A Sign of Change

I arrived home from my trip to find that the Dhalia I planted in March had finally bloomed! I swear I checked the plant every week to see if it had bloomed and the moment I'm out of town, voila, there it is, just like magic.

Every time I return home from a trip I consider it a new beginning, just like the new year. I have a fresh perspective on the world and home, so it's a great time to make changes and see my life in a new light. Judging by this gorgeous bloom of my favorite flower, I think it's a sign that the next chapter in my life is going to be a bright and beautiful one. I'm excited!

What signs have you noticed in your life, are you paying attention?


Tips for Visiting Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

View of Stari Most or the Old Bridge in Mostar
Mostar is a lovely city with a rich and turbulent history. I was excited to be visiting for the first time and for the opportunity to get a better understanding of the region and meet the people that live there. Prior to visiting, the only thing I knew about Bosnia Herzegovina was through media reports and images I saw during the war.

I had a wonderful time, the trip opened my eyes and heart to the region. I met wonderful people and heard powerful first person accounts of love, life, war and survival. I visited while on a road trip through Croatia. Here are some suggestions if you are planning to visit the city

If you are visiting from Croatia, rent a car and drive to Mostar. I’ll be honest from what I had read about Bosnia Herzegovina we were somewhat cautious and a little bit concerned about driving in the country. Once we arrived I felt like our concerns were a misconception. The roads were fine and it was nice to have the freedom and flexibility of having our own car. Many day tours are offered from Split and Dubrovnik but it’s a long and twisty trip for a bus tour. It was an interesting drive and the border crossings were easy. If you are staying overnight make sure secured parking is available.

Hire a tour guide so you can get a more detailed and local view of the cities rich history. Private car tours are available for a broader experience or you can arrange for a walking tour. We booked our walking tour through Fortuna Tours and they were wonderful.

Mostar Old Town
Stay overnight so you can enjoy the city as it truly is, not just the tourist aspect during the day. There are plenty of day trips offered here but in my opinion it’s a long way to come just for a day. I'd recommend staying at least one night. The Old Town can easily be seen in one day but if you stay overnight you can enjoy the surrounding area to see how people are living every day in the city.

The evening we stayed, we came across Mostar's Summerfest, a summer concert series. We could see the lights and hear the music from our hotel, so we met up with a fellow tourist and simply followed the lights. We had a blast, mingling with the young locals of Mostar and watching The Beat Fleet a popular reggae and experimental Croatian band for around 10 Euro a person.

Where to stay
We had a lovely stay at Villa Fortuna a Bed & Breakfast and a travel agency. The rooms were clean, spacious, pleasantly decorated and well priced. Above all the best part was the simple touch of good service. It’s a quaint spot where you will feel right at home and within easy walking distance to the Old Town. They have a lovely courtyard where you can enjoy a local glass of wine or beer after a day of sightseeing. In addition they have a secure parking area.

What to Eat
Cevapcici is the local tourist thing to try. It's a grilled meat dish often served with flatbread, chopped onions and ajvar, a roasted red pepper sauce. There is an overwhelming number of places that offer the dish so ask your guide which place they recommend or go with your gut and try a place on your own. 

Sit down and enjoy a Turkish coffee from one of the cafes.

Other Thoughts
No regrets but looking back if I could have adjusted my itinerary I would have scheduled a few days to go to Sarajevo.

Have you been to Mostar before? Do you have any tips to share?


Today I am leaving on a trip to Europe...

I am anxious, nervous and excited. It reminds me of a wedding. No matter how much you do to prepare, the closer it gets you just start to let some things go and time seems to move faster. You wait and wait for months and then the day or two before you are so busy you can’t have enough hours in the day. Then you are at the airport, not even sure how you got there because time has moved so quickly, your journey has begun. It’s scary, but it feels good. I have to remind myself to enjoy the excitement, that’s the rush I look for when things feel stagnant. It’s funny how I fear the feeling that I crave so much. That thrill and excitement for life is one of the reasons travel is so wonderful, it’s the feeling of freedom.