• Bob Tapper

Hello from Croatia!


Well, I had planned on telling you all about my trip to Split, followed by my trip to Dubrovnic. There would be beautiful videos of the beaches and the Adriatic Sea. I would also be showing you pictures of the new gym I joined, the new co-working space I'm working from, the interesting people I've met, and of course the wonderful food I've tasted here in Zagreb.. But we all know that didn't happen:)


Let's just say I got to know my neighborhood in Zagreb very well during the month of April! Actually, the month turned out just fine. The weather has been amazing, so being able to be outside has been a life saver. Dubrovnic, Split, and the islands off the Adriatic Sea will have to wait until another visit. But here's what I did experience:


Park Maksimir

Park Maksimir is the largest city park in Zagreb. It is over 200 years old and is about 316 acres. It's full of sunny meadows, gorgeous trees, hiking trails, and five lakes! I've spent many, many afternoons here, and it was a pretty easy walk. I'll take a blanket and do one of my hour long yoga workouts here. Take a walk through the park with me!

Sava River Walk

The Sava River isn't withing walking distance of my apartment, but I could take a short Uber ride to get there. It was a welcome change of scenery, and so beautiful!

St. Stevens Church Spire

The March 22, 2020 earthquake knocked the top spire (left) off of the Zagreb Cathedral. They wrapped the one on the right and used explosives to remove it until they are able to repair the damaged one. It was fun to see the small group gather each day to watch the progress! By mid-April, they were leveled out.

Changes in Zagreb

It was such a wonderful feeling to see things start to open last week. On April 27th, they opened all retail stores. Some buses and trams started to roll again as well, but it was actually the earthquake damage not yet cleared in the streets that prevented all transportation from opening. And...May 4th I can get a haircut! Then on May 11th, the restaurants will open, with sidewalk seating only - and social distancing in place. But it sure has been a welcome change from the darker days of late March and early April when the city was completly shut down!


Finally...

I've adjusted to things better than I thought. So many people lost the structure they had in their lives very quickly. So many people are hurting. I think the reason I've adjusted so well is that I never had any structure to begin with. I had planned on creating some structure like I did in Vienna, so my new structure had to be built around how the coronavirus affected Zagreb.


My new structure involves twice daily walks at 10am and 2pm, and daily online workouts. I also found many shows to binge watch on Netflix, and caught up on movies I had wanted to see. The best part of all was seeing the progress Croatia made in dealing with the Covid-19, and seeing things start to open!


So now comes the month of May, where a decision will have to be made. Can I - and how do I - get to London??


Thanks for following along! Stay safe and healthy everyone!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Hello from Croatia!


It's not been easy for me to write this blog. And it isn't because I haven't had time. I was hoping each blog would be fun, informative, and entertaining - but to write truthfully now means that it won't always be that way.


This life change that began for me in January was always supposed to be a long journey - not measured in weeks or months, but years. I have to keep in mind that it's only just beginning.


Given all that's going on, March could be the beginning of Chapter Two. Chapter One was the opening chapter - full of new, exciting adventures. But Chapter Two has to take on a different tone - and like any good book, there are many more chapters to come.


So let's review the story so far shall we?


Chocoa Festival

It seems like a lifetime ago, but my weekend in Amsterdam in February was amazing. The city is super fun, and the Chocoa Festival was informative, chocolately, and yummy. When I wrote about this last month, I hadn't finished my video of the weekend yet, so here it is:

Budapest

I loved taking short train trips while in Vienna. The train station is really efficient, and you can catch a train to most anywhere in Europe. To me, train travel is beautifully slow and peaceful.


The one thing I really wanted to do in Budapest was to visit the Szechenyi Bath, the biggest thermal bath in Budapest. Since it was only a weekend trip, I only had one full day there. And fortunately, that day was sunny and nice.

Goodbye Vienna, for now...

I had hit a wonderful stride in Vienna. I will miss these people from Body Concept Vienna. Their studio and classes were spiritual, motivating, and uplifting. I can now take part online because of the virus, but it's not quite the same. Hugs to Sizanna, Verena, Moana, and Anya...until next time!

The Trek to Zagreb

So I was supposed to have a leisurely, three day train trip from Vienna to Zagreb starting Sunday, March 15th. But the week prior, things were changing daily in terms of COVID-19. Travel restrictions were becoming more and more common. I felt like I needed to check out other travel arrangements and get to Zagreb sooner, so I booked a Friday morning airline flight.


After booking the flight, I was now forced to scramble to pack and clean my Airbnb - and say goodbye to Vienna a few days earlier than planned. It was emotional to say the least.


I got to the airport plenty early on Friday. I had a reservation, but not a ticket. This was a bit unsettling, and even more so when I found out my 10:00 a.m. flight was cancelled. The good news is that they booked me on a different flight a few hours later, and I ended up in Zagreb by 5:00 p.m. that day with no hassles at all. In fact, I wasn't even self-quarantined like most everyone on the plane was because I was from the U.S. - and at that point the U.S. was not on the list of countries that required a quarantine.


The first few days in Zagreb were great. Lots of activity and good vibes. The restaurants were quite full, and sidewalks were filled with tables, tents, and happy people. Then as each day passed, more and more restrictions took place. The restaurants closed. The buses and trams stopped. And then the earthquake shook us...the most powerful one to hit Zagred in 140 years!


