I land in Zagreb Croatia after a grueling 5 days in Greece where I spent my time assisting volunteers, living with refugees, and formulating lies to my family about where I was. I was wiped physically and emotionally. Much to my dismay, there were no direct flights from Thessaloniki to Zagreb so after a long day of shooting in Greece, hopped a red eye to Istanbul where I had an 8 hour, overnight layover. Let’s face it, you’re not going to NOT go in to Istanbul with 8 hours to kill. I taxi in, wander about until 4am, taxi back to the airport. Napping well within a business man’s personal space on the plane, I land in Croatia to a bright new day, utterly exhausted but excited to meet my Tomos brethren. Luka instructs me to head to the bus station when I land and take the bus to Varazadin, ” I hope you have energy to party!” he texts to me and punctuates the statement with a ‘laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying’ emoji. Except I really might cry. The bus ride is slow and the countryside is breathtaking, peaceful, pastoral. I meet him at the bus station cautiously examining faces for the Instagram profile pic I know. He calls out to me and drives me to the hotel where I will stay, I nap for 2 hours then he brings around my loaner, a beautiful old orange Tomos from 1991, there are many cool models here we don’t have in the states including a model with a plastic gas tank, many shifting models and different beefier engines. We ride out to a friends small winery where the group had built up a patio, oven and outhouse. The last mile was dirt road and woods. Lots of wine, lots of meat, and we even played flip cup, my cultural exchange. I tried to sleep a few times but that came with some protests, eventually we all piled in to the work house and passed out. Heading back to town and finally crashed at the hotel and slept like baby. A baby with a wine hangover.