This is new ground for me here at this blog, but please bear with me. I’ve just finished reading Jennifer Wilson’s book Running Away to Home, and it pertains to travel. The premise of the book is that Mrs. Wilson has Croatian roots, and that she wants to trace her ancestry back to the town of Mrkopalj. She uprooted her young family for a year from Des Moines, Iowa to this town in the mountainous part of Croatia in order to accomplish this. The ensuing transition from a suburban American life to a more free spirited one makes this book such an entertaining read; it really changes the way you view life in other countries, especially in the more rugged regions. The people of the town were colorful, and they served as a reminder that life is best lived with free spirit. We learned that while the history of the village may have been complex and had its share of darker history, they still have been moving forward and focusing on what life offers them. It may not have been the idealistic getaway for her as she initially believed, but in the end, it became a second home for her.
While the book started out as a basic quest to find out how her ancestors lived and why they left for America, it ended up finding the inner peace of a different part of the world. Mrs. Wilson’s spiritual transformation wasn’t just limited to her, her husband and two young kids made a marked transformation as well. At age 37, she proved that you’re never too old to go home.
(As a bonus, she posted pictures of her year in Mrkopalj on her website: http://www.jennifer-wilson.com/gallery/)