Drew is a recent college graduate who has visited 43 countries since the beginning of 2012. His favorite things about traveling are eating the local foods, meeting awesome people and experiencing the nightlife scene. Here’s a week-in-the-life of Drew experiencing the craziest week of his life backpacking with a friend through four Eastern European countries.
8:00 AM– Wake up early in Munich to catch a flight to Belgrade, Serbia. After a long bus ride, we show up at the airport, thinking that our flight is at 10AM, but soon find out that it is actually 9AM. With only 20 minutes left until departure, and not even checked into our flight yet, we scramble to security and they let us proceed through (without a boarding pass). I did not know this was possible. Finally we are boarding the plane just seconds before the door shuts. Phew.
11:30AM– Arrive in Belgrade. It’s a beautiful summer day, 27 degrees Celsius and not a cloud in the sky. We check into our hostel and immediately started to explore the city.
5:00PM– Hike up to the top of the famous Fortress to watch sunset over the Danube and Sava Rivers. It is such an amazing view from the top and it is extremely peaceful. This is one of the most amazing moments of my life.
11:00PM– Meet some local Serbs and they take us to an awesome club. We party all night long with them, and all of the other stunningly attractive and fun Serbian people.
5:00AM– Just now leaving the club that we had been partying at since 11PM. The sun is beginning to rise, so we grab some food and head back to hike the Fortress and watch the sunrise, because why not? We successfully watched a sunset and a sunrise from the same spot. It is just that amazing.
7:00AM– Go to sleep.
1:00PM– Wake up and get some great Serbian food called Pljeskavica – which is a delicious grilled meat patty. It is the national dish of Serbia. Then, we walk all around the city and explore.
8:00PM– Catch a short flight to Tivat, Montenegro. The airplane is tiny with a small propeller. But at least we have no problems at the airport this time.
10:00 PM– Arrive in Tivat and take a taxi to our hostel.
9:00AM– Wake up after a great night rest. Head straight to the beach which is a 3 minute walk away from our hostel.
12:00PM– Get a bottle of wine and some incredible grilled salmon for dinner. This is one of the best meals of my life, no joke. It is so fresh and cooked to perfection. I like Montenegro a lot.
5:00PM– Meet a local kid who seems to be pretty cool. Let’s call him Ben. We suspect that he has a lot of money by the way he was talking and acting. We get a few drinks with Ben and he shows us around the city. He is a pretty nice guy.
10:00PM– Ben takes us to a party at this club near the ocean. We show up, wearing shorts, flip flops and a T-shirt (thinking it is casual), but stumble upon people dressed in suits, tuxes and dresses. It is some sort of auction event and we have no idea what is happening. Anyway, Ben gets us free drinks at the bar and tells us that these people are on a cruise ship and they are stopping in Montenegro for the night. Clearly, all of these people have money. The night progresses into early morning….
2:00AM– We leave the “event” and follow Ben to a club which his father owns. At this point, we have not paid for a single drink all night long. My friend and I have no idea what is going on, but we are just going with the flow.
4:00AM– We find out that Ben’s dad is involved with the Mafia, and he pretty much owns the entire country of Montenegro. No wonder why everything is free, and we are getting stared at by all of these older men in suits and chain wallets! This is the craziest moment of my life. I am shocked.
5:00AM– Go to sleep.
9:00AM– Wake up and think “What the hell happened last night?” Were we just partying with the Mob boss’s son? Wow.
2:00PM– Explore Tivat by foot and discover some awesome forests and lots of greenery. Find a private beach to hang out, take in the sun, and enjoy the day. It is such a blissful atmosphere and the people are so friendly. I love Montenegro.
6:00PM – Get another amazing local seafood meal, and then pack up our bags. It was a short stay in Montenegro. We just wanted to see what it is all about. Keep in mind that traveling to all of these countries in former Yugoslavia is extremely easy because each country is so small. So, it’s super easy to hop around whenever we want.
7:00PM– Take a taxi (yes, a taxi) to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The taxi ride is about an hour and very affordable.
9:00PM– Meet some of our other friends in the city and get dinner. Throw our bags in the apartment that we have rented (it’s cheap). My first impressions of Dubrovnik are amazing.
11:00PM– Go out to a club. The music is awesome, and everyone seems really friendly.
2:00AM– Get home at a decent hour and go to sleep.
11:00AM– Wake up and explore Dubrovnik all day. It is beyond incredible. The fortress surrounding the old town of the city has breathtaking views of the Sea. We walk across the entire fortress and enjoy the beautiful summer day. Nothing could possibly be better at this moment.
3:00PM– Still exploring the city, and still in complete shock. Old Town is my new favorite place in the world.
8:00PM– Get a Croatian dinner- a seafood platter- and my stomach is happy as can be. Getting ready for another night of partying!
11:30PM– Find ourselves in another club that is located on a dock. It is a pretty sweet place, with lots of people and a good atmosphere. Up until this point, I am thinking that all local Croats are friendly and welcoming people, until this happens….
2:30AM– We are all drunk, and I can’t find one of my friends anywhere in the club. Let’s call him Mark. I am wandering around with my other friend Chris, checking all places in the club, but we can’t find him.
5:00AM– Mark is still nowhere to be found, so Chris and I head back to our apartment (thinking that Mark will return).
6:00AM– Mark walks in the apartment with stitches in his chin and gauze tape wrapped all around his face. Apparently, he got punched in the face by a tall and angry Croatian guy. Mark claims that he never did anything to offend him, but we will never know to this day if he deserved the punch or not. Wow.
12:00PM– Originally planning to go to Split, Croatia as our next destination, we decide to take a short detour and go to Mostar, Bosnia because it is on the way. Why not check off another country from the list?
2:00PM– We arrive in Mostar and it’s pouring rain. Scrambling to explore around the city for just a few hours, we only manage to see a few things including the main medieval bridge (which is awesome). We decide to head back to the bus station and go to Split, Croatia because it is raining so hard.
5:00PM– We arrive at the border of Croatia and Bosnia, and this is where things take a turn for the worst. Police officers are doing a passport check, and my friend has lost his. It is nowhere to be found. He must’ve left it on the previous bus that we took into Bosnia. They won’t let us cross the border, so we are stuck by ourselves. The bus continues and we are stranded, in the pouring rain, with our travel backpacks on our backs and no cell phones.
7:00PM– After dealing with the Bosnian police for some time, they somehow (thankfully) locate his passport by contacting all local police in the area. My friend did, indeed, leave is passport on the previous bus which continued to the capital city of Sarajevo. So, his passport is in Sarajevo and we are stranded on the border. Sarajevo is 3 hours away by car…
7:30PM– We hitchhike to Sarajevo. It is my first time hitchhiking, and I am scared out of my mind. This is not the situation that I imagined hitchhiking in for the first time. Luckily, some old guy driving a Ford picks us up and takes us to Sarajevo. He is really friendly and he speaks English.
10:30PM– We get to Sarajevo, find his passport, slam a beer, and get the hell out. We take a 7 hour bus to Split, Croatia.
6:00AM– Arrive in Split and check into our hostel.
3:00PM– Wake up after a long sleep, and trying to gather our thoughts about the previous week of our lives.
Drew is currently teaching English in Korea, and his contract is up in March. He is planning a two-month backpacking trip through India and Nepal before returning back home for the summer. Then, he plans on returning to Asia to travel, blog and start his own business. Drew blogs about food, culture and nightlife at The Hungry Partier. Find him on Twitter.