Seeing Croatia from the road turned out to be the ideal way to experience it, according to Conant: "Driving let us keep a pretty loose plan so we could come and go as we pleased and check out small towns whenever we felt like it," he says, "or stop at a roadside stand and buy honey or whatever they were selling." Everywhere they went, they were welcomed into homes and cafés. They showed up at one restaurant on the island of Vis only to find it closed, but instead of being turned away, the owner insisted on opening up shop and cooking them a meal himself. And this wasn't atypical: "The people we met were shockingly nice," he says. "Wonderful and very hospitable."