This is our tenth day here, and we seem to finally be hitting a stride. The first week was a little rough for me: we needed a four hour nap every day to deal with the jet lag, and it was a little daunting simply getting used to living in a new place and setting up a new routine.
I found that I really needed a set schedule, so I am up nearly every day by 7:30 or 8, Whitney and I go to the gym, and then I work a solid three or four hours a day. Each afternoon around 3 or 4, we have been going out and seeing one thing: usually a museum or just for a walk around the Old Town to grab a coffee before coming back and fixing dinner. At night, we usually watch a movie or TV show.
I’m going to write a more detailed report on money at the end of the month, but so far, things seem to be holding up on our limited budget. Our food budget at $1000 is a lot more than we need; we’ll probably end up spending three or four hundred dollars less than that. We’ve been really good at cooking all our meals, though, and that helps out a lot. Not that we seem to be missing much; most of the restaurants in Dubrovnik seem to only offer Americanized junk food: pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets, etc.
After our rent and food budget, we have about $36/day to live on. While that’s not a lot, so far we’ve been able to do it without difficulty. However, we want to travel to other places within Croatia, so finding a way to do that and still stay within our budget will be a challenge.
Here are some other observations I’ve made so far about living here and abroad in general:
- After living in New York City for twelve years, I didn’t really have much culture shock coming over here. I’m so used to coming into contact with different cultures from my time in NYC that it’s no big deal to be over in Europe. I thought I would feel differently about it. For the most part, I don’t think about it. Of course, it does help that almost everyone here speaks English. I’ve yet to learn even the most rudimentary Croatian. But it doesn’t feel like we’re in some far away “foreign land.” It feels like we’re in Coney Island. 🙂
- I didn’t need to bring four tubes of toothpaste, ten boxes of razors, and other assorted items – they have all that stuff over here. Good to know.
- All the stray cats here in Dubrovnik are really sweet and almost all of them let me pet them (see Whitney’s post). This has helped with my severe kitteh withdrawal.
- Croatians love American 80s music; that’s basically all we hear in all the bars, coffee houses, and our gym (Whitney would like me to note that this is A-OK with her).