Rediscovering My Love for Sarajevo

Today’s walk home proved to be more meaningful to me than I had anticipated.  I’ve been wanting to take a nice, slow walk home during my time here to take pictures of the walk.  Each workday consists of about two hours of walking, one hour to work and one hour back (except for the week and a half when it was too hot and we decided to take the tram to lessen our misery).  So, today was the day I decided to create my photographic depiction of the walk, starting at my internship location at the Center for Healthy Aging and ending at our hostel.  Little did I know how precious this one walk would be to me . . .

I guess I should start by being completely honest.  While I have loved Sarajevo since the moment I arrived, over the last week or two I have become a little disillusioned with the city.  It is not that anything truly changed; it is mostly that it stopped feeling like a vacation and more like real life and my rose-colored glasses finally came off.  Instead of only recognizing the things I like about the city, I started thinking more and more about the things I do not like here.  All of the sudden, I was no longer brushing those things off and I really started to question my love of the city.

But, after a good day at work (not to mention the two Bosanska kafas my coworker Armina made for me), I was feeling more optimistic about life in general and began my walk home.  Taking pictures and not rushing home, but, instead, really taking in my surroundings, like I did when I first arrived, was surprisingly refreshing.  I could not help but feel relaxed and at ease as I meandered home on the river trail, which was particularly quiet this afternoon since it had just rained.  While the one-hour walk can at times seem long – especially in the morning – I am actually quite grateful to have the opportunity to spend so much time in a completely different side of Sarajevo.  Our hostel is right on the brink of the Turkish portion of town and the Austro-Hungarian one and, as you get further away, it turns into the Communist section.  How lucky am I to get to experience all of those sides of Sarajevo every day that I work?!

Obviously, Sarajevo is not perfect (no city is!), but today it became absolutely clear to me that I am still in love with this city, I just see it in a more realistic light now and its imperfections make it what it is.  With only two and half weeks left in Sarajevo, I hope to get to know the city better.  Even if I do not like everything that I discover, after my walk today I am now confident that my love for Sarajevo will remain.



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