Do you remember the feeling of reading a good book, or seeing a musical so beautiful that it moved you to tears? After the eureka moment of connecting with something so deeply, the first thing you want to do is share the feeling and recommend it to others. Travelling is almost a paradox to this. It’s raw and unpredictable and you’ll collude with moments you remember forever. I feel that these moments are remembered differently, depending on who you are and who you share it with.
With travelling in particular, there is the odd conundrum where the same event can trigger entirely opposite reactions depending on the person. You can miss the EuroStar and laugh about it, or fall into an angry, stone-cold silence. A perverted mixed gender dormitory can ruin a friendship, or provide an entertaining anecdote for years to come (real life examples!).
In September 2018, I travelled with one of my best friends (Alice) to Slovenia. We were lucky enough to go on a work trip called Slovenia Mixed Activity . We stayed at a hotel called Jazbec Guesthouse near the small town of Kobarid, which is a mecca for adventure seekers. The crystal-clear waters of the stunning Soca River offer ideal conditions for a variety of adventurous activities such as canyoning, zip-lining, mountain-biking, white-water rafting and hiking.
We travelled to Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Kobarid and I still associate the trip with the most I had ever laughed in a week. Everything we did was funny one way or another and below are 5 experiences that made the trip all the more memorable:
Alice and I stood at the side of the road together with a thumb and a smile. Our aim was to get to Bovec on our free day, a mountain town just 25km down the same road from Kobarid. We didn’t realise that the bus did not run on Sundays. To our complete surprise, the first vehicle to pass us pulled over (a group of Austrian kayakers!) they squeezed us in and gave us a lift all the way there.
Hitchhiking is pretty intense. It requires an open mind, mutual trust and a travel buddy who tolerates the ‘craziness’ of the situation.
2. Get thrown in Jail together
With a rainy day in Slovenia, Alice and I booked a Prison Escape Game in Bovec. We had one hour to hunt for keys, escape the guard and crawl through a tiny escape. I love Escape Games and I feel they are the ultimate demonstration of teamwork. We escaped of course, she is my buddy in crime after all.
3. Dinner date night at the Hotel
The trip was on a half board basis and every evening we were presented with culinary excellence. From melt-in-the-mouth polenta to soft and flaky fish, every evening had us really excited. With a full day of adventuring and big dinner portions, Alice and I had a game-plan. We got in the habit of bringing a plastic toiletry bag (the free ones you get at airports) to take any leftover dinner with us as next day’s lunch. (honestly we had paid for it already and didn’t want to waste the food).
We laughed every evening at dinner without ever remembering what on earth we were laughing about. Approximately midway through our trip, the hotel generously provided 2 pork cutlets as a main course. I only wanted to eat one, thus bagging the remaining pork cutlet into a bag. I temporarily dumped the bag in a plant pot next to us, rather then leaving it on my lap. Suddenly, the hotel manager approached us and asked how we were. We said the food was absolutely delicious. We were mortified and watched as the manager took out a candle lighter and leaned over towards the plant pot, lighting a candle where the pork cutlet was sweating in a toiletry bag. He smirked but said nothing to us, and it’s moments like these where you can share funny habits and embarrassing moments with a best friend, with no judgement.
4. Hanging out with Outdoor Guides
Our expert Outdoor Guides were our saviours in Slovenia. How else could we survive solo white-water kayaking, and canyons so deep and dark that we couldn’t see the bottom? With the fear factor to contend with in a friendship, I feel that the situation can go one of two ways. Either one party starts to blame the other for being out their comfort zone, or you tackle the obstacle together with a bit of screaming either side. Quite a few activities we did in Slovenia pushed the ‘comfort zone’ boundaries but we did it without compromise for each other.
5. Throwing each other off a cliff
Described as one of the biggest zip-lines in Europe with speeds of up to 60km/h, we were clipped to each other and had to step off the platform into oblivion. It’s the closest feeling to flying and experiencing that feeling side by side with a best friend is out of this world.
- Our flights were £70.00 per person to Ljubljana, we booked in February 2018 and went on the trip in September 2018 (flights booked approximately 7 months in advance of travel)
- We did the Slovenia Mixed Activity with Exodus and tagged on our own trip to Lake Bled at the start of the trip and Ljubljana at the end. The approximate cost of Slovenia Mixed Activity is £1,099 per person without flights.
- We took a train from Lake Bled (Jesenice) to Most na Soči (only a couple of Euros, approx 1hr 30mins). From Most na Soči, it is only a 20 minute drive to Kobarid.
- I know that this blog post is less about the destination, and more about the experience but hopefully this posts helps to relate to the feeling of being yourself and the feeling of fear and uncertainty and how this all balances together when travelling with a friend.
- If you have any questions, feel free to comment her and I’ll be happy to help.