Hill Climbing 101

View from a hill near my house

Savannah and I have decided that I should just change the name of my blog to “Hill-climbing 101.”  Guess what?  We climbed another hill today, for no other reason than to see Sarajevo from a new angle.  Why sit and stare at the same sights you see every day when something new is just up a few steps, a really long road, another set of steps, and another set of steps, and some more steps, and another road, and…. ahhhh, the view.

The air is fresher, the skies are gorgeous, and I love seeing the mountains surrounding me with the city nestled into the valley beneath me.  I love being in the city and the Old Town of Sarajevo, but being from Wisconsin and being accustomed to nothing but farm fields for miles and miles, I will take every opportunity to experience the outdoors and day-time adventures.  It’s not like the cows have a nightlife (cow-tipping is a MYTH: cows sleep lying down), so I’m not used to saving my energy for going to clubs and such in the evenings and into the night.  I embrace the day and all of its exciting opportunities with vigor!  I get my energy from the sun, and enthusiastically explore everything by the light of day.  However cliche it may be, “carpe diem” is a phrase which I try to live by.  For me, life starts when the sun comes up.

For me, a huge adjustment is getting accustomed to city life.  This is sometimes more difficult than adjusting to the different culture or language.  I need to be constantly aware of my surroundings, sometimes the crowded trolleybus makes me feel like a human sardine, the air is laden with car fumes and the smells of life, everywhere I look there are people, and everywhere I walk there are noises and smells.  I really love it: it challenges me and exposes me to a completely different lifestyle.  However, I sometimes like to take refuge from the explosion of senses in tree-filled parks, in peaceful cemeteries, or in relaxed neighborhoods on the hills.

There are always peaceful places to go.  My favorite thing about Sarajevo is that although thousands upon thousands of people live here, there is a laid-back atmosphere which I’ve never encountered in metropolitan America.  And although there are a huge number of people who live and visit Sarajevo, everyone goes to the same spots and so everyone sees someone they know when they’re out and about (well, except for me.  I don’t actually know that many people.  However, it’s not surprising when I do run into someone I know).  There is a sense of community which is reminiscent of small towns in America, and I love it.  Once again, the similarities that are ever-present in humanity shine through in daily life.

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