When I camp in front of a church I usually feel comfortable. It can go two ways. The positive scenario is that being around people, near a village for example, gives me the idea to be protected. The other scenario is that people with bad intentions know where to find me. You never know for sure in which scenario you’ll end up in, but I kind of learned to trust my gut feeling. And that got me pretty far.Continue Reading "Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea"
I’m in my tent. Camping at a wonderful place next to a church in the middle of a forest. There are picnic tables, there’s water and a lot of grass. In two months there will be a guesthouse as well, but for now that building is an unfinished building. They’re working on it though. I met the guys in charge earlier, they gave me permission to put up my tent here.Continue Reading "Worst night ever"
“Eva, what is your website about?” Isn’t that obvious? I would say. Apparently it isn’t. The more I think of it, the more I realize that perhaps it’s hard to get indeed. To get what it’s ALL about. Because I don’t know neither. A personal blog, a life and adventure journal. Inspired by Via Dinarica, I started to explore. It’s shows a journey. The journey of me, following my path. Step by step. One step at the time. Sometimes I can hardly see the path, but that’s part of the process. The process called life.Continue Reading "What it’s all about, let me explain"
It’s a way of living. I choose to do so. I live on the road. I choose the Dinarides to do so.
I’m on my way. There’s no conclusion, I’m rather in the middle of a thought.
“What is your message?” a friend asked. “I don’t know.”
There are loads of things I want to say, stories I want to tell, thoughts I want to share, places I want to show. But a message? It would be good if I had one. One clear message.
“That’s okay, then you are the one that opens doors.”
I think he’s right. I open doors.Continue Reading "In the middle of a thought"
“And why? Why do you hike?” That’s what people ask me after they heard me out about where I started, where I’m heading to, how many kilometers a day and how heavy my backpack is. Why I hike? “Why not?” Yeah, why not? If I don’t like it anymore, I can stop. So, I hike because I want to. Because I like it. But is that really the answer?Continue Reading "Why I hike"
Quite often I loose myself in trying to find answers. The right answers of course. I know that they don’t exist and if they do, that they will change all the time. There are no ultimate answers and that’s OK. I accepted that, but sometimes I forget. I forget that I accepted it. And that it was OK.Continue Reading "Storyteller"
I remember that I once tried to write a song when I was a teenager. I just discovered the magic of music and words. I remember me sitting on my bed in my cozy orange room. It was in Almere, duringContinue Reading "What am I?"
I’ve been a bit quiet the last few weeks. No new stories and no updates. I divide my time between Sarajevo and Zagreb. Between writing and hiking. Travel up and down, pay a visit to the mountains every now and then and meet lots of old and new friends. But what am I up to? I, most of the time, don’t even know myself… All I know is that and don’t want to go back yet…Continue Reading "Another year…"
It’s one of these days.
Sentimental, melancholic. Tired.
Six weeks in Croatia. I talk about The Netherlands. I don’t know what I feel.
I’m in a town. A big town. Zagreb. I think of Amsterdam. I compare.Continue Reading "Hollandia"
Why I hike? Because I can.
I hike because decided I could. I, at least could give it a go. Try.
The simplicity of putting one foot in front of the other. Slow pace. Strong nature. Little me.
This trail, these mountains, the Balkans and yes, the actual hiking are ingredients. And tools.Continue Reading "I hike because I can"
“What is Ivine Vodice like?”
“Well, it is not as beautiful as this place”, the guy said while pointing at planinarsko sklonište Struge.
“Let’s say it is dirty, really dirty. But you’ll survive.”
“Great.” I looked at Caroline and saw a worried look in her eyes. Struge is a great place, but beautiful is a big word.
