Gobsmacked in Bratislava

When I started this blog over a year ago, I had a hard time coming up with a name for a mostly travel, sometimes day-to-day life-ish blog. In fact, should I ever have children, I think naming them will be much easier.

I wanted to be clever, snappy, mysterious but it’s quite difficult naming something you know nothing about. Just like stories start leading writers, blogs pave the paths for bloggers and when you barely know what blogging is, it’s near impossible to christen your blog with a meaningful name.

My mum was the one who chose “Gobsmacked”. The ever-faithful-Brit, she read through a list of British centric words and Gobsmacked jumped into view. Fun to say, as British as it comes, and a word that gains tiers of meaning the more it’s used.

I now have a laundry list of moments that have left me gobsmacked. Just like any other writer, I have an innate desire to donate words to everything that carries meaning but sometimes, words sneak away and the beauty of a moment shrouds every writerly mechanism within you. Suddenly, you’re okay with being speechless because writers hide as much as they expose.

But today is all about exposure (the metaphorical kind of course).

I write to you from a familiar and stealthy haunt. A place that holds and protects my very first childhood memories.

As you clever readers might have guessed from the title, I come to you from the distant land of Bratislava, Slovakia!!

No longer as a tourist but rather a soon-to-be resident.

sloThe latest addition to the list of gobsmacking adventures came into fruition a few months ago when I was offered a part-time job for an English-speaking newspaper called the Slovak Spectator.

As a writer!


For one year, I’ve been traipsing around Europe in an intense haze of curiosity and cluelessness. It was a year that led to tremendous opportunity, a year that gave me a great personal growth spurt and the greater worry that I might get stuck in post-college limbo.

High-velocity living can feel like teetering around quicksand sometimes, especially when you’re a product of an American college. Just before and soon after graduation, more and more of your peers and friends start wearing suits and signing work contracts and receiving dental insurance. They become career professionals while you stew in uncertainty, amazed by how scary and absurdly fun feeling lost in life can be.

Looking back, I’m glad it took me over a year to find a job. While my applications fumbled through cyberspace, I traveled to countries that opened their arms and knocked me off my feet. I was wholoped by beauty, accompanied by the kind of  interesting characters that even a novelist couldn’t make up. I lived the expository part of my story in the most riveting way possible.

Now, as I sit in a jazz-themed hostel kitchen with inspirational instrumental swaying between my ears, I feel more gobsmacked than ever. Adventure awaits in a city I called home over nineteen years ago and I have a feeling this village-like capital and I have a lot to catch up on.

And I hope you, my readers, come along for the ride because this blog may be called gobsmacked but there’s still so much to say.

And it’s never too late to assign a different meaning to your life. Choose the path, the experience, the place that no one talks about, the one that even you can’t describe.

Choose to be gobsmacked by life.

Na Zdravie,




  1. Emily Bomely

    Hi Anna, I have been following your blogs, love them! What great experiences you are having. Congratulations on your job in Bratislava. We were there several years ago and loved the village. Cheers, Emily (Jaye’s friend)


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