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Tolkien Would Approve

12:21 pm

Sarajevo, Bosnia

This morning my gut was telling me it was time to push off from Sarajevo and continue my journey. Admittedly, my gut is seldom, if ever right, but it felt as though it may have been nudged, if not coerced by my heart.

I texted my host, Sead, who just the night before offered me an additional two days for free for any inconvenience he felt he may have put me through upon arrival. He was a kind, thoughtful, and gracious host whose only shortcomings were poor communication, probably the result of having one too many cooks in the kitchen.

Today, I am headed to Mostar, a town just 80 miles southwest. Google, “Mostar,” when you get the chance and you will undoubtedly come across a bevy of images that look as though they were painted or dreamt up for the big screen. It is a place out of a fairy tale, worthy of a Tolkien story.

Just as my time abroad has lent itself to a greater appreciation for different people, culture, and customs, it also has me longing at times for my own. You miss the ability to communicate without gesturing, miming, or pointing. Too often the depth of your conversation must surrender to sound bites, or cliff notes leaving doubt that you made your point, or conveyed your true essence.

People are wildly complex and nuanced creatures. Just as many find uncertainty and adventure exhilarating as I do, I also find myself yearning once again for what I already know – which train to take, the best place for sushi, and the shortcut to my friend’s place.

You just can’t have it both ways. If we did we would cease to appreciate the importance of uncertainty and the need to push ourselves beyond what's most comfortable.

So I guess when it is finally time to pack my bags and head home, I will be ready...and I won’t.

Diane, a 74-year old writer, originally from South Carolina, shared this bit of advice with me: "Work to stay in the present moment."

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