The Balkan Detour

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From: Novi Sad, Serbia (Aug 23, 2013)

Goals can be a bad thing.

There I said it! When I make a goal I feel, sometimes I feel restricted by it. As if the act of committing to a goal involves being shrink-wrapped in cellophane and smothered until the goal is completed. Suffering from some sort of undiagnosed attention disorder, invariably, another alluring prize comes along knocking me off course.

Example: My aborted cycle-across South America trip

The goal was to cycle across South America, but I only got some 1000km into the journey before falling in love with the Andes and the Quechua language. I ended up spending over a year in the Andes never stepping foot further south than Peru.

It’s happening again! That is to say, this blather is a long winded confession to a new goal. I am deviating temporarily from my trans-Europe waterway route along the Danube for a month or so to take a roundabout in the Balkans, specifically former Yugoslavia and Albania. This region is too interesting, too unique, and too close to pass up.

Today I’m stowing the boat and riding southwest from Novi Sad towards Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of course this means I’ll be paddling the rest of the Danube in the winter, but I’m no stranger to winter.

Reality often doesn’t go as planned. But the beauty in life comes from the unexpected and unimagined. I’m OK with that, even if that means putting other goals on hold.

map of the balkans

My planned route through the Balkans is in purple on the map.

Do you have any suggestions for my Balkan Detour? Places to visit, people to meet?