Episode 9

Recharged and Revitalised - Our Comeback from a 2 Month Break

Published on: 16th June, 2023

Where have I been for the past two months of not posting a podcast episode?

In this episode I bring you up to date an recent events and what you can expect going forward.

As an English language podcaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I sometimes feel like an outsider, but it also gives me a unique perspective to share with my audience. Living in a small village like Čardačani allows me to experience the local culture, traditions, and challenges firsthand.

Through our podcast, we aim to bridge the gap between different cultures and shed light on the beauty and complexities of life in the Balkans. We want to challenge stereotypes and showcase the resilience, creativity, and warmth of the people we encounter.

One of the aspects we are particularly passionate about is highlighting the untold stories of individuals who have overcome adversity or made a significant impact in their communities. By sharing these inspiring narratives, we hope to inspire our listeners and create a sense of connection and understanding.

Our focus moving forward is on quality over quantity. We want to ensure that each piece of content we create is meaningful, informative, and engaging. This approach allows us to maintain our enthusiasm and provide our audience with valuable experiences and insights.

We are also exploring collaborations with other content creators and experts in various fields. By joining forces, we can pool our knowledge and resources to create even more impactful and diverse content. We believe that collaboration is key to fostering a sense of unity and expanding our reach.

In the coming months, we have planned interviews with local artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. We want to showcase the vibrant cultural scene in the region and highlight the initiatives that are driving positive change.

Additionally, we will continue to document our own experiences, whether it's exploring new hiking trails, attending cultural events, or participating in community activities. By sharing these personal anecdotes, we hope to provide a glimpse into the daily life and adventures of an Englishman in the Balkans.

We are grateful for the support and feedback we have received from our listeners thus far. It motivates us to keep pushing forward and improving our content. We encourage everyone to stay tuned and be part of our journey as we navigate the ever-changing podcasting landscape and continue to share stories from this fascinating corner of the world.

Thank you for being a part of our podcasting community, and we look forward to bringing you more exciting content in the future.

You can support my work, by maybe leaving a Tip or by becoming a member of our podcast family at:


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Well, welcome back to Čardačani in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina, the village where I live with my wife, Tamara. There hasn't been an episode on this podcast channel for over two months. The last time we posted anything here was from an interview that I did with David Sammel, who was a tennis coach that came with Liam Brodie, a British tennis player.


to the ATP 250 here in Banja Luka, which was called the Srpska Open. And why has there been nothing since? Why has there been radio silence? Well, we felt a little bit burnt out. We were coming up with content ideas, both audio, video and text. And it was just like going crazy. We were just sort of like coming up with so many ideas. None of them were coming to fruition and we were just totally lost.


So we decided to take a step back. And I think that was a good thing to do actually, because when you feel burnt out and you're no longer enjoying what has been for a long time, your passion, that obviously indicates that something is wrong. So we did that and also had a massive refocus. I have been guilty, I think,


e in North America during the:


make the YouTube channel grow. And I was paying for all sorts of courses, which really didn't help me at all. It promised a lot. But even putting in lots of effort, there was clearly going to be no way that I could grow my YouTube channel. And as somebody recently said, all YouTube wanted me to do was to feed their algorithm and then just tire myself out. And that has actually happened or did happen. So we took


a break and we refocus. So will we be doing video? Maybe a little bit. We're going to make a few reels to support this podcast channel on Instagram. Whether we put anything on YouTube in the way of proper video, maybe because I like flying my drone and it's nice to show you guys where we live and the places that we go from the drone perspective, because I'm really


not into doing travel vlogs or anything like that. It's just I've lost the passion for that. But there might be some video on Instagram Reels so you can follow that. And also we'll be doing clips from podcasts to tell you when we have posted because some of you will be listening on a normal platform, podcast platform where you've subscribed to some people.


We'll just find out about us rather here, possibly on Instagram. And there'll be a link so that you can follow us on our podcasting platform, because podcasting is where the focus is going to be, and that's audio podcasting. Tam said, why don't we do video podcasting? But we need more cameras and it gets a little bit complicated. But I think there might be an easy one camera option, but we might try that in the coming weeks.


and months. And the blog stroke newsletter, which is that an Englishman in the Balkans, that's all one word dot com. We're going to continue doing that. So from now, this is a start of a slightly different focus on the channel. It's not going to be just interviews. And if you look into our back catalogue of episodes, most of them are interviews talking with people that we think.


are interesting to hear from, especially people that are from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to get their perspective on their lives, the skills, the hobbies, the passions that they've got, because that's a good way of, I think, of showing people what this country really is. It's getting under the skin. It's not just all the normal tourist stuff. So it's not going to be just interviews. There's going to be solo episodes like this one is.


