I first came to the XYZone (former Yugoslavia) in January 1999, almost by chance from visiting Hungary. I went first to Zagreb and then on to Split (Croatia) where I had an unforgettable summer visiting most of the coastal towns and islands along the Adriatic Sea.
I also visited war-torn Sarajevo (Bosnia) on a humanitarian aid trip in the Fall of that same year that had a profound effect on me. I since have spent the better part of the last few years in Croatia volunteering with local NGO’s on a grass-root level projects to better the life of those in need and provide sustainable avenues to improve their lives themselves for the long term.
I feel being a volunteer has provided me a unique perspective into people’s lives and surroundings here that you can’t experience from any tourist trail or catalog and also provides me an avenue to give back of my time to the local communities I visit or needy situations wherever the need may arise.
The summer of 2006 I was able to take a short trip to Novi Sad (Serbia) and I am currently visiting Slovenia where I have had the time to get this blog up and running. I hope to eventually fill in at least a fraction of my many pre-bogging experiences over the past several years as well as I find the time.
It has been a dream of mine for years now to be able to share my thoughts, impressions and experiences of this beautiful area with others and with the event of the online blog I now am able to do so. My goal is to visit as much of this area as I can, especially Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo as well as parts of Slovenia and Croatia that I have not been to yet to get a fuller understanding of this region firsthand and share my experiences and findings in this ongoing blog for the benefit and enjoyment of others.
My deepest hope is that through this blog and my amateur photographs I can convey at least some of the warmness and friendship I have felt from the people of these lands and that it will inspire others to want to experience it also.
Justin W (a.k.a Jayman)
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