Sometimes you fall in love without even noticing it, the way a frog placed in a pot of slowly heating water doesn’t realize he’s being boiled alive. And sometimes love comes suddenly and unexpectedly, a feeling akin to missing a step and then tumbling down an entire flight of stairs.

I lost my footing. I fell in love. And like millions of humans across the globe, I gave up everything to be with my love. I went from Sarajevo, Bosnia to Herceg Novi, Montenegro and now live in Belgrade, Serbia.

This is one of those loves that’s nearly impossible to explain to others. But I’m going to try. The Balkan Explorer is so named not because it’s a travel site — although there will certainly be plenty of hints and tips — but because it’s meant to be a way to delve deeply into the region.

The site right now is new and evolving, but eventually you’ll find guides to cities and towns, along with musings on distinct regions. But we’ll go further, taking in everything from a country’s history to current events to the way people eat and drink. It’ll often be served up with a side of irreverent humor, a common theme throughout the region. Oh, and if you’re wondering, there’s not a widely accepted definition of “The Balkans” INSERT LINK HERE. For the most part, the site will focus on the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but we’ll talk about other Balkan states as well, and every once in awhile wander into other areas.

Finally, if you’re headed to Belgrade (or here right now!) there’s an entire section dedicated to the city, a heads-up both on its different neighborhoods and areas and specific places you might want to visit — or avoid.