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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Montenegro

If you had asked me two weeks ago where I'd be right now, my answer would have been, "I'm not sure, because I haven't bought my ticket home, but I'll probably be in the U.S. because I've left with my mom, France, (because I've stayed a little longer), or the Netherlands, because I'm almost certainly flying out of Amsterdam. It's cheaper to fly from there than from anywhere else."

I'm in Montenegro. My answer two weeks ago most definitely didn't include Montenegro. In fact, if you'd asked me 2 weeks ago where Montenegro is, I wouldn't have been able to tell you. I know now. It's in the Balkans, bordered by Albania,  Croatia, Serbia, and a few other countries.

Life is a funny creature, because though I never planned to be here, I am certain that this is the perfect place for me to be right now.  I wanted to end my journey (the current traveling part of it) in a place that required nothing of me but being. Yes, Montenegro has things to see and do, but many people just come to hang out on its beaches and soak in the sun and natural beauty. My plan is to hang out on its beaches, soak in the sun and natural beauty, and let my mind take me wherever I need to go to prepare to go back to the U.S.  While I'm here, I want as little new information as possible to enter my brain.  I want the thoughts already there that are swimming around like ducks to put themselves in a row, or two, or three...I have a lot of swimming thoughts; they'll probably have to make a lot of rows for any kind of order to manifest itself.  (Unrelated side note: due to some great luck, I took some awesome pictures of ducks and swans, leading my cousin's husband to remark, "Maybe you should specialize in pictures of waterfowl.")  I hope that this will be a time when I am writing like a crazy fiend. I guess we'll all find out.

Here's how being in Montenegro came about: I had been watching fares for awhile and Amsterdam was always by far the cheapest place in Europe to fly home from. I didn't buy a ticket because, well, I'm a procrastinator. And then the fare went up by several hundred dollars. So I started looking at fares from just about everywhere on this side of the world, using a map to come up with new possible departure points. After exhaustive searching, I had two options: flying from Prague or flying from Sofia, Bulgaria.  As it happened, flying from Sofia was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the original Amsterdam flight and a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the Prague flight.  I started looking more around Bulgaria, wondering where I could go to mostly just be, so that I could process things.  Montenegro's beaches seemed like a good option...I hadn't done any beach lounging during my trip and hadn't even once worn the bathing suit I'd carried for 8 months. With the two options in mind, I decided to sleep on it (still procrastinating...) As I thought about it, a beach was sounding more and more appealing (and I'm not usually a beach kind of girl), so I decided on Montenegro/Bulgaria. I booked the ticket to Montenegro and then went to get the ticket from Bulgaria to home...except that though the cheap price was still listed, it didn't actually exist anymore...crap. More searching, with no cheap flights to be found. So I decided to just stay here the whole time, since I'd pay the same (or more) leaving from somewhere else.
Ducks in Pamukkale, Turkey, not Montenegro, but you get the idea...

I am spending more to fly home than I wanted to. Do I think my time in Montenegro will be worth it? Absolutely. Had I flown back home yesterday with my mom, I would have been thoroughly unprepared to be home.  In all likelihood, that lack of preparation would have led me to all sorts of unpleasant behavior towards people I love, people who most definitely don't deserve any nastiness from me.  I am thankful that I was  steered in the direction I didn't even know I needed to go.  Montenegro... I've got my waterfowl, you've got some water. Let's get to work.

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