Once upon a time, (circa 2007) I boarded a plane to leave Australia for the first time (Disneyland at 5 doesn't count!). With just the belongings I could stuff in my suitcase I travelled to Croatia to teach English - on my own. While things didn't quite work out as planned and I had to return home after injuring myself - I spent 7 months in Croatia and Serbia teaching kids and getting a whole new persepective on the world. I learnt a new language, I braved the buses in Belgrade (which is really something else), I lived in two very divided countries, I travelled daily past the still uncleared bomb sites in Belgrade, I soaked up the sunshine in Croatia, I watched as a million people arrived in Belgrade to prorest the independence of Kosovo and I saw countless memorials to young people born at the same time as me - who died fighting while I was in my final years of high school. I also experienced an incredible level of warmth and hospitality and I fell a little bit in love with a place that at times frustrated me to the point of tears.
Since leaving the Balkans, I've been home to Australia, I've lived in Florence and I now live in the UK. I'm decidely unadventurous these days and can tend to be a bit of a homebody - maybe it's because moving to the other side of the world seems like enough. However, I've finally been coaxed back to the Balkans, and this week I'm heading off to Belgrade, then travelling through Croatia to visit friends, before returning to England in 3 weeks time. (I'll try to blog when I can! :) )
I'll be taking my battered suitcase with me and I'll probably just be rushed and stressed during the initial travel bit, but I can always dream of travelling like the truly stylish!
Hope you've had a fabulous weekend! xx