It’s still summer vacation here in Bavaria and while my Au Pair family is spending a couple weeks in France, I had the opportunity to do some traveling myself. I just returned on Friday from a glorious 7-day solo trip to Croatia.
I love travel in all forms: with friends, with family, solo, backpacking, 4 star hotel or all-inclusive resort… you name it. However, my solo trips hold a special place in my heart, and this week was especially good for my soul.
I had my roundtrip bus tickets from Germany to Croatia and back booked, and I had 6 nights in 2 different hostels booked, but other than that, I had no plans when I arrived in Croatia and was excited to wing it.
A wonderful thing about traveling by yourself is that you set your own pace. If you want to have a jam-packed week cramming in every sight you can see, you can do that. Or if you want to have a peaceful, slow trip, you can do that, too. As soon as I walked up to my hostel in Omis and saw that it sat right on the Adriatic Sea with lounge chairs covering a large terrace and diving board jutting out right into the water, I decided my week would be the latter, calm and peaceful.
I had 3 nights and 4 days at this hostel before I would head to Dubrovnik, which I knew would be a bit more touristy with sightseeing, so I decided to not put the pressure on myself to see every little site Split and Omis have to offer, but simply to relax and enjoy this quiet time.
I have found that it’s during these times when I stop and am still that I hear the most from God. I had so much uninterrupted time this week to spend in prayer. I had no to-do lists on my iPhone, no kids screaming, no distractions from friends… just Hailey time. Whether it was during a morning workout on the beach, or soaking up the sun in a lounge chair, swimming laps in the Adriatic Sea or sipping wine as I watched the beautiful sunsets, I heard from God this week.
He was reiterating to me what he has been teaching me all year: simply to trust in Him. My thoughts have been so consumed lately with my future. I have no idea where I will be 6 months from now or where I will be working and it’s in my nature to want to take full control over it. But this week I felt the Lord put his hand on my heart and say, “Calm down, Hailey.” (Not my favorite words to hear- what do you mean? I am calm!) “I’ve got this. Just trust me.” And slowly over the week, every worry, every fear about my future, left me and I was able to fully relax in His presence. This is also not terribly hard to do with stunning views of the crystal-clear, teal blue Adriatic Sea, but nevertheless, I felt God’s presence with me this week and I was not alone.
In church this morning, our pastor Liam was talking about God’s interests, as in his priorities, not his hobbies (although I do imagine God really loves football). But his priorities being the world, his people, his church, etc. and I realized that when my priorities line up with His, when I am loving Him, loving others around me, serving Him and my church, then my trust in His plan comes naturally. But when I fall short and forget, those little whispers of “Come on, Hailey, you know I’ve got this…” don’t hurt as reminders.
I didn’t plan for my week to in Croatia to be a spiritual retreat, but it was so refreshing for my soul. However, I actually did more than just lay around in the sun the whole time so I’ll be posting this week some things I actually did in Split and Dubrovnik, as well as some Croatia travel tips, so be looking forward to that.
But for now, I’ll leave you with this advice: if you need a peaceful, soul-refreshing trip, head to the Adriatic Sea. You won’t regret it.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13