I spent a few nights in Belgrade doing not much of anything – I had a decent amount of work to catch up on, so while Jack went out exploring, I stayed in the air-conditioned hostel common room and tapped away at my laptop. Or at least… I tried to. It’s hard to tap away at your laptop when you’re in a hostel: my attention span is hot garbage when I’m in a silent, empty room, let alone a busy dining space with backpackers cooking spaghetti. I have an uncannily potent ability to become distracted. You could bundle me into a sensory deprivation chamber and leave me floating for 24 hours in some black void with nothing but a laptop opened to Excel, and I’d still find a way to slack off for half the day: prodding the veins in my hands, twiddling my beard, doing silly voices to nobody, cracking my knuckles, farting horrendously then saying “oh goodness” and finding myself very funny.

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Jack and I left Sarajevo the morning after our grand day out, and took a bus several hours north, to a town called Tuzla. Neither of us particularly wanted to go Tuzla, but a one-night stopover there split what would have been an nine-hour bus ride to Belgrade into two bus rides of only four hours or so.

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Jack snores like a maniac. I shared a room with him all the way through Bosnia, and each morning he’d wake up, stretch, and say something like “Dude, I had the best night’s sleep ever, I slept like a baby”, and I’d look at him and say “Nice”. I figured out a way to stop his snoring, eventually: whenever he began to honk and wheeze, I would take my plastic water bottle and thwack it against the wall. The sound was enough to wake him, but wasn’t enough for him to remember why he’d woken up. Then he’d shrug and fart and roll over, and I’d have a peaceful thirty minutes before the snoring began anew.

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On my third day in Mostar I decided to head out on a paid tour with Adi, the owner of the hostel I was staying in – it was another recommendation of the Kiwis from Zadar.*

*Kiwis from Zadar would make an excellent album title

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I didn’t intend to go to Bosnia. Two Kiwi guys I met in Croatia’s shittest hostel in Zadar – the one with the bees nest in the dorm – told me about a town called Mostar, which they recommended. Mostar was between Split and Dubrovnic, so my initial plan was to pop over into Bosnia and pop back to continue my journey south. Within a couple of hours of arriving in Mostar, I’d decided to alter my trip. Bosnia is a fascinating place.

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I didn’t intend to go to Bosnia. Two Kiwi guys I met in Croatia’s shittest hostel in Zadar – the one with the bees nest in the dorm – told me about a town called Mostar, which they recommended. Mostar was between Split and Dubrovnic, so my initial plan was to pop over into Bosnia and pop back to continue my journey south. Within a couple of hours of arriving in Mostar, I’d decided to alter my trip. Bosnia is a fascinating place.

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You don’t often worry about dying when visiting a tourist spot. Nobody dies in tourist spots. Travellers perish when they do crazy stuff, like go hiking off into the pizza-oven heat of Death Valley, or take selfies on the edge of Victoria Falls standing on one leg, or drive motorcycles through Mumbai after banging a tab. Nobody dies at tourists spots – nobody dies at Lake Bled. And yet. And yet.

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I woke up in Vienna, worked a little during the day, then lugged my shit across the sweltering city to the train station. From there, in a dehydrated, pink-faced fluster, I boarded the train to Slovenia.

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Vienna is a gorgeous city. It’s so gorgeous, in fact, that it made me feel a little bit queasy.

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I spent two weeks in Berlin in total, and my last night there was Dave’s 28th birthday. When we first met he was only 22. I was 23. Mad.

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