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Friday, June 20, 2008

Scenes from Dubrovnik

So, had a great conversation with Managing Partner Randall Goldman this afternoon about his trip to Dubrovnik. (Photos to come next week.)

You know when you have one of those conversations that has so much in it that it keeps resonating well after it's over? This was one of those conversations. Which is not surprising when you consider the fascinating, at times tragic, history of this amazing part of the world.

And while I wish I could reproduce our conversation in its entirety, I thought I would first share some of the images that have been bouncing around in my head all afternoon.

Cherries and apricots are currently in season.

So is lavender and the street vendors sold it in small sachets.

No one takes food or drink to-go. If you go for coffee, you are also going for the social/cultural experience. Count on at least an hour. HAVE YOUR COFFEE.

There is a restaurant on the water where they harvest oysters fresh before each lunch or dinner service.

The sea is crystal clear.

Though they stayed in the center of Old Town Dubrovnik, Randall and Jennifer also took a trip to Bosnia. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around all that took place in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro roughly 12 years ago. There is so much I don't know. How do you look at any place in the world that survived civil war and not see its scars?

Traveling has the capacity to get us out of own heads a bit. I suppose that's why we love it. Not just as an escape from what we know, but also a chance to see, hear and experience something we haven't before. Expand our view a bit. I think that's what was so compelling about my conversation with Randall. The quality of his voice conveyed that he truly experienced something. In all honesty, at times I think he didn't believe he could express it in words.

I know you're wondering about what Randall spoke about to the students at the University of Dubrovnik, because I was too. Here these students sit, in a beautiful, historic, seaport city. With a history so long it makes Charleston look like a little kid. He spoke about what Patrick Properties does, what these buildings really mean. Bricks and mortar that become the fabric of a society. Certainly this group of students, indeed Dubrovnik as a whole, know that down to their bones. It's a pretty amazing world when you have the opportunity to go across the world, shake hands with someone who has endured. Sit and have coffee. And gaze out at the crystal sea.

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