After almost a full twenty-four hours of traveling and/or sitting in various European airports, I arrived safely yesterday evening to a city in full summer glory. The lilacs are blooming, the bicycler's are out and the neighborhood has come alive. It's not exactly sipping cappucino's and wandering cobblestone streets, but it's the more familiar, more comforting US version. I am home.
Upon reflection, it's tough for me to label the last week as a straight-up "vacation". I will never again underestimate traveling in a former war-torn country. That's not to say that I took it lightly before going, but Bosnia and it's history is so complex, it's easy to get in over your head quite quickly. Even "normal" conversations rapidly turn political, and there is still a seething unrest over the Dayton Accords which leads to mixed reviews of Americans, who lead the talks.
That said, this trip was a rounding success. I believe that travel is not necessarily about escaping, it is about discovery as well. Good travel challenges your world views, educates and leads to self-reflection and rumination. While not always relaxing, and usually conflictingly uncomfortable, I am definitely a more well-rounded individual for having made the effort in the first place.
Now, time for Memorial day!