Goran Zivanovic and his wife Clare used their honeymoon to reconnect with Serbia
I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and left with my family when I was two years old; none of us had ever returned to the former Yugoslavia. It was only when Clare and I were looking at options for our honeymoon in Europe that it seemed fitting to reconnect with my place of birth. We wanted to see what it was really like, to meet long lost relatives and evaluate my heritage from a purely non-media and political viewpoint.
We entered Serbia by rail from Budapest and I really couldn’t distinguish between one countryside and another. I didn’t initially feel any connection to the country of my birth but that changed quickly.
After spending some time exploring Belgrade by ourselves, we contacted my relatives. My parent’s weren’t thrilled with this plan but we wanted to experience Belgrade without distractions. We travelled by bus to my parents’ old village called Umka, which was less than an hour away from the city. We stayed with my aunt (mother’s sister) who lives on a property where I spent the first two years of my life, close to other relatives, and the cemetery where many of our ancestors are buried.