top of page
  • Jerome Kocher

56. Thank You / Faleminderit!

This is the final post from my Kosovo and Albania trip. It was everything I hoped for and more. Originally I did not intend to blog, but a few of you encouraged me to write and so I did. You know who you are. And I thank you. And I thank everyone that read at least one post of the seventeen entries that I published. Hopefully, it gave you a glimpse into another world outside your daily routine.

But most of all I need to thank all those in Albania and Kosovo that I met along the way and put a face on an unknown country. Some of you were fleeting encounters on the street or in a cafe. Others were longer, especially the last week in Kosovo with my guides Bekim and Orhan.

Bekim means “Blessing.” Orhan means a “Great Leader.” Then there was Besa, meaning “Promise or Grace” in Peje. In English our names also have meaning, though we don’t acknowledge or pay attention to it. Here, they do, because individuals are embedded in a great tapestry of tradition. Your name means something. Your connection to history, to others, has significance.

It’s been said that half of success is “showing up.” Well, I kept my half of the bargain and showed up, a stranger in a foreign land. But all of you whom I met (and may never read this), whether for five minutes or all day, whether over coffee, a hitch hike or a full guided day, to all of you who showed up at just the right time to cross my path, I want to extend a very appreciative “Thank You.”

It’s one thing to visit a place and its history. It’s quite another to hear people’s stories, to have that however brief encounter, and walk away feeling a common humanity. On the surface there are layers of difference. But only a few minutes are needed, or a full day, to reveal a mutual common ground. For this I am eternally grateful. I am bigger because of all of you. I am more understanding because of you. I am more human because of you.

In part, I went to Albania and Kosovo because they were so foreign and their history so conflicted. Where in the heck are they? Who are they? In the end, at their core, they’re like me. It was like coming home, not because I’d ever move there, but because they reflected the feelings, hopes and aspirations that we all have.

We are more the same than different. And that feels like home.

Thank You, Kosovo! Thank You, Albania!

All the Best, Jerome

53 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

BlueFlame NoenDragon
BlueFlame NoenDragon
May 06

Happy Travels! Making more friends through time to time! :)

-Catherine Torres

bottom of page