the bell tower in the old town - one of the best views of the city. We went up at just before golden hour and there were only 2 other people up there. ✨
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Last weekend we went on a day trip to the island of Brač. Hvar seems to be the popular island excursion, but I loved the super chill island of Brač.

We took a 1 hour ferry from Split, and then a 1 hour comfy bus to the other side of the island, landing in Bol - a town that felt like it was worlds away. Despite it being a weekend, it was so quiet with very few tourists.

There is a pretty famous beach close to town. But no one really talks about this monastery. I seriously think they must have picked the most beautiful place to build this - the turquoise sea in front is crazy clear, and there is a peaceful little cove beach and lots of greenery all around.
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See the snoozing cat at the bottom of the door there?

Justin and I watched a fun documentary the other day - Kedi. It's about how important cats are to the local culture in Istanbul.

Which brings me to my news - we're heading to Istanbul at the beginning of next month! We had 2 days to fill between Croatia and Spain, and I've been obsessed with Istanbul lately. So we decided to stretch that to 4 nights and explore Istanbul. I'm so so excited. Who has been?
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The other day we were exploring and we walked by the city theater. We walked inside, found this colorful elaborate entryway, and then decided to buy tickets to the ballet later in the week.

Travel is the perfect way to remember to try new things, shake up your routine, take a risk, etc.. I never go to the ballet - but why not? Ballet is awesome.

Also, I'm really getting into a groove with Split. When I got here, I thought "oh this is a nice place." But the longer I'm here, the more I'm seeing all the layers of this city, this culture. I'm really glad we choose Split as our Croatian home base.
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One nice thing about this lifestyle is how flexible it is. I mean that's actually my #1 priority - to allow for daily flexibility in my life - to travel, to work, and to rest whenever and wherever I want.

Today, we had planned to do a day trip to one of the islands, but we both woke up exhausted and I remembered I had a couple of work things that would be hard to do on the go.

So we decided to wait til tomorrow, went back to sleep, worked for a couple hours, and then went out on a late afternoon walk/exploration.

I wish I had realized when I was younger that this kind of flexibility was really what I should strive for in life. But better late than never.
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This is the first country I have visited that I haven't spoken the language, somehow all the other countries I have visited have been Spanish or English speaking.

I definitely butchered and blundered my way through Spanish when I first started traveling to Latin America - but that was many years ago now. It's been awhile since I haven't felt comfortable in my ability to communicate.

Not that it's a problem here - everyone seems to speak perfect English. But it just feels so STRANGE not to be communicating with them in their own language. I'm sure this is my own hangup, no one seems to mind. I learned a few basic Croatian words, but locals seem to switch to English right away.

No big life lesson about this, just getting used to this new feeling.
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This is a view of the outside of the old city aka the old Roman palace from the Riva - the waterfront boardwalk area. I love a sea-front city. Split seems to have a little bit of everything - the crystal clear Adriatic sea, old Roman ruins, tons of city amenities, and mountains on the opposite side. ◇
So far, we've just been wandering the city, trying out the cafes, and making the hike up to the top of the steep but huge and green Marjan park. But visiting local beaches and other ruins outside the city is on the agenda...
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I got to Croatia on Thursday night after 28 hours of travel. Since then I've been enjoying catching up with my husband (we've been apart for 5 1/2 weeks) and wandering around the cute city of Split.

So quick history lesson - the old city of Split is actually the Roman Emperor Diocletian's summer palace that was built in 305 AD. So the entire old city is a Roman ruin/palace. All the "streets" are narrow alleys that used to be the hallways. All the restaurants and shops are old rooms in the palace. The outside of the old city is the outside of the Palace walls... It's pretty lovely to wander through the old ruins, especially at night when everything is dimly lit and super romantic.
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I'm leaving Oaxaca today. I'm not feeling so sad this time around because I know I'll be back soon-ish.

This has been an incredibly introspective month for me. I didn't even realize it until the end, but I've been thinking and reflecting like crazy. I've spent many evenings on the roof, gazing out at mountains and clouds, and thinking about where I want my life to go.

Justin and I have made some huge leaps and bounds about the direction we want our lifestyle to go in. It's amazing how fast your desires can shift. But it's great to know that we are still on the same page.

I'm not ready to go into detail yet about what those changes are. We'll see how the next couple of months go and how plans pan out. But this month in Oaxaca was super important for internal listening. And I think this was the perfect place to do that. 💛💛💛 off to Croatia...
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I have a Mexican tile obsession. The more colorful the better. I love these dusty shades of green and purple, and it matches my skirt!
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These pretty tiles are in the church at Tlacolula - one of my favorite towns and markets near the city. Have I mentioned that visiting local markets is one of my favorite activities? I’ve already started looking up markets in Split...
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Headed up into the mountains for a hike yesterday. One thing I've always loved about Oaxaca is how quick and easy it is to get from the center of the city into lovely nature.

It’s amazing that you can be in a hot and sunny city one minute and then 30minutes to 1hr later, in the clouds in a crispy and cool forest. I love that about elevation gain.

I’ve been saying to myself for years now that I want to do this multi-day hike that takes you through the Pueblos Mancomunados - a group of 8 remote villages in the Sierra Norte that have set up a network of ecotourism - hiking from village to village and rustic overnight stays with home cooked meals. We did a one day hike near one of these villages on our first trip to Oaxaca over 3 years ago. Yesterday I made some loose plans to try to finally make a multi-day hike happen later this year….
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