<<  Bratislava, 11-Mar-2014  >>


After 15 months I returned to Bratislava… for 5 days :-) Hard to say if this is home anymore

And then I came home. Enlightened, awaken, fulfilled and mellow. When I finally reached Vienna, after crossing Europe from the west I sat in front of Samo’s flat and waited for him to come from work. He had no clue that I had arrived and so it was a great surprise to him. After staying one night at his place in Vienna I finally entered Slovakia, but bypassed Bratislava and headed straight to the mountains. I spent few days, maybe a week in Kamenna Chata on top of Chopok just peacefully delighting in the air of Slovak mountains. No one knew I was already in Slovakia. And then, after the mountain contemplation I returned to Bratislava, anchored my ship and took the sails down. I was home and it was unknown what my future destiny will be.

This is how I always imagined my return back home. I played this scenario in my head over and over hundred times, while I was in India, Nepal and Australia.
Instead it was like this:
I took airplane from Japan straight to Vienna (with stopover in Dubai) – no land crossing of Europe at all. I took bus from Vienna airport to Bratislava. Upon arrival to Bratislava I checked the local buses and hopped on bus 92 which should go to my parents’ place, but I was so confused that I actually boarded a bus going the opposite direction and instead of home I ended up in ZOO Bratislava (which was the first stop of this semi-express bus in the direction which it was going, some 5km away from the bus stop where I got onto the bus). Yeah, I ended up in ZOO! Exactly where I belong! I waited for 30 minutes for the bus in the opposite direction to come and then I arrived to my parents’ place. No enlightenment or mellow meditations. I came to Slovakia to pick up my business suits, shirts, ties and computer and in 5 days I was off to Georgia to work in a bank.

Well, my return was much less triumphant and esoteric that I had imagined, but you know what? Everything worked out even better than I had ever thought. Because thanks to my Georgian assignment I will have time to wander around the world for much longer. This is not the end at all, this is just an intermission.

So yeah, I arrived back home alone, slightly changed but not member of Hare Krishna yet, with the same backpack but with beard and long hair and what the only thing I found was that life is about searching, not finding. But there is one huuuuge difference. Although I returned alone, I was not alone. Now I have my fantastic Spanish girlfriend, although being on the other side of the planet. And it is her that is the most important outcome of this journey. The Beatles got it right: all you need is love!

Next few days I would meet with my family and friends, and with just like every time you return from somewhere it feels like you had never left. I saw my apartment, which is not really mine anymore. No tears or sorry feelings.

During the journey I was always panicking when I was thinking about the return home and while I was in the plane I was still sort of nervous and anxious to see how it would feel, but finally when I saw the houses of Karlova Ves and the TV Tower as I was approaching Bratislava from Vienna airport and as I got out of the bus in front of Incheba and as I rang the bell of my parents place, it didn’t feel any special. No emotional overdose or panic attack. Maybe it was caused by the massive jetlag and lack of sleep (I started by day in Tokyo at 6:30 and I arrived home around 15:00 next day, which together with the time difference between Japan and Slovakia make up to 40 hours with just maybe 2-3 hours if sleep in the plane), or maybe it is because Bratislava is not really my home anymore, or maybe because I knew this was not the End of my journey(s), but when I came to Bratislava it felt just like another city I passed through, which it actually was as in few days I would be off to Tbilisi. Odysseus returned to where he started from, but this is not his Ithaca anymore. It’s just another port of call. Long live the journeys!!!

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak