After 6-Months…All Hell Broke Loose

When we left Demark and arrived to Serbia, the kids, especially Petra, got quite nostalgic for home.

We were 6 months into our trip.

We were like a team that was going through first forming and then storming stage of team development. Storms were popping up here and there since Spain.

As we left Denmark, I could see that we were heading into a storm again. Seeing baba Mila and deda Heinz, auntie Dragana and cousins Mason and Landon as well as our friends, the Durdles, it was all quite comfortable, familiar and comforting. We missed the familiarity of home and all the people we love there.

Once we were back in Serbia, all hell broke loose the next day. We practically had a meltdown day. We were going to leave for Bosnia but instead, we hit pause on our plans for a day. We hooked up the boys to electronics (to get them out of our way) and Pedja, Petra and I sat alone in Belgrade and spent hours discussing the best versions of the next part of our trip.

I felt pulled in all directions, constantly juggling others’ moods, making sure the teenager was ok, that husband didn’t complain much, that the boys didn’t fight and weren’t using electronics.

Pedja felt that the trip was not in line with how he originally imagined it. He was hoping that we would establish some new, healthier routines. He wished for us to get up early, do some activity, sit down peacefully (hahaha) to do a bit of (school)work, then go out again for sightseeing, etc. It all seemed more orderly, peaceful and romantic in his mind than it was in reality. He was exhausted too since he is an introvert without much alone time needed for recharging.

Petra was a teenager, sick of all of us and she desperately missed home and her friends. She also had this romantic notion that everything at home was just peachy while she was stuck on this trip with her two annoying brothers and overbearing parents.

We were at a perfect spot to redesign the rest of our travel time. Nothing was out of the question. We all had to answer what we would do if we could do anything we wanted.

Petra was asked if she just wanted to go home and stay there (not that we could have made that happen but still, we bluffed and asked). Once this question was posed, she immediately said ‘No, she didn’t want to stop traveling, she was looking forward to Asia but she missed home and wished she could just go visit for a bit’. We collectively discussed if we could make that happen. Pedja and I agreed that we would be ok with her going home for a couple of weeks on her own. We were fine with her traveling alone, we knew that we had an army of folks at home to take care of her, and we trusted her enough that she could be in charge of her own alone time. It was a leap of faith that this quick return home was the right move on our part and that she was going to come back to us in better spirits than how she was the previous months. More on that in later posts.

Pedja, he wanted some time to just be without family obligations, without any of us demanding his time and attention. He tossed around ideas of going up to London for a few days of museum tracking of his own, or down to Cypress for a couple of weeks of solo exploring, or motorcycle riding in Bulgaria. He was going to think about this a bit more and was in charge of making it happen for himself.

Nikola, he just wanted to be in Serbia, in Sabac, where he feels right at home.

I wanted to be with my extended family, I wanted to spend more time in Sipovo and Derventa, finally having some simple, day-to-day local life that I’ve missed a lot over the years.

Maksim didn’t have an opinion (or an option) so he was going to join me.

We would spend 3 weeks apart, all doing what we really wanted to do. This was the plan we cooked up in one day in Serbia before our track to Bosnia. In order to make all this happen, we had to think of the most efficient travel plan to accommodate everyone’s wishes. We adjusted our budget, we revised our travel routes.

And then we were ready to continue our journey to Bosnia.

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