It’s the fifth time that I’m in Sarajevo. I’ve seen pretty much every season, from bloody, bloody hot to freeeezing cold, I only did not see any snow. Until two weeks ago. Caroline, a friend who came to visit me, saw it first. ˝I see something falling from the sky..˝ I got out of bed to check, but couldn’t really see anything. ˝Well, I think it’s the reflection of the light on the dirty windows.˝ The next morning everything was white. No dirty windows, (hmm well also dirty windows) Caroline was right. Snooooow in Sarajevo!

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What to do with Christmas and New Year Eve… Same question every year.. Well, since I’m not home or walking home for Christmas, I thought it would be best to escape the city and plan a little trip to the mountains. Apparently I’m not the only one who liked the idea of getting away, my oldest friend from Amsterdam, Caroline, flew to Sarajevo and accompanied me on this beautiful, but freezing cold winter holiday in the Bosnian mountains. The great thing about Sarajevo is that within thirty minutes you’re in a complete different world. Vukov Konak, a traditional Bosnian Mountain Inn, was the destination.

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Jeej, I got company! No, she is not really an hiker or outdoorsie type, but she is my oldest friend… Why is everybody asking? When are you a hiker? What is a real hiker? Are there any rules? Hmm, I think I actually don’t really care. After almost 900K of solo-hiking, my BFF Caroline joined me in Starigrad, super exiting. New company, new spirit, new challenges. New ADVENTURE. Paklenica, here we come!

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Although nature does not know borders, borders are often formed by nature. Mountains, rivers and seas are natural borders between different regions, countries or continents. Within these borders, people seem to develop their own characteristic way of living full of local traditions and old customs. Along the Via Dinarica I crossed many borders. Some were natural, some were cultural and some were just lines on a map. Lines that create countries. It did surprise me that hiking through Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) felt so different from Montenegro. Different landscape, different mountain-rhythm, different weather and yes, different lives and lifestyles. I even got the impression that the way people express themselves differs from country to country.

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August 2015, One week with two friends in the Balkans. After being on the bike for almost seven weeks, I managed to meet two friends in Cetinje, Montenegro. If my bike and its wheels, all the packs and I would fit in the car, I could join them on their roadtrip to Sarajevo. If not, I had ten days to get myself back to Amsterdam…

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It’s Friday afternoon, I’m waiting for a good friend who’s visiting me in Ljubljana for the weekend. A short break from biking to visit the city and the surroundings. I’m excited, impatient and a bit nervous. This summer holiday has been a strange mixture of biking, hiking, city and road tripping. A combination of solo-traveling and unexpected encounters with friends. It requires some dedicated planning which is quite a challenge for me as a ‘logistics-fearing&avoiding-adventurer’… But when trekking and camping becomes a new routine, it’s good to have a friend in a beautiful dress with a roller case to pull you out that comfort-zone and drag you along in her adventure.

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