People/Place

Staying in one hostel for two months is a must-do. To me, it is like being in an ancient Greek courtyard where people come to discuss ideas. In a hostel, people from all over the world filter through, and in the lounge area where people relax you can discuss aspects of the world you never ponder. You can get blasted by perspectives you never dreamed of. You can laugh at foreign jokes.

Many are surprised when I tell them I am in Sarajevo for two whole months, in this one hostel. But it is the best. If you are a staple of the place, you get a chance to follow up on the acquaintances you make. And, you get to be a little bit of a Guide to new guests and travelers, which is loads of fun.

In Sarajevo, I have loved how if you pursue a conversation with people who greet you, you do not get shut down; instead, you walk down a conversational path at ease for however long you like. Your mind gets opened. Open those veins of conversation that offer themselves to you. Pour into them. Let them pour into you.

 

By doing this, I have second-hand experienced a side of Islam spirituality you cannot access in books or documentaries, through Kemal. I have learned about a prestigious music high school in Finland, through a phenomenal Finnish gal Elli, a violinist and vocalist and sometimes-pianist. I have heard inside (positive! o.o) perspective on US involvement with Iraq from an Iraqi-Bosnian shopkeeper. I have learned about how a person can leave school at 15, self-educate, and travel the world from this British man David. I really cant list all the interesting perspectives, personalities, knowledge, and nationalities that have molded/expanded my mind through conversations, and conversations that happened because of making or taking the opportunity to talk.

When traveling, spend time as on individual people, as with individual places. And I recommend becoming a fixture of a hostel and city for multiple months.

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