Lessons learned from the beach in Croatia
1. Everybody wears a bikini, and I mean everybody and every BODY! All ages. There is no body shaming here. It’s hot, you swim. No one gives a you know what! ;)
Lesson: Don’t worry about what you look like in a swimsuit! Enjoy yourself. That is why you are at the beach and definitely more important.
2. Kids under the age of 4 swimsuits seem optional. Tops on girls under 10 seem optional (and some beaches tops are optional period). Naked kids are running around and no one cares. No impossible attempts to discretely change your toddler trying to hide them in a towel. No swim diapers ect. Kids are just kids. No one worries about it or thinks anything of it!
Lesson: Modesty has a time and place. Your kids are fine. No one is looking at them inappropriately.
3. Crocs must be the number one beach shoe. I have seen more crocs here than anywhere. On everyone. Maybe it’s the most appropriate footwear for an island where you spend 90% of your time on a beach!
Lesson: Crocs are great beach footwear.
4. Kids pee on the beach. Girls sitting on the edge just in the water, little boys stand at the waters edge and just go right there. Again no one is stressing out about it. Urine is sterile. No biggie!
Lesson: Don’t worry about this. Pee is just pee. Don’t drag your child up some tangled mass of bushes to hide them while they go.
5. People relax here. They spread out their stuff and they stay a while. No rushing, no hurriedly picnicking to speed to somewhere else. They are here to enjoy the beach and they do!
6. Kids talk to other kids. It doesn’t matter if they speak the same language. They still play. Smiles are universal!
Lesson: Let your kids make friends in their own way. They will figure it out.
7. Parents let kids have some freedom. No helicopter parenting here. Kids are allowed to wander. Parents and grandparents are still attentive, just not attached to the kids. They will shout out a warning if needed!
Lesson: Let go a little. Kids need to learn independence. Allow this.
8. People help each other. A rock stairway is slippery, someone warns you and offers a hand. Your inflatable is floating away someone will stop it and hand it to you. Your shoe gets caught in the surf, someone will throw it back to the beach.
Lesson: Be helpful
9. People acknowledge each other. They smile and say Hello…in many languages. Say Hi back. Smile. Try to say Hi in the native language of where you are. People love the effort!
Lesson: Engage with the people around you. Say Hi!
10. Take your trash with you or put it in the garbage. No one leaves their trash on the beach here. No plastic, no bottles, no junk.
Lesson: Be respectful of shared spaces! Do not leave anything.
Enjoy the beach…that’s why you’re there :)