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Sarajevo – One month in…

We’re in Sarajevo today.

I like it already. There’s a mix of European and Asian cultures. In the old town, a group of burkha’ed women gathered on one side of the narrow street were juxtaposed against a woman on the other side sporting a broad, deeply suntanned décolletage and breasts busting out of a low-cut top.

A little like how I imagine historical Japanese towns

Fraser says it’s a lot like Istanbul here. In a way, it’s a little like how I imagine historical Japanese towns. Low terracotta roofs. Wooden shutters. Polished cobbled streets. Glimpses into inner courtyards. We ate a classic Bosnian meal of sausages and pitta bread. Drank plain yoghurt drinks. Wandered into trinket shops crammed with pens made from bullet shells, coffee pots, jewelled tea spoons, ornate swords, hammered plates. Copper, pewter, gold, burnished silver. Fraser said his mum (a jeweller) would shit herself with all the craft here (sorry Laura).

This is the last day of our first month away. Some days have been crappy. Most have been good. Glorious moments detonate from nowhere.

So far:
  • We have visited Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia i Herzecovina
  • Been on two flights (UK to Poland, Serbia to Montenegro)
  • Journeyed on an overnight train (Krakow to Budapest)
  • Stayed in nine different apartments

    Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
    Thomas on the balcony of our first apartment in Krakow
  • Bought a new pair of trainers each for Thomas and Robert
  • Used the antibiotics for travellers sickness
  • Fraser walked through the middle of a funeral with a pink fishing net and a dinghy on his head
  • Made use of nearly everything we packed, apart from: a pair of Fraser’s trousers, a long-sleeved top of mine, Robert’s long socks, my monthly contact lenses

    Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
    Together in travels, Skadar Lake, Montenegro
  • Most-used obscure packed item: hand pump (for inflating the dinghy in Montenegro)
  • I’ve swum in my underwear (but that’s not unusual for me)
  • Thomas experienced a brief existential crisis in Montenegro
  • The boys have lamented the invention of the car (which apparently made humans lazy in developing eco-friendly transportation and alternative fuel technologies)

    Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
    My first haircut of the world in Kotor, Montenegro
  • I have published 3 blogs and received 28 comments (thank you!)
  • I’ve had about 3 short conversations with other people outside of the family (need to rectify this)
  • Robert and I walked through a graveyard at night

    Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
    Silliness in Krakow with Robert
  • Fraser and I have had no serious arguments and just a handful of minor disagreements (but he has asked me to kindly stop calling him a cunt, which I have agreed to)
  • We’ve left Patrick behind in Belgrade (Thomas’s teddy)

    Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
    More silliness in an ace book cafe in Krakow
  • The boys and I have struggled with the amount of litter and the number of people who smoke cigarettes
  • I have run 30 miles (including one park run in Krakow)
  • Fraser and I have discovered a liking for iced coffee
  • Discovered more about each other in 4 weeks than I ever expected
Sarajevo - One month in... by Ruth McAllister Kemp
Behind the tagged and tired facade of Belgrade – the inner courtyard of our apartment
August 25, 2016


Loving your travel blog Ruth, especially the list of moments in this episode. Looking forward to the next one! – Lyndsey

love it , more plse xx

You all seem to be on an up…can feel the positive vibrations! I guess you must be settling into the pace of it now and finding each others personal space?

Lyndsey told me about your blog. As a Mum of two boys I’m loving your bravery and look forward to reading more!

Its great to be reading about your travels, and what a great summary of your first month!

Love reading your journal of your journey. What an amazing experience you are all having. I need to get a world map out so that i can map out your route!! I wonder if there is anything that you are missing about being home? xx

This sounds great and what you were seeking when you wanted this adventure to start!
Really looking forward to the next instalment and feel I now know more about these countries then just war, so thank you! More about what are you eating please. I love iced coffee too although yoghurt drink sounds a bit weird! Lots of love xxx

C u next Tuesday, hahaha

You seem to have had a bit of a mix with your accommodation but you’re certainly seeing some beautiful places. As Ali says, things seem to have settled down a bit, gladly, and yea, I’m envious about the crafty/jewellery bit!!! xxx

I’m loving reading your progress and experiences x x

Love your hair! You are brave for going ahead with it. I feel like hairdressers can’t understand what I want even when we speak the same language. Cute, very cute!

Really enjoying your blogs Ruth. I admire your honesty to share the lows as well as the highs and that is what makes them so rich and multi layered compared to the usual social media posts. Travelling can also be quite hard work at times no matter how lucky you are to be doing it!

Check me out – actually responding to a blog – you see I’m not totally hopeless with this social media stuff! Just wanted to say that Bob and I really enjoyed catching up on your adventures whilst holidaying in France two weeks ago. You are an amazing writer and I want to hear about whatever’s on your mind; the good, the bad, the tasty and the not so tasty! I’ve just been through your trip so far with Adam – does Thomas have any means of communicating and would he like to keep in touch with Adam do you think? Love to you all and so glad it’s all going so well X

love your blogs. and the cu** comment made me laugh a lot. well done, so brave

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