Winter Is Coming?

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I board a bus headed to Pristina, Kosovo, and as the vehicle rumbles to life, I plug my ears with headphones and cue “America” by Simon and Garfunkel. It breaks down, and the drivers pull of some wizardry, because I cannot explain how they got the wheels replaced with, and I’m not joking, no tools or lifts or anything. Magic. What a way to Leave Serbia.

Nostalgia: this one word can accurately sum up the after effects from my time at Goodbye Lenin Hostel. Like a dream that I’ve just woken from, I wonder, “Did all of those things really happen? Is it possible that I could have met so many people, and have done so many things?” Of course the answer is yes, but sometimes it feels as if my life is completely fake. Am I really this adventurer, or am I somehow a child playing Make-Believe? 

In any case, my plan has burned down to one priority: Escape Winter. Life has become a larger version of Hide and Seek- me hiding, and Winter finding everyday; it bites at my fingertips and toes. If only these roles were reversed, I would feel no guilt playing the bully that leaves the Hider alone forever. Can you believe that it can get down to -35 degrees celsius? Cold enough to die, seriously.

With this in mind, I have put both hitchhiking and camping in the garbage bin of activities until my world, and my body, thaws out in spring; this leaves me the duty of finding refuge for 3-6 months.


Bad news: I have been going over my budget consistently for the past months. I plan on putting to use some strategies to quell my spending and get back on track… We’ll see.

More bad news: I got a workaway in Romania, but it turned out to be terrible! So I left because, hey, I’m traveling dang it! And I can do that sort of thing. Peace out! Shout out to the other two amazing volunteers Faith and Beverly for keeping me sane in that spot.

Good news: finding work in the Balkens is easy. Sort of. And I also purchased a full size Guitar- zero self control, but I feel so remorse or regret!!! Actually, I went into the guitar shop and saw this beauty. A friend was with me, and he asked the owner how much it cost. I was sure it would have been 300-400 USD, but to my complete shock it was 90.00. I thought it over the night, and decided to get it. the price was lowered and when I asked my friend Illia how he got it down, his reply was,

This is Ukraine, you can do this sort of thing.

I flew through a few more countries: Ukraine (not as scary as I was led to believe), Moldova (the poorest country in Europe), Romania, Serbia, Kosovo, and now I am volunteering in a beautiful hostel in Albania. I certainly underestimated the challenges that Winter brings, but certainly this has been a learning experience.

Speaking of experiences, I’ve been able to help out a little at the LGBT center in Kiev, I’ve been followed by numerous stray dogs for hours because I pet them a little, people have thanked me in Kosovo because I am American, and I climbed up cranes in an abandoned theme park. So! Just letting you all know that I’m still kicking, and hopefully I can go North slow enough for Spring and Summer; I’ve got my eyes on the National Blue Trail in Hungary!!

 

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4 thoughts on “Winter Is Coming?

    Steve said:
    December 26, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    You look well my friend. Good to hear from you, Merry Christmas and happy new year

    Like

    Jim Gutacker said:
    December 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    It was good to hear from you Sam. Hadn’t heard anything since October. Praying for you everyday.

    Like

    constance magnini said:
    December 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Hi! Sam So very happy to hear from you and know you are doing well despite some setbacks. Your old “friends” from the library ask about you quite often, so I suppose I will be the liason for information…in particular Nick Ianucci and of course, Craig the Tutor who prays for you…we are all hoping that your journey will be interesting , safe and you will stay well… hope you can weather the upcoming winter….keep in touch…. I love to know that you are safe and well, Happy New year 2017, Connie Sent: Monday, December 26, 2016 4:54 PM To: cmmagnini@hotmail.com Subject: [New post] Winter Is Coming?

    Samuel Barger posted: “I board a bus headed to Pristina, Kosovo, and as the vehicle rumbles to life, I plug my ears with headphones and cue “America” by Simon and Garfunkel. It breaks down, and the drivers pull of some wizardry, because I cannot explain how they got the wheels “

    Like

    Nicole Broxterman said:
    January 10, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Glad to hear your trip is going well! And love ❤️ all the pictures of places and new friends. Enjoy, be well,be safe and may God bless you with each and every new adventure.

    Love, Nikki

    Like

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