Renewal in Mostar

mostar house

Sometimes, it's good to just stop.

Then go. See something new. Be with family. Regain perspective. Sleep. Even just experience the luxury of a little guilt-free boredom.

This summer, we've taken a break from the construction, dirt, unfinished projects and expense of the past year+ and have landed in beautiful Croatia, my home away from Victoria. A few days ago, I took a drive to a special place--my dad's hometown, the city of Mostar, in neighbouring Bosnia-Hercegovina. Among my greatest treasures are old photos of my dad, so young and handsome, posing with his friends under Mostar's famous stone bridge.

Mostar is now in the midst of renewal, carving out a new identity for itself in the aftermath of of a terrible war in its recent past. It is a layered and deeply complex place--you can't help but feel this and see it at every turn, as cultures, religions and people cautiously intertwine, trying once again to coexist.

Here are a few snapshots from our visit:

  The Neretva River and its trademark green waters.

The Neretva River and its trademark green waters.

Mostar-Old Bridge
  Stari Most--the famous old bridge after which Mostar was named.

Stari Most--the famous old bridge after which Mostar was named.

  A diver prepares to jump from the peak of the old bridge. It is a VERY long way down.

A diver prepares to jump from the peak of the old bridge. It is a VERY long way down.

Diver-Mostar
Divers-Mostar
  Old Town

Old Town

Mostar memorial
  Reminders of the war are everywhere.

Reminders of the war are everywhere.

It's amazing what a little time away from routine can do to enhance your perspective and make you truly appreciate what you have. Our houses? At the end of the day, they're just shells with rooms and sticks of furniture. But our homes are places stamped by the richness of experiences, where reminders of family history, formative moments, and our own triumphs over adversity, however big or small, can be found lingering on the walls, bookshelves or in trinket boxes, awaiting rediscovery.