Yesterday our Peace Corps training group visited the office in Pristina where we had a Fourth of July cook out with staff and currently serving volunteers! As you can see below, we had grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and salsa, root beer and an American flag cake.
This was our first time meeting many people from the earlier cohorts, and all three of the previous years’ groups were represented. (My group of volunteers is the fourth invited to Kosovo.) As Peace Corps service usually lasts 27 months, most of the second group will be leaving in the next few weeks. I really appreciated my conversations with these volunteers, who I otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to meet. Hearing them talk about the end of their service has inspired me to post something about personal goals for my own. I decided to write out a (mostly travel) bucket list to reference for my next two years.
As a disclaimer, I have mixed feelings on bucket lists. For many years I’ve had a mental bucket list, and while I’ve accomplished many items on it, I think of this list as constantly evolving. I’m resistant to write something down because I don’t want to undermine its fluidity. However, in the context of my Peace Corps experience, a list may be a good idea. I feel lucky to live in a region where travel is relatively affordable and countries are relatively small. I am literally surrounded by things I want to see and do, and having so many incredible destinations can be overwhelming when mentally planning travel. Writing this down will help me plan and prioritize my time. I have no doubt that two years is going to go by quickly. As I start visiting some of these places I’ll revisit this list and post about my experiences.
2 YEAR BUCKET LIST
- Reach advanced level Albanian
- Reach advanced level Serbian
- Sharr Mountains (Kosovo) hiking
- Via ferrata climb in the Rugova Canyon (Kosovo)
- Tolkien themed bar in Zagreb (Croatia)
- Lake Bled in the Julian Alps (Slovenia)
- Sarajevo city and war tunnel (Bosnia)
- Rila Monastery (Bulgaria)
- Hiking and wildlife tracking in Piatra Craiului park (Romania)
- Belgrade (Serbia) to Bar (Montenegro) on the Balkan Express
- Apollonia ruins (Albania)
- Lake Matka and underground caverns (Macedonia)