So over the last few weeks, I have finally started to wrap my head around the fact that everything I hoped would happen is coming true.
A few months ago I had a very hard time visualizing the fact that I would once again be in Dubrovnik. The smell of the sewer as you enter the city through the Pile gate, the feeling of smooth marble street stones under your feet as you explore the city, the taste of a nice hot "white coffee" from many of the local cafes. When I finally did manage to enter the old city, it had literally felt like I had never left.
One of the dilemma that I faced when I left was what I was leaving behind. Amazing friends, relationships and a city that really does have a special energy of it's own. It was very easy to share my enthusiasm with friends and family, but the open invite to come join wasn't always received as eagerly as I thought. The majority of people I know are relatively settled in their lifestyles. The opportunity to leave everything behind and travel isn't something that is possible with many of their lifestyles. It's also hard to convey the feeling of experiencing another culture with fellow travelers, smelling the fresh air of a new destination or rolling with the punches that come when something doesn't quite go according to plan. Explaining this type of thing to people is difficult, especially when it comes to the topic of having faith in the world and the fact that in the end, everything will turn out alright.
In the end, I had to give it all up and book a ticket to Frankfurt and leave it behind.
There's a motto I've heard that rings very true to form when you look back on your actions of the past. "When you do what you love, the rest will come." I can't say that that saying could ring any truer than on this trip. Once I arrived in Dubrovnik, everything else has been like one magic carpet ride. With the advent of smart phones and wireless internet, I can stay in contact with my friends and family at the touch of a button, with no cost associated. Friends I had met years ago had randomly planned to also be in Europe during the same time and have come to visit, leaving the feeling that nothing really has changed in the three years I was away. It also seems taking photos of exotic places and posting them on blogs is a great way to inspire people to come and visit and experience the culture for themselves! The month of August looks absolutely insane with a solid train of friends, family and couch surfers coming to visit Dubrovnik. When you document what you're doing, it doesn't seem to take much else to inspire people to come out and join in on the fun!
So the moral of the story is to "Lead by Example". When you follow your heart, it will always lead you in the right direction and inspire others to join in on the good times.