I’m going to admit, much to my embarrassment, that I knew next to nothing about the history of Serbia (or any other country in the Balkan Peninsula for that matter) prior to my arrival in Belgrade. Back in grade school, the Yugoslav Wars were either glossed over or marginalized to a couple paragraphs in textbooks that teachers tended to skip regardless. This was partly because the conflict was still ongoing and the "history" had yet to be written, but I felt ashamed for my ignorance on the topic considering I was traveling through the region. Thankfully, my tour through Belgrade proved to be an excellent place to learn about the history of the former Yugoslavia.
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I've greatly enjoyed touring through Kiev the last few days, but what's really piqued my interest during my time in Ukraine was the chance to gain a better understanding of the recent political issues surrounding the country. We've all heard the news reports for months now, but I wanted to see what local Ukrainians had to say regarding the matter. At the end of the day, learning more about the country required that I learn more about the current crisis going on in the east. While I was Ukraine the conflict was frequently a topic of conversation because I couldn't let an opportunity like this just slip through my fingers.