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Like everyone when they travel, I learned a few things while I was in Slovenia. Some about myself, some about the country. Mostly about myself, but all from great experiences that I would definitely do again.
1. I don’t actually like pork that much. Or potatoes.
Pork, lumpy mashed potatoes, plum sauce, egg roll filling pork thing, and bean thing.
This pork and plum sauce was delicious and so was the egg roll filling pork thing. I think it was pork? Who knows, it was delicious.
I knew I wasn’t the biggest fan of it before I left, but I ate it almost every day. It’s not bad, I just prefer other things. There were a few days where it was super delicious though so I can’t say I don’t like it at all. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of delicious Slovenian food, especially if you do like pork a lot.
2. You may get killed in the bathroom.
This is Predjama Castle. Pred means “in front of” and jama means “cave,” Predjama is in front of a cave. Pretty clever, right? I thought so. Anywho, this castle has a story, a history, like any other castle, but it has one main lesson – watch out for boulders in the bathroom.The whole story is for another day, but Erazem, the owner way back when, had some problems to sort out with the Hapsburgs. Long story short, they were after him and ended up catapulting a boulder or two at him while he was in the bathroom one time, thanks to a traitor.
Lesson learned here: if you’ve got beef with someone, watch out when you go to the bathroom.
3. I love cappuccino. Like, a lot.
All the hotels had these cappuccino/coffee machines. I had like three for breakfast almost everyday. This is espresso and milk cappuccino, not powder in water french vanilla cappuccino. And then I would usually have one in the middle of the day too because they were cheap and I was tired. Totally made sense until I was up until 3 AM one day. Thanks a lot cappuccino, I thought we were friends!
4. Cooking is awesome.
Gnocchi with a delicious mystery sauce
So, I’m practically a chef now. I helped make three whole things! Gnocchi, strudel, and ravioli. All three were super delicious and probably my favorite meals, not biased or anything, they were actually just that good, especially the gnocchi. Gnocchi are like little potato dumplings, sort of.
5. There are more important things than the internet, staying connected, and having a camera out 24/7.
I don’t have a picture of this. There is no way to have a picture of this. This will also be for another day, this is just a quick look at what I learned. My last two trips abroad, New Zealand and Ecuador, were for photography classes. I HAD to take pictures, like no choice because it was for a grade. Granted, I would have taken a ton of pictures there anyways because they were amazing, but I had to take them, a lot of them, like 3000 of them in roughly two weeks.
Before I left I told myself I wasn’t going to do that this time because I didn’t have to. Yes, I enjoy taking pictures a lot, but I took more time to enjoy my surroundings and what was happening around me. I brought a smaller camera and only took about 600 pictures this trip. Looking back it seems like so few.
I tried to stay off of the internet and my phone at the hotels too, spending time writing about my day and socializing with new friends instead. This was a good change of pace from my regular, pictures, pictures, pictures mind frame.
6. I finally know what prosciutto is, not to be confused with pancetta, which is not bread.
I don’t have a picture of either actually (see lesson 5) this is the closest I have of prosciutto. I knew prosciutto was meat, but that was about it, and lets be real here, pancetta sounds like some kind of bread, which it is not. At all. Both are from, you guessed it, pigs. The prosciutto is more meaty, like thin slices of salty meat. Pancetta is a lot more fatty. It reminded me of raw bacon. Fatty raw bacon. I did not enjoy the pancetta, but had to try it anyways. The prosciutto, on the other hand, was really good.
7. The Adriatic Sea and its cities are fantastic.
This is Portorož. We stayed here for three nights, and it was beautiful, just like the next two cities and probably every other city on the Adriatic Sea.
This is Piran. Just look at it. They all look like this. We went to Izola, too. It’s also picturesque – Mediterranean – Ocean view – Beautiful. I feel like this point doesn’t need much explanation, but the pictures really don’t do it justice. I would just recommend a trip there yourself.
8. I like semi-dry wine.
Yes. All the wine. I don’t think you would have a successful trip here if you do not like wine. Well, yes, you would, but the wine is so good! Even the semi-dry stuff. We ended up bringing three bottles home and probably shared one or two most nights there. Bonding over wine, good stuff.
9. I could live here.
These are what 95% of the houses look like and they all have flowers everywhere. Every window has a box with huge flowers and plants in them. This must be why I like plants so much, it’s in my blood. This doesn’t explain my poor ability of keeping them alive though.
I would love to live here though. There is so much I love about Slovenia. Our group is already looking for property there to live together, all of us. I can only imagine all the strudel we would eat and wine we would drink. We better move there soon!
10. I was not cut out for tours.
I think this was the biggest thing I learned. I was not cut out to be part of a tour group for a long period of time. I’m a wanderer. I like to explore. I like getting lost, usually. If I see something interesting, I want to be able to go look at it and not get in trouble for holding everyone up. While this is the case, I would not change anything about this trip. And I won’t write off group tours forever. There are some good ones. I met great people and would definitely go back with them. Slovenia 2016, woo! Just speculating. I think we would all go back right now if we could though.
These may not be deep life lessons, but that’s not what I was looking for. Personal growth is seen in different ways, and these are little things that will all add up someday. I’m still young and learning about myself, this is a process and it is just getting started.
Looking for flights? Check out Lufthansa! That’s who we flew with and it was wonderful.
Have you been to Slovenia? What did you think of it? Do you want to go? What did you do there?