If I were to visit Bosnia on my own–I have no clue what I would’ve ended up doing. My trip probably would have involved exploring downtown and some of the nearby attractions, perhaps eating an exorbitant amount of bread and kafa. I would have really enjoyed it, I’m sure, but my trip would not have the depth of meaning and understanding that I’ve gathered from my time here with the School of Social Work. Having the opportunities we’ve had through the relationships Ann has built during her time here has been incredible and has created the space of meaningful comprehension and development. Everything from the wonderful guides, to the speakers, the transportation, the locations, and the food has been amazing and it is truly a testament of someone who has made a place here.
Even though in so many ways we were tourists during our time here, we were not a typical travel group–and I’m glad for that. I’m not sure if Bosnia is a location that requires “typical tourism.” The history of the country is too unique and the recent events are inescapable even in day to day activities. Now that I’ve returned back to my “non-Bosnia” life, I’ve been trying to sit with what I’ve learned since then and what I want to take away from my time there. I think something I’ve been working on in the weeks since is the idea of flexibility and reevaluating what in my life actually is a necessity. While we were in Bosnia, our plans changed often, but this was never concerning. We didn’t always know exactly what ours days would look like, but it always worked out. There is something truly wonderful about waking up in the morning and just being ready for whatever it is the day will bring and to be open to it–to say yes, to be open, to be willing to be uncomfortable, and to be okay with what we do not know. I’m still in a period of processing and even though it has been a few weeks since we have left Bosnia, I do not feel at all like I’m done learning about it, on the contrary, I feel as if my interest has just been peaked and that there is so much more to uncover. I am hoping that this is just the beginning of my endeavor in discovering and experiencing Bosnia.