A few days after I knew I got you for Secret Santa, I sat down and read every single one of your posts, start to finish, and I smiled the whole way through. It might seem strange to open with this but I love your writing style, how refreshing it is and how much your posts have taught me. I know that at the moment, you’re most likely still in Bosnia celebrating Christmas so I wanted to give you a present of words. I hope that this can show you how much I’ve valued you giving your thoughts to the world and how, I think, everyone should learn from what you’ve learned.
The first thing I learned about you was that you travelled the world and when I knew that, I couldn’t wait to read what experiences you’ve had. It must be amazing to have seen so many different cultures, from European to Asian to even our one in the United Kingdom. Meeting new people is a central part of that – I remember you said it made you happy – and I bet you have a wealth of stories to tell from lives you’ve come across. From this, you have an open mind and you’ve seen snippets of sights that a lot of people will never see in their lifetime; I’m proud of you for taking something from each moment and for living, laughing and being so cheerful throughout. To me, your life seems like an amazing journey and I think it’s so important that everyone should open their minds to new ways of living so that they can see how people live in different countries that aren’t their own. You could teach me a lot and I’d love to sit down with you and talk for hours about everything you’ve seen.
One of my favourite posts of yours was about your trip to Bulgaria and about the good and bad experiences there. I’ve never been to that country but like you said, it’s a shame it’s often overlooked because it sounds beautiful. Even for your negative experiences, I can tell that it changed you as a person in a wonderful way. I also loved reading about St. Nicholas’ Day in Bosnia and also your journal entries because they showed me a day-to-day life that is so different to mine. I loved it; I thrive off learning about new people and it’s been so fascinating to read about Montenegro, your upcoming trip to Spain and also the fact that Japan inspired you to travel.
You’ve taught me so much and in this short time, I feel like I know you, as weird as that sounds. I had no idea what Workaways were before I read your post and they’re so interesting. You’ve shown me that there’s far more to life than just school, that the world holds so many undiscovered secrets and that the people who uncover them should treasure them. You, and by extension your family, have shown me that community, love and respect go a long way, that even when times get tough, there’s always a new destination. That might sound really cheesy but I’m honestly so grateful to you for broadening my mind and letting me see the worlds you live in, if only in posts and your words.
Another one of my favourite things about your blog is how you talk about your family. I’m guessing you have to be quite a close-knit group and it’s beautiful to see that in writing. The fact that you go travelling together, that you try and stick with each other and that you all have such vibrant personalities fills me with happiness. I’m going to be checking out your sisters blogs too – give my lov: to all your family, won’t you? I think that you’re all incredible people and I admire you so much.
I want to talk to you a little about confidence. When I read your writing, it shocked me that you were 13: you worry that your writing isn’t mature enough but I think it’s perfect. You have such a chatty, bubbly personality: don’t let expectations of others get rid of that. Let yourself shine through, rather than something that others want you to be. You’re already so true to yourself and you have nothing to worry about in terms of your writing style. The messages you convey, like positivity and open-mindedness, are far more important than how you write them – and yes, I did just say that!
Always continue doing what you’re doing. I can’t wait to read more of your work and now, I can finally binge-comment on your posts without you guessing I’m your Secret Santa! I hope you have a beautiful day and that the rest of Bosnia goes well!
Love from Elm xx