And I am hoping that we'll be able to do what I would call walk and talk podcasts as well. And I've got in touch with somebody in a nearby town called Travnik. It used to be the capital of Bosnia when the Ottomans were here. And fingers crossed, we're going to do a collaboration. I'm going to go to Travnik and do a walk and talk with somebody that promotes


Travnik that is very passionate about their hometown. So I've never done a walk and talk podcast before. I'm trying to work out how I can do that with the limited amount of equipment that I've got, but I think it might be possible. I'm going to take my drone, although he says he's got his own drone. So yeah, let's see how that goes. I'm planning in my head at the moment, uh, to take the bus there, uh, maybe stay one or two nights in Travnik and then come back and then.


put an episode all about the former capital of Bosnia as a podcast in its own right. But rather than sit down and interview somebody, we can like do a walk and talk like he can do a guided tour in real time with me and I can ask him lots of questions as well. And then I can bring it back and then edit it, package it down, you know, rather than have maybe an hour or two of us just walking through the streets. But that's what I'm


what I'm planning. What else has happened? Well, I've been to New Jersey. I went to see my youngest daughter and my grandsons in New Jersey. It was a break from the lifestyle that I live at the moment. New Jersey is moving or where we were, which was absolutely gorgeous. It's a small town called Maplewood. I don't know if you know that. If you're from the United States, if you are, let me know what you think about Maplewood. But I found it very, very nice.


indeed a nice clean town, no stress. It was different from my previous visits to the United States where all I was hearing was the sirens of emergency service vehicles, whether that's police ambulance or firefighting. There was none of that. I don't think I heard one police siren in Maplewood the whole time I was there, but it was really nice. The break was good. The flights, well...


Yeah, they're long. You know, I had to travel from here to Zagreb. That's a good couple of hours to two and a half, three hours. Then you have check in time, don't you? I flew to London and then took my flight to Newark, which wasn't too bad on the way there. But on the way back, I had a six hour layover in Heathrow, which wasn't too pleasant. And by the time I got back here, I was absolutely shattered on that return journey. And, you know,


I'm realising now that the older that you get, the slower things take to get back to normal, right? Normally, two or three days I would get over jet lag. It took me somewhere in the region of 10 days. Not too painful or miserable, but it's just like my body clock was really whacked out of sync. As well as that, since the last episode, we've had crazy weather here. Hot and cold and torrential rain.


you know, flipping from one to the other to the other, which is very unusual for the climate, the normal climate as I used to think it was here in the Western Balkans, where we would get to the end of May and then we would have these wonderful warm dry days till maybe the end of October and then it would start to get wet and cold, you know what I mean? And then we'd have snow, maybe two metres of snow in the winter down to minus 25.


But the last couple of years, that hasn't been the case. And this year definitely isn't the case. Where are we now? We're on the 16th of June, as I record this, and the sun is coming out. And we know from the weather forecast that the near future, we're just going to be dry, right? We've had so much rain here that we've had floods. If you want to check out my YouTube channel, or if you go to an Englishman in the Balkans,


You'll see one of the recent posts that I put up. We had flooding here in the village. Didn't affect us. We were very, very lucky. We do live on the side of Ael, right? But there was floods. Yeah, the roads are clear again. But it's just like topsy turvy. We never had that weather before. And the past few years have shown that our summers no longer will be at 28. We're going to go up to 30, 32. Last year we went up to 39, touching 40.


And the winter where we had, as I said, those two meters of snow. Last year, it was just like somebody had put some icing sugar, you know, that what you put on the top of donuts, you know, that fine sugar we had sort of like that. That was about the limit of our winter. But we've had that since the last episode. And I've been doing a podcast or I am at the moment, actually, doing a podcasting course now.


I've been a professional broadcaster for many years and working in lots of media projects that are audio related. But I wanted to do this course one to try and learn some new skills. You're never too old to learn. I think that's very important. And the other thing is that being here as a podcaster


in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an English language podcaster. I think, I might be wrong, but I think I'm the only English language podcaster in the country that is doing a podcast that isn't political or current affairs orientated. I know there are podcasts about the history of this country. I know there are podcasts, as I say, about the news, the politics and current affairs, but I don't think there's too many


podcast by foreigners, like me, I'm a foreigner, I'm an immigrant here, in English. And so I feel a little bit isolated. I mean, I talked to Tamabounce ideas off-camera and the occasional people that are interested in what I do locally. So when you're isolated and you don't have somebody to bounce ideas off, it can feel quite lonely. And so doing this course,


I have already met, albeit online, people we've been discussing about how to improve the description of my podcast, my podcast artwork. I don't know what else we're going to be doing, but there's tons of things to do. And it's made me feel a lot better and I'm really rejuvenated or feeling rejuvenated about it. So that's pretty cool. And because of that, I have changed a little bit.


