Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Let me start by saying, It’s difficult to properly describe in words how my time here in Montenegro has been. I will try my best to share some of my personal thoughts and feelings so you can better understand how special of a place this country really is. Now, I can almost guarantee that many of you are already looking at the map wondering where the heck Montenegro is, only to find it below the shadows of beautiful Croatia. Well, I can tell you that my intention on this mini trip from Macedonia was to only pass through Montenegro as I made my way to Dubrovnik however, I never actually made it there and am happy to tell you that where I found myself instead was exactly where I needed to be.
The world is a funny place, full of surprises, full of moments that you never expected from places you never imagined visiting. One day you’re in one country and the next you find yourself hitchhiking across the Balkans with a destination in mind, passing through many places along the way only to stop somewhere before your destination, and in fact never making it to where you originally were wanting to go in the first place. So what is it that makes us change our plans? What force convinces us to stop and stand still in a moment, rather than continue on? Some would say that it’s the logical and rational that changes our way but when I think about it, it´s our intuition that is the strongest pull and it´s whether we want to listen to it or not that will determine our path.
Well, let’s get back on track again with what I was saying at the beginning…
Sometimes you simply connect with a place and don’t know why. For me, a connection to somewhere is often a result of a familiar feeling or memory of certain places I found happiness in before and other times it’s simply the beauty around and the stage I´m at in my life that brings me close to somewhere. This time, I think it was a combination of everything that made me feel good here. For the past three years I’ve chosen to live in a way that fulfills my inner being and thanks to this way of life, I´ve been lead to many incredible places, all of which I have fond memories of. Each and every one of these places has taught me something crucial about myself and helped me figure out what I want from this life and how I want to live it.
I guess I should mention where exactly I write this from, a place I thought I’d only be passing through, somewhere I didn’t know a whole lot about to begin with; Petrovac, has stollen my heart. The ocean, mountain landscapes, a familiar language, and the good heartedness of the people have all accounted for the connection I now have to this place. I’m comfortable, very comfortable, who knows if it’s because I’ve come into this Balkan adventure with the best attitude I could have possibly had and promised myself not to have expectations before I arrived or maybe it’s just as simple as feeling at home for reasons you can’t explain. Whatever it is , I feel connected more than anywhere else I’ve ever been and it feels incredible.
Enough said for now, I will gladly share stories of my experiences throughout my time here in Montenegro with anyone who asks but for now I’ll leave you with a parting thought which I wrote on the night bus from Podgorica, heading back to Skopje….
Waking up at midnight, no idea where I am. Snow banks on either side of the road, we’re passing through a spruce forest. It’s as if I’ve been dreaming, is this reality? What about the last 4 days? What am I doing on this bus? A pit in my stomach develops as I start to wonder whether my time here has been real. A place through which every moment I was there I was breathing through life with an absolute calmness I’ve not yet experienced in dare I say a very long time, if ever. I can’t remember feeling such absolute utter bliss from somewhere. I try to run back certain places in my head that I’ve visited in Italy, others in Greece, now in Spain but no matter how hard I try I can’t find it, I simply can’t find a place that made me feel like this and who knows whether I will find another. I close my eyes…open them briefly…and close them again… wish for this feeling to pass, the feeling that everything felt perfect and now you are driving away from it…I’m afraid this sudden sadness won’t pass quickly.
I’ve arrived at 4:30 am into Skopje and as I began my walk back to the hostel, there was absolute calmness around, no one in the streets, the glistening of the Christmas lights, and the breeze from the chilly air were all I say and felt; the city is mine for interpretation. This is where I began my journey and this is where it ends…sadly. I am utterly overwhelmed with the amount of hospitality that has been shown towards me while I’ve been here and I am glad to say that I am leaving the Balkans not only with new experiences but with many new friends who I am confident will be the kind that last.
The Balkans have left an impression on me which I never for a second would have expected when I first arrived and I’m overjoyed with the rich experiences I’ve had the opportunity of enjoying while here. This will be a trip I will never forget.
Now to close and dare I say open myself up even more to vulnerability, here goes….a small text written as I waited for my flight to depart back to Spain…
It has been a long time since I’ve shed a tear on a plane, but tonight I find myself with more than one. Last time I lost it while in the air was when I left Greece and I kid you not I cried half way from Athens to Rome, the proof is in the blog if you take a look back, I don’t know if I’d cry again reading it or laugh. So anyways, tonight I am going to a place I call home and to a family who has welcomed me in like their own and yet I sit here wondering why my tears are falling. Maybe because I’ve learned that our heart in limitless and before now I had it sealed and refused to let anything more in. I’ve been focusing everything I have in one direction and maybe that has left me feeling a bit empty. I realize that on this trip I’ve only been required to worry about myself and in some way I think it’s been freeing; maybe this is why I find myself here in this moment… shedding this tear…