- Haris Custo
The Beginning Of A Journey
The sun shines with a gentle wind, as I walk to our first seminar I smell the start of Autumn and the fruits of the month that bloom, my ears open up to the gentle sound of the numerous rivers that wind across the paths of green, those that are visible and those my eyes have not yet found. When I arrive I am met with a warm hug, joining a group of people who hold the same passion and vision for a future filled with adventure in cohesion with nature. My journey starts in Blagaj, opposite canyons and under the music of hundreds of singing birds.
This is a far cry from the bustling cities, smog and troubles that press against our modernising world, and here I am just a small speck in the vast nature of Hercegovina.
Have you ever felt a wild wind on your back? This is what the untouched beauty of our region has to offer you…if you open yourself up to a journey that will take you there.
Before partaking in this project I was unaware of what was to unravel and how much deeper I’d be entering mother nature, both in awareness, intimacy and skill.
The Road Of Understanding
It can be a hard thing trying to understand the natural world around us, although this is vital to learning the true value of a place, not just on a personal level but on a scale that makes us realise what must be protected for the health of our earth. This project was the perfect opportunity that promoted open discussion about the future of ecosystems in Hercegovina and offer a platform for education about the rare plants and endemic species that surround us. My road to understanding about how I can responsibly lead future tours around the four climbing areas of Hercegovina was to first digest the information shared by experts that have extensive research on the unique life that thrives here. In me awoke a much deeper respect for the land that I was walking on and created the foundation intentions of restoring natural habitats and sharing knowledge gained with future visitors to come, this to me is the only road forward and the only way us as a climbing community can flourish with the habitat around us.
Understanding wildlife was the base of this journey, moving forward we also learn about the geological history of the landscapes which we climb and through this ecological appreciation we are pointed in the direction of applying these lessons to successfully create eco tourism programs that can be sustainable for the future of our scenery.
Fight The Fear
As the journey continues there is an increasing sense of overcoming boundaries both physically and mentally in the collective of participants in the programme. As much as being a tour guide can be physically demanding what is equally important is the mental resilience you have in yourself, so that you can cultivate it in those in your company.
Through the exploration of landscapes in Blagaj, Velez, Dreznica and Fortica we got to practically apply the best practices when guiding people as well as internally managing any fears so that we can show up for those that we guide. We continue to climb and hike across the four selected areas of focus and face the mighty landscapes that embrace us. Balancing climbing, walking, breathing and conversation in action has lifted me as an individual and as a collective we are bound by the future of the climbing scene in Bosnia & Hercegovina.
What Does The Trail Ahead Hold
So what lies ahead? Although many things about the future are un-certain and at times seem bleak, what I can be sure of is, this is the start of the change we all wanted to see in our region. Throughout these weeks we have connected in group collaboration, been disciplined in our learning and practical application of how best to guide others whilst being in charge of ourself and what comes up in our mind when partaking in adrenaline adventures. We have visited breath taking beauty and have been overcome by excitement of what the future holds.
To follow our programmes progression and future ecological and adrenaline infused tours check out our social streams below and join us on this journey of discovering all that is wild!