After 24 hours of traveling and a week of recovery from intense jet lag, I’m back home from my two week adventure to Serbia. As I spend time with curious friends and family, I find myself struggling to explain what the past two weeks have meant to me. I’m not used to short-term international travel; my stints abroad have previously lasted upwards of five months each – and for that reason I myself am surprised by the true significance my short stay in Serbia carried.
Perhaps it was the intense relationships I built with my team of delegates, or maybe it was the genuine sisterhood I cultivated with my Serbian host sister – but something has my mind and heart caught up in a little country nestled in Eastern Europe. I miss Serbia and its warm people, our days filled with networking with everyone from NGOs to the U.S. Ambassador, the rich and tumultuous history etched into the streets of Belgrade and Niš. I often find that coming home is the hardest part of a trip. There is simultaneous excitement and sadness, a longing for here and there, then and now. I hope to return to Serbia in the near future to tap into the love I found for the little Balkan state with the big history.
So, instead of trying to explain how Serbia became more than a pretty place to stay for a few weeks, I’ve started showing people pictures, allowing the images and their anecdotes show the truth. Often accompanied by uncontrollable giggles and mixed emotions, the funny stories and panoramic views convey more than I could hope to. The colors of Serbia are its best communicators.