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Reflecting on a summer in Kosovo: What I learned while traveling, writing and not sleeping

As I walked down Mother Teresa Boulevard on my last day in Pristina, Kosovo, I was overcome with a wave of bittersweet nostalgia. Eight weeks prior, I walked sluggishly down that same white stone street, jetlagged and disoriented. My mouth was agape as I took in all the new sights and smells, experiencing the gentle bustle of the hot early summer day. The crowded corner coffee shops, the vendors lining the streets with books, sunglasses, and children's toys, the head-scarfed beggars sitting in the shade of the sapling trees, heads bowed in prayer, the statues of revered wartime heroes, the husky Albanian language drifting from the mouths of the people that call this city home, that was all new to me. But in that moment, I ambled down this street with ease, perhaps with the air and language of a foreigner, but with the look of someone who had truly experienced this place. That city had so much soul, and I was not quite sure if I was ready to leave it.

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