while chatting with a friend this spring about his summer of “self discovery”, I realized that I had the perfect opportunity to do the same. while no offense to anyone in my grad program, there wasn’t anyone I particularly had a strong desire to travel with. and thus, I realized that I could embark on my first solo trip.
solo traveling is unlike anything I had anticipated. many of my friends were quite worried I’d be kidnapped and sold (seriously…) due to the fact that I am young and female. also, many friends were nervous that I would be extremely bored because I don’t have a travel companion. well. bored? hardly! I can’t remember the last time I spent 10 minutes by myself! I have met SO many amazing people from all over the world, and we’ve done things I wouldn’t have thought of or would have been able to afford.
will I ever solo travel again? at this point in my life I don’t know when I would have the time or finances to plan another trip like this, but of course I will be traveling. that’s not even a question.
last night I left Croatia and flew into Budapest (now my third time here) and met up with the girls from my program that I began my travels with. solo traveling has officially ended. I’m pretty impressed with myself for how it all went, and although I was pretty sick for the past week on Hvar Island, I honestly (cliche) wouldn’t change a thing.
back on US soil on Wednesday evening.
I must say… solo traveling is incredible. it’s been 4 years since I was in Europe and although there are places in the world I definitely
want need to explore, I am certainly happy I am here! I never knew how much the Balkans had to offer. my bad!
I spent 3 nights in Budva, Montenegro, and 4 nights in Kotor, including a day trip to a few towns in Albania. Montenegro is absurdly beautiful. literally. Albania is extremely…. different. and worth visiting. I’ve been in Dubrovnik, Croatia for a day or two and have three or four left. I should probably check. 2 weeks left in Croatia/Europe!
what a shallow post. spending 10 hours at the beach might be getting to my head! I’ll be around for an actual update… soon? Croatia > blog.
it is finalllly time to head out on some much anticipated backpacking adventures! I will be starting with 2 girlfriends from my program, but I will be staying in Montenegro longer. then I’ll be on my own in Croatia, and meeting up with them again in Budapest. I cannot wait to backpack by myself for a few weeks! should be grand! (and yes I will be safe)
3rd-6th: Budva, Montenegro
6-10: Kotor, Montenegro
10-15: Dubrovnik, Croatia
15-21: Hvar Island, Croatia
21-23: Zagreb, Croatia
23-25: Budapest, Hungary
25-Sept 2: Washington DC
Sept 2: Denver!
after almost 9 weeks in Sarajevo, you will most definitely be finding me laying on the beach… reading, eating all things non-Bosnian, and smiling :)
and yes, I will actually be going there :)
doviđenja is Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Macedonian/Montenegren/Kosovan (why are there six languages that are all exactly the same?!) for bye!
I leave Sarajevo in less than a week! that means I’ve been in Europe for two months already. sheesh. this summer hasn’t been as incredible as it had the potential for (due to a less than exciting internship and again, total complications with my student loan which I stillll haven’t received!), but overall, I definitely have valued my time here and appreciate Sarajevo.
for being 24, I’d say I’ve traveled a fair amount. I won’t list every country I’ve been to (unless you’re actually curious!), but I definitely have the travel bug. Living in Bosnia has been a totally different experience than my previous travels, due to the post-war atmosphere. if I was simply a tourist here, I don’t think I would have noticed it as much (well, there is war damage on 90% of the buildings and mortar holes littering the sidewalks) but I am referring to the vibe, the mood, the atmosphere, the stories. all of my coworkers are Bosnian and its about a 50/50 split of who stayed in Sarajevo during the war, and who fled. I wont make another post about the war, but the stories are horrendous. one of the main streets of Sarajevo was called Sniper Alley for a reason. 15 years later, things are better in Sarajevo, at least.
this is right out my living room window. not the best angle (I didn’t take it) but you can see a bullet hole going all the way through. and there is a huge mortar hole right above the window as well. safe? yikes.
my neighborhood was completely invaded during the war by the Serbs, and thus is totally wrecked. plus, no tourists ever come out here so there is no real motivation to renovate or rebuild.
the next few days I am finishing up at my internship, buying last minute souvenirs, celebrating with a nice dinner with my roomie, and packing!