If only I would get an euro every time someone asks me what is my favourite trip or destination so far, by today I could probably go on a really nice holidays with this money. Nevertheless, let me try to answer the tough question of “What was the best holiday you’ve ever been on?”. So here it goes …
I am in no doubt that my favourite continent is South America. It’s a place where I feel at home. Its filled with incredible natural wonders, amazing food, colourful cities, rich history and nice people. But choosing which of my many trips there was the best, it’s pretty hard. After a careful thinking I’ll go with my recent trip to Peru & Bolivia, because it was a trip that combines all that I love the most about travelling:
Living the breathtaking moments
The trip to Peru and Bolivia certainly wasn’t lacking the incredible moments one cherishes forever: the deep breath you take when you reach 5400 meters above sea and the top of Chacaltaya mountain, the moment your eyes see Machu Picchu for the first time, the incredible colours and all the flamingoes in Laguna Colorada and the adrenaline rush of cycling the Death Road.
Tasting the local delicacies
I am a real foody, so naturally, exploring local food and interesting restaurants is one of my favourite parts of travelling. Lima, known as the food capital of Latin America, gave me new discovered love for ceviche and chicharrón. I tried alpaca steak in Aguas Calientes and coca tea in Cusco. La Paz introduced me to Bolivian styled trout and quinoa, which I later incorporated in my dishes at home. Oh and I can’t forget great snack cancha chullpi. It’s also fun to get to know the tastes you will probably avoid in the future, like Inca Cola.
Getting to know the lives of the locals
I was intrigued by the way locals are shopping in La Paz. First thing you notice is that all the streets are full of women selling everything, from toilet paper to electronics, and that there are just a few supermarkets in the city. Everyone goes to markets to buy food and it’s a great experience visiting Mercado Lanza and discovering how the stalls are specialised only in one food. And then there is the witches’ market Mercado de las Brujas where you can buy llama’s fetuses, good luck statues Ekekos and alternative medicine. It’s really interesting how Bolivians combine the catholic and pre-Columbian religions. Or visiting local textile factory and seeing how Peruvians die alpaca wool with natural ingredients.
Learning how strong we are
Travelling definitely challenges you in ways you can’t anticipate. Trying to understand different cultures and views on life, navigating in a foreign country, trying to communicate in different languages (and with your partner) and seeing how you’ll react in different situations. Long and extremely cold night bus ride, getting sick with salmonellosis, almost having my phone stolen … A few of not the best moments of this trip that showed me I can be calm in difficult situations and can get over anything. Travelling is like life in general, there are good and less good moments, but at the end both make incredible memories you cherish and grow from the bad experiences.
Appreciating my home country
As much as I love the world as a whole and am fond of every country I have visited so far, with each trip also my love for my home country Slovenia grows. Seeing political, economic and social situations in other countries makes me feel we don’t have it that bad at home. For example, my studies at University of Ljubljana were for free, the tap water in Slovenia is drinkable and extremely good (in Peru and Bolivia I had to even wash my teeth with a bottled water), in Ljubljana it’s safe to go around as women alone even during the night, living in such a small country all the distances are relatively close … Because of travelling, which has really broaden my horizon, I appreciate the things in my country many fellow Slovenians take for granted.
Why going on a Tanzanian safari could be the perfect adventure?
If we move on from the obvious – seeing incredible animals in their natural environment, experiencing Tanzania’s natural beauties, visiting new country and new part of Africa – going on a safari gives you a special appreciation for the animals and their preservation. It’s an experience that teaches you the valuable lessons of survival, it engages all your senses and makes you feel alive. There is nothing similar to going on a safari, it’s truly an unique adventure for your soul. And my soul is certainly ready for new adventures.