I remember when Montenegro became independent. It was in 2006 and I saw it on the news. Curiously, I remember that most of the news piece was based in interviews in Belgrade, inquiring how the Serbs felt about Montenegro becoming independent. I saw the news, acknowledged the existence of Montenegro and never thought of it again.
Just like I never thought about the Balkans in general that often. My idea of it was the same, I would argue, that most people have: a region marked by some form of benign lawlessness, scarred and bittered by the Balkan war but where one can go for some wicked holidays. None of that is completely wrong, but it is terribly misleading.
They say the world is a funny place. It's true. Back in 2006, I never thought I would have been twice in Montenegro and having a handful friends here I hold so dear – and yet, I do. Of all the places in the world, I didn't expect I would stay a week living at a friend's place, emerged on the daily life of my Podgorica friends. This text, therefore, is not a guide of any sort to Montenegro – there are many and very accurate ones and to be honest I'm no position to give any kind of advice: I didn't take note of any bars or restaurants, don't have many photos to share. Alright, kids: go to Montenegro and enjoy the breathtaking views. That's all I can do. I traveled to Montenegro the same way I wish I would travel all the time: perhaps to see something new, but definitely to live life the way it is lived there. Kotor bay can wait.
P. S. – they have one of the most beautiful flags in the World, don't they?