We got in touch with the woman behind the travel blog, and she was kind enough to answer some questions…
Where are from, originally, and why did you come to Slovenia?
I am originally from Pennsylvania, USA but I was traveling and living in various places and countries until I met my husband at a friend's wedding in Slovenia in 2016. I was living in England at the time.
What are some of the challenges you faced when you arrived here?
The language is definitely a challenge, so focusing on learning it as quickly as possible is the best advice I can give anyone moving here. I attended two courses and received private lessons, which definitely helped with the process.
Also, as a traveler, the connections for flights and trains in Ljubljana quickly changed my travel style. I now opt for more local sights or locations I can reach by car.
When did you start your blog, and why?
I started a travel blog back in 2015 but had a different name and content, it has since transformed into the Wandering Helene blog that exists today. When I first left Pennsylvania, my friends and family wanted to see what I was getting up to so I was posting lots of photos with short captions privately on Facebook, eventually I thought why not make this into a blog? I've always loved blogs and wanted one of my own so it was a natural fit.
How do get ideas for content?
I write about experiences I have had personally. I don't usually go into a trip thinking I want to write about this specific topic. I keep an open mind, observe and take notes, and when I return home I reflect on my experience and that is what I write about.
What is the goal of your blog?
I want to inspire people to travel and not just to tick off a list, but to really learn about a new place, try the foods, speak to people, and fully experience it, not just use it as a backdrop for photos. I also want people to reconsider local travel as an option, there is so much to see in our own backyards. Especially in Slovenia!
What’s your day job, and how does it affect your blog?
I work in freelance so my job changes day to day, from writing to consulting to video editing. It is a really great fit with as I am always learning new things that can be applied to my blog. The only downside is that it does take time away from it.
What are some posts that your particularly proud of?
A Snow Day in Pokljuka, Slovenia is one of my favorite posts. It also happened to be award-nominated this year for the photography. This was a very unexpected last minute trip that ended up being one of the most beautiful days I've ever spent in Slovenia.
Participating in Food Rituals in Bologna, Italy is also another favorite of mine, but this might be because the trip was focused all around food. It was a really wonderful trip and I'm really happy with how the article turned out.
What are some locations you recommend in Slovenia, outside of Ljubljana and Bled?
If a friend asked me about visiting Slovenia and wanted something most travelers seem to skip I would suggest spending a day eating and wine tasting in Goriška Brda, hiking to the Triglav Lakes, and Velika Planina, although it is more and more popular – it is just so beautiful!
Where do you live, and what do you recommend there?
I live in Ljubljana and there are a lot of things I recommend. I even wrote a Wandering Ljubljana Guide that’s perfect for the first-time visitors.
Would you advise a friend to move to Slovenia?
If they really wanted to, sure. There are many pluses living here such as healthcare, safety, abundance of fresh food and clean water. Bu, moving to a new country is not as easy as many think, and it definitely won't solve your problems, so the decision should not be made lightly.
Do you think you’ll live here the rest of your life?
Who knows! I am not usually one to stay in one place for very long but so far I have no intentions of leaving.
Can you recommend another blog on the Slovenian scene, or some groups people might be interested in?
Let's Go Slovenia is a great resource and Marijana runs a Slovenia Travel Forum Facebook group that is great for discovering new places to visit. And Adele in Slovenia is great for reading about hikes around Slovenia.
I also run a small group called Ljubljana Ladies Create for women interested in content creation (blogging, Instagram, YouTube, photography, etc) and we meet at least once a month to chat about our current projects. Another group that has been amazing for meeting new people has been Girl Gone International. I've been a part of this group for years in different countries and we have an amazing chapter in Ljubljana with regular events.