Albania: Don’t Listen to Liam Neeson!// #4

As someone who hadn’t been in Albania since 2008, I had no idea what to expect from this country. In addition, the last two times I visited, I didn’t move too far out of my family’s hometown. Until this summer, I had never gone to Tirana for anything besides their airport. Now, my home away from home is right in the center of it! My cousin helped me find an apartment to rent on my own only a few minutes away from work. I will be honest, there were plenty of misconceptions I had about Albania, mainly things I heard about in films and things my family ran away from when they left the country 20 years ago, a country that was still trying to rebuild from the recent end of Communism. My main concerns regarded my safety: shady taxis, homeless people, the security of my apartment, etc. Looking back on these misconceptions, I feel incredibly dumb for even thinking like this! Taxis are just like those in the United States, meters and all, other than the fact that I have conversations often with these taxi drivers. 🙂 In terms of homelessness, there are not nearly as many people in the streets as I thought there were. I haven’t see many over the course of this trip, which makes me think the issue has significantly improved since these misconceptions were made. Regarding apartment safety, there are two locks on my door and two locks on the front of the building, so I feel quite safe and secure. I was so eager to come to Albania and visit its beautiful beaches and mountains on the weekends, but always had the thought of safety in the back of my mind. Now that I have been here for over a month, I think its safe to say that safety should have been lower on my list of concerns, if at all. Overall, there is a misconception that Albania is incredibly unsafe and dangerous, and i’d just like to make it incredibly clear how untrue this is because it could keep visitors from experiencing the amazing culture, food, beaches, mountains, and lifestyle that Albania has to offer!!

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