The sights and sounds of the city are enough to make one want to run away from real life and indefinitely-- to have the gentle lull of the river as the soundtrack to home or the minarets up in the hills as guiding lights. Much like New York, the only thing I dislike about Sarajevo is that I'm always leaving. So it goes.
It’s heartwarming to know that Belgrade truly will still be here to welcome me home, no matter how long or far I stray.
The thing about Geneva is that it feels like just about anywhere— from its charming Parisienne cafes to its alarmingly brutalist apartment blocks and Thessaloniki-esque waterfront you really could be in countless other places. What’s more is that so few people in Geneva are actually from there; as one of the most international cities in the world it is home to people from every country you can think of, most of whom claim to have ended up there by accident.
After so many new things this past year, it's time for me to settle in to where I am right now. So, goodbye 2017, goodbye (for now) TSW, and thank you. For everything. 2018, let's make this a good one.
A few weeks ago I finished working in the job of a lifetime and not long after that I moved out of a city that made me feel at home from the moment I arrived. Though endings may be sad, I am endlessly grateful for all I was able to do while living in London. As I write this now, from my apartment back home in the states, there's a big, dopey smile on my face.
As I watched the light change, I became melancholy. I’m going home soon. I don’t know when I’ll next be in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK, for that matter. But I do know that when I make it back to this side of the pond, Scotland and the sea will both be here waiting for me.
It is difficult to describe Vilnius, since the city is somewhat, for lack of a better word, shy. Think f it as that one friend who is almost unnervingly quiet, but becomes the life of the party once you get them out of their shell.
As we sat in the living room surrounded by six young Serbian men and our friend's mother, grandmother, and younger siblings, I expected to feel like an intruder, but the feeling never surfaced. Instead, I watched a family in their natural habitat: siblings goading one another, with a mother hovering in the background; a grandmother immersed in a game of tic tac toe with the youngest brother.
While I may leave many laughs, late nights, and memories in Belgrade, I’ve gained the same and more from this enigma of a city
I nearly cried when we arrived in the city. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I owe the past half year of my life to what I gained in Sarajevo: drive. My approach to my academics and future career plans has been influenced significantly by my study abroad experience in the Balkans and I returned to the US with a newfound sense of purpose and confidence.
Some days I wake up with an intense nostalgia for Paris: The rain never fails to have that effect on me.
One of my favorite things about Serbia is the consistency of personality amongst Serbs; despite each being unique individuals with distinct backgrounds there remains a set of characteristics that I’ve noticed in almost every Serb I’ve come to know.
I’m missing Boston something fierce these days so I dug up an old gem I wrote just after I moved there. Enjoy!
It’s always interesting to see how the reality of a place measures up to the idea of it you formulate in your head. I’m pleased to say that my image of Romania turned out to be fairly on par with what I found there, though I guess that happens when you spend several weeks researching a place for the sake of academia.
For now, these are the thoughts I’ve been able to articulate:
1) like Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania has branded itself as having 'too much history'
2) Romanians seem to have adopted the rhetoric that all humans are the same. It is hugely heartwarming.
3) people understand what makes them happy and are unafraid to avoid things that do not
4) the culture reminds me of Italy, though it retains distinct Eastern European influences. So it goes.
5) I have never felt more welcome in a place in my entire life
That night, as I took in what had officially become my bedroom for the foreseeable future, I had a few thoughts.
First and foremost was, ‘what the hell am I doing?’
I’ll be the first to admit that the fear of missing out has impacted many of my decisions- both large and significant. Now though...
Even now, six months later, I want to return. I feel like I have so much to offer in assistance, but there is only so much I can actually do, which is frustrating to say the least.
By a conservative estimate I have traveled a total of 21,752 miles in 2016. That’s just 3,149 miles short of the distance around earth, which clocks in at 24,901 mi.