A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I finally made our way back to Serbia! After a year abroad, Subotica, Serbia had become our first European "home," and the sleepy city had found a way into the repertoire of our story. Our time in Serbia changed us so much that it is hard to put the lessons into meaningful words and sentences. I know that we will always remember our time in Serbia with fondness and deep gratitude. Over one too many cups of coffee, our group of friends said goodbye to us by focusing on the memories we had created in Subotica. The year had been full of picnics on Lake Palic, themed dinner parties, football and Frisbee games, sunny bike rides, family Slavas, and cultural home-cooked dinners. When Chris and I moved to Belgium in September of 2012, we promised our Serbian family that we would come back to visit as often as work and money allowed.
The truth is, the first six months in Belgium passed quickly. Transitioning into life in Belgium took longer than I had initially expected, and Chris' job proved very busy. I still feel like I am in a state of transition here, but I'm slowly finding my place and purpose in this new world. Getting back to Serbia was like a breath of fresh air - it felt like I was going home and waiting anxiously at familiar coffee shops for friendly arms to wrap me in a warm embrace. I remembered first stepping foot on the Korzo (main walking street) in Subotica, every face was the face of a stranger and every coffee shop was unfamiliar and new. What a difference one year in a new world can make, and how easily we can adapt if we allow ourselves to live openly and transparently.