A Travellerspoint blog

The Halfway Mark

When did that happen?

It’s hard to believe but I’ve been on my Balkan adventure for just over five weeks and I have just over five weeks until I will be back in the United States. Some days the thought of leaving makes me terribly sad, other days (like this one when I’m feeling sick and all I want is to curl up in a ball in my bed back home) the next five weeks can’t go by fast enough. The days of being sad about leaving though drastically outnumber the others though, so I think that’s a good sign. As I was thinking about the halfway point I came up with a few lists (me make lists, crazy right) of the things that I miss about home and the things that I will miss about here when I leave here. So here they are, in no real particular order.

Things I Miss:

  • People – well duh, that kind of goes without saying, but this time abroad more than others I have found myself really missing people back home. I think it has a lot to do with how the small the group of us here is (since Laura left for camp last week, it’s just been Addie and I) and the challenges of crossing over from work friends to friends that actually hang out. Or it could be that this is the first time I’ve tried to maintain consistent contact with people back home. Through the wonders of Viber (if you don’t have it, you should download it) I’ve been able to keep up to date with the lives of everyone back home and maybe that has made the feeling of being distant greater than actually less. Whatever the reason though, I miss everyone back home a lot and am quite excited to be reunited with everyone.
  • Hot Sauce (particularly Jalapeño Tabasco) – For those who know me well, they know that hot sauce is basically its own food group in my diet. Sadly, Bosnia does not seem to be on a similar page. Food here is bland, there’s no getting around that. Every time I have ordered something supposedly spicy, I have been sorely disappointed. So one of the things I am most looking forward to upon returning home is having actual spice again.
  • Chai Tea – besides hot sauce, one of my other staple foods is tea, particularly chai. While Bosnia does have some good teas (I found a strawberry vanilla one that I will def be bringing home with me), it has zero chai.
  • Avocados – while Bosnia has just about every other produce under the sun available. Avocados seem to be the one exception. The few that I have found at specialty grocery stores are vastly overpriced and never look very good. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to wait until I get home to make guacamole.
  • Clothes Drier – while I know that like 90% of the world gets by without them, I will admit that I am a princess in this regard and really enjoying being able to dry my clothes. There’s just something nice about having your clothes be soft when you put them on and not having your jeans pretty much be able to stand up on their own as a result of having to air dry everything.
  • My closet – on a similar cloth theme, I miss my closet or more so just having options for what to wear. While I enjoy the simplicity that living out of a suitcase brings, it would be kind of nice to not be wearing one of the three outfits in every picture that is taken during this trip haha
  • Working Out – So I came to Bosnia this summer with the plan that one way I would explore the city was through running (not that I’m particularly good or anything, but it seemed like a good way to exercise and the scenery could be nice). However, I was quickly informed that people really don’t do that here. A small handful may go running in one of the city’s parks, but the vast majority of people do not. It is not common to see people jogging through the city and they all looked at me like I was crazy for thinking of it (which kind of makes sense; given traffic here, I probably would have died). I am looking forward to some quality time with the CSB weight room upon my return.
  • Hot Water on Demand – Again, I realize this is probably making me sound like a princess, but I miss being able to take a hot shower whenever I want. Also, waking up at 6:20 instead of my current 6:00 to turn on the hot water just sounds so much better (hey it’s the little things that count).

Things I Will Miss:

  • The Unknowness (not an actual word, I know) – I think the thing that I love most about being abroad is the novelty of it. I love the fact that everything seems new, that each weekend can be a new adventure, and that in the back of mind there’s a clocking ticking down which gives me an excuse to try and do everything because, when will I get the chance again. I will miss just going out and exploring and always finding something new and I will miss how simply things like deciding where to go for dinner can lead to an adventure.
  • Cafes – one thing I love about Bosnia is that it’s not weird at all to spend hours and hours sitting in a café enjoying the company of friends and doing it like every day. While in the US we may do this occasionally, it is definitely not an everyday thing. People are so time conscious and have so much they “have to get done” that things such as just sitting an enjoying a cup of coffee (or tea) doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should.
  • Architecture – as a wannabe architect growing up I know I am going to miss the architecture of Sarajevo. While at first glance much of it is pretty nondescript apartment buildings, it all tells a story. Buildings aren’t just built with bullet holes and mortar blast marks. I’ll also miss the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman architecture of Old Town and the history that it evokes.
  • Mountains – the surroundings of Sarajevo are gorgeous. I can sit out on our balcony and on clear mornings see the tops of snow covered mountains. It’s a pretty big contrast to the flatness of South Dakota and Minnesota and I’ll miss it’s beauty when I leave.
  • Public Transportation (somewhat) – I already did an entry on how much I like the tram, so I won’t spend much time on this. But I really do love the local and intimate feel one gains about a city by using public transportation on a regular basis. I have a feeling the Link won’t quite give compare.
  • The People – I will miss my amazing co-workers who have taken me in, have opened up to me about their stories, and have shared their hopes and their fears for the future of this country. Who make fun of me regularly for things like eating sandwiches and working too hard. They are truly amazing individuals and I have already learned so much from them.

So there it is, my current list of what I miss and what I will miss. Who knows, maybe in the next five weeks, these things will become totally different. They’ve already changed a bit from the mental list I made three weeks in. But for now, they’re what I’m thinking and we’ll see what happens.

Posted by remullin 02:34 Archived in Bosnia And Herzegovina

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