One day I’m struggling to keep my eyes open in geography, and the next I’m trekking up a mountain. It can be disorienting to be an exchange student: you have to learn to balance schoolwork, language learning, social activity, adventure time, and sleep and without contracting the highly contagious disease of senioritis (or in my case, exchangestudentitis). In fact, I don’t think I will really ever find a balance on a day-to-day basis, but throughout the month I manage to space things out and get plenty of everything. For instance, last night and this morning was devoted solely to the unpleasant essay I had been procrastinating writing. However, tonight will be solely devoted to sleep, and tomorrow will hopefully be a mix of going out, some language learning, and relaxing. And of course, the weekends are my time for adventures.
Last weekend I had quite the adventure. My host mom as well as her daughter and son-in-law attended a Herbalife (weight-loss/lifestyle program) conference on Mt. Jahorina and took me along. Jahorina is a beautiful mountain, and the site of the Winter Olympic women’s alpine skiing races. While my host family was attending the conference, I decided to climb the mountain. Our hotel was at the base of the ski resort, along with several other hotels, markets, and restaurants. Being an earthmuffin, I was a little dismayed at all the construction in the area and felt sad as I watched large, yellow machines chomp down tree upon tree. However, the farther I walked up the road (literally, up) the more distant all the development became and soon I was walking up a gravel/cobblestone road surrounded by a stunning, 360 degree panoramic vista. On one side, I could see smaller foothills thousands of feet below me and covered in a thick, blue mist. If I turned to my left I could see the jagged ridge of Mt. Trebević, the site of the Olympic bobsled track. As I continued to climb, the wind became harsher and stronger as did my surroundings. Instead of a lush grass with pine trees, I was instead walking by fields of brown grass and grey, exposed rock. I followed the road for about 2 and a half hours, until I was high enough that I was convinced I had reached the top of the mountain. Who knows if I actually was on the peak? In any case, I sat and munched on a granola bar I had brought along (thank you to Jeff and Joni for giving me those trail bars!) and savored the fresh, cold air that continually whipped into my face and chilled my fingers. Eventually, we all have to come back down, and eventually I did. But I stayed for long enough to further my obsession with nature and to fall in love, once more, with the mountains.
As always, I brought along my camera!