Niksic, Montenegro

(If you haven’t already read my ‘Things You Should do in Kotor Montenegro” you can by clicking here!!)

Niksic is the second largest city in Montenegro, and another place I had never heard about until maybe two days before I arrived. Contrary to Kotor, there isn’t really much to see or do in Niksic which is probably why no one knows about it. Usually people just pass through for a night or so on their way to either the capital, Podgorica, or to go rafting in the canyon. Even the closest tourist sight, Ostrog Monestary, is kilometers away by train.

So why did we even go to Niksic? Sometimes we travel to see amazing things: the Colosseum in Rome, the golden sands of the Sahara Desert, ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico , or centuries-old Buddhist temples in Thailand. And sometimes we travel to live life just as everyone else does, enjoying the simple things. For me, this is the most important aspect of long-term travel because if every day was camel riding in the Sahara, ‘d never appreciate those moments with the same grandeur. 

Niksic was the epitome of simple life, but no less special than other places I’ve traveled. The town center is small but lively, lined with bars and cafes, and filled with the sounds of laughter and singing. The meat filled ‘burek’ pastries are exceptional, and the soft-serve ice cream that Kathryn bought for me from a vendor was so sweet and cold it must have tasted like clouds.

Last but not least, we became friends with our Airbnb host Darko, who showed us the best of Niksic: kindness, natural beauty, and delicious coffee at the Blues Brothers bar his brother runs. The photos below are from our last day, when Darko and his brother drove our family to the nearby lakes, where they often swim and grill in the summer months.

Niksic Montenegro, nature, friends


Niksic montenegro, friends and nature

With his niece at the lake

Now we will continue our Eastern European travels into Belgrade, Serbia and Bulgaria. Thanks for reading and happy travels!

In the Wake of Recent Events

In the Wake of Recent Events

Many people have been saying many things about the outcomes of this  election, and I know my little article will be lost in a pool of thousands of mournful articles far superior to it. But that doesn’t matter to me. I write what I feel, and this is what I feel so here we are.

 I have not been in the USA for almost a year now. I witnessed this election from the outside as most of the world did, mocking the idiocy of Donald Trump from afar. I thought, who in their right mind would vote for him?? It will never happen! I woke Wednesday to a different outcome. I woke to the fact that 60 million Americans voted in favor of a man who its racist, sexist, homophobic, and at the very least, utterly unqualified to be the president of the United States. I may not be in the US right now, but this is no time to be a silent bystander.

First and foremost, I am a human being. I am also a woman, strong-minded and out spoken. I have dreams and ambitions just like you. I am the child of an immigrant, an American,  member of the LGBT+ community, pro-earth, pro-choice, pro-gun control, and an atheist. I am also still a child, I’m only sixteen, missing my vote in this election by a solid two years. It stings. Because despite what I think I know about politics and the world, I didn’t get a say in this election. The outcome that was not my choice, but will greatly affect my future. My generation is doing walk outs at schools, my generation is protesting, my generation is educated, and we don’t get listened to. And I’m scared.

I’m scared for a world where equality is put on the back-burner. Where the color of your skin or religion defines you. Where the act of a few people leads to hatred for and fear of an entire population. I’m scared for all the strong women I know and don’t know who have been sexually assaulted, molested, raped and will never have their voices heard. A world where myself, and my friends, and my sisters, and my future children need to feel scared about who they love.

How is this the freedom that has attracted so many people to this county? Have we forgotten our roots? Are we not all immigrants on this land? Land that wasn’t even ours for taking, but violently shaken out of the hands and blood of the Native Americans, still to this day. And yet, we call ourselves free.

I fear a world where future generations may not get a chance to breathe the air I breathe today, or visit brilliant forests and natural wonders that I am able to. Because yes, climate change is real. Will they cover their mouths and noses with masks to protect themselves from the fumes of the factories near their houses, because those are the jobs we need in America?

And finally I’m terrified for the millions who voted for Trump.  For their ignorance, and lack of education required for them to absorb the nonsense in our next presidents words. I’ve lived among and befriended the warm-hearted, welcoming, and open-minded citizens of Mexico in which Trump wants to wall out of my country. They are the hardest working people, whose values we would greatly benefit from having in our society. After that, I lived in dominantly Muslim Malaysia. I didn’t raise an eyebrow, there was nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, I have found no negative stereotype about any group of people to be true in any place I have traveled so far. People are people everywhere. A month from now I will live in Morocco, but now I worry about the unconscious bias that my family will face as Americans in a dominantly Muslim country.

Without education there is fear, but that will not be my generation. Today we fear, but tomorrow we are strong. My generation may be silent in this election, but not at its outcome. We will use our words and our heads, not our fists, to be heard. Because we know love is far stronger than fear will ever be.