Sunday, October 16, 2011

Running Away to Home

Jennifer Wilson, the author of Running Away to Home, is someone I felt instantly connected to. She is a mother from a small Iowa town (Colfax), now living in Des Moines with her architect husband. We are roughly the same age, both having grown up in the 80s. I could very much hear my own inner thoughts as Wilson questioned if the "American Dream" she and her husband and children were living is what they really wanted. In Wilson's case, she and her husband sold off most of their possessions and decided to take a year living in Croatia, where Wilson has ancestors. The fact that Wilson is a travel writer made this plan feasible as she was able to work from anywhere.

Mrkopalj, a small Croatian mountain village, became home to Wilson's family for several months. They came to enjoy a simpler life, enjoying their children's ability to find entertainment without needing toys or being plugged in. Visiting with the locals, sharing a beer at the local bar, milking cows, and waiting for their rented apartment to be finished while living in the third floor dormer of their guide's home quickly became their way of life.

Although the transition was at first a bit rough for Wilson, the entire family enjoyed this experience, and Wilson did in fact find some distant relatives to her family. While it was this search that initially sent them to Mrkopalj, what they found there was more than just their family tree.

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