From northern Albania, I took the bus into Kotor, Montenegro. I LOVED Kotor, and Montenegro in general, but oh dear Lord it was so expensive. The tourist season has fully begun and Croatia, along with Montenegro, increase their prices based on the season. I started to pay almost 3x per night as I did in Albania, making me have to radically alter my plans for the next few weeks. Originally I wanted to go to the national park in Montenegro, pass through Bosnia, and finish with two weeks traveling Croatia. I decided that instead of this I would spend more time in Bosnia, where it was cheaper and less touristy. Montenegro and Croatia will still be visited but only in passing, as the best time to visit these countries is NOT July/August (this isn’t just about money, but also the volume of tourists – I enjoy traveling slow and avoiding huge crowds). I will have another chance in my life to re-visit these countries.
I spent almost a full week in Kotor, making the Montenegro Hostel BnB my home base. Relaxing, hiking, and drinking with fellow hostel guests were my main activities – as I felt fully comfortable and at home in the hostel. After traveling for so long, I truly know when a hostel is emitting a good vibe. This hostel had a GREAT vibe. The staff were nice and everyone who came to the hostel were cool people. We had a lot of fun together. I really liked hiking the mountain behind the famous fortress. Along the way to the top you passed a local woman and her many goats. You had to calmly pass these huge beasts with intense horns – an intimidating task at first. The view at the top is great and almost no tourists do the hike.
In Kotor, I spent a lot of time thinking. I know, isn’t that what I do most of the time anyway since I am alone? Shockingly, no. I spend most time walking around, talking with people, or reading books (1-2 a week). Almost at the year mark of my travel, and a huge jump coming my way soon (Croatia to Barcelona in August to visit my friend), I am starting to think about what I want. I find I am happiest when I volunteer in hostels, spending longer in each place. After Barcelona, that is what I want to do. I want to do more long-term volunteering (and maybe even a visit back to the Chicago area). I would also be open to some paid work. Who knows…I am still feeling a little too lazy to fully research all my options but the first step, the thought, has been planted. I have already messaged hostels to volunteer at in September but no word yet…