We’ve been spending the last 2-weeks in Kotor, Montenegro and it’s everything you’d imagine from the name. It’s gorgeous, and I have yet to get used to walking out and seeing the ocean flirtatiously glide up to the base of the mountains. The mountains are both lush and rocky which make for one distracted mama while we walk. Though Kotor is visited on practically a daily basis by cruise ships, there’s an authenticity to it. Even the daily farmer’s market sports a real vibe, offering homemade olive oil and wine, ripe dry cheeses soaked in olive oil, organic morel mushrooms, fresh vibrant flowers, and much more. Vendors humbly sit in the shade of their umbrellas or in the back of their open hatchbacks and wait for people to approach them. They’re not flailing their produce for people to taste the way that we’ve seen in other towns. It’s almost as if they’re certain people will come, because they know those those by name. By the way, Kotor has the best (and cheapest) figs I’ve tasted thus far.

We’re staying in between Old Town and Dobrota which means we’re surrounded by more locals than people with visors and cameras. It’s exactly what we were going for. 100ft from our apartment is our favorite restaurant, Tiha Noc (Tee-Kha Noch) which is known for its authentic Turkish cuisine. It has been a lovely spot to get out of the house and enjoy Kafa–Turkish coffee which is the most common form in Montenegro, or a hearty and special meal.

We drive to Albania tomorrow and I have many thoughts running through my head. We slowly creep deeper and deeper into the unknown and tomorrow will be by far the most unknown yet. We’re staying in Tirana and will be there for 2-weeks. I try to not assume what the next place will be like for fear of being disappointed. I figure, if I just suppose that it’s going to be a bit more difficult and not like anywhere we’ve been thus far, I can’t go wrong. It’s my way of embracing change, which is something we’re constantly doing during these 6-months. It seems to be working.

One thing I am growing tired of is packing and unpacking. While 2-weeks seems long to many people, it is a shorter stretch than what we’re used to lately. After Albania, however, we will stay put for 1-month increments in Athens and Istanbul. We will then head to the UK for 10-days before departing home on a transatlantic cruise at the end of October. You know, like the one we were supposed to be on to kick-off this adventure.

One thing I catch myself missing is routine. No matter how long we’ve been here, routine is still lacking. I’m hoping that being in Athens and Istanbul and not having to (un)pack for an entire month will help me get into a groove.

Don’t hear me saying that I’m not enjoying this trip. The fact that this is an amazing experience is not lost on me. I’m simply being vulnerable so that people understand that behind cute and fun pictures, there may be some frustration and acclimation. I never want someone to see what we’re doing and think that is so perfect. Because while it is amazing, nothing is perfect. Anything worth doing is a lot of work. And that’s exactly what this is.

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