LEFT: March 15, 2020 RIGHT: March 22, 2020

Finally...

Life at this point is nothing like I expected. It's mind blowing to me to think of how wonderfully different my life was a month ago in Vienna compared to today in Zagreb. COVID-19 virus has now impacted me - and I survived the most horrific earthquake in my entire life here in Zagreb. The aftershocks continue even as I've written this.


But life right now is not what anyone expected. One thing I know is that everyone's life has been uprooted and affected, so I know I'm not alone.


COVID-19 and earthquakes are hard enough to deal with, but what's been especially tough for me is forging new friendships and connections with people here in Croatia. In Vienna (and prior to the virus lockdowns) I could meet new people and have meaningful interactions through the gym and yoga studio, my co-working space, and Meetups like my improv class.


Right now, I have none of that. Thankfully we have the internet and technology to help us stay connected, and that certainly is comforting. Isolation and lockdowns suck.


But, I am going to continue. I meditate every morning, go outside and walk twice a day (10,000+ steps!), take online exercise classes, eat well, and wash my hands often.


Years down the road when we ask others "where were you during COVID-19?", I'll have my story. Not knowing how long I'll be here and what lies ahead in the upcoming weeks and months is hard, but I'm learning a lot about what it means to surrender.


I am very blessed to be on this journey in my life, and many others have not been so fortunate. They have lost friends or family, or their jobs to COVID-19. That is truly sad and they need our prayers. I have to keep in mind that planes, trains, and buses will run again. Hotels will re-open. And travel will continue. In the meantime, I remain grateful. Croatia's approach to the virus makes me feel safe. Everyone seems calm and rational. We will come out of this.


I'm supposed to be going the London on June 1st. I'm just taking it one day at a time.


Thanks for following along! Stay safe and healthy everyone!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Updated: Mar 3


Hello from Vienna!


Vienna can be cold and dreary in February, but there is so much to do! There are the balls such as Johann Strauss Ball, and Opernball - if only I knew how to dance:) And then there is the ice skating (which I do know how to do), in front of Rauthaus City Hall. The rink has winding paths through the park and it consists of two levels connected by a ramp. This was a super fun Sunday and I didn't fall once!

The one surprising thing I discovered about Vienna is that it's located in a wind tunnel due to where it sits in relation to the Alps. How could I have not known this?? Of all the researching I did on Vienna, I'm really surprised I just found this out. I do feel like I'm adjusting to the colder weather, but I know now that the continual wind (even so slight) is making even mild days feel colder!


Talent Garden

Joining the Talent Garden (a coworking campus for freelancers, innovators, startups, and others) is something I probably should have done on my first day here. Working from my apartment was fine, but being in a creative environment like the Talent Garden makes all the difference in the world. It also provides some structure in my life. My typical day starts with the gym later in the morning, then heading over to TAG. Here I work on my social media, videos, and my blog. I also try to reach out and meet others here - which is expected. Networking is what it's all about. I find the people to be friendly, creative, and smart. It's the perfect environment for me!

Improv

Finding the English Improv Community group in Vienna has made me some friends, and also given me continual laughs! I found the group through MeetUp, and the weekly sessions have been so much fun. It also gives me the opportunity to converse in English, which is something that becomes really needed if living here for a while. Here is a picture of our group - well, part of it anyway since my arm wasn't long enough:) At the end of every session, we form a circle and join thumbs to make an imaginary basket. We take turns throwing our favorite moments from the evening into the "basket." It's quite a nice way to feel connected and end the evening. Of course, the evenings really end with drinks at a nearby pub:)

Film School Vienna

It was so much fun to participate in a Meisner training session through Film School Vienna this month. The Meisner method trains actors to be "in the moment"and always stay truthfully in relationship with their partners. The session ran for six hours, with 10 of us participating. I learned so much, sharpened some skills, and met some wonderful people. It was truly an experience I'll never forget - and I hope to be back to take more intensive classes.

Graz

The third city I visited outside of Vienna was Graz. It's about a 2 1/2 hour (very beautiful) train ride, and this trip was especially nice. It was pretty cold in Bratislava, and the city is older and more traditional. I loved Brno for the hip, young vibe in City Centre. But Graz (oh my gosh), has the traditional culture and youthful vibe, but also really good "foodie" food and a more pleasant climate. Graz gets some of the warmer Mediterranean winds - and it really made a difference in my experience because the sun was out all weekend! Check out the video below!

Amsterdam

I've been to Amsterdam before, and it felt really good to be back. I had so much fun the first time, I was certain the second time would be just as fun. And who couldn't have fun eating lots of chocolate! The Chocoa Chocolade Festival (https://chocoafestival.nl/en/) was a blast! The Cocoa Drink Awards were the absolute best, since you got to taste soooo much hot chocolate:) I'll share a video next month.

And finally...

I feel like this is the month I've really settled in. Working out in the gym in the mornings, hanging out at the Talent Garden in the afternoon, and evenings spent at yoga, pilates, gong sound baths, or participating in acting/improv classes make me feel productive. Doing some traveling, sight seeing, and ice skating made me feel blessed and grateful to be on this journey. In March, changes are in store...more people to meet...and the life adventure continues.


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


© 2020 by Robert Tapper Media

Outside US:  00 1 949 484 6275
Inside US: (949) 484-6275
tapp@bobtapper.com
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