Almost every time I meet a Slovene person I tell them I just moved from Barcelona. And almost every time I hear the same question: “But… why?”. My answer is always the same: isn’t it obvious?
The first time I crossed the border from Austria I was amazed about how the landscape changed in only minutes. Everywhere I looked there was astonishing, breathtaking view, usually with long, never-ending green valleys surrounded by sharp mountains. Nature was – and, of course, still is – everywhere, and I could only hope to try not to blink so I wouldn’t miss a thing.
The best part was to discover that my first impression was not an underestimation, and in fact I was even more impressed about all that Slovenia had to offer. All the main landmarks are, maximum, two hours away – by car – from Ljubljana. For me, this meant that I could easily discover magnificent natural scenery while still coming back to sleep in my own bed at the end of the day. We made new adventures with friends on daily basis: Portorož, Piran, Škocjan and Postojna Caves, Predjama Castle, Bled, Triglav National Park, Maribor, Ptuj…
But natural beauty is only the surface. What really made me want to live here was the way Slovenes look at life. Everything is calm, peaceful and relaxed. Coming from a big city like Barcelona, I was used to running from place to place without paying attention to what was around me. All I did was check the time every two minutes to make sure I wasn’t late to my next appointment. Even during my free time everything was in a hurry. For example, on Sunday mornings I had to rush to the park to have the best spot, even when I just wanted to chill next to a tree with some friends. Once I was there, I could relax for about 30 minutes before realising I had to leave earlier than I expected because there was going to be a queue at the restaurant. How much free, relaxed time did I have on my “peaceful” Sunday morning, then? Certainly not as much as you would expect.
But everything is different here. Slovenia is a stress-free country that allows me to focus on the small details I couldn’t see before: the waiter asking how my day’s been and smiling while giving me the change back after I order my morning coffee. That stranger that lets me rent the last public bike because the next station is not that far away. Going to the river and reading a good book on those 20 minutes that I have for myself. Being able to meet friends for coffee in the afternoon without checking my phone every 40 seconds, because there’s no rush on what to do after that.If you’re reading this and you’re from Slovenia, I can’t tell you enough how lucky you are to enjoy this way of life. If you just arrived -maybe you’re visiting as a tourist, maybe you moved for Erasmus or for work, then get ready for the best period of time of your life. Slovenia will blow your mind.