Veni Vidi Vici Reverto

He came home bear hugging a borrowed suitcase that had lost both handles and wheels, his pockets empty, phone missing, lap top crashed, shoes flapping, eyelids drooping and I thought, “This is exactly how a 21-year old kid should look following the greatest summer of his life.”

Utterly spent.

He traveled through nine countries in 78 days, jumped from cliffs four stories high, enjoyed a chance encounter with a step cousin on a street corner in Split, cheered passionately for the home team on a packed Croatian beach during the World Cup Tournament, then rolled his creaky suitcase on to Amsterdam and cheered just as passionately for the home team during a national viewing party there.

By the time he landed in Berlin, he had lost his phone and his lap top had died. His suitcase wobbled on a single wheel. Still, he made his way to the crowded town square and cheerfully celebrated a third country’s World Cup win as Germany trounced Brazil 7-1.

Humble finances encouraged creativity; he spent the phone-and-laptop free portion of his trip mostly off the grid, making actual friends who only later became Facebook friends.

Best of all, he connected with the family of his great-grandfather (and namesake) Vinko Biskupic and all of the wonderful, hospitable Biskupic relatives in Croatia.

In a few weeks, Vinnie will return to UW Madison to complete his senior year. Real life beckons, and, God willing, a full-time job.

For now, though, he is basking in summer memories and the sweet satisfaction of a long dreamed about adventure successfully achieved.

Vinnie
He came, he saw, he conquered, he returned with lots of great stories to tell.
Vinnie and Me
Fortunately, he came home on a lovely summer day. He spent his first few hours home doing laundry.
Vinnie and Molly
His shoes smelled a little funky and we made him throw them away. But we were still thrilled to see him.
Vinnie and Vince
Especially since he came bearing gifts.
Vinnie's suitcase and shoes
The broken and shredded suitcase, his funky shoes and a shredded pair of jeans all landed in the garbage upon his return. He wore them out.

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