Well folks I have been back in California for almost six months! Life has been a roller coast: we arrived, moved in to my parents, had Thanksgiving, bought a car, celebrated my husband’s birthday, had a post-marriage bachelorette party (only 4 people, COVID), celebrated my sister’s baby shower, had Christmas, celebrated my brother’s birthday, celebrated New Years, started a new part-time job, was laid off from my full-time job, my amazing nephew was born, started a new full-time job, went apartment hunting, moved into our apartment… YEESH I am tired just writing it!

Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of down time and because of that, it wasn’t hitting me how much I missed Serbia… until now. Gosh we love our life here and we know it’s always a bit rocky getting started with a new adventure, but we stopped and talked about things we would do tomorrow if we were in Serbia and it had my heart breaking a bit.

We had so many habits and rituals that we took for granted and that I’d give a lot to get back. For example, lunch at my in-laws every Sunday afternoon. The difficult thing about my international marriage is that one of us is always going to be away from our family, if not both of us. For two years it was my turn and now it’s his, but that doesn’t make it easier on either of us to be “taking turns”.

I sure miss our bike rides over to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. You don’t realize how much of a luxury it is to be able to buy fresh food until it’s gone. Not fresh food in the grocery store that’s been processed, packaged and shipped, then unloaded and on the shelf with an 8 week shelf-life. I mean fresh mushrooms picked this morning and ripe strawberries that fill up the whole space. I miss the way we were considered “regulars” from the vendors we always purchased our eggs and fruit from. I miss the experience.

Ugh you know what has really taken a toll – not being able to hear Serbian every day. I didn’t know I could miss a language that is so dang frustrating, but I do! It’s definitely hindered my learning process as I wasn’t completely fluent when I left and that’s been a challenge in and of itself.

Other things I miss: coffee dates in the center of the city, the fooooooooood, the easy traveling, the gorgeous nature right outside the city, my friends, the summer beach (Štrand)… the list is endless.

It’s the little things that made up how much I loved Serbia.