Dear Serbia…

I’ve had a great 7 days in your lovely country. I’ve been afraid of what I would encounter after my first time in Eastern Europe. Though the Balkan region is slightly different, I’ve unfairly merged them together. In the past, everyday was always a racial battle with the locals to a point that I’ve sworn I would never set foot in any country east of Germany. Now, I’ve grown up a bit more and understood that some cultures will always be that way but it was one thing to understand, it’s another to take action.

This year of travel with my wife, our purpose was to let go of our fears and break away from our comfort zone. I’ve decided to see what Serbia will have in store for me – good or bad. Arriving at the airport, with my guard up, i had to figure out how to get to my hostel. I was struggling to communicate with the driver to confirm where the minibus was headed, a Serbian fellow named Luka helped me out on how to get around and even invited me to hang out once I dropped of my bags. I couldn’t help but think if there was a catch to this – a bit unfair to think of course, but again, guards are up. Since then every person I’ve interacted with has welcomed me with a great conversation and at the very least, a warm smile.

It was naive of me to think of your current economical situation as a positive. Well, it is for a traveller but once I read between the lines, it made me think twice. Each person I’ve spoken with have told me a glimpse of their hardships in the country; working hard doesn’t amount to a larger salary. I was humbled by your people because despite of the hardships, they still find a way to enjoy life.

Your people want to love you yet they’re not given much of a choice: Stay and struggle or go elsewhere. There’s so much potential for you don’t let your people down.

 

 

Mike


* Just a side note: There are plenty other countries with the same struggle but I just haven’t interacted or connected with the country and people yet 🙂

 

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Michael Gozum

I'm a food photographer that wants to eat my way around the world.