Math Formula

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And Why Did You Go To Bosnia At All?

Ironically, even though I have spent two years in BiH now already, I haven't thought about covering that frequently asked question here on this blog. However, recently I ran into this very nice blog post from Snježana about foreigners in ex-Yugoslavia, so it crossed my mind to share my story as well.
In the light of Scott Hanselman, I will give the gift of my keystrokes not only to her, but to all of you.

So why did I go to Bosnia at all?
Some background about myself and my family first. My father's parents were "Danube Swabians" (Donauschwaben) who lived in Slavonia, in a small village some 40km from Osijek. Even though some of them did speak some Serbo-Croatian, their main language was some obscure dialect of German (with quite an undeniable Croatian influence). Also, culturally they rather perceived themselves and were perceived as "Germans in Slavonia".
By the end of the WW II, they had to escape from the partisans, and landed in Upper Austria.

As much as I was aware of that fact, it didn't really play a role in my childhood in the 90's. I had a rough picture were my ancestors had originated from, but I grew up as an Austrian child with Austrian dialect and Austrian habits. Also, I wasn't particularly interested into where exactly they had lived, how they had lived, and how they had ended up in Austria at all. Yet, in the very back of my mind some connection remained.

Studying in Vienna, I started working for a company which does business in Europe and beyond. For various reasons, I was quite open to the idea of working and living abroad as well.

First, that's what job advisors keep telling you - whatever you do, gain some experience abroad first! I think I never really understood the reason behind, and rather took it for some fancy bla-bla - until I realized that it does make a difference (which I will not go into now, though, but maybe in some "Bosnia-aftermath" which it is too early for now).

Second, I was fond of travelling even before; so why not extend the journey and stay somewhere even longer, say, two years? Obviously, the perspective that you get and the experience you gain is way more than on a typical weeks to month trip. Getting to know habits, language, people ...

Third, of course this was a great work opportunity as well. Taking responsibility for a big project and making nice money always comes handy.

So, yes, I was ready to go abroad. But why exactly Bosnia, then?

Well, simply because it happened. There arose this opportunity for this project in BiH, at a moment I was ready for it.
Thus, I cannot claim that living in BiH is what I have always dreamed of - but when the opportunity arose, I was more than ready to take it (or maybe the opportunity arose exactly because I was ready for it?), and I haven't regretted it a single moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog