Wherever you go, come back home. Strangely or not – home being where the heart is – I have two homes. One that was built for me and one that I built. I have built my home here in England since 1993, but heart always takes me back to my home in Banjaluka, Bosnia, where I was born back in 1973. I left when I was nearly nineteen, on my own, and those first years were turbulent as I did not leave by choice but necessity as war was starting in Bosnia.
But, I do not want to talk about the war and those unsettling times. Everyone has their story how war found them and where they ended and how they felt. And everyone’s story is heartbreaking if you care to truly listen and forget about yourself for a moment, some more than others when you factor in families they lost, including everything they lost that they have built over the years, if not decades for themselves and their families or inherited from ancestors. Everyone dealt with personal loss in their own way. But, all I know is that, thankfully, we live in better times right now (well, different times, and bad times still happen to someone else right now somewhere on Earth) and memories of my happy and beautiful childhood are bright and shiny as they ever where. I am so grateful to be born in this beautiful part of the world, it made me who I am today with all the good as well as all the bad and ugly.
I don’t go home often enough, that is for sure, I wish I did. In over 25 years since I left, I have only been four times, this being my fourth time. And this is the first time on my own without my family. It was a unique experience of having a complete freedom to enjoy, in a space of short five days, old places and reconnect with family and friends. To truly BE there. To have moments to close my eyes, breathe deep in and enjoy the moment that means more to me that it could ever mean to any other member of my family, should they have been with me.
What made this trip special is seeing my oldest friend, who lives in Washington, USA, after twenty years and for having an opportunity to have my four oldest and closest friends in one place, even if it was just for 6 short hours, after over 25 years. Five of us now live in five cities, four countries, belong to three religions, live on two continents, but share this unique and beautiful childhood and bond that did not manage to fade over all those past decades. It seemed like they did, but within moments together, the energy was as high as it could be amongst true friends. You can not fake that.
I am so happy to finish 2016 on high with this experience. With feeling so much love for my past and my friends, for paying respect to my father on his resting place, for enjoying the beauty of my home town (funny it means “Bath” in translation, same as my current home town I share with my family), enjoying the unique cuisine, traditional as well as modern, and having an opportunity to see the perspective of how some families keep themselves and their loved ones healthy by producing their own vegetables, fruits, eat, eggs, honey, cheese… you name it.
I was also inspired by all my friends who, apart from their family life, also invest in their education and prosperity. It made me rethink how big game I personally play, something that has been on my mind for a while, but there were many signs to suggest I am thinking in the right direction and must keep growing and learning. I am also grateful for all the support and respect I enjoy from my friends for the work I do with nutrition and for being part of Herbalife community. Some of them love me and trust me enough to personally help them. This is my highest honour. I encounter many resistance from time to time, but true friends take time to understand and to support one another in each other’s endeveours. These are the only people worth investing one’s time in.
So much has inspired me, but, above all, the kindness and love I was given. The country is still recovering economically, although politics is keeping country from moving forward, but one thing was clear – those who are kind, who give and think about the others, who work hard on themselves and are focused on progress through education and their own personal strengths and skills – they are in a good position regardless of the economy.
The whole experience made my heart full and I am grateful to all those that made it so special. We will not wait another twenty or even five years to be together again, because life is too short and we must fill it and make time for things and people who matter and that give us peace. This, in itself, is happiness and happiness is health.
Here is to the happy and healthy future!