I can’t even count the number of times I have been asked this question. My friends and family at home wondered about my decision to go to Bosnia and the locals I have met here are constantly asking me why I decided to come to their country. The Americans who have asked me this question have very little knowledge about this country and still believe that it is war-torn and therefore, not safe for me to be traveling around. The Bosnians who have asked me this question are surprised that I would choose to travel to this country when my passport allows me to go practically anywhere.
For me, the answer to this question is easy. This country is the most naturally beautiful place I have ever been, it has a very rich history and culture, the food is fabulous, but most of all, the reason I come to this country is the people. When Ann offered me the opportunity to return to this country this summer, there was not a moment’s hesitation for me, of course, I said yes and I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity again. It is the people that I have met while living here, working here and traveling around this region that makes this the most incredible place to me. I will continue to travel back here again and again to experience the warmth and helpfulness of the people here. I have met people here that have gone completely out of their way to help me, oftentimes these people are strangers to me. The feeling of collectiveness is pervasive wherever I go. The friends that I have made here are some of the greatest people in my life.
For the Americans who wonder why I continue to choose to travel to Bosnia, I do my best to explain it to them, but inevitably, I end up saying you just need to go there and experience it for yourself. For the Bosnians who continue to question my decision, they are still doubtful of my reasons, but seem happy that I am so pleased with their country. For me, this place feels like my home away from home and I will always return here so that I can experience that sense of belonging again and again.
Here are some of the amazing people I have met here (unfortunately I don’t have pictures of everyone yet)