There’s NO PLACE like home for this expat.
I am sitting some 33,000 feet above the ground on my way to Zagreb via Rijeka with Croatia Airlines.
I’ve just had a light but refreshing snack of cheese and olives in oil and a perky coffee.
The view outside the aircraft, is, as usual, perfect with a wonderful blue sky above fluffy, pristine white, clouds.
I really do enjoy flying Croatia Airlines. Yes it’s a small airline, with not a huge destinations list, but it’s professional, punctual (as far as airlines can be) and polite. In fact all that a traveller really needs.
The past 10 days or so for both me and my partner Tamara, has been spent visiting my family and our friends back in the UK.
I try to keep in touch in “real life” with my children and their families (as well as my mother), as much as I can.
It’s not too “normal” being so far apart, but then again “normal” is being redefined in the 21st century.
Most of my trips are done in Autumn and Winter, when flight prices to and from Zagreb are cheaper. Summer really is out of the question price wise, plus holidaying in places such as Montenegro for us is both cheaper and with an almost faultless weather forecast. In fact two trips between late spring and early autumn each year is very doable on our limited income.
Anyway, as I sit here, I am experiencing the same feelings as I do on all “inbound” flights to Zagreb, and that is of almost extreme contentment, that I am on my way home.
In addition, today I am again asking myself why is it that I chose (or prefer) living away from the United Kingdom, from the “comfort” of being with my own nationality?
Why is it that I feel a constant buzz about being in the western Balkans?
Why do I enjoy the challenge of being part of another culture?
Maybe it’s because I have always sort out adventure and wanted to see different places.
As a child I fell in love with TV documentaries on television. I daydreamed myself into oblivion it seemed.
I joined the army at 15, when the recruiting slogan at the time was “join the army, see the world”. I did get to travel. They didn’t lie.
.A lot of people might not understand this, but when I wake up in the UK and see an amazing dawn Skyscape, I smile to myself and say “good weather today”.
At my house, in a village in north west Bosnia and Herzegovina, when there’s an amazing dusk Skyscape, I think, “how very lucky I am to be experiencing this”.
There’s a phrase that some people subscribe to and that is “Home is where the heart is”.
If that’s true, then my username on my social networks of “anenglishmaninthebalkans” was the right choice.
We are descending now. The view out of the aircraft window is typically south east European.
Soon, (after a semi-comfortable 3 hour bus ride) I will be HOME with familiar and comforting sights, tastes, sounds and smells.
As “perfect” as life can be.
Where do you feel your “home” is?
Please let me know in the comments below?
I have mentioned Croatia Airlines in this post. This post has not been sponsored by Croatia Airlines and all opinions are my own.