So many inspiring, unforgettable moments on this trip but I would like to go back to the very beginning, if I may, to the group’s first attempt at a weekend excursion to Croatia.
Even though Makarska itself was spectacular, the most memorable experience for me was the actual transportation to and from. It was a long day, that Friday. Having already spent the day in Mostar and the afternoon in Kravice Falls, we piled into our rented vehicles feeling tired but excited to celebrate our country’s day of independence. Katie and Katherine, our fearless manual drivers, flawlessly weaved through city streets, and effortlessly hugged narrow curves as we climbed farther and father up into the mountains. We ventured out on our Balkan journey at dusk, and as the sun was setting over the purple hills, we listened to the radio’s jazz station fading in and out. Having only been in the region less than two weeks, the all-American trip was so Bosnian. We took our time, making frequent stops for snacks, bathroom breaks, and most importantly, wifi because our handy-dandy GPS proved to be a useless box of microchips and wires on it’s last breath. When it was time to reverse, we performed the routine procedure of putting the car in neutral, pushing on the hood, and jumping back in. On the way, we assured our gracious host that we would arrive by 8:00pm, scratch that 9:00, no later than 10:00, never mind, 11:00 that night. Ne problema.
The drive back to Sarajevo was much of the same. We gathered passports, handed back passports, then gathered them again. We followed the faulty directions of an iPhone that led us through the rocky, dusty roads of an immense national park; an unexpected detour which proved to be a gorgeous passage through the green hills and stark mountains of the countryside.
The uncertain twists and turns that may have seemed like obstacles at the time were actually contributing to a magical adventure that I’m glad I could be a part of. Thank you to the tall K’s for patiently forging ahead, for taking the wheel wherever it may have lead, and for being all-around badasses. I never doubted that we would arrive home safely, securely, eventually.
And now I am inevitably forced to bring home the cliché:
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”