For those who have known me and followed me for a while, it’s no secret that my 2015 summer was bittersweet.
What about 2016?
In 2015 I was thorn about going away for summer vacations. Our beloved kitty Eva was seriously sick, I was feeling down and in general the months that preceded summer were difficult. But on the other hand, august is the only time during the year when I can seriously get away from everything and everyone, so we decided to tour a bit of France and Spain on our motorbikes.
I did not fully enjoy it: I was attached to the phone, relentlessly calling the clinic and always halfway ready to go home. I do not like to remember that period, and I am fervently looking forward to making different kind of memories in 2016.
At first, I wanted to go to Turkey.
Being Bosnian-born, Turkey is always a “sister” country: our vocabulary is infused with terms from the Turkish language, our songs have a lot of that Eastern sound, and our tv channels broadcast a lot of Turkish soap operas that I call my “guilty pleasure”. (Well, I am known for learning foreign languages by watching TV. Call it my superpower.) All of my life I wanted to visit Istanbul, but there was always some other priority to think of. And I’ve stopped counting the moments when I went “ooooh” over Instagram images of Istanbul.
But then reality kicked in violently – in every sense of the world. For as much as I wanted (and still do) to see Turkey, the current migration situations and ever-growing number of terrorist attacks put some fear in me. And mind you, I am not exactly someone who fears many things. But one thing I do fear: that something should happen to my husband, so at that very thought I put aside all other. Two people on flashy motorbikes are an easy target, and even I had to admit that it simply was not worth it. Remember how I told on Instagram that for Christmas 2015 we were apprehensive about going to Tunisia? I even renounced on my own driving so we could react more easily to any bad news: one bike with one experienced driver moves swiftly. At the end nothing remotely bad happened to us, but the feeling of fear for our safety put roots in my mind.
I am aware that with most probability things will not get better: we sure hope they do, but in reality this world has enormous issues and many fanatics ruin life for us “regular” people. And having to renounce burns an angry hole in my mind, that’s a certainty.
So, what could be another destination that could be reached with motorbikes and that could possibly take me for a few days home in the Balkans?
This could possibly allow me to do both of the things my heart was asking: go back home in ex Yugoslavia, through Sarajevo, Mostar, Herceg-Novi, through Macedonia and its Ohrid lake… and then yes, Greece.
Last time I laid my eyes on Greece was when I was in high school and we had the incredible opportunity to go abroad for a week. Yes, what was a given to other youth in Europe was a huge deal for us post-war kids. So, after nearly 18 years, I thought: why not?
If I had photos of a 18y.o. me, I would have published them.
(Just kidding. No way in hell. Not even to save my life. 😀 )
I am even considering taking the smaller motorbikes with us: for me a tiny Suzuki Inazuma (250cc, for those who like wheels) and for hubby Yamaha MT09, that I can drive too if I start missing speed and performance. You see, summer is beautiful but also difficult for a biker: while you’re riding it’s all flowers and sunshine because the breeze freshens you up, but when you’re still at the traffic lights, you just keep wondering why the hell you did not take the car 😀
Therefore, if you’re driving a beast that requires physical strength and you have luggage too, and if you have the luxury to have two bikes (each) to pick from – one smaller and the other one bigger and more powerful – you start considering, for once in your life, traveling light.
But is such thing possible for me? My husband says he travels both with his wife Sandra and Lady Violante, and the two are the same person yet somehow they have different needs. Sandra could have two dresses and some jeans and still be happy, but Lady travels with choices. And she loves to dress up and act occasionally as arm candy. Luggage isn’t really an easy subject in our household 😀
But this year, I want things to be different. I want you all to join me in this trip, I want you to know where I am day by day: I want you to see where I come from, the landscapes I grew up with in the Balkans, and I want us to re-discover Greece together. It sure has changed in 18 years!
In the comments section, I am very much open to suggestions: hotels, places to see, lovely beaches, places to ride. Greek fans – this is your chance! 🙂
So, I hereby declare the “Travels” section officially open. Let’s do this, together.