In my last post, I wrote about my brother's visit to us here in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We hadn't seen each other in a good few years, and it was also his first visit to the region.
Reacquainting and a Breakaway concurrently, shouted out "Disaster!".
Tamara and I planned and planned what to show him in the 4 brief days he would be with us.
Clearly we couldn't cover Banja Luka, Mostar and Sarajevo (to name but 3 locations) in that time. OK. Maybe we could, but it would be both ultra stressful and tiring.
Not what we needed or more importantly, wanted.
So we settled for things close to home, and the focus on cultural.
The trip went well, so well in fact, that he's already booked flights to be with us in Montenegro at the end of August.
Just over a week after my brother flew home, we were asked to host 2 Canadians, for just under 24 hours.
Again the "What to show" dilemma.Having thought back to my brother's comments and observations, we decided less would be best.
So we stuck to just Banja Luka centre and only 4 places at that:
The Orthodox Cathedral.
The Covered Market.
The Ferhadija Mosque.
There was sufficient time for storytelling, photography, and food sampling.
Taking time to tell the backstory of somewhere, in as much detail as possible, creates a unique feel for visitors.
I am carefully refraining from using the word "tourists".
Immersion, even for a few hours, in local cultures, can be meaningful, memorable, rejuvenating, and energising.
Both my brother, and our Canadian guests, really appreciated the chance to peer behind the scenes into local life, that only being off the tourist track can offer.
Tamara and I had thought we knew how to introduce people to the many wonders that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to offer.
We now realise that by going slow, and doing less, actually means guests experience much much more!