behind the scenes, if you like, of the podcast. If you go to the podcast, we have a website for the podcast. It's linked from my newsletter blog and it's linked from Instagram and wherever I publish content. And on there now and through the player itself on my podcast website, you can now help us to produce


more content through either becoming a member of our podcast family or by giving us a tip. It's a bit like buying me a coffee or whatever, but we have our own way now of asking you, if you like, to give us a tip or maybe to take one of two membership levels at the moment, right? So that's pretty cool, I think. And the lowest level for five dollars


a month, you will get these podcast episodes before the public do it. And the platform that I'm using is called Captivate and have everything that is so easy for me. I mean, yeah, I'm over 70 now, right? I'm 70 and a half. I'll come clean. You know, that's why I have a white beard. And so I don't need all this stress and Captivate has really helped me there. So thanks to the guys.


the team there. And I bought something before I went to the United States. I had it delivered to the United States because getting nice bits of tech delivered in two Bosnia-Herzegovina is a little bit off at times. Things may or may not arrive by post. And to have everything shipped by DHL adds to the cost. Right. But I got a new microphone and I'm using it now. What do you think about it? I got a sure.


MV7. So it's a USB mic. I think the sound is really good. I don't have a soundproofed room per se. This is my office. Tam's father is outside at the moment, streaming the grass down. We have tractors rolling around, which I can hear, but I don't think you can. Well, and if you can, let me know, because that means I have to get closer to the microphone. But yeah.


So I got myself a new microphone as well. When you see these episodes from now on, there's podcast transcripts, there are show notes. And in the show notes, when I'm talking about things that I really do think need a little bit more in the way of description for you, I mean, I'm gonna try and tell these stories using my voice, but some will need.


either imagery to support it or videography to support it. So if I was to tell you about how lusciously green our village is at the moment, and by golly, it is, which is nice. I've got to get out and mow the lawn tomorrow. So most of the day will be spent doing that. That's why I'm recording this now, right? Then I can put a short video and fly the drone over the village and you can see where we live. So that's a little bit of an update.


from the last podcast episode back in April. And I would really, really, really like you to get involved. So if you've listened this far, thank you so much. But by getting involved, there are different ways of contacting us, whether that's on Instagram, through direct messaging, whether it's using an email address that we have or contacting us.


In all the ways that are available these days, I have my WhatsApp number, so you can text me on that. I really would like for you to get involved. Give us your ideas, your thoughts, your comments, please keep them respectable and wherever possible, positive so that we can actually create content from Bosnia and Herzegovina that you will enjoy. Right. If you don't know anything about the country, then you must have questions.


Let us know and we'll answer them for you. When I started all years and years ago, I wanted to make a podcast that would encourage people to come to the country. And back then I thought, well, if I become a travel podcaster, then that will be cool, right? But there are people, a lot better people, that will do that than me. And I do suffer sometimes what they call imposter syndrome. I live here.


Right. So my aim now is to tell the stories about Bosnia and Herzegovina from my eyes, from that of an immigrant here, which I am, and to get under the skin of the country. So when people have their podcasts and their vlog channels or whatever, and they're showing you a million one nice things to do in Sarajevo or in Mostar, or even better still in Banja


underrepresented in the travel scene. Yes, there are tourism experts that can tell you about that, but what I think by listening to this podcast is you'll get stories that actually give you the real heart of the country. And the best way to do that is, yeah, to talk about what it's like actually to live here on a day-to-day basis and to hear


from people that have grown up here and their experiences in their own country. Right, I think I've covered everything, I think. I hope you've enjoyed listening this far. It is a bit of a ramble, but we will get there as we develop this new, if I wanna call it that way, format. So thank you very much indeed for listening, as I say. If you would like to give us a tip, there is a way to do that.


buttons on the website, buttons on the player and a link in the description as well. Or maybe even consider becoming a member where you're going to get early access. And in the second tier, I've only got two tiers at the moment. You can get a laptop sticker or a fridge magnet as a thank you from me. And I'm also approaching and maybe if you're a small business or you would just like to do it for ultraistic reasons.


We're going to get some sponsors to help us as well. Tamara is now making lunch. I will be leaving the studio and going into the kitchen. I think we have a really nice goulash today, which is gonna be super. Stay safe wherever you are. Vidi mo se kasnije, which means see you later. And yeah, bye for now.

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About the Podcast

An Englishman in the Balkans
Find out more about Bosnia and Herzegovina
Encouraging people to find out more about Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"Welcome to "An Englishman in the Balkans" podcast, hosted by David Pejčinović-Bailey.
In this podcast, you'll get a unique look at life in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the eyes of an immigrant. Each episode, David shares his experiences living in this often misunderstood country, and introduces you to some of the interesting people he's met along the way.
From exploring the rich culture and history, to discussing the challenges and joys of immigrating to a new country, this podcast offers a thoughtful and engaging look at life in the Balkans.
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About your host

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David Pejčinović-Bailey

I am a podcaster, living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and sharing my experiences of living in this often misunderstood country.