Do you think it is bad to be content? Is there always something better? Is there always a better country to see, a better job, a better spouse, better stuff, or a better life? Traveling has made me realize that, where I come from, I have nothing to complain about. Really, there is always something worse. What is wrong with commitment? What is wrong with being dedicated to something forever? What is wrong with just being you? What is wrong with being content? Is it that complicated? I think some of my generation is struggling with the decision to go through the “steps of life” → school → job → marriage → make a family → career → retire versus trying to seek all of the opportunities we all are fortunate to have. This really is a huge privilege. Why can’t we do both? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? I suppose I quit my job because I thought I could do something “better.” Maybe I was just bored, “needed a change” or was over privileged. Maybe I just needed a break. Maybe I was just curious to see what other parts of the world are like. It was probably a mix of all of that and more. Either way, it was the best thing I ever did because I got to spend some time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia and those places gave me a new perspective…
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo was mind blowing to me. The history is so recent. The city was the the victim of the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare during the Bosnian War from 1992 – 1996. I went on a walking tour and the tour guide was twelve years old during the beginning of the siege. Can you imagine growing up through that? He was the most happy and genuine person I have ever met.
The tour guide from the picture below said: “Every time I visit and return from here I feel like I have taken a seven day vacation.” I replied: “So, you take a seven day vacation almost every week? I love that attitude!”
Belgrade is definitely not the most glamorous city that I have visited but I still felt happy there. In my experience, people were more curious there. For example: they looked me in the eye and even woman spoke to me! Seriously though, in Belgrade and throughout the entire region, I received amazing hospitality. People seemed to treat me how they wanted to be treated.
By the time I made it to Slovenia I was in a huge eating rut. Meat, bread, yogurt and beer started to put my body into shock. Slovenia was a nice step up to some healthy eating options and some amazing hiking. Exercise! I even found a bunch of places that made vegetable smoothies, WITH real vegetables! This was a great reminder that being healthy is a major priority and proper food can be the best medicine!
For me, all of this adds up to: treat people how you want to be treated, be healthy, explore, work and give. Oh, and put yourself in a situation where you feel like you take a seven day vacation every week. I’m content. What’s next??!?!