Jovana Mladenovic // Adventurer of the Month

Hailing from the city of Nis, Jovana’s strength comes from nature. Living in the moment and being one with the elements are among her highest values. Despite being just about everywhere, there is no favourite spot for Jovana, as she herself says, nature is her favourite place to be. Wherever she goes her trusty camera and raincoat are her companions. If she were lost in the wild then she would call on the aid of Bear Grylls. Wild horses are her spirit animal. And, her top adventure for the year is… keep reading to find out 🙂

Which part of Serbia are you from and what is your profession?

I’m from Nis in Southern Serbia and I’m an architect.

What inspires you to repeatedly go adventuring?

When I’m adventuring I feel completely alive. During that time I live in the moment – there is no past or future. The feeling is most prevalent when I’m trying to overcome demanding obstacles. I’m completely immersed in the task at hand. My concentration is absolutely centred on every step, the path ahead and how to overcome any challenge that presents itself. On the other hand, if I’m not completely concentrated, I’m taking in the beauty of my surrounds, my ears are tuned and I’m listening for every sound, or I’m allowing for the smell of nature to fill my nostrils. In essence, I’m not thinking about anything and that feeling of living in the moment is priceless.

What is your favourite place when you’re trying to escape the daily grind?

I can’t pick one place. Every spare moment I have I use to spend in nature. My answer therefore is that nature itself is my favourite place to be.

Trem, Suva planina

Trem, Dry Mountain – Jovana Mladenović © – @mybeautifulserbia

Is there are place you haven’t yet visited though you’re planning on doing so?

Of course! There’s an abundance of such places, which is why I don’t like visiting the same place twice. I’m always on the lookout for a new adventure. The problem however is that there’s never enough time. Though, the next place I’ll be visiting is the Vucjanka River Canyon. I’ve also found an excellent catalogue of interesting places that I’d love to visit, so I’ll do so shortly!

Without which gear do you never leave home?

My camera and raincoat 🙂

What camera and other gear do you use?

Nikon D5100 with the following lenses: Nikkor 18 – 55mm and 35mm; and a Sigma 10 – 20mm

You’ve found yourself lost in the wild. Which two people would you like to have alongside you? It can be anybody.

Bear Grylls. Just him is enough. Though I spend plenty of time in the great outdoors, I have to admit that I know little about survival, so I think his skills and knowledge would be very useful.

If you were an animal in the past life, what animal would that be?

A wild horse.  Aside from their elegance and grace, horses to me are a symbolise freedom, strength and have an unbridled spirit.

How familiar are you with our concept and what do you like about it?

I became familiar with your website a short time ago. What I like about it is that you aim to inspire people to explore the world around them, which is one of my primary goals and is the reason I so often upload pictures of my adventures to social media. Alongside some well-known places, you also have an interesting selection of hidden gems, which are definitely worthy of attention and should be visited.

Belica Canyon, Nisevacka Gorge

Belica Canyon, Nisevacka Gorge – Jovana Mladenović © – @mybeautifulserbia

Share with us one of your more interesting adventures 🙂

I’d like to share an adventure story with you about a little-know yet beautiful place. What surprised me most about this place is that such a small area is home to rich history, culture and of course natural beauty. People from the neolithic era here live here. It was a favoured health resort for the Romans as well as for the Turks. And today, the entire area is popular among those seeking gold, with plenty of dugout holes being visible throughout.

The place I’m talking about is the Nisevacko Gorge, located 7 km away from Svrljig. The adventure begins after my co-adventurer and I passed some ancient ruins and had to make our way down a steep cliff. I consider these vertical walls the toughest and most dangerous obstacle inside the canyon. When I realised what I had gotten myself into, I began to wonder whether or not I was up for the task. Though, remember, you’re always capable of doing much more than you think! Going forward, we come across a 100-year-old railway line, through which we passed with great caution. Our adrenaline went through the roof when a train past us while we were inside the tunnel, missing us by only a metre, as we had our backs against the tunnel wall.

Not far from the tunnel, the river Belica pours into Svrljig’s Timok River, though not before creating an impressive canyon known as the Belica Canyon. Here you may find “cauldrons” filled with water at the canyon’s narrowest part. The canyon itself is quite inaccessible and presents quite the adventure, as you often have to make your way from one cauldron into another. During high tide, the water in the canyon becomes crystal clear and is perfectly safe for drinking.

To round everything off, the Nisevacka Gorge provides you with the opportuntiy to take home some free souvenirs, though you have to be persistent to find them. I was and for the first time I touched a real fossil! You can literally find them along the trails you walk and some of them are up to 2 millions years old. Finding those fossils, which reminded me that this area once looked completely different to what it does today is an unexplainable feeling and is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

We’ve been following Jovana’s work for quite some time. Her photography serves as a good dose of inspiration for your next adventure. Click here and follow Jovana on Instagram!

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