I’m almost back in track. After a week not hiking, just hitchhiking, I looked forward to go up into the mountains again. “But it will rain on Monday.” “I don’t care, rain is not my worst enemy. I’m from The Netherlands..”Continue Reading "Bloody Bura"
I’m in Velebit in a sweet little shelter on a fantastic spot with white rocks pointing out of the forest all around me. Wooden wildlife keeps me company. Other than that, I’m all alone.Continue Reading "Mali Princ"
“I’m free, I think. I shut my eyes and think hard and deep about how free I am, but I can’t really understand what it means. All I know is that I’m totally alone. All alone in an unfamiliar place, like some solitary explorer who’s lost his compass and his map. Is this what it means to be free? I don’t know, and I gave up thinking about it. – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.
Two months ago the opening of the White Trail was here in Blidinje nature park. And one year ago I was here as well, on my bike. It’s one of my favorite places. The immense valley with mountainsContinue Reading "Hello Blidinje"
Be aware that although the title of this story has the word running in it, it is just as much about my innertrail as it is about running.Continue Reading "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running"
It’s Tuesday today, which means I have already been here over a week. Time flies!Continue Reading "Goings in Sarajevo"
After a fruitfull ˝business˝ meeting I slowly walked back to Den Haag Central Station. I of courseContinue Reading "One Hour Micro Adventure"
I’m under construction
just like my website
becoming a self-hosted versionContinue Reading "Under Construction"
“I am dancing with my true love – a memory of her. A smiling, blond-haired woman enters who wishes to take the flower of love – but it won’t allow itselfContinue Reading "Dance of Life"
After a night on an airplane, a transfer and another flight I arrived at Sarajevo airport mid morning. As forecasted it was a rainy day with low clouds so I did not see any mountains. Somewhat disappointed and tired from travelling I tried to figure out my next move, but before I could worry about where to go next I saw a girl with a sign reading: “ Eva Smeele Via Dinarica.” Smiling I went over and introduced myself.Continue Reading "Between Two Worlds"
I’m confused. I’m excited and a bit nervous, but there is also an indescribable calmness which comes from a deeper place. Wow, seriously? Am I writing this or truly feeling it?Continue Reading "Innertrail"
To this day the Balkans and especially Bosnia Herzegovina is unknown territory for many outdoor people. It remains a blind spot within Europe and the outdoor community. It is still associated with war and poverty instead of the beautiful, wild and untamed nature and mountains. I cannot deny the scars of the past are still well visible in some areas. You will surely see houses in ruins, abandoned villages and warning signs for landmines, but the Balkans nowadays are anything but a bleak and unsafe place to be. I have always experienced exactly the opposite.Continue Reading "Via Dinarica, an inspired trail through the Dinaric Alps"
I just received an email from Alastair Humphreys, currently one of my great heroes. He is an extraordinary adventurer, author of nine books and motivational speaker, but besides that, I see him as a passionate man who is sending a message straight from and to the heart. That’s why he is a huge inspiration for me.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for his newsletter and today he finally wrote one.Continue Reading "Thoughts on Adventures"
This is how I see it: we are all floating around in an enormous swimming pool, filled with balls.Continue Reading "Balls"
After having fiddled around on bare feet and borrowed FiveFingers, I thought it was time to participate in a ‘small run’. With the 100 days programme of Sportrusten, Ruth Langemeijer has helped me to arrange a training schedule for the half marathon. I have learned not only to run in a new way, but also to breathe in a new way. An ideal combination, as it turned out, to train and monitor my body. I was making progress, I was doing great! Former running injuries kept quiet, and I finished easily. Finally I understood what runners meant when they say ‘I can still run for hours‘.Continue Reading "From marathon to burn-out"
Surprised I looked around the room: a bed nicely made up, with a small pile of towels and a face cloth at the foot of the bed. A bedside table with a bedside lamp and a small vase with flowers from the garden. An own sink, a privateContinue Reading "A lot of shit is compost for the future!"
I call her “my oldest and longest friend”, but she’s not the longest or oldest among my friends. We have known each other since kindergarten; I know her as long as I can remember. We have learnedContinue Reading "Ode to friendship"