kotor, montenegro: reflection

 View from the bus upon arriving in Montenegro. 

View from the bus upon arriving in Montenegro. 

Montenegro felt like California as a country. The mountains and bay are spectacular. I was staying in Kotor and the only way to get to the city is by going around the entire Bay of Kotor. The country is quite small with 600,000 people so you pass a lot of mini villages tucked into the mountains along the way. The moon and the stars were so clearly out, reflecting on the bay over the mountains. It is one of the most breath-taking places I've ever been.

Upon arriving, Peter and I went to find our hostel, which turned out to be inside a fortress and is 800 years old! Inside there are artifacts dating hundreds of years back, too! The walls are stone and the rooms have wood stoves and wooden beds. It is all very medieval and is by far the coolest place I've ever stayed while traveling.

This was my hostel room crew in Montenegro! They are so great!! I've not met too many Americans along my travels, however, 2/3 of this group is- with roots similar back to mine in upstate New York and Minnesota :) So fun to meet them on the other side of the world! We had dinner together at the hostel and Chris started off telling us about Celia and Charles and then we each went around telling something about ourselves. So cool to learn fun facts about everyone and the amazing things they are all doing.

We played many games throughout the night and danced carefree in the streets of the Old Town. We tried local cuisine and strolled without a plan. It is so incredible to me how you can build such deep and meaningful relationships with people so quickly and each get to know each other's true selves.

During the day, Peter and I hiked to the top of the mountain. Such incredible views! At the top, I saw paddle boarders down below and knew some of our hostel was going to go! On my way down, I found them and turns out it was the first weekend ever paddle boards were in Montenegro! Josh (from LA) and his wife, Yvonna (Serbia), are starting a business, however, let me go for free the whole weekend!

It was so generous of them and so nice to be at one with nature! Myself along w/others from the hostel spent the entire weekend floating on the water. The presence I felt was unparalleled. On my way back, I grabbed lunch with my new friend, Xavier, overlooking the water. He gets a tattoo in every place he goes and has the artist choose based on what is symbolic of that location! I loved hearing the stories and meaning behind each one.

I have met so many incredible people while traveling. Here, in Montenegro, people helping refugees in Greece, people traveling the world for two years, people immersing themselves in totally new cultures and learning the language, people teaching in new places, people playing unique instruments I have never heard of, people with dreams of starting their own businesses. People with the biggest hearts and the biggest smiles- open to sharing and learning about each others hopes, dreams and ambitions. I am so grateful.

1. Cheese burek- BEST THING EVER- filo dough + cheese 2. So many clothes hanging in the streets- very environmentally conscious 3. Me hiking 4. Lunch on the water!

Lauren WittigComment