On 1 June 2020 Montenegro opened its borders to some countries, that meet the criteria of having less than 25 active cases of Coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants. Hard-hit countries like UK, USA & Russia are not included at this time.
There have been a lot of conversations in my household over the last 2 months about one topic. Our 4-month trip to Montenegro. It was planned for April this year, but sadly cancelled. Or – as I prefer to think of it – postponed. It was my chance to have a taste of a simple life in Montenegro away from the rat race. And it has disappeared in a Coronavirus flash. Now I am left with one persistent question on my lips. When will I be able to travel to Montenegro?
You see, these conversations in my house have all involved that one little word. And no, not an expletive – although I may have felt like it at times. The word has been “when”. When are we going to be able to leave for our road trip? When should we rebook the Eurotunnel tickets for? When will the renovation of my apartment be finished? When will we be able to see it when it is actually done?
I’m pretty sure thousands – if not millions – of people around the world have been asking these sorts of questions lately.
Please tell me when I will be able to travel to Montenegro
First things first. I am so very grateful that my family and I are in the majority of people who are simply staying at home and riding this lockdown out uneventfully. I’m very aware and saddened that many aren’t quite so fortunate.
But I am sure there are many of us who are facing the same uncertainty about life and what it will look like in the future. You may not have cancelled a 4-month trip abroad, but I am sure you have plenty of questions about your own specific situation. I feel for ya, sister.
The thing I have particularly noticed in this current uncertainty is that I can come to some level of acceptance about the lockdown and restrictions, but it is the ever-changing nature of the future that is a bit more tricky to handle. The rescheduling of plans again and again as the weeks come and go and fixed or tentative travel dates look less and less likely.
My head wants some firm dates and decisions, so it can adjust accordingly and move on. I can accept the restrictions of lockdown. Hey, even if it lasts for another 6 months, sad as I will be, I know I can accept it, adjust, and make the best of it. But it is the fact that I don’t know that I find hard to deal with.
Please could someone tell me when, what, how?! Just so I know.
An obstacle for travel to Montenegro. But not for my dream.
But I am learning to have faith in the things as yet unseen. Learning (once again) not to give up on my dream. Not to get disheartened. Learning to flex and adjust in the face of an obstacle. Life doesn’t always have to go exactly my way and turn out exactly as I had planned. (And it most certainly doesn’t). Maybe there is something better for me round the corner instead.
Sometimes we have to begin by being open to the diversion. Yes, hold on tight to what we dream of despite the roadblock, but learn flexibility, adaptability and resilience along the way.
Because it is who we become on the way towards our dreams that is the important and vital part of the jigsaw. My dream of a simple life in Montenegro is more than a goal and a location (beautiful, though it is). It is part of the picture of who I want to be in life. Someone who is contented. At peace. Not on a treadmill, constantly striving for more and more. Living a slower pace, so I can have more time for the people that I love and the things that matter most.
When, oh, when will I be able to get to Montenegro for my simple life?
So, when I start to wonder when I will ever be able to get my taste of a simple life in Montenegro, I will do the best I can to manage my expectations and draw up yet another flexible set of plans. But I will also remind myself that even now, in lockdown, far away from Montenegro and my simple life in the sun, I can still move closer to my dreams.
I can hold onto my dream and not give up hope. But I can also use this time to get myself ready. I can do this by letting go of my fierce need to know. Learning to have peace in the middle of a storm. Enjoying the loved ones I have right by me 24/7 (gulp!). Accepting where I am right now – even though it doesn’t look quite like I expected it to. Practising a simple life right here in the middle of all this uncertainty.
I have enough for today and I can do this. Even if I don’t know when I will be able to travel to Montenegro.
Because one day I will be able to travel there again. One day I will be able to experience a simple life in my little Kotor apartment – whether it is for 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years. I may not know exactly when that will be right now, but one thing I do know. My beloved Montenegro will still be there waiting for me.
And boy, am I looking forward to seeing her again!