10/08/2013 11:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

KINDNESS ONE: Finding a Lifeline in Sarajevo


"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear" -- Nelson Mandela

As I continue to travel across the world relying on the kindness of strangers I have had the good fortune of spending time in some truly inspiring cities. My latest stop saw me arrive in the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina from Zagreb, Croatia. A local described Sarajevo as the 'Jerusalem of the Balkans', and I soon felt why. There was an energy permeating through this city that cannot be explained adequately in words.

Of course Sarajevo will always be linked to the dreadful wars of the 1990s and especially the siege that strangled the city from 1992 to 1995. It is also the city where the spark that lit the fuse of World War I happened. It was here that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated along with his wife in June 1914. War began merely a month later.

I actually stood in the spot where the assassin fired his infamous bullets. Yet the highlight of my stay was meeting up with Edison a former soldier in the Bosnian army. It was from Edison's house that the famous tunnel was built to bypass the siege of the city. It was 800 meters long and gave the inhabitants a lifeline against the siege. Once he left the army and the war had ended he gave his family's house as a museum and he teaches people daily about what everybody went through. His story was one of valor, courage and redemption. I thank him for bringing me into his world and for making my visit to Sarajevo a memorable one.

I am currently on a journey that is powered by the kindness of strangers. With no money, no credit cards, no gas and no place to stay, I am circling the globe on a bright yellow, vintage motorcycle with a sidecar, Kindness ONE® (Sort of like Air Force One, but kinder). Please click here to read more.