Detour to Blighty

It’s been a long while since I blogged! The reason being, I found myself back in the UK for two weeks. It was the three-month trip marking the end of my tourist visa – booked so that I wouldn’t get myself in trouble as an over-stayer. I should never have worried! Aside from it appearing like nobody in Albanian officialdom cares if I stay or go, my one-year Albanian visa arrived the morning of my flight to London.

So this is where the blog post comparing London and Tirana would normally sit.

Except that it is clear that three months is not enough time in Albania and too little time away from London to really compare. Besides, comparison lists I’ve seen online essentially seem to focus on two things: 1) driving in Albania and 2) donkeys. Neither of which really do the country justice!

I missed Albania dreadfully – mostly because that’s where my hubby was – but being in London, in my old flat, was eerily familiar. I went out shopping and spent ridiculous amounts of money for someone whose intention is to be unemployed for a year. I enjoyed knowing the language; eating bacon, dim sum and mature cheddar; knowing where everything was, and miraculously finding it there and open when it should be.

But the UK isn’t my home any more. On some level it jarred with me. By the end of week 1 I was ready to get back on the plane to Tirana.

By the end of week 2 I was desperate. I was so happy to land at Rinas, in the rain, and see the mountains. And my hubby.

The next few weeks bring much excitement for us, and therefore – as dedicated readers of this blog – you! In two and a half weeks the first of our overseas guests arrive ahead of our big fat Albanian wedding, a mere four weeks away.

It’s good timing to have a bunch of visitors over as the Albanian government has just announced the winner of their ‘Branding Albania’ competition – their goal is to reposition Albania and drive tourism to the country. Glad to be able to do my part!

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