About This Show
The Balkan Adventures Podcast is a weekly, (with some occasional bonus episodes), podcast hosted by David Bailey and Tamara Pejčinović.
Interviewing interesting people from the western Balkans and talking about food, music, culture, and also answering your questions.
So, everyday life and experiences of living in the Western Balkans.
We really hope that you'll subscribe and enjoy :)
Most Recent Episode
Mountain Biking in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 days ago
On this episode, I talk to Jelle, who is from Belgium and now lives in Konjic in Northern Herzegovina. I caught up with him to find out more about him and his mountain biking. So how did he end up living in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
It's a long story. It started as a volunteer for a youth organisation. It evolved afterwards in humanitarian work and somehow some kind of microbe bit me and I needed to come back and back all over again and more and more. At the end I just decided to give up my job and to go to live to Bosnia.
Western Balkan lifestyle is certainly different from that in Northern Europe, so how difficult has it been to adjust?
I was lucky to spend, maybe seven years in Bosnia as a frequent expat so I got the opportunity to get back to Belgium to consider the situation, to learn more about the country. So it was more like to move to France or Italy for me because I had already a lot of experience and I had good friends in Maglaj who warned me about a lot of situations and explained me more about difficulties maybe I would encounter. At the end it was even worse than they said, but okay. I somehow managed.
Now being an expat always has its challenges.
One of the most beautiful parts of the country is the people, but that's actually the hardest part also, for me, because I have to work with the people also on a professional base and it takes a while to get people to trust you and for you to trust them; to have some kind of relationship with them.
What made him take up mountain biking and how does he plan his tours?
I wasn't a mountain biker before. I had some sports experience, maybe with running, a little bit before. Then the thing is, Bosnia has an amazing nature and I have been hiking, with friends from Konjic, into surrounding mountains, but you always need some way of transportation to get there and to have a hike. To get really somewhere, you need a lot of time.
I had an operation in 2014. Need to start with sports again. The doctor said he wouldn't advise me to start running and biking was a perfect sport to explore the mountains on a very easy way. They are close by, but with the bike you can get everywhere and to reach high peaks to get to the most beautiful parts of Bosnia somehow, which would be impossible to do by foot all the time. I can combine it with work because I'm a little bit time limited.
Riding for hours at a time in the remote areas around Konitz must be lonely, so how does he cope with that?
I have